The main reason we're calling out to the community is that the core developers don't individually have the time to tackle a book by themselves. We also expect that by working with someone familiar with book writing, they can bring a whole set of fresh ideas, professionalism, and efficiency to the table.
One obvious aim of the work is to build significantly on our current documentation; our existing tutorials could be considered the first 50 pages of a longer 300 page work.
However, the wider reason ties back to our motivation we released SilverStripe as free software. We truely want to make it easier for website developers to build innovative websites and online applications that are easy to use, update, and manage. Producing the software is only half the challenge: people need to understand how to take advantage of it, and a book is a great means to that.
We very much want to stress we agree with the wisdom found in many writing guides. The book will be of limited appeal as "SilverStripe: The Definitive Guide," as few people will be browsing the web or walking into a store with that in mind. (Besides, SilverStripe is developing quickly so a reference or API guide would be out of date before it printed.)
Instead we expect the book to far more successful if it more generally aims to give website developers extra personal satisfaction in their job, and lets them do better work for their customers. So while the book will methodically take you through the various features and philosophies of SilverStripe, the structure and emphasis of the book is more practical: teach the reader to build websites and applications that are easier to use, are more reliable, take less time to build, are easy to update, have useful novel features, and so on.
As Kathy Sierrra might put it, we're not trying to form a dry Nikon Coolpix 5700 user manual, but rather an engaging and practical guide on "How to take stunning photos of your family." This provides a better type of learning.
We have interest from book publishers, so our next step is to find one or two people to really own the book writing venture. See Alistapart for the sort of professionalism and quality of writing we're after. We are really keen to see this happen so are happy to make the timeframes and payment attractive; our organisation would consider supplementing the publisher's advance. Also note that we are interested in having a free online edition.
- If you would like to author the book, please answer a few questions for us. We hope to figure out who would be involved towards the end of April.
If you have any general comments on the book idea, add a public comment below!
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