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digitalmars.D - D Programming Language Specification ebook

reply Walter Bright <newshound2 digitalmars.com> writes:
I think it would be a good move to make a kindle ebook out of the specification 
on the web site. Not only will it be convenient for those who wish to peruse
the 
spec using a kindle, it will be helpful for marketing etc.

The difficulty is that if I put the ebook up on Amazon for free, people tend to 
equate free with "crap". It needs to have a price on it to be taken seriously.

But if I put a price on it, people will be demotivated to continue contributing 
to it, because they'll perceive someone else profiting from their work.

Perhaps proceeds from it should be put towards other promotions of D, like
maybe 
a conference? More contests with prizes?

What do you all think? $0? $4.99? $9.99?

And yes, the content will be identical to that on the website, just formatted 
for the kindle.
Jul 03 2011
next sibling parent Jimmy Cao <jcao219 gmail.com> writes:
--001636b42e14e9de0004a7350023
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=ISO-8859-1

I think free is best.
D is seriously lacking free learning resources.
And free does not necessarily mean crap, although the current specification
needs a bit of fixing here and there.

On Sun, Jul 3, 2011 at 9:11 PM, Walter Bright <newshound2 digitalmars.com>wrote:

 I think it would be a good move to make a kindle ebook out of the
 specification on the web site. Not only will it be convenient for those who
 wish to peruse the spec using a kindle, it will be helpful for marketing
 etc.

 The difficulty is that if I put the ebook up on Amazon for free, people
 tend to equate free with "crap". It needs to have a price on it to be taken
 seriously.

 But if I put a price on it, people will be demotivated to continue
 contributing to it, because they'll perceive someone else profiting from
 their work.

 Perhaps proceeds from it should be put towards other promotions of D, like
 maybe a conference? More contests with prizes?

 What do you all think? $0? $4.99? $9.99?

 And yes, the content will be identical to that on the website, just
 formatted for the kindle.

--001636b42e14e9de0004a7350023 Content-Type: text/html; charset=ISO-8859-1 Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable I think free is best.<div>D is seriously lacking free learning resources.</= div><div>And free does not necessarily mean crap, although the current spec= ification needs a bit of fixing here and there.<br><br><div class=3D"gmail_= quote"> On Sun, Jul 3, 2011 at 9:11 PM, Walter Bright <span dir=3D"ltr">&lt;<a href= =3D"mailto:newshound2 digitalmars.com" target=3D"_blank">newshound2 digital= mars.com</a>&gt;</span> wrote:<br><blockquote class=3D"gmail_quote" style= =3D"margin:0 0 0 .8ex;border-left:1px #ccc solid;padding-left:1ex"> I think it would be a good move to make a kindle ebook out of the specifica= tion on the web site. Not only will it be convenient for those who wish to = peruse the spec using a kindle, it will be helpful for marketing etc.<br> <br> The difficulty is that if I put the ebook up on Amazon for free, people ten= d to equate free with &quot;crap&quot;. It needs to have a price on it to b= e taken seriously.<br> <br> But if I put a price on it, people will be demotivated to continue contribu= ting to it, because they&#39;ll perceive someone else profiting from their = work.<br> <br> Perhaps proceeds from it should be put towards other promotions of D, like = maybe a conference? More contests with prizes?<br> <br> What do you all think? $0? $4.99? $9.99?<br> <br> And yes, the content will be identical to that on the website, just formatt= ed for the kindle.<br> </blockquote></div><br></div> --001636b42e14e9de0004a7350023--
Jul 03 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Daniel Gibson <metalcaedes gmail.com> writes:
Am 04.07.2011 04:11, schrieb Walter Bright:
 I think it would be a good move to make a kindle ebook out of the
 specification on the web site. Not only will it be convenient for those
 who wish to peruse the spec using a kindle, it will be helpful for
 marketing etc.
 
 The difficulty is that if I put the ebook up on Amazon for free, people
 tend to equate free with "crap". It needs to have a price on it to be
 taken seriously.
 
 But if I put a price on it, people will be demotivated to continue
 contributing to it, because they'll perceive someone else profiting from
 their work.
 
 Perhaps proceeds from it should be put towards other promotions of D,
 like maybe a conference? More contests with prizes?
 
 What do you all think? $0? $4.99? $9.99?
 
 And yes, the content will be identical to that on the website, just
 formatted for the kindle.

I think free is better. Maybe promote it as "Open" ("Open Specification" or whatever) instead of free, that sounds more like Open Source (often of high quality) than Freeware (often crap) ;-) If you sell information that is otherwise (legally) available for free people may feel ripped off - which would damage D's reputation much more than an eBook that some people may not take seriously because it's for free. (And people who think that way will probably not take a compiler that comes for free seriously either.) Giving away an eBook for free is not the same as thrusting a book/magazine in peoples hand on a trade show or after a speech or something (whether they want it or not) - as long as it's not advertised with popup-ads or something - they (can) actively choose to download it. And please provide that ebook as PDF or whatever on the D homepage so people with other ebook readers (or iPads) can use it as well. :-) Cheers, - Daniel
Jul 03 2011
next sibling parent reply Walter Bright <newshound2 digitalmars.com> writes:
On 7/3/2011 7:36 PM, Daniel Gibson wrote:
 Giving away an eBook for free is not the same as thrusting a
 book/magazine in peoples hand on a trade show or after a speech or
 something (whether they want it or not) - as long as it's not advertised
 with popup-ads or something - they (can) actively choose to download it.

Surprisingly, I have seen this done many times, and have not detected any backlash or bad feeling about it. The git manual comes to mind. http://progit.org/book/
 And please provide that ebook as PDF or whatever on the D homepage so
 people with other ebook readers (or iPads) can use it as well. :-)

Andrei's already set up the dpl source to auto-build pdf's. In any case, pdf's suck as an ebook format. The trouble is, they don't reflow the text. The ebook formats are much, much more suitable. Pdf's are for printing.
Jul 03 2011
parent reply Daniel Gibson <metalcaedes gmail.com> writes:
Am 04.07.2011 05:03, schrieb Walter Bright:
 On 7/3/2011 7:36 PM, Daniel Gibson wrote:
 Giving away an eBook for free is not the same as thrusting a
 book/magazine in peoples hand on a trade show or after a speech or
 something (whether they want it or not) - as long as it's not advertised
 with popup-ads or something - they (can) actively choose to download it.

Surprisingly, I have seen this done many times, and have not detected any backlash or bad feeling about it. The git manual comes to mind. http://progit.org/book/

I see. Kind of surprising on the Internet, which is full of people just waiting for a reason to complain and flame. Maybe it also depends on the "history" and quality of the book - is it a book that was later made available for free? Is it a "real book" or just a bunch of related documents thrown together? However: If this is common practice maybe we don't have to expect a shit-storm. And I like the idea that the proceeds may be used to organize a D conference (preferably in Europe ;-)) or for (prizes for) contests.
 
 And please provide that ebook as PDF or whatever on the D homepage so
 people with other ebook readers (or iPads) can use it as well. :-)

Andrei's already set up the dpl source to auto-build pdf's. In any case, pdf's suck as an ebook format. The trouble is, they don't reflow the text. The ebook formats are much, much more suitable. Pdf's are for printing.

Ok, I don't really know what kinds of other formats are available and how well they work, because I don't have an eBook-reader myself. I thought PDF was common because at least everybody can display it and formatting isn't screwed up by. But being able to reflow the text is certainly an important feature if you want to use it on displays of different size or if you want to change the fontsize. Cheers, - Daniel
Jul 03 2011
parent Walter Bright <newshound2 digitalmars.com> writes:
On 7/3/2011 8:23 PM, Daniel Gibson wrote:
 Ok, I don't really know what kinds of other formats are available and
 how well they work, because I don't have an eBook-reader myself.
 I thought PDF was common because at least everybody can display it and
 formatting isn't screwed up by.

PDF works great if your e-reader has an 8.5*11 size viewing area. Alas, none of them do.
 But being able to reflow the text is certainly an important feature if
 you want to use it on displays of different size or if you want to
 change the fontsize.

I recently bought a science "ebook" that turned out to be a pdf of the print version. It is frankly unreadable on any ebook devices. The only way I could read it was to throw it up on my 28" desktop monitor. (It was a good book regardless of the cluelessness of the author on how to do an ebook.)
Jul 03 2011
prev sibling parent "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
On Sun, 03 Jul 2011 22:36:26 -0400, Daniel Gibson <metalcaedes gmail.com>  
wrote:

 And please provide that ebook as PDF or whatever on the D homepage so
 people with other ebook readers (or iPads) can use it as well. :-)

http://www.amazon.com/gp/feature.html/ref=kcp_ipad_mkt_lnd?docId=1000490441 Similar apps exist for all the mobile platforms. Considering that the documentation is all boost-licensed, anyone may build (and sell!) an ebook in a competing format. I think it's reasonable to select the most popular format, and let people create other formats if they so desire. -Steve
Jul 04 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Jacob Carlborg <doob me.com> writes:
On 2011-07-04 04:11, Walter Bright wrote:
 I think it would be a good move to make a kindle ebook out of the
 specification on the web site. Not only will it be convenient for those
 who wish to peruse the spec using a kindle, it will be helpful for
 marketing etc.

 The difficulty is that if I put the ebook up on Amazon for free, people
 tend to equate free with "crap". It needs to have a price on it to be
 taken seriously.

 But if I put a price on it, people will be demotivated to continue
 contributing to it, because they'll perceive someone else profiting from
 their work.

 Perhaps proceeds from it should be put towards other promotions of D,
 like maybe a conference? More contests with prizes?

 What do you all think? $0? $4.99? $9.99?

 And yes, the content will be identical to that on the website, just
 formatted for the kindle.

I hope it will not be limited to the Kindle and Amazon. -- /Jacob Carlborg
Jul 04 2011
parent Walter Bright <newshound2 digitalmars.com> writes:
On 7/4/2011 12:30 AM, Jacob Carlborg wrote:
 I hope it will not be limited to the Kindle and Amazon.

If there's a demand, we can deliver!
Jul 04 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply James Fisher <jameshfisher gmail.com> writes:
--90e6ba1ef6682da40904a7399f91
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8

On Mon, Jul 4, 2011 at 3:11 AM, Walter Bright <newshound2 digitalmars.com>wrote:

 I think it would be a good move to make a kindle ebook out of the
 specification on the web site.

Forgive my stupidity, but what exact content are we talking about here? The language and library references? --90e6ba1ef6682da40904a7399f91 Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8 Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable <div class=3D"gmail_quote">On Mon, Jul 4, 2011 at 3:11 AM, Walter Bright <s= pan dir=3D"ltr">&lt;<a href=3D"mailto:newshound2 digitalmars.com">newshound= 2 digitalmars.com</a>&gt;</span> wrote:<br><blockquote class=3D"gmail_quote= " style=3D"margin:0 0 0 .8ex;border-left:1px #ccc solid;padding-left:1ex;"> I think it would be a good move to make a kindle ebook out of the specifica= tion on the web site.</blockquote><div><br></div><div>Forgive my stupidity,= but what exact content are we talking about here? =C2=A0The language and l= ibrary references?</div> </div> --90e6ba1ef6682da40904a7399f91--
Jul 04 2011
parent Walter Bright <newshound2 digitalmars.com> writes:
On 7/4/2011 12:50 AM, James Fisher wrote:
 On Mon, Jul 4, 2011 at 3:11 AM, Walter Bright <newshound2 digitalmars.com
 <mailto:newshound2 digitalmars.com>> wrote:

     I think it would be a good move to make a kindle ebook out of the
     specification on the web site.


 Forgive my stupidity, but what exact content are we talking about here?  The
 language and library references?

Yes.
Jul 04 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Johann MacDonagh <johann.macdonagh..no spam..gmail.com> writes:
On 7/3/2011 10:11 PM, Walter Bright wrote:
 What do you all think? $0? $4.99? $9.99?

What about skipping Amazon and putting it up on d-programming-language.org and ask for donations? I think Paypal will handle the processing for you for free if you show you're not doing it for profit. If you set a price we'd have to go through each page and clean them up / update some for D2, etc... Donations make it nice because you can release newer versions and donaters can update their copy without paying again.
Jul 04 2011
next sibling parent reply Walter Bright <newshound2 digitalmars.com> writes:
On 7/4/2011 1:50 AM, Johann MacDonagh wrote:
 On 7/3/2011 10:11 PM, Walter Bright wrote:
 What do you all think? $0? $4.99? $9.99?

What about skipping Amazon and putting it up on d-programming-language.org and ask for donations? I think Paypal will handle the processing for you for free if you show you're not doing it for profit.

People at the airport press a "free gift" on me, and then harangue me for a donation. I think that's the wrong image for D. People shouldn't be made to feel guilty about using D and not making a donation. I know it would turn me off, at least.
 If you set a price we'd have to go through each page and clean them up / update
 some for D2, etc... Donations make it nice because you can release newer
 versions and donaters can update their copy without paying again.

The idea is to generate the ebook automatically from the web sources.
Jul 04 2011
next sibling parent reply Johann MacDonagh <johann.macdonagh..no spam..gmail.com> writes:
On 7/4/2011 5:52 AM, Walter Bright wrote:
 On 7/4/2011 1:50 AM, Johann MacDonagh wrote:
 On 7/3/2011 10:11 PM, Walter Bright wrote:
 What do you all think? $0? $4.99? $9.99?

What about skipping Amazon and putting it up on d-programming-language.org and ask for donations? I think Paypal will handle the processing for you for free if you show you're not doing it for profit.

People at the airport press a "free gift" on me, and then harangue me for a donation. I think that's the wrong image for D. People shouldn't be made to feel guilty about using D and not making a donation. I know it would turn me off, at least.

Yeah, I suppose. I guess if you follow the progit model (like you suggested) and said "Support the D community!" that would essentially be the same thing
 If you set a price we'd have to go through each page and clean them up
 / update
 some for D2, etc... Donations make it nice because you can release newer
 versions and donaters can update their copy without paying again.

The idea is to generate the ebook automatically from the web sources.

Right, but there are some pages that need updating. The FAQ (from a recent NG post), is one. The "Handling errors" page probably needs some examples. The DLL example code is outdated as well IIRC. I just think guaranteeing that purchasers can get more up-to-date versions as pages are tweaked would be a nice touch, and I'm not sure how well Amazon handles that.
Jul 04 2011
parent Johann MacDonagh <johann.macdonagh..no spam..gmail.com> writes:
On 7/4/2011 6:17 AM, Brad Roberts wrote:
 On 7/4/2011 3:14 AM, Johann MacDonagh wrote:
 On 7/4/2011 5:52 AM, Walter Bright wrote:
 On 7/4/2011 1:50 AM, Johann MacDonagh wrote:

 If you set a price we'd have to go through each page and clean them up
 / update
 some for D2, etc... Donations make it nice because you can release newer
 versions and donaters can update their copy without paying again.

The idea is to generate the ebook automatically from the web sources.

Right, but there are some pages that need updating. The FAQ (from a recent NG post), is one. The "Handling errors" page probably needs some examples. The DLL example code is outdated as well IIRC. I just think guaranteeing that purchasers can get more up-to-date versions as pages are tweaked would be a nice touch, and I'm not sure how well Amazon handles that.

The pages need to be updated completely independently from any book that may or may not be published and independently from any amount that might be charged. It's a matter of time/resources. Please submit bug report and/or pull requests with proposed changes. Later, Brad

I wasn't complaining about the current quality. I just wanted to point out if the site were to be packaged up and sold there should be a easy way for purchasers to get an updated version as the site gets cleaned up.
Jul 04 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
"Walter Bright" <newshound2 digitalmars.com> wrote in message 
news:ius2q2$2qan$1 digitalmars.com...
 On 7/4/2011 1:50 AM, Johann MacDonagh wrote:
 On 7/3/2011 10:11 PM, Walter Bright wrote:
 What do you all think? $0? $4.99? $9.99?

What about skipping Amazon and putting it up on d-programming-language.org and ask for donations? I think Paypal will handle the processing for you for free if you show you're not doing it for profit.

People at the airport press a "free gift" on me, and then harangue me for a donation. I think that's the wrong image for D. People shouldn't be made to feel guilty about using D and not making a donation. I know it would turn me off, at least.

I really don't think that's remotely similar.
Jul 04 2011
prev sibling parent Lutger Blijdestijn <lutger.blijdestijn gmail.com> writes:
Walter Bright wrote:

 On 7/4/2011 1:50 AM, Johann MacDonagh wrote:
 On 7/3/2011 10:11 PM, Walter Bright wrote:
 What do you all think? $0? $4.99? $9.99?

What about skipping Amazon and putting it up on d-programming-language.org and ask for donations? I think Paypal will handle the processing for you for free if you show you're not doing it for profit.

People at the airport press a "free gift" on me, and then harangue me for a donation. I think that's the wrong image for D. People shouldn't be made to feel guilty about using D and not making a donation. I know it would turn me off, at least.

You can do it in a tasteful manner, without playing the guilt card. A price- pot for competitions sounds like a good idea. Think of it this way: you enable people to contribute to D with money instead of time and expertise, something that is not that easy to do right now.
Jul 04 2011
prev sibling parent Brad Roberts <braddr puremagic.com> writes:
On 7/4/2011 3:14 AM, Johann MacDonagh wrote:
 On 7/4/2011 5:52 AM, Walter Bright wrote:
 On 7/4/2011 1:50 AM, Johann MacDonagh wrote:

 If you set a price we'd have to go through each page and clean them up
 / update
 some for D2, etc... Donations make it nice because you can release newer
 versions and donaters can update their copy without paying again.

The idea is to generate the ebook automatically from the web sources.

Right, but there are some pages that need updating. The FAQ (from a recent NG post), is one. The "Handling errors" page probably needs some examples. The DLL example code is outdated as well IIRC. I just think guaranteeing that purchasers can get more up-to-date versions as pages are tweaked would be a nice touch, and I'm not sure how well Amazon handles that.

The pages need to be updated completely independently from any book that may or may not be published and independently from any amount that might be charged. It's a matter of time/resources. Please submit bug report and/or pull requests with proposed changes. Later, Brad
Jul 04 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply bearophile <bearophileHUGS lycos.com> writes:
Walter:

 The difficulty is that if I put the ebook up on Amazon for free, people tend
to 
 equate free with "crap". It needs to have a price on it to be taken seriously.

Maybe older people equate free with "bad", but newer generations are used to find good content for free on Internet. Is D designed for older people, people used to C and C++, that hate JavaScript? Bye, bearophile
Jul 04 2011
next sibling parent reply Jonathan M Davis <jmdavisProg gmx.com> writes:
On 2011-07-04 03:24, bearophile wrote:
 Walter:
 The difficulty is that if I put the ebook up on Amazon for free, people
 tend to equate free with "crap". It needs to have a price on it to be
 taken seriously.

Maybe older people equate free with "bad", but newer generations are used to find good content for free on Internet. Is D designed for older people, people used to C and C++, that hate JavaScript?

There's a difference between free on the internet and a free book. Most people expect things on the internet to be free and books to cost money. And as soon as you're dealing with something that normally costs money being free, many people think that free item is junk or a scam of some kind. How prevalent such thinking would be about an e-book on D, I don't know. But there's a definite difference between free online and a free book. - Jonathan M Davis
Jul 04 2011
parent reply Walter Bright <newshound2 digitalmars.com> writes:
On 7/4/2011 3:40 AM, Jonathan M Davis wrote:
 On 2011-07-04 03:24, bearophile wrote:
 Maybe older people equate free with "bad", but newer generations are used
 to find good content for free on Internet. Is D designed for older people,
 people used to C and C++, that hate JavaScript?

There's a difference between free on the internet and a free book.

Exactly. It may not make rational sense, but it's true. Free books are regarded today like free software was 20 years ago - it must be crap.
Jul 04 2011
next sibling parent reply Walter Bright <newshound2 digitalmars.com> writes:
On 7/4/2011 12:47 PM, Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
 Free books does not mean free eBooks. A free book takes money to create every
 copy, so it can be assumed that if it's free, they are making their money some
 other way (i.e. they are selling you something indirectly). But a free eBook
 does not require money per copy to produce, so its quality cannot be judged
 based on the price (either way, check out alphascript publishing).

Cannot be? Sure. But it is. There were some recent articles about how Amazon is being flooded with junk ebooks, and that a lot of people seem to be filtering them based on price.
 How about this, if you charge any amount of money more than 0, I guarantee you
 will have less than 10% of the downloads than if you gave it away for free.
Plus
 you will alienate people who think they bought an actual D book (or worse,
think
 they are getting a deal on Andrei's book) and feel like chumps. That should be
 great for D's image :P

It's a fair point.
Jul 04 2011
parent Daniel Gibson <metalcaedes gmail.com> writes:
Am 04.07.2011 23:36, schrieb Walter Bright:
 On 7/4/2011 12:47 PM, Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
 Free books does not mean free eBooks. A free book takes money to
 create every
 copy, so it can be assumed that if it's free, they are making their
 money some
 other way (i.e. they are selling you something indirectly). But a free
 eBook
 does not require money per copy to produce, so its quality cannot be
 judged
 based on the price (either way, check out alphascript publishing).

Cannot be? Sure. But it is. There were some recent articles about how Amazon is being flooded with junk ebooks, and that a lot of people seem to be filtering them based on price.

And then there are these idiots selling Wikipedia articles printed on demand quite expensively, so price is a rather bad criteria. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alphascript and http://thanetonline.blogspot.com/2011/01/great-internet-bookselling-rip-off.html ) I wouldn't be surprised if similar (expensive) scams exist for the kindle as well. Cheers, - Daniel
Jul 04 2011
prev sibling parent Lutger Blijdestijn <lutger.blijdestijn gmail.com> writes:
Walter Bright wrote:

 On 7/4/2011 3:40 AM, Jonathan M Davis wrote:
 On 2011-07-04 03:24, bearophile wrote:
 Maybe older people equate free with "bad", but newer generations are
 used to find good content for free on Internet. Is D designed for older
 people, people used to C and C++, that hate JavaScript?

There's a difference between free on the internet and a free book.

Exactly. It may not make rational sense, but it's true. Free books are regarded today like free software was 20 years ago - it must be crap.

This does not hold for technical documentation. For TDPL yes, but not for a programming language specification. This view is also losing ground for programming books. There are a quite a few high quality books distributed online for free, even with a paper publishing deal.
Jul 04 2011
prev sibling parent "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
On Mon, 04 Jul 2011 15:22:22 -0400, Walter Bright  
<newshound2 digitalmars.com> wrote:

 On 7/4/2011 3:40 AM, Jonathan M Davis wrote:
 On 2011-07-04 03:24, bearophile wrote:
 Maybe older people equate free with "bad", but newer generations are  
 used
 to find good content for free on Internet. Is D designed for older  
 people,
 people used to C and C++, that hate JavaScript?

There's a difference between free on the internet and a free book.

Exactly. It may not make rational sense, but it's true. Free books are regarded today like free software was 20 years ago - it must be crap.

Free books does not mean free eBooks. A free book takes money to create every copy, so it can be assumed that if it's free, they are making their money some other way (i.e. they are selling you something indirectly). But a free eBook does not require money per copy to produce, so its quality cannot be judged based on the price (either way, check out alphascript publishing). Considering your target audience, I think it is a very large stretch to think they don't understand this concept. Besides, why can't the book's description say "Copy of the D online documentation in kindle format"? How can anyone "judge" that to be crap? This whole argument boggles my mind, there are no non-greed related reasons to charge money for this book. How about this, if you charge any amount of money more than 0, I guarantee you will have less than 10% of the downloads than if you gave it away for free. Plus you will alienate people who think they bought an actual D book (or worse, think they are getting a deal on Andrei's book) and feel like chumps. That should be great for D's image :P Iliekcakes will have a field day on reddit... -Steve
Jul 04 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply "Steven Schveighoffer" <schveiguy yahoo.com> writes:
On Sun, 03 Jul 2011 22:11:10 -0400, Walter Bright  
<newshound2 digitalmars.com> wrote:

 I think it would be a good move to make a kindle ebook out of the  
 specification on the web site. Not only will it be convenient for those  
 who wish to peruse the spec using a kindle, it will be helpful for  
 marketing etc.

 The difficulty is that if I put the ebook up on Amazon for free, people  
 tend to equate free with "crap". It needs to have a price on it to be  
 taken seriously.

This notion is outdated. There are multiple free ebooks available on iBook (the iPad/iPhone book store) and some of them are classics. The thing is, the vast majority of people are not going to discover D via Amazon, read the ebook spec, then go play with D by downloading the compiler. The most likely scenario is: 1. Discovering D via word of mouth, or looking for alternatives to other languages that have design flaws (like C++!) 2. Playing with the compiler, building programs, reading the online docs. 3. Wishing there was an ebook form of the documentation, and seeing one exists via some link on the home page, or asking on the newsgroups. At this point, do you really think that such a coder cares whether the ebook is free? IMO making it *NOT* free is likely to turn off that coder from D, since they likely are already familiar with the site, and they will instantly know the ebook is just an automated reprint of the web site.
 But if I put a price on it, people will be demotivated to continue  
 contributing to it, because they'll perceive someone else profiting from  
 their work.

This is not a big concern for me. I'd be more worried about D's reputation being sullied by trying to make a profit out of obviously freely available information. My biggest concern with publishing a non-free book based on the web site is that the *website changes with every release*! Who wants to pay $5 every time the compiler is released just so you can have an ebook-style copy of the web data? Is it difficult to make an ebook for kindle? If it's automated, would the automation be available as open source code? If so, why wouldn't people just make their own ebook for kindle? Technically, you could not stop someone else from doing this, since the license is Boost, so what would you do if someone created a free version with *exactly the same information* to compete with your non-free one? My recommendation -- release it for free. There are zero reasons to charge money for it. -Steve
Jul 04 2011
parent Andrei Alexandrescu <SeeWebsiteForEmail erdani.org> writes:
On 7/4/11 5:58 AM, Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
 My biggest concern with publishing a non-free book based on the web site
 is that the *website changes with every release*!

 Who wants to pay $5 every time the compiler is released just so you can
 have an ebook-style copy of the web data?

I think that's a good argument. Andrei
Jul 04 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent Jonathan M Davis <jmdavisProg gmx.com> writes:
On 2011-07-04 08:32, Andrei Alexandrescu wrote:
 On 7/4/11 5:58 AM, Steven Schveighoffer wrote:
 My biggest concern with publishing a non-free book based on the web site
 is that the *website changes with every release*!
 
 Who wants to pay $5 every time the compiler is released just so you can
 have an ebook-style copy of the web data?

I think that's a good argument.

Yes. Personally, I would be very surprised to see a copy of online documentation being sold as an e-book for money. And if you had to pay for it again every time that there was an update, it would be that much worse. In the case of Pro Git, it seems to me that it's not so much a case of online documentation being sold for money but a book being given away for free online. And if you'll notice, you can buy a paperback copy of Pro Git, so I expect that the thinking that went into selling Pro Git for money was very different. It probably ended up with a kindle edition to go with the paperback book rather than to extend what was posted online. And most importantly, Pro Git is an actual book which was written by one person and probably took a fair bit of time and effort to write. It's not online documentation. It's an actual book. Really, I think that it's a case of a book being given away for free online instead of materials from online being put into a book. I don't think that it's comparable to D's online documentation. I do think that if you have an actual book, it looks bad if it's sold for free (e.g. a free kindle copy of TDPL would probably not be a good idea), but I also agree with Steven that it looks bad to sell online documentation. I really think that it should be free. If someone wants a quality book that they have to pay for, then they can buy TDPL. But selling online documentation looks just plain bad IMHO, and if we make it clear that the e-book is a copy of the online docs, then I don't think that the free factor will cause much in the way of problems. If anything, it's the fact that it's online documentation instead of an actual book which would cause problems. - Jonathan M Davis
Jul 04 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
"Walter Bright" <newshound2 digitalmars.com> wrote in message 
news:iur7pc$1aks$1 digitalmars.com...
 The difficulty is that if I put the ebook up on Amazon for free, people 
 tend to equate free with "crap". It needs to have a price on it to be 
 taken seriously.

To be perfectly frank about it, people equate free with "crap" and expensive with "quality" are complete idiots.
Jul 04 2011
next sibling parent reply "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
"Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> wrote in message 
news:iutdsf$23qq$1 digitalmars.com...
 "Walter Bright" <newshound2 digitalmars.com> wrote in message 
 news:iur7pc$1aks$1 digitalmars.com...
 The difficulty is that if I put the ebook up on Amazon for free, people 
 tend to equate free with "crap". It needs to have a price on it to be 
 taken seriously.

To be perfectly frank about it, people equate free with "crap" and expensive with "quality" are complete idiots.

...people *who* equate...
Jul 04 2011
parent reply Andrei Alexandrescu <SeeWebsiteForEmail erdani.org> writes:
On 7/4/11 5:08 PM, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 "Nick Sabalausky"<a a.a>  wrote in message
 news:iutdsf$23qq$1 digitalmars.com...
 "Walter Bright"<newshound2 digitalmars.com>  wrote in message
 news:iur7pc$1aks$1 digitalmars.com...
 The difficulty is that if I put the ebook up on Amazon for free, people
 tend to equate free with "crap". It needs to have a price on it to be
 taken seriously.

To be perfectly frank about it, people equate free with "crap" and expensive with "quality" are complete idiots.

...people *who* equate...

It's "whom" :o). Andrei
Jul 04 2011
next sibling parent David Nadlinger <see klickverbot.at> writes:
On 7/5/11 12:18 AM, Andrei Alexandrescu wrote:
 On 7/4/11 5:08 PM, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 ...people *who* equate...

It's "whom" :o). Andrei

This might be for you: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/ialgepocjcijbnlliojljnijmeciibha ;) David
Jul 04 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
"Andrei Alexandrescu" <SeeWebsiteForEmail erdani.org> wrote in message 
news:iuteg8$24qq$2 digitalmars.com...
 On 7/4/11 5:08 PM, Nick Sabalausky wrote:
 "Nick Sabalausky"<a a.a>  wrote in message
 news:iutdsf$23qq$1 digitalmars.com...
 "Walter Bright"<newshound2 digitalmars.com>  wrote in message
 news:iur7pc$1aks$1 digitalmars.com...
 The difficulty is that if I put the ebook up on Amazon for free, people
 tend to equate free with "crap". It needs to have a price on it to be
 taken seriously.

To be perfectly frank about it, people equate free with "crap" and expensive with "quality" are complete idiots.

...people *who* equate...

It's "whom" :o).

"Whom" is about as relevant to modern day as "Thou".
Jul 04 2011
parent Alix Pexton <alix.DOT.pexton gmail.DOT.com> writes:
On 05/07/2011 00:35, Nick Sabalausky wrote:

 "Whom" is about as relevant to modern day as "Thou".

I must be some kind of antique >< A...
Jul 05 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent Jonathan M Davis <jmdavisProg gmx.com> writes:
On 2011-07-04 16:53, Torarin wrote:
 2011/7/5 Andrei Alexandrescu <SeeWebsiteForEmail erdani.org>:
 It's "whom" :o).
 
 Andrei

Are you sure? The "people" in "people ... are complete idiots" are the subjects of the sentence, so surely the subjective case of who is appropriate?

I'm pretty sure that who is the correct choice here for pretty much the reason that you're giving, but it's the sort of thing that could get pretty argumentative, so I didn't say anything. Whom really isn't used much these days (though far more than thou or thy and their ilk), so it's more or less dying out of the language, though plenty of the more literary folks still use it. Personally, I think that life would be simpler without it, but it's not completely gone yet. - Jonathan M Davis
Jul 04 2011
prev sibling parent Andrei Alexandrescu <SeeWebsiteForEmail erdani.org> writes:
On 7/4/11 6:53 PM, Torarin wrote:
 2011/7/5 Andrei Alexandrescu<SeeWebsiteForEmail erdani.org>:

 It's "whom" :o).

 Andrei

Are you sure? The "people" in "people ... are complete idiots" are the subjects of the sentence, so surely the subjective case of who is appropriate? Torarin

Yes, "whom" was wrong there, but that was the punchline: someone who is at the same time pretentious enough and dumb enough to say "whom" when "who" is actually correct, is the same kin as someone who equates price with quality. I know, explained jokes suck... Andrei
Jul 04 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent Andrej Mitrovic <andrej.mitrovich gmail.com> writes:
On 7/5/11, Nick Sabalausky <a a.a> wrote:
 "Whom" is about as relevant to modern day as "Thou".

Thou're such a rebel!
Jul 04 2011
prev sibling parent Torarin <torarind gmail.com> writes:
2011/7/5 Andrei Alexandrescu <SeeWebsiteForEmail erdani.org>:

 It's "whom" :o).

 Andrei

Are you sure? The "people" in "people ... are complete idiots" are the subjects of the sentence, so surely the subjective case of who is appropriate? Torarin
Jul 04 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Walter Bright <newshound2 digitalmars.com> writes:
On 7/3/2011 7:11 PM, Walter Bright wrote:
 What do you all think? $0? $4.99? $9.99?

Ok, you all made a good case. It'll be $0.
Jul 04 2011
next sibling parent Daniel Gibson <metalcaedes gmail.com> writes:
Am 05.07.2011 01:18, schrieb Walter Bright:
 On 7/3/2011 7:11 PM, Walter Bright wrote:
 What do you all think? $0? $4.99? $9.99?

Ok, you all made a good case. It'll be $0.

Great! :-) (Now I only need a Kindle.) Cheers, - Daniel
Jul 04 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Walter Bright <newshound2 digitalmars.com> writes:
On 7/4/2011 4:18 PM, Walter Bright wrote:
 On 7/3/2011 7:11 PM, Walter Bright wrote:
 What do you all think? $0? $4.99? $9.99?

Ok, you all made a good case. It'll be $0.

I just published it on Amazon. It'll take a couple days before it goes live, if it survives their review process. Unfortunately, there seems to be no option to make it free. While Amazon has lots of free kindle books, they don't provide that option for self-publishers. So, I picked the minimum price, which is $0.99. You can still download it free from the website. I suppose the $.99 pays for the convenience of having Amazon load it directly onto your Kindle.
Jul 12 2011
parent Walter Bright <newshound2 digitalmars.com> writes:
On 7/12/2011 12:20 PM, Walter Bright wrote:
 So, I picked the minimum price, which is $0.99. You can still download it free
 from the website. I suppose the $.99 pays for the convenience of having Amazon
 load it directly onto your Kindle.

And here it is: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B005CCQPKK/classicempire
Jul 14 2011
prev sibling parent Russel Winder <russel russel.org.uk> writes:
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="UTF-8"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

On Thu, 2011-07-14 at 17:57 -0700, Walter Bright wrote:
 On 7/12/2011 12:20 PM, Walter Bright wrote:
 So, I picked the minimum price, which is $0.99. You can still download =


 from the website. I suppose the $.99 pays for the convenience of having=


 load it directly onto your Kindle.

And here it is: =20 http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B005CCQPKK/classicempire

It shows up as $1.38 for me. Using the UK site: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B005CCQPKK/classicempire show it as =C2=A30.86 --=20 Russel. =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D=3D= =3D=3D Dr Russel Winder t: +44 20 7585 2200 voip: sip:russel.winder ekiga.n= et 41 Buckmaster Road m: +44 7770 465 077 xmpp: russel russel.org.uk London SW11 1EN, UK w: www.russel.org.uk skype: russel_winder
Jul 14 2011
prev sibling next sibling parent reply Johannes Pfau <spam example.com> writes:
Russel Winder wrote:
On Thu, 2011-07-14 at 17:57 -0700, Walter Bright wrote:
 On 7/12/2011 12:20 PM, Walter Bright wrote:
 So, I picked the minimum price, which is $0.99. You can still
 download it free from the website. I suppose the $.99 pays for the
 convenience of having Amazon load it directly onto your Kindle.

And here it is: =20 http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B005CCQPKK/classicempire

It shows up as $1.38 for me. Using the UK site: http://www.amazon.co.uk/exec/obidos/ASIN/B005CCQPKK/classicempire show it as =C2=A30.86

Prices for european customers are different, as amazon already includes the roaming fees. ("free international wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet" isn't actually free, it's included in the book price.) Because of that many 'free' kindle books cost ~$0.40 in germany. (Even if downloaded via WLan) --=20 Johannes Pfau
Jul 15 2011
parent "Nick Sabalausky" <a a.a> writes:
"Johannes Pfau" <spam example.com> wrote in message 
news:20110715100709.3974cfd3 jpf-Satellite-A100...
Prices for european customers are different, as amazon already includes
the roaming fees. ("free international wireless delivery via Amazon
Whispernet" isn't actually free, it's included in the book
price.) Because of that many 'free' kindle books cost ~$0.40 in
germany. (Even if downloaded via WLan)

They charge for *internet* delivery?!? Sounds like they're still up to their old "We *own* the concept of single clicks" style of bullshit.
Jul 16 2011
prev sibling parent reply "Mike James" <foo bar.com> writes:
"Walter Bright" <newshound2 digitalmars.com> wrote in message 
news:iur7pc$1aks$1 digitalmars.com...
I think it would be a good move to make a kindle ebook out of the 
specification on the web site. Not only will it be convenient for those who 
wish to peruse the spec using a kindle, it will be helpful for marketing 
etc.

 The difficulty is that if I put the ebook up on Amazon for free, people 
 tend to equate free with "crap". It needs to have a price on it to be 
 taken seriously.

 But if I put a price on it, people will be demotivated to continue 
 contributing to it, because they'll perceive someone else profiting from 
 their work.

 Perhaps proceeds from it should be put towards other promotions of D, like 
 maybe a conference? More contests with prizes?

 What do you all think? $0? $4.99? $9.99?

 And yes, the content will be identical to that on the website, just 
 formatted for the kindle.

I've had the ebook on my kindle for a while now and read it cover to cover. It's very readable in this form. The only problem I could see with it is that some of the tables are not rendered properly. For example the Basic Data Types table, the text is truncated by the grid. I tried different font sizes and orientations but it didn't make much difference. Anyway, its handy to have when your stuck on a airport with nothing to read :-) -=mike=-
Jul 17 2011
parent reply Walter Bright <newshound2 digitalmars.com> writes:
On 7/17/2011 6:14 AM, Mike James wrote:
 I've had the ebook on my kindle for a while now and read it cover to cover.
 It's very readable in this form. The only problem I could see with it is
 that some of the tables are not rendered properly. For example the Basic
 Data Types table, the text is truncated by the grid. I tried different font
 sizes and orientations but it didn't make much difference.

We'll try to improve the formatting.
 Anyway, its handy to have when your stuck on a airport with nothing to read
 :-)

Reading specs for fun, I love it!
Jul 19 2011
parent Peter Alexander <peter.alexander.au gmail.com> writes:
On 19/07/11 8:12 AM, Walter Bright wrote:
 On 7/17/2011 6:14 AM, Mike James wrote:
 Anyway, its handy to have when your stuck on a airport with nothing to
 read
 :-)

Reading specs for fun, I love it!

You know you're obsessed with D when... :-)
Jul 20 2011