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Publishing the manual...

From: Neil Jerram
Subject: Publishing the manual...
Date: Sun, 31 May 2009 01:11:38 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.11 (Gnus v5.11) Emacs/22.2 (gnu/linux)

I should let you all know that Brian Gough has approached me about
publishing the Guile manual.

Brian is a fairly well known person in the GNU project; for example he
organised a GNU Hackers Meeting that I attended last year in Bristol,
and he's worked for some time on the GNU Scientific Library.

He also works for Network Theory (,
who publish books about free software, and it's obviously in that
context that he's interested in publishing our manual.

I've agreed in principle, and we're looking at doing this after the
2.0 release, so that the published manual can include all the exciting
new things that will be in 2.0.

As Ludovic recently noted, the manual currently runs to about 650
pages.  I was concerned that that would be too much for a manageable
book, but by way of comparison I checked a copy of O'Reilly's The
Python Programming Language - and that's around 1200 pages, and still
a lot thinner than (e.g.) the last Harry Potter book.  So now I think
that 650 is fine, and that there's even room for further expansion if
we need it.

I had a flick through last night.  While the vast majority of the
manual material is useful and correct, I'm not sure it reads as a
coherent document all the way through.  I'd like to try to improve
that before the publication - but to be honest I'm not really sure
how, so any ideas on that would be much appreciated.  I also intend to
do a round of general sub-editing: removing unnecessary words,
unwarranted emphasis, repeated "however...but...", that sort of thing.

If you have any ideas about this, or would like to help out, or have
any concerns, please let me know.


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