Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Props to my Peoples

There has been a lot of activity lately, and I feel like I could post a million blogposts about it all, but I'm trying to limit myself to one per day or less.

[[User:Aya]], the bureaucrat that first promoted me to admin several years ago, appeared out of nowhere yesterday. He's been absent without a trace for almost exactly 3 years, and not for lack of us trying to get in touch with him at various points. In the time he's been gone we've passed a new adminship policy that calls for the deadminship of inactive admins (so he's not a bureaucrat at Wikibooks any longer) and we've passed a policy to disallow videogame strategy guides (so the [[Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas]] book he was working on has moved to StrategyWiki. It's sad, I think, to see things change so much. However, I feel like we've made a lot of changes for the better and Wikibooks is a more mature and stable project now then it was three years ago. Hopefully Aya feels the same way.

A while back I started a book about [[Communication Systems]]. It was intended to be a general dumping ground for my notes from several classes I was taking in the field of Communications. Taking the "Wiki is not paper" mantra to heart, and being a bit naive, I tried to create a gigantic communications masterwork that would encompass the entire field in a way that no other traditional book had ever done, or would ever be able to do. A little wiser now, I've since broken the book up into several smaller books, each encompassing a particular aspect of Communications theory and practice. Now that I'm out of school, however, I don't have the time to work on any of them.

Enter [[User:Jugandi]] who's been flying through the [[Communication Systems]] book like a whirlwind. He's writing all sorts of content and examples, adding tables, pictures, diagrams. He's breathing life into the book in a way that I never could. I've long felt that the most important thing to do for a new book was to give it a solid organizational structure. A skeleton book without much content can be easily added to, because people know exactly where and how content should be added. A large formless book filled with rambling content, on the other hand, is much harder to contribute to. Jugandi has been able to take a bare skeleton book and add so much to it in such a short period of time, nice evidence in favor of my idea. [[User:Jeremyb]], a relative newcomer to the project (an SUL-enabled wiki-immigrant), has been helping to convert some images of tables and formulas into ordinary Wikitext or TeX format.

[[User:The Scarlet Letter]] has been doing some excellent editing and authoring in some of our mathematics books. Some of the work he does is gnomish (small fixes here and there), but some of it is very substantial too. He's been doing good work in our books [[Real Analysis]], [[Abstract Algebra]] and [[Functional Analysis]]. He and [[User:Topology Expert]] have also done some good work recently in the [[Topology]] book too. Our mathematics shelf, which has long been a little woeful, is being reinvigorated with these and other's efforts.

The [[Muggles' Guide to Harry Potter]], long one of our largest and most impressive books, is still as active as ever. One of our bureaucrats, [[User:Withinfocus]], keeps watch over the book, but a lot of the great content work recently is being done by [[User:Chazz]] and [[User:PNW Raven]]. So dedicated are Chazz and PNW Raven to their book, that neither one of them has ever requested adminship (and Chazz once turned down the offer outright). Their dedication shows, because this book is one of our crowning acheivements.

This is just a narrow glimpse into the activities at Wikibooks recently, and I'm sure I'm missing plenty of important details. Got something to share? Let me know and I'll post it on the blog.

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