Erik Moeller wrote:
On 6/21/06, Robert Scott Horning
If the WMF board was more inclined to approve new
projects (not any old
thing, but at least allow some new projects), I might be more encouraged
to move the How-to guides to a new project.
I think if we work together, we can pull it off. The open question for
me is: is it necessary? Do you think how-tos have a future on
I am not really sure what the motivation is to remove how-to books from
Wikibooks in the first place. The only real suggestion I've seen is to
transwiki the content to Wikia, which is one of the reasons why I made
comments about that earlier. I think perhaps in this case it might have
been participants on the how-to wikia that wants to move the how-to
activity from Wikibooks to their project, not any effort by Wikibooks
contributors to remove this sort of content. The same sort of issue
came up with the Blender 3D Wikibook, where it was apparently forked to
another wiki with the admins of that other website asking that the
content be removed from Wikibooks, and the ensuing discussions about
wheither the content should simply be forked or if it was reasonable for
non-Wikimedia websites to demand that content be removed from Wikibooks
due to duplication of effort issues alone.
I, for one, don't want to see how-to books removed from Wikibooks. I
think they definitely are instructional text that requires more than one
page (much more than the 32K limit on Wikipedia) and can cover a topic
with a NPOV and other general restrictions typical of all Wikimedia
projects. This fits with Wikibooks more than any other current
Wikimedia project, and any attempt to break off just the how-to books
would put in a bunch of grey areas as to what really belongs on
Wikibooks. Trying to come up with a definition that distinguishes
between how-to books and general textbooks is going to be something that
may require some divine intervention. I am also not completely
convinced that Wikibooks should be exclusively textbooks, as other
educational and instructional material can be developed by creative
individuals using MediaWiki software. I have not seen a valid argument
why Wikibooks should be exclusively textbooks-only, nor have any really
good definitions as to what a textbook is or should be been agreed upon
by most Wikibooks participants.
That textbooks should be a key component of Wikibooks, I would agree.
And featured textbooks of high quality should be on the front page of
Wikibooks. So where is the argument?
Robert Scott Horning