Should books be written for third party plugins and programs, and what would this look like? Recently, Olivier asked this question, thanks Olivier! I am looking for comments from the Xojo forum community.
Writing books for third party products, like plugins, programs, and other products has been asked, and I do not have a clear answer. Perhaps this is a good time for the community to discuss this topic. Currently, books are only written for Xojo products or plugins that are shipped with Xojo. Here are some thoughts on this topic, and I invite others to add comments.
1) Writing books for plugins
There are many good plugins that are created by Monkeybread (Christian), and other common plugins for Xojo are also created by Einhugur (Bjorn), Bkeeney (Bob), and others. The Xojo community is friendly and writing a book for one company may (might?) provide a competitive advantage. One of the many ways to treat everyone fairly is to make book-writing services available to all.
There is a cost to writing books, which is time, knowledge of Xojo, creating sample programs, and almost always finding bugs. Should the cost be part of the plugin cost: a) purchase both the plugin and book at the same time in the same package, or b) keep the plugin and book separate. My initial thought is that this would be negotiated between the plugin maker and me for each plugin, size of book, etc.
With new and great additions to Xojo and the various Operating Systems, there will always be updates. How often should updates be performed? Possibly only on major revisions, or is one book only needed until there have been several changes to the program?
4) Digital format
Books are currently in PDF format which can be read on almost any desktop and portable device. Is there another common format which is needed? When experimenting with other formats, the books literally needed to be rewritten to meet formatting guidelines, specialized programs had to be used that created these books. Some formats did not support pictures, which makes it very difficult to show a concept or idea. Is there a widely used format that is needed, other than PDF?
The whole purpose of writing a ‘I Wish I Knew How To…’ book is to help you, the people of the forum, Xojo programmers, and others who I kindly get private emails. What do you prefer? Examples and books on programming are an issue with every programming language. Jokingly, some of the C++ programming books are more complicated than the language itself. Do you like books to come with the plugin (or program), or would you prefer to purchase them separately? It seems that many products don’t have a book and good books take time to write. Should the books be in a specialized bookstore like Xojolibrary.com or should they be listed on Amazon, maybe both?
I am sure that there are other topics I have missed and thanks for your thoughts!