Perl 6 - the future is here, just unevenly distributed

IRC log for #perl6book, 2011-05-28

| Channels | #perl6book index | Today | | Search | Google Search | Plain-Text | summary

All times shown according to UTC.

Time Nick Message
12:59 masak joined #perl6book
13:00 sjn o/ masak
13:01 sjn ok, so here's what's on my mind...
13:01 sjn (if you're up for it)
13:02 masak sure.
13:02 masak (I've been reading through https://github.com/sjn/book/blob/outline-rework/outline-goals.pod just now)
13:02 sjn we try to start with a good storyline
13:03 sjn I'm still a bit partial to the suggestion i pitched to moritz a while back, but in any case that's only a rough idea
13:03 sjn plenty of ways to refine or change it still
13:04 sjn I'd love it if moritz's work could be sync'ed with it, but he's not so keen on that :-/
13:05 sjn (or at least, he thinks it sounds to difficult)
13:06 masak do I understand correctly that this "aspect" stuff means that there is not one canonical path through your book?
13:07 sjn hm
13:07 sjn there's one story, one "sequence of events", or one timeline, perhaps
13:07 sjn and several ways of telling that story
13:08 masak <moritz> writing a book is a lot of work
13:08 sjn yes
13:08 masak <moritz> and I don't know if we ever get further than a single aspect
13:08 masak I just wish to agree fully with moritz here.
13:08 sjn starting out with one aspect is fine
13:08 masak this is what we've learned from our book effort.
13:08 masak your book effort looks like it's starting up, and it's easy to imagine lots of tuits going into it.
13:09 masak I sense the danger of spreading oneself too thin with those there aspects.
13:10 masak I'd much rather see something that was intentionally modest in scope, and then got extended because people contributed to it and it turned out to be successful.
13:10 sjn well, my assumption has always been to start with one finished book, and then add to it as necessary
13:11 sjn the more complicated the book, the more it takes to extend it horisontally (with aspects)
13:11 sjn complicated/long/deep/etc.
13:11 sjn so starting simple is probably a good idea
13:11 masak for example, in my blogging effort, I'm probably going to pick a person I know as my one-reader audience, and then write posts "for" him or her.
13:11 sjn but there will be a combinatorial explosion no matter what
13:12 sjn who you writ for is entirely up to you
13:12 sjn write*
13:12 masak of course.
13:12 sjn what I care about, is that there's a good narrative
13:13 masak not sure I know exactly what you mean there yet.
13:13 sjn something that can pul the reader through the text
13:13 masak and yes, I did read the definition.
13:13 sjn a good story
13:13 masak and you're saying all of the books you listed as examples have that?
13:13 masak I just read them as good programming books... :)
13:13 sjn something you tell about, that makes the reader go "I want to know what's going to happen next"
13:14 sjn No, I'm not saying the books I liste there have that :)
13:14 masak huh.
13:14 masak not saying you're wrong, just that I didn't notice :)
13:15 masak (the third one I haven't read, but...)
13:15 sjn those books have some good qualities perhaps worth learning from, using, mimmicking
13:15 masak sure.
13:15 masak oh, and I'm not saying I think a narrative is necessarily bad, either.
13:16 sjn well, if there's no narrative, then we're strictly not writing a book any more
13:16 sjn it's more like a collection of articles
13:16 sjn that maybe have some commonalities
13:16 masak that's exactly what I plan to write :)
13:16 masak if you like the material, you're free to have it (and add a narrative).
13:17 sjn with "narrative" I'm thinking about using other tricks that make the book more compelling to read
13:17 masak ok.
13:17 sjn not "just the facts, please", but actively hinting about what's to come
13:17 sjn or talking about difficult issues, trying to solve them
13:18 sjn or spend some time telling about important people
13:18 sjn or telling about something that can be used in a classroom
13:19 sjn there are plenty of ways to make a text more complelling
13:20 masak right.
13:20 sjn but as I see it, most of them are dependent on a narrative
13:20 sjn that's why I'm so insistant on that idea :)
13:21 masak well, the narrative can't be too far removed from the actual goal: learning to program.
13:21 sjn of course
13:21 sjn there narrative is one of the tools you have that you can use to teach
13:22 sjn now, I'm not proposing "do all this"
13:22 sjn I'm saying "please don't do the minimal thing"
13:22 sjn there are waaay too many people out there that need every kind of help they can get to get through class
13:23 masak sure :)
13:23 masak I'm aware of the benefits of saying the same thing twice in slightly different ways.
13:23 masak (and I'm all for that)
13:24 sjn and having an engaging and gripping story in addition to everything else (ideally an enthousiastic teacher, good classmates, help at home, etc.) is very useful too :)
13:24 sjn but the thing is....
13:24 masak in fact, that's probably one of the big challenges for me as a regular on #perl6 and someone who thinks about the language a lot. things that look similar to be might look very different to other people.
13:24 sjn the really DIFFICULT thing is...
13:24 sjn NOBODY IS GOING TO WRITE IT
13:24 masak I'm glad we agree on that.
13:24 masak and it's not your fault.
13:24 masak that's just the way things are.
13:24 sjn unless we do it :)
13:25 sjn so to get the option of telling the same thing in many ways (but now in a boo), we need to start somewhere
13:26 masak right.
13:26 sjn and that is with _one_ book
13:26 sjn that everyone who thinks a little different can read, and comment and tell us "but this makes more sense if you tell it _this_ way"
13:27 sjn (and yes, I'm pithching a long-term project here)
13:28 sjn this is not a book that will ever be finished, much like Perl 6 or Perl 5 or any other living language never will be finished
13:28 sjn but it will get _better_
13:28 sjn and with the aspect thing, it gets to become better in new and exciting ways
13:29 sjn while still bing internally coherent, with one narrative and one voice
13:29 sjn being*
13:29 sjn </crazytalk>  :)
13:29 masak again, interesting pitch. difficult to get there, IMO.
13:29 sjn oh yes
13:29 masak difficult as in "lots of work".
13:29 sjn very difficult to get there
13:29 sjn so to do it, we need help
13:30 masak supposedly you'll have to make the same pitch to many people in order to get them enthusiastic.
13:30 sjn yes
13:30 masak and then provide the tools to make it happen.
13:30 sjn I'm prepared to start at NPW :)
13:30 masak :)
13:30 sjn I've already pitched this idea several times
13:30 sjn but not with an actual book project
13:31 sjn but I can't do this alone :-(
13:31 masak I still believe you'd do best to get some minimal proof-of-concept that you can put in the hands of people.
13:31 masak and say "like this, but even more".
13:32 sjn masak: that can be done with chapter 1 of the perl6 book
13:32 masak right. "can be done".
13:33 masak I mean I think you need to release early, release often, basically.
13:33 sjn exactly, starting with a few completely crazy people who despite all rational arguments try to do something, just because it sounds so awesome :)
13:33 masak it'll be interesting to follow along.
13:34 sjn masak: yes, in fact, the idea is really to treat a book like a "strong core" open source software project
13:34 masak aye.
13:34 sjn (well, a loose core can work too, but as with any project it depends on the people who are involved :)
13:34 masak as I said, my chief duty is to perl6/book. but I'll follow along with interest (and maybe even contribute, who knows?)
13:35 sjn right
13:35 sjn so, trying to do the blogging in a way that can be used directly isn't on the table any more :-/
13:36 masak um.
13:36 sjn no?
13:37 masak regardless of my intents with the blogging, I will produce something and you'll have to decide whether it's useful to you or not.
13:37 sjn sure :)
13:37 masak up until now, I was under the impression that my stated goals with the blogging would be of at least limited use to you.
13:37 masak even if I don't drag in a narrative or aspects into it.
13:38 sjn well, I'm trying to convince you to do more, and put your efforts into a larger picture ;)
13:38 sjn don't w6rry about the aspects yet
13:38 sjn worry*
13:38 masak but I'll explicitly state that I'm also doing the blogging just because I want to, and it'll be interesting to do a one-month thing and see how much of Perl 6 I can realistically cover.
13:39 masak so either way for *me*, it'll be useful too.
13:39 sjn that's c6ol
13:39 masak I'm considering your effort and mine to be independent but possibly of use to each other.
13:39 sjn wtf
13:39 masak brb, washing clothes
13:40 * sjn curses his laptop
13:54 masak anyway, I wish you the best of luck. unable to spread myself thinner with more book efforts, but happy to help where I can by reviewing stuff and providing Perl 6 knowledge, perhaps.
13:57 sjn :-/
14:14 masak by the way, you're experiencing the same type of dynamics here as the Perl 6 project at large. people want to start chipping in "when it's ready for production", i.e. when something evidently successful is already manifest. that's what I'm suggesting you work towards for your project as well, to get people to see something concrete.
14:19 sjn yep
14:21 sjn but I also know I suck at writing (although I try to get better) and I suck at Perl 6 (although very excited about it and would love to see it succeed) and I suck at Perl 5 (although I can do some useful stuff and I'm learning every day)
14:21 sjn so that's why I need help. :-P
14:22 sjn anyhoo
14:22 sjn masak: the absolute minimum you have to do for this to happen, is to put a sensible license on what you're writing
14:23 sjn cc-by-sa or cc-by-sa-nc
14:23 * masak checks if his blog says anything about license
14:23 sjn perl6book is cc-by-sa-nc, iirc
14:23 masak hm. it doesn't.
14:24 masak anyway, I'm perfectly fine with licensing these posts out as cc-by.
14:24 sjn cc-by?
14:24 sjn no sharealike?
14:24 masak would you prefer it to be?
14:25 masak I mean, additional constraints on the usage would mean you can do less with the content...
14:25 masak you can always relisence it as cc-by-sa when you borrow my material... :)
14:25 sjn SA is one of those useful constraints.. :)
14:25 masak I'm fine with licensing it as cc-by-sa if that helps you. :)
14:26 sjn and I'm a fan of respecting "upstreams" licenses :-P
14:26 masak absolutely.
14:48 masak license terms of added to http://strangelyconsistent.org/about
19:02 masak left #perl6book

| Channels | #perl6book index | Today | | Search | Google Search | Plain-Text | summary