First, I want to welcome you all to the team. I really appreaciate your
willingness to help. I am excited about this project and I am sure that it
will be a success. Considering how successul the Linux Tutorial has been
already, it can only get better.
I've got a couple of administrative issues to cover. I have not yet added
everyone to the developers list because not everyone has confirmed that they
want me to do it. Check out the project page on SourceForge to see if you
are listed as a developer (http://sourceforge.net/projects/linkbat/). If you
are not listed and do want to be, let me know. I will then put you on the
developers mailing list, as well.
Most people do not have a public skill profile on SourceForge. That's okay,
but I would like to know what exprience and skills people have, plus exactly
what areas they want to work on. There is plenty of work in multiple areas,
so don't be shy! Check out the task list on SourceForge. Most are related to
content and not programming.
Also please let me know what style of management you want from me. Do you
expect me to hand out assignments to you or will you simply grab one? Do you
need regular reminders? I realize that we are all doing this when other
projects permit and sometimes we loose track of time. I will fit myself to
your style. Since this is a team project, I really don't mind if you tell me
that you think something is wrong. I believe that we are headed in the right
direction, but please tell me before we drive over a cliff.
You can send this kind of "personal" info to me directly, instead of the list.
However, technical/project related info, I would like to go to the list. That
way if someone else can/should comment on any topic, they can.
Please give me an idea of you availability. I don't need the specific number
of hours you can work per week, but I would really like to know what other
projects you have going. Are you in school, working full time, whatever?
If can no longer contribute for whatever reason please let me know, as soon as
possible. If you have to take a break for whatever reason, please let me
know, as well. I know this is an all volunteer project and I am very grateful
for the help. However, communication is the only way this can be a success,
so please communicate.
Also please let me know where you live. I am in Germany, so I am several hours
ahead of the people in North America. Aside from simply being curious, it
helps me to know when you will be reading email, etc. If I send a message
early in the morning (before I go to work) , some of you might still be
awake. If I send it later in the morning, I will expect to wait a while
before you even read it.
Up to this point, I have been encouraging visitors to support the tutorial by
making a donation to the Jessie Arbogast Medical Fund. Since we are a team, I
think we should all have an equal say in how to distribute any donations. At
this point, I do **not** what to soliticate donations to pay us. Note the
phrase "at this point". I don't want to count our chickens before they hatch.
However, I think we can have a "care-ware" site, where we encourage donations
to needy causes. Each person can make a suggestion and we can create a
"donations page" or whatever to point people to the right place. Also, if the
organization your want to support has a banner ad that we can use, it is
really easy to add it to the system. There are a number already up.
Now for the technical stuff. As soon as possible, please, please read both the
Concept and Detailed KU Description on the linkbat site
(http://linkbat.sourceforge.net). I want to finalize this as soon as
possible. One nice thing about storing in XML is that we can more easily
change the structure, but I would like to have as many questions answered and
decisions made as possible before we continue. I would like to start the
hardcore work no later than the beginning of next week.
One person had expressed interest in helping, but could not shake the idea of
linkbat as being a huge Linux glossary. It ain't! Although I am not trying
for the ultimate knowledge base with artificial intelligence that can answer
every question you input, I feel this data model can simplify access the
knowledge necessary to get the answer (if not providing the answer directly).
Also keep in mind that a knowledge base is useless without content and we can
always use content. So, if there are content related tasks that you could do
and need a break from coding or whatever, **please** grab one. Also, the
tutorial can always use some editorial review (spellchecking, etc). Even if
it is a single correction, it make the tutorial a little better.
Once we have the data structure we can start moving the data from the current
CSV into XML. While that is happening we can also work on the code to do the
conversion back into CSV as well as into an database (i.e. SQL). The reason
for the conversion back into CSV (as mentioned in the linkbat concept) is
speed when online. XML is ten times larger and takes that much larger to
read. Plus the indexes need to be created and there is no way we can do them
in real-time. (Or does anyone see that differently?)
Three people have said they could help doing the conversion. That might be
overkill, but doing a quick conversation means we have the XML files for the
coding. That means moving sooner to other tasks.
Once I get people's comments I will "finalize" the model and create a DTD. I
don't think it is necessary to wait to convert the data to XML before the DTD
is finished. The DTD is just a stylized description of things we already
decided upon. However for someone providing us content in the future, it
would be useful.
I guess that's it for now. I am sure I will have more to say real soon.
"Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation. Your
character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others
think you are." -- John Wooden
Be sure to visit the Linux Tutorial: http://www.linux-tutorial.info