[Numpy-discussion] Re: Purchasing Documentation

Tim Churches tchur at optusnet.com.au
Mon Oct 3 22:28:18 EDT 2005

Chris Barker wrote:
> Tim Churches wrote:
>> I think there needs to be some community debate about this.
> Well, no, there doesn't. Travis is doing two things:
> 1) Spending a great deal of his time producing some wonderful open
> source software.
> 2) Embarking on a small business venture, trying to sell books.
> There is no need for community debate about an individual's business
> venture. It might benefit Travis to do a bit more market research, but
> as was pointed out, there's no reason he couldn't lower those limits and
> open source the book sooner if he chooses to.

Chris, I think you misunderstand what I meant - whic is clarified in
another message I just posted a minute ago. I meant that there needs to
be community debate over whether there is a requirement for a project to
create free, open source documentation for SciPy Core, not over whether
Travis does or doesn't have the right to, as you put it "...embark on a
small business venture, trying to sell books.". I completely agree that
he has every legal and moral right in the world to do that.

> Travis Oliphant wrote:
>> I am interested in feedback.  If  you don't buy the book because you
>> think I'm asking too much money, then let me know.
> Since you ask, I think $39.99 is a bit steep for an electronic copy. As
> a quick comparison, I just bought the new wxWidgets book, documenting
> another open source project. You can get a printed copy from Amazon for
> $32.99.
> I also do think Tim has a point. Usually the open source model is that
> the basic reference docs are freely available, and there are nice user
> and newbie friendly books for sale. It will be much harder for
> scipy.base to catch on if there are no freely available docs.
> However, having looked at the little bit of the book that is now
> available, the quality and detail are far beyond what one usually finds
> in open-source references (with the possible exception of the python
> references). It certainly looks better than the old NumPy docs, which
> were still adequate.
> I have no doubt that the NumPy community will produce some free "getting
> started" docs anyway, so we can all be happy. Maybe, as Tim suggests, we
> could fill a Wiki with the existing Numpy docs, and all start editing away!

Yup, that's all I had in mind. If, in fact we are allowed to edit the
existing NumPy docs. If not, then a wiki to produce an addendum or set
of annotations to them (like a Biblical concordance, perhaps) is the
best that can be done.

Tim C

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