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Poll

What do you think about Proposition ABC (A Book Club), as described in the message(s)/discussion below?

I have no interest in it at all.
1 (10%)
I might be a bit interested, but I probably wouldn't contribute
0 (0%)
I'm fairly interested, but I don't think I would/could contribute
2 (20%)
I'm very interested, but I wouldn't contribute to it
0 (0%)
I'm interested, and I probably would be interested in contributing.
3 (30%)
I'm interested and I'd definitely contribute!
4 (40%)
The money option sounds interesting, not so much the free stuff
0 (0%)
Sign me up! Love the whole idea!
0 (0%)
I don't know, I'd need more information before I can commit.
0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 10

Voting closed: January 09, 2021, 09:24:06 PM

Author Topic: A Book Club, of sorts...  (Read 379 times)

AdeV

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A Book Club, of sorts...
« on: December 10, 2020, 09:24:06 PM »
Evening all!

IMPORTANT - PLEASE READ: You'll notice there's a poll on this post. Please, once you've read this message, take a few seconds to choose one of the options. I've put the "I don't care" option right at the top, so if you decide you're not interested, you don't need to read all the message, bit please DO click that one & submit your vote, that feedback is also highly valuable to me!

The poll will run for 30 days (until January 8th I guess, or thereabouts), and the results will be automatically shown after that.

Your vote is anonymous (well, I *could* dig around in the database and find out who voted which way I guess, but no-one else can), so please don't feel under any pressure to "follow the crowd".


PREAMBLE

A while ago, there was some discussion about a document repository for engine manuals, particularly Listers (obviously), but also covering other engines such as Petters, perhaps Wittes and Arrow and similar.

Around the same time, maybe a bit later, a spammer got in and tried to trash the WOK board. I locked that down at that point, and whilst a couple of threads have been suggested as "WOK" worthy, the problem with saving threads is, they tend to drift around, go off topic, sometimes end in arguments, or the original poster never comes back with updates, or etcetera.... all of which means threads end up IMHO not really being worthy of WOK after all...

THE MAIN EVENT

So - having been giving the matter some thought, I'd like to propose a partial solution. It does, however, require some volunteers (I volunteer myself, with what little time I have, but I'm going to need help with running it). I'll do all the setup, and I'm going to try to integrate it into the forum's member system, so we don't have to register/sign in on two sites (Coppermine, I'm looking at you...).

My plan is to install some Wiki software. Kind of like Wikipedia, but the one I was specifically looking at is called BookStack. This uses a Bookshelf/Book/Chapters/Pages paradigm for sorting documents ("pages"). So, for example, we can group stuff together into engine types, and/or task type, and/or whatever. I believe (going on memory now) that a "page" can appear in multiple "books" - e.g. if someone wrote up an article on how to grind the valves for a Lister CS; this could be in a "book" about the Lister CS; as well as a "book" covering general engine maintenance (of course, we wouldn't need that actual document - everyone knows you just leave the casting sand inside the cylinder & let the engine grind it's own valves!  ;D)

We can also scan and/or re-type actual engine manuals, and add them to the library. Over time, the hope is that we can build a properly valuable resource for the owners of the various engines which get discussed here in the forums, especially as it seems likely that diesel will be in ever shorter supply in the future, as the world turns to electric transport...

Now.... if you were reading carefully, a couple of phrases might have jumped out at you above: "if someone wrote up an article..." and "scanned and/or re-type".... Yeah, this is going to involve actual work. It's also going to require people to voluntarily allow copyright to belong to LEF (or, at least, rights to publish in perpetuity), write-ups that they've done. This is a big ask, and it's my hope that you, dear reader, will consent to this should you be able and willing to write up maintenance and modification procedures for these engines, their ancilleries, and so on. Again, my thinking is we'll end up with a body of work which covers as much of the experience of buying, owning, running, maintaining and modifying engines as possible.

Now.... the next question is: Who gets access, how, and so on.... IMHO: Some of the content can be made publicly available. e.g. a document on how to date your Lister engine (and/or your Petter, Blackstone, Witte, Arrow etc.) Other stuff, e.g. a complete Haynes-style manual on a Lister CS Single complete with painstakingly drawn diagrams, is probably worthy of requiring actual monetary payment (with compensation going back to the author, just like a real book). In between that, there's probably scope for a number of smaller articles (how to grind valves WITHOUT casting sand, for example), which could be free to LEF members, but not available to casual visitors. Or something; I don't pretend to have all (or even any!) of the answers...


So.... over to you Dear Reader. In particular, I'd love your feedback on:
 - Do you like the idea?
 - Would you be willing to contribute towards "free" pages, i.e. no remuneration?
 - Would you be willing to write "paid-for" pages, with most of the money earned going back to you?
 - If we gather enough material to produce an actual honest-to-got print book, would that whet your appetite?
 - Do you think the whole thing's barmy and we should do X-Y-Z instead?

Currently, I have no more invested in this than a couple of hours playing around with BookStack. I like it's style of organisation and indexing (waaay better than most Wikis which rely on manually maintained contents pages), and IMHO - with enough participation - we could build something we can all be really proud of in the years to come.

So, gents, you thoughts please!

Also, if you got this far, now might be a great time to choose your answer in the poll, if you didn't already. You can change your vote any time up until the expiry date, so if you get persuaded a different way by any of the answers below this, assuming/when there are any, then don't worry! You're not tied to your first choice. Thanks!

PS: I'm open to alternative suggestions too, and tweaks, or wholesale changes to what I've outlined above. Please do share your ideas.

Thanks again.
Cheers!
Ade.
--------------
1x Lister CS Start-o-Matic (complete, runs)
0x Lister JP4 :( - Sold to go in a canal boat.

broncodriver99

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Re: A Book Club, of sorts...
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2020, 01:11:05 PM »
I like it. I have several manuals and a fair amount of technical data in PDF format I would be happy to contribute so they can be downloaded. I would also, time allowing, be happy to scrape info from the web and put it in a repository however that may work.

mikenash

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Re: A Book Club, of sorts...
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2020, 06:57:59 AM »
Hi Ade.  I can't imagine that many folks would think information on 80-year-old machinery is something that should have restricted circulation?

What do we have to lose by sharing?

Something searchable would have value, as  far as I can see

I don't know what I have to contribute?  But I have many years of old-fashioned sub-editing skills.  I can probably turn something badly-written or a terrible copy/paste job into deathless prose lol

I'll be interested to see what folks have to say