[okfn-discuss] opentextbook.org

Rufus Pollock rufus.pollock at okfn.org
Tue Feb 13 19:02:20 UTC 2007

Benj. Mako Hill wrote:
> <quote who="Rufus Pollock" date="Tue, Feb 13, 2007 at 12:42:53PM +0000">
>> I think it would be great to reinvigorate this project. As a starting 
>> point I'd suggest that we make otb into a simple listing site whose 
>> purpose is to point to existing **open** material. This has the 
>> advantage that it would be easy to setup and very easy for people to 
>> contribute to (all you'd want is people to post about open textbooks 
>> they'd come across). In the medium term we could then look to creating a 
>> proper textbook package consisting of a selected textbook (or textbooks) 
>> on particular areas and perhaps archiving material that we find (e.g. 
>> I've currently got a econometrics textbook in latex someone was kind 
>> enough to send over).
>> What do people think and is there anyone who'd be interested in 
>> participating (for example by being finding and posting about open 
>> material)?
> I know a number of people working on similar projects. The closest thing
> to a project with traction that I know if is Wikibooks.

Thanks for the pointer Mako -- I'm well of wikibooks and e.g. connexions 
(cnx.org) or the california open source textbook project 
(http://www.opensourcetext.org/). That's one of the main reasons for 
starting off focusing on the listing -- i.e. pointers to existing 
material rather than doing any production ourselves. Clearly not all 
open textbooks are going to be produced by one group so it would be 
useful to have somewhere that provides some kind of consolidated 
listing. There also seems to quite a lot of confusion over what open 
should mean with many 'open' textbooks using what I'd consider as 
non-open licenses[1] which is another reason to have the listing.

At some point we'd might want to work on producing a consolidated 
package of textbooks culled from existing work much in the way a 
distribution such as ubuntu brings together many different software 
packages to produce an operating system platform but that would be in 
the future -- if it took place at all.



[1]: see e.g. http://www.ochem4free.com/ or http://www.introecon.com/

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