My dentist keeps telling me to FLOSS
October 1, 2010 9:39 PM   Subscribe

Do you like manuals? Do you like Wikis? Do you like open source software? Check out FLOSS Manuals for wiki-fied manuals for popular and fun open source software, including PureData, Inkscape, Blender, Ardour, among others. Taking a page from programmers, the group endorses "book sprints", where creative writers, editors and artists work closely together to complete an online book in a short, intense burst of effort.
posted by Blazecock Pileon (6 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite
Awesome idea! Open source software documentation almost always sucks. (Actually so does a lot of commercial software. Maybe they'll work on Solidworks next) I hope this takes off!
posted by Popular Ethics at 10:04 PM on October 1, 2010

Neat! My only issue, though, is that it will split people's attention. We already have Wikibooks, and at least with Blender, there's much more substance there than at this site. For example, compare FLOSS's Blender section with the poorly named (but pretty well-written and substantive) Noob to Pro book.
posted by spiderskull at 10:42 PM on October 1, 2010

Neat! My only issue, though, is that it will split people's attention.

That's the major problem in open source.
"Oooh! Niiiiiice wheel! I'll reinvent it! In random other webspace. (As opposed to yours.)"
posted by sebastienbailard at 11:16 PM on October 1, 2010

Thanks for those—even though I'm relatively conversant with Max/MSP, it's been difficult getting the flow of PureData, and this looks like a good resource.

That said, I'm probably sort of a rtfmanual luddite, in that I really, really wish there would be print-formatted versions (i.e. not just webpages that make a 700 page document of mostly-empty pages at printing time) of things like this so that I could just curl up on the couch and read. Heck, I'd buy 'em if they were out there, but I guess there's no market for making print editions. It's weird, I guess, as a guy who spends so much time in front of a screen, but I just can't abide having to stare into a glowing screen, either in a chair or with a blazing hot netbook in my lap, when just I want the transparency of readingspace.
posted by sonascope at 4:58 AM on October 2, 2010

Amen, sonascope. Gimme a chair and a paper book any day. I often download pirate PDFs of technical books to see if they're any good, then if I like something I buy the hard copy to actually read it. Aside from the comfort of reading on the couch without worrying whether or not I'm blocking cooling vents or draining batteries, it's just nice to read without the temptation to check email and news. And if I fall asleep reading the worst that can happen is bent pages.
posted by fleetmouse at 9:18 AM on October 2, 2010

wonderful, thank you.

i prefer paper manuals too, but by the time they are published they are already becoming outdated. in two years they are usually birdcage liner.
posted by quarterframer at 9:59 AM on October 2, 2010

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