PDF version of handbook

Jeremy C. Reed reed at reedmedia.net
Fri Mar 31 11:43:05 PST 2006

On Thu, 23 Mar 2006, Justin C. Sherrill wrote:

> > I think we need to decide on what is wanted. I agree that the FreeBSD
> > Handbook in two unorganized (in my opinion) volumes is too long.
> Do you see this as a replacement for the Handbook that we have imported? 

An alternative. DragonFly can have both. In fact, some parts may be useful 
for the new book too. My thought is that the Handbook now is too long for 
beginner needs and is missing many sections.

> There's a User's Guide for DragonFly sitting in CVS that I had started
> before the import of the Handbook with some similar goals - for instance,
> framing the book around the tasks people perform, rather than abstrat
> subjects.

I forgot about that.

> > Once we have a good outline here, we can commit to docs and begin merging
> > in the content we want and writing new content.
> Can we start with Docbook/XML, if we're going to use Docbook?  (and I
> would assume we are.)

Yes, we could. Sounds fine to me.

> I have to admit, the FreeBSD Handbook is an excellent resource because of
> its size, but continuing to use a Handbook based off of it puts us in the
> position of always having the second-best version of something.

Good point. I agree it is an excellent resource.

> > (More important to me: would we have at least 100 people purchase a low
> > cost printed book?)
> A 200-page 6x9 perfect-bound black-and-white softcover would cost ~$650 to
> print if you use lulu.com, for instance.  At a price point of $20, the
> printing costs would be made back at about 50 sales, what with the cut the
> printer gets.  The sales can certainly be made if book copies are
> schlepped to conventions, a distributor is found, and so on.  Just putting
> it on a web page somewhere won't get this not-yet-existing book sold.
> I've seen printing costs discussed before in terms of comics; the answer
> is almost always "print it locally and ship it yourself", in order to make
> a profit on a small run.  I'd virutally guarantee I can find lower-cost
> local print options; I live in the same town as Kodak and Xerox's global
> headquarters, after all.
> If we did sell it and actually recoup costs, where would profit go?  The
> next print run?  (That is when having a DragonFly non-profit entity would
> be helpful.)

Some profit could go to the project.

If someone chose to pay for bulk printing (versus print on demand) then 
that person should get paid.

 Jeremy C. Reed

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