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

Fernando Perez fperez.net at gmail.com
Thu Aug 21 17:48:01 EDT 2014

Hi Moritz,

thanks for your feedback!

On Thu, Aug 21, 2014 at 2:11 PM, Moritz Beber <moritz.beber at gmail.com>

> In terms of website design: You probably discussed this in the meeting but
> I would always look for books in the documentation section. Some authors
> show a link right on the front page but I think that's mostly the case
> where the package and book author are one and the same, and it is a means
> of financing the project. ggplot2 did that for a while, for example. Since
> IPython seems nicely financed by now and the book(s) were written by third
> parties, I feel they don't need a prominent position on the front page.
> Python.org has a suggestion in the FAQ:
> https://docs.python.org/3/faq/general.html?highlight=book#are-there-any-books-on-python
> which seems less than visible to me but if I had that many books written
> about my project I would probably chose a similar path.
> So overall the docs section just seems to hit the spot for me.

A couple thoughts:

- good point, the "books page" could just be part of the docs page, or at
the very least linked there. I'd lean towards just making it a section of
the docs page for simplicity.

- I think our situation regarding books is a little different from Python's:

  * we do get contributions from the publisher (at least so far with
Packt). They have a policy of donating a part of the book's proceeds back
to the project. These funds come to our Numfocus account and are
unrestricted, so they are actually very useful and complementary to our
more directed grants.

  * By now, there's probably dozens, if not over a hundred, books about
Python.  There's *one* IPython book, with a second in the pipeline. So I
think at least at this stage, it makes sense to highlight them more
prominently. If we ever find ourselves with too many, we can obviously
revisit these decisions.

  * In our case, the books really complement our docs in a very useful way.
 The python docs, while not perfect, are way better than ours. Cyrille has
done a great job of covering the project in a way that is very useful to
newcomers, so I think it really helps our users.

  * Finally, I think listing official books published about the project on
the site is another signal of the value of IPython to potential visitors.
 That shouldn't be disciounted.

Based on your feedback, I'd adjust the proposal to merge 'books' into the
docs page, but would leave the rest as-is, with one caveat: should we
consider the policy of only listing on the home page books that contribute
back to the project (like Packt's)? This would be obviously still assuming
they pass our quality threshold.

I can see arguments both ways, but I'd like to hear people's thoughts.



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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