Friday, July 21, 2006

Ruby Lightning Articles — what a great idea

I'm always amazed at the things I find over at anarchaia.org (Christian Neukirchen's tumbleblog). Recently was a link to an O'Reilly article called Still More Perl Lightning Articles, with the comment " O’Reilly should publish Ruby Lightning Articles too. ;-)".

Not being one to eschew something just because it has its roots in the Perl world, I followed the link then dug a bit deeper. Each bigger article (anthology?) is a collection of short (500-1500 or so) word articles about some neat tool, method, or what-not in Perl. They're up to three of them so far (though the articles are spread over the last three years). At first it seemed like an interesting idea, then I started having second thoughts.

The more I looked at it, the more it looked like a collection of blog posts. I'd much rather see the O'Reilly Ruby Blog keep running lots of shorter posts and articles independently. Maybe a better way to go would be something like this:

O'Reilly (or someone) should put together a small bounty for short, informative, well-written articles (say $50 each). They could also maintain a list of article requests that could be used by prospective authors. As articles are recieved, they could be vetted by the existing O'Reilly Ruby Bloggers then posted.

In the end, it would be a win-win-win situation. A few people would end up with a couple of extra bucks, O'Reilly (or whoever) would get a collection of new content for their site, and the Ruby community would have more documentation available. Such a deal.

The big question is, "What should be on the list of article requests?" What do you think?

1 comment:

Dan Bernier said...

I'd love to see stuff about meta-programming and functional programming, and how they're implemented in Ruby. Continuations, too. Look at what your standard Java programmer knows (or rather, doesn't know), and fill in the holes...it's a good start, at least.