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This is the first edition new *Wikibooks periodical newsletter*. It's goal is to give general information about current Wikibooks developments. This first issue will mention several things from the relatively recent past on Wikibooks, http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Main_Page *New Developments * The *Free High School Science Text* group from South Africa has started a couple of new books, FHSST Biology, http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/FHSST_Biology , FHSST Physics, http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/FHSST_Physics , and FHSST Computer Literacy, http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/FHSST_Computer_Literacy , and they have more planned. The project has the goal of providing free science textbooks to all of South Africa. Of course, we know that eventually the books they create will be used in other places as well. The FHSST, http://www.nongnu.org/fhsst/index.html , has a large group of contributors organized and already working. They were doing primary development offline and then uploading the information, but leader Mark H, http://www.nongnu.org/fhsst/4_team.html , has decided to try out the Wikibooks development tools for their Biology book, developing it online from the very start. The FHSST folks are also working with two other organizations to develop lesson plans related to the textbooks. http://www.tuxlabs.org.za/ http://moodle.hmo.ac.za/ We hope that the FHSST books and related materials will set the stage for other adventuresome educators to begin organized efforts to develop educational materials on Wikibooks. Wikibooks is now experimenting with a method of focusing effort called the *Collaboration of the Month*, http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wikibooks:Collaboration_of_the_Month . The idea is to identify a certain book each month for the community to rally around and work on together.
This page gives statistics about Wikibooks.
- Book organization software enabled* – Developers enabled wiki software that
automatically creates links from daughter pages to parent pages. It also allows easy link-making from parent pages to daughter pages. Format links from parent pages to daughter pages like this: /Daughter page To take advantage of this feature, place subpages after slashes in the page titling scheme. For example, a chapter on trees in the Plants section of a general biology book: /General_Biology/Plants/Trees On the Trees page, the site automatically creates back links to the Plants page as well as the General_Biology page. Is that cool or what?
- Wiki Junior* – Wikibooks is developing a series of nonfiction children's
books called Wiki Junior, http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wikijunior . The currently under development are:
- Big Cats, http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wikijunior_Big_Cats * South America, http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wikijunior_South_America , and
- Solar System, http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Wikijunior_Solar_System *The Wikibooks Newsletter* – this is an experiment in communication and
rallying of the troops, inspired by Linspire founder Michael Robertson's "Michael's Minute" weekly newsletter.
- Most Active Books*
- Cookbook, http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Cookbook *Jokebook, http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Jokebook* Recommended Reading**
- How To Build A Computer,
http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/How_To_Build_A_Computer ***World History, http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/World_History *Seven Habits Study Guide, http://en.wikibooks.org/wiki/Seven_Habits_Study_Guide *In Other Languages* Administración de tiempo (Spanish), http://es.wikibooks.org/wiki/Administración_de_tiempo
- Wikibooks in the News*
- Jimmy Wales on Slashdot – When Jimmy was interviewed on Slashdot
recently ( http://interviews.slashdot.org/interviews/04/07/28/1351230.shtml?tid=146&tid=95&tid=11), he expressed that one of the things that he is most excited about within the world of Wiki is changing the world of education in the developing world with the creation of free educational materials on Wikibooks.
on Open Source
- Think Tank & Issues of Debate*
How should the textbook hierarchy be organized? With slashes, colons, dashes … "Wikibooks founder" Karl Wick suggests slashes, as the site automatically recognizes slashes as indicators of page structure, and now has software enabled that creates automatic links on daughter pages to parent pages (see New Developments). How can Wikibooks involve more educators? If you are an educator, please give us feedback as to what would help you to use Wikibooks in the classroom or as a development tool, or give examples of how you have used Wikibooks materials in your classroom.
We need new backgrounds/themes for the coming covers. Suggestions?
- Another featured image, similar to the current cover
- An encyclopedia being edited, similar to sans's work in other langs; like the great Guardian image from last fall
- An olde-tyme encyclopedia cover, completel with old-school text and linotype and line-drawings.
Comments from English WiktionaryEdit
With over 80,000 entries the English Wiktionary is currently our seventh biggest wiki in numbers of articles. Of course we differ in that we don't worry about stubs. An article with as few as three words (a language name, a part of speech and a one word definition) could be perfectly acceptable.
While an encyclopedia may be credible with a relatively small number of articles, credibility for a dictionary depends on having a reasonably complete inclusion of a language's basic vocabulary. We have not yet reached that goal, and I would estimate that it will be at least another year before that can be accomplished. So when a recent newspaper remarked that Wiktionary did not contain the perfectly good word, "hittable", it did not reflect any editorial decision to omit it. It just meant that we had not yet gotten around to it.
Despite these limitations 80,000 is still an impressive figure when you consider that this includes a significant assortment of words in other languages and other scripts. The aim of having every word in every language in a manner that will be meaningful to the ordinary English speaking user poses many interesting challenges Not the least of these is how does an English speaker access material with unfamiliar scripts and diacritics.
The Wiktionary community of the regularly active have learned to live with each other, despite a few strong debates about what belongs in a dictionary. Although we have had our normal share of ordinary vandals of all kinds, our core group remains mostly considerate and well behaved -- which is not to say that we don't all have our occasional bouts of pique. While the concepts are as valid in Wiktionary as in other projects, NPOV and copyvio arguments do not take up a big part of our time.
In addition to attaining a reasonable level of English completeness, the "cite your sources" mantra introduces what could be one of our biggest short to medium term challenges. It takes on a different form than it does in Wikipedia, but the points to be made are similar. Our idea of "original research" relates to people who make up their own words, or who provide unique definitions to otherwise well known words. That being said, by all appearances the English Wiktionary is a healthy project.
Eclecticology 04:14, 27 July 2005 (UTC)