Plone Live is the result of a year of work, full- and part-time, of the two authors, Michel Pelletier and Munwar Shariff, our technical editor, Jean Jordaan, and our copy editor, Amy Kesic. But this book is more than what you are holding (or reading on the screen), because this book is live; every month, the authors add new content and fix typos, responding to the feedback our readers leave on our site, "PloneLive.com":http://plonelive.com.
Over the next year, this book will tackle one of the greatest challenges for any book about modern, open source software: remaining current. Using the traditional publishing method, books quickly become out-of-date and irrelevant, rather than remaining up-to-date, useful references. By updating this book every month, SourceBeat has created a unique publication format that solves these problems with traditional publication methods.
First, it's hard to get a book about a complex piece of open source software 100% correct; in fact, almost impossible when one or two authors and one technical reviewer must often document a system built by dozens or perhaps hundreds of programmers. By creating orderly, feature-based releases each month, the book can evolve over time to cover more and more complex features of the software, and we can catch errors quickly in the first few updates.
Second, open source software, like Plone, often does not follow a hard-and-fast feature plan, but instead adds new, innovative features as they are thought up by creative developers trying to solve real world problems. By updating the book each month, the book can quickly adapt to cover any new technologies or trends that emerge from the community of users. Books that are released once every year or two cannot follow or easily adapt to these trends.
Third, like open source software, books have communities. However, traditional books have a large disconnect between the reader and the author because there is no way for the reader to get feedback to the author. Even if they could, there are seldom clear, easy-to use-channels for redistributing books or errata. By creating the “live” book format, SourceBeat is creating a new way for readers and authors to make better books cooperatively.
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