Thursday, April 24, 2008

Adopt A Book - April 2008

As always, Wikibooks tends to have a high-author turnaround rate. This means that people tend not to finish what they start, and many books are abandoned before they are finished. The problem with this, of course, is that books in poor condition take a daunting amount of work to get fixed up, and do not readily inspire new contributors to help out. Here then is a short list of some books that I've found today that could really use a helping hand:
  1. [[Data Structures]] This book isn't in poor condition, in fact I would say that it's in a particularly good condition. However, it isn't featured yet and it isn't under active development. This book really does have the capability to move up to that next level if a few of the details could be worked out. Chapters here tend to be large, and a reorganziation effort might be required here as well. If you know a little bit about computer science and data structures, and are willing to do some work on organization, it would be much appreciated.
  2. [[Java Programming]] This book is pretty big, and also in decent condition. However, problems with formatting and page naming are really keeping this book down. This book needs some organizational and aesthetic work, and a few of the later chapters are empty or stubbish. This is another book that, with some TLC, could become a featured book on Wikibooks.
  3. [[Programming:PHP]] This is a prime example of the old-style naming convention that these old programming books used to use. The Programming: pseudonamespace has been deprecated, and this book should be renamed to "PHP Programming", or something similar. The formatting in this book, at least on most of the pages I saw, is pretty fantastic, although there hasn't been any major contributions in a few months. A few of the later chapters need to be improved, however.
  4. [[Wiki Science]] You almost wouldn't believe it, but in Wikibooks some of our books about wikis are in pretty poor condition. This one is off to a good start, and there is some material here that a new contributor can really grab on to. If you know a thing or two about wikis, and want to share your knowledge with the world, this book could use your help.
  5. [[MediaWiki Administrator's Handbook]] Are you an admin, bureaucrat, checkuser or steward? Do you have a little experience with some special user rights on a MediaWiki project? There are a lot of tools that aren't really open for the public to view, and a lot of the admin tools aren't always well documented. This book is a good start in this, but it's obviously outdated and incomplete.
Sorry to favor the computer books so much this time, but I've been going through the list of them recently looking for naming convention stragglers. The computer and programming books have a history of being improperly named and organized, and even today some of these old problems persist in these books. People who know these subjects and are willing to do some authoring or organizing work are definitely encouraged to come help out with these.

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