[TOS] Textbook status

Greg DeKoenigsberg gdk at redhat.com
Thu Mar 11 17:51:41 UTC 2010

We've got a lot of pieces here.  We're very close.  That's good.

What we don't yet have is a textbook.  That's bad.  It's bad because we've 
got a trial customer -- Tim Budd, Oregon State -- and no completed 
deliverable yet.  And we've got two weeks before Tim's class starts.

I believe that next week will be a crucial week for the textbook effort. 
I believe that we should seek to accomplish the following things by the 
end of next week:

1. Get every chapter to 100% status.  Having all exercises completed will 
be of particular importance.

2. Move this document off of the wiki and into DocBook.

3. Get it into version control.

4. Make a "release".  I'd say this would be release 0.8 or so.  :)

I think we can get it done, but I'll need some help.  In particular, these 
are the things I'm worried about:

1. The "beginner's mind" chapters.  Dave and Chris, I think that these are 
crucially important -- even if they aren't complete and perfect, we need 
something here.  I've seen blog posts from both of you that would do in a 
pinch.  If we want one chapter instead of two, that's fine -- but I think 
we need *something*.  Need your guidance here -- can we have something 
next week?  At least something to start from?

2. The infrastructure for the basic version control exercises.  I know 
that Chris set it up, but I honestly haven't even looked at it yet -- but 
it'll take some time to make sure that we've got what we need.

3. I need DocBook help.  I don't know the first thing about it.  I know 
we've got some folks here who can help with this -- Jared, Sebastian, 
Karsten -- and now is the time when your help will be deeply appreciated.

4. I'm worried that the whole thing will kinda suck and won't hold 
together well -- but I'm always worried about that, and it's certainly no 
reason not to finish strong.  Besides, that's what we're testing here: can 
we build a text like we build software, with alpha and beta releases that 
are useful, if imperfect?  And we won't know until we do it.

I'm pretty proud of what we've accomplished so far, but if we don't finish 
strong for Tim, I'm worried that we'll miss our first big opportunity for 
feedback, and I want to make sure that we do everything we can to capture 
this opportunity.

If you have time to spare next week, send a note to the list reporting for 
duty, and let's figure it out.  I'll be on #teachingopensource all week 
long, looking to complete the push to Glorious Victory.


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