Firstly: If it works for open source projects why not books?
Collaborative writing is not something new. What is rare however, is this in the field of programming.
The Important Aspects that need your valuable Inputs:
- Investment: Would there be need for investment of any sort, other than Time during the development stages?
- Existing Platforms: Are there any existing Platforms that best manage this? Such as online integrated version control, wiki, CMS?
- Existing Projects: Where can we find such projects to contribute to? (Assumes there many existing already)
- Popularity: Why don’t we see much or any such works? (Referring specifically to the aspect of online collaborative programming book development. It’s a given that in writing any book a lot of effort is involved with many indirect or credited contributors references editors etc.) ( I actually couldn’t find much .WEBOOK doesn’t do programming)
- Programming Hurdles: What are the hurdles when speaking about programming aspects that make this hard to achieve?
- Extension to SE/SO: Can something like this be added as an extension to SE/SO?The participants of the community already post their valuable answers to questions .Here they would be following more streamlined set of posts keeping with the style/vision.
- Publicity: Is it safe to assume SO/SE could best serve as a driving force bringing the correct light, interest of seasoned professionals who can contribute their wealth of knowledge?
- Marketing: Other than SO/SE what would be the best way to get publicity and talented people to contribute to this? Would GIT/source forge work as this is basically book writing?
Lastly: How do you think such a book would be received?
Points of Interest
- General Hurdles: A great set of pitfalls, hurdles in general collaborative writing (Besides the technical ones mentioned in the wiki) Not wishing to discuss or mention those here I link directly to the answer.
- Trends: Online Collaborative Writing: How Blogs and Wikis Are Changing the Academic Publishing Process
- Success steps: Keys to a Successful Collaborative Writing Project
- Tips: Useful Tips for Collaborative Writing with Google Docs and Google Sites
My Interest on This:
Recently after my exposure to head first design patterns, I was hard pressed to find a head first type of book for Data structures and Algorithms and I had even looked up their forums (O’Riley) and not much light was given to this topic despite many people asking for this.
My only Bad Guess is no one was man (programmer /knowledgeable) enough to write on this in their style (no offence to any one). Which lead me to find this idea of collaborative writing and to my surprise I had found or hadn’t found much in the area of programming.
I believe such an Endeavour would only increase the value of a book published as great things can be achieved keeping in line with the imagery, speech, context, delivery method of the original book style from which this was inspired. I have read somewhere that the true depth of a person’s knowledge lies in how he explains a complex concept in layman’s terms.