[IPython-dev] Listing books on the home page, a policy proposal. Feedback?

Fernando Perez fperez.net at gmail.com
Thu Aug 21 16:35:27 EDT 2014

Hi folks,

we just went over this on the dev meeting, but I'd like to give it a day or
two here on-list for feedback in case anyone who wasn't at the meeting has
further comments...

For a while we've had on the homepage a link to Cyrille's IPython book, and
we've been contacted by a publisher of an upcoming title asking for a new
listing there. So I'd like to have uniform criteria that we use to make
that decision in a fair manner with *any* publisher.  Here's what we
discussed during the meeting, with some additional refinements I just
thought of to make things clearer.

One quick note: Brian noted that the website is way too busy already, which
is true. But I want to decouple this specific decision about books from an
entire website redesign conversation. I think that books are one of the
things that actually should belong on the main homepage, as they are a very
important resource related to the project and that benefits it in multiple
ways.  So let's assume that any redesigned home page will have *some* space
for a small image pointing to a book, and the discussion here is about what
to put there and how to provide a policy publishers can all know about.

Any feedback welcome.



#### Proposed language

Our policy for listing books on the website is as follows. This will be
uniformly applied across publishers, so the project can maintain its
neutrality regarding IPython-related books (all language below would apply
in the future to Jupyter-oriented books).

1. Criteria for inclusion in the homepage

We will list books that are specifically and mostly about IPython itself,
rather than just mentioning IPython in a chapter or two (though see Note in
#2 below).

For example, the currently listed book by Cyrille Rossant amply qualifies,
but Wes McKinney's "Python for Data Analysis", while having an excellent
chapter devoted to IPython, would not get a link on the home page.

2. Our "Books" page:

We will create a main page listing in reverse chronological order the
various books that are mainly devoted to IPython. For each book, we simply
list its title, author and actual publisher page (or Amazon, whatever the
author prefers), along with a cover image.  No editorializing/reviews/etc.

There may be a section at the bottom listing books that include some useful
material about IPython (more than just a sentence but less than say 1/2 the
book).  These would be listed for reference but would have no front-page
link (e.g. Wes' book).

Note: the core team reserves the right to *not* include a book in this
listing. If someone out there publishes a book that we deem to be
absolutely terrible, we reserve the right to simply not list it.

3. What we show on the homepage

We will have a single image for books, and that will be a randomly rotating
screenshot of all currently available books.  That image will be a link to
that book's entry in the "Books" page.

Since now we'll only have at most two of these (the current one and
Cyrille's upcoming one), we can make the distribution give say 2/3 of views
to the new book and 1/3 to the old. If eventually there's multiple books,
we can figure out a *simple* distribution to highlight newer ones more
often while still showing the older ones (as long as they are in print).

Fernando Perez (@fperez_org; http://fperez.org)
fperez.net-at-gmail: mailing lists only (I ignore this when swamped!)
fernando.perez-at-berkeley: contact me here for any direct mail
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