Board ideas

This is a discussion on Board ideas within the A Brief History of Cprogramming.com forums, part of the Community Boards category; I realize that most boards have stickied posts for books and online references. Would it be possible to set up ...

  1. #1
    30 Helens Agree neandrake's Avatar
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    Board ideas

    I realize that most boards have stickied posts for books and online references.

    Would it be possible to set up something here where we could recommend books, and provide reviews/ratings as well? I ask because often I find myself looking for books, and browsing through amazon.com reviews -- however most of their reviews are questionable (paid or coerced by publishers/authors for good reviews). So I was just looking for something a bit more than the stickied recommendations. Could each user have a "library", which they could link to books or online materials which they themselves have referenced and found useful? I'm looking for some more credibility in recommendations, as well as more advanced topics rather than "learn-a-language" (but those are good too), and even other topics (mathematics).

    This was just an idea, as I've had my fair share of paying good money on bad books before.

    I've forgotten my other ideas. I'm sure I'll be back to post more.
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  2. #2
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    That's a good one but if I read you correctly might be a little beyond the scope of the cboard setup?*

    I can do database stuff with client-side javascript (OO, DOM) and server-side perl (OO, CGI) and would totally be into contributing to something like this, if there are others who want to throw ideas around and we restrain ourselves to books that actually involve programming on some level. And, obviously, independent of the distributors and publishers. Certainly nothing like that exists yet on much of a scale or I would have run across it already methinks.


    * but if someone asks nicely, you never know
    Last edited by MK27; 04-11-2009 at 03:46 PM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  3. #3
    Registered User BuzzBuzz's Avatar
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    As this is vBulletin there are addons available that do pretty much what the OP is describing. The site admin would have to do all the necessary though......
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  4. #4
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    No, seriously, I should have been a librarian...
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  5. #5
    30 Helens Agree neandrake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27 View Post
    No, seriously, I should have been a librarian...
    Hah!

    I was thinking the same thing, about contributing development if that was the route taken. I was sort of thinking that the vB board would have a module similar to what I was describing, as I've seen others where you can post photos, videos, etc, basically turning the site into a collaboration area. But point right on, about trying to keep it computers/computer science/mathematics related. I would tend to trust recommendations from some of the users here more over than from other places.
    Environment: OS X, GCC / G++
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  6. #6
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    I'm not sure if I see the connection to posting videos. I think the big trick would be coming up with some catagorization methodology, something open and branching so if you were contributing a book report you could either go with a pre-existing catagory (ie, one in which actual reports on actual books actually exist) or add one to the tree. Without expecting anything beyond a few hundred character blurb.

    Wikipedia is pretty impressive; I contributed to an article there once, and it was dead simple, you don't even have to subscribe.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  7. #7
    30 Helens Agree neandrake's Avatar
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    Sorry, my thoughts sorta wandered with the video posting. My point was that I had seen other boards where members had their own space for posting their own materials. I was thinking similar functionality in terms of posting book reviews :: users have a Library instead of Photo Gallery, where they post Book Reviews instead of Pictures -etc. Wasn't trying to suggest we have video capability here.
    Environment: OS X, GCC / G++
    Codes: Java, C#, C/C++
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  8. #8
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    So you mean all registered users would have a page which they could use to post book reviews ONLY? Because otherwise, 1) that page will get used for all kinds of (equally valid or important) material, and the idea of centralizing the book stuff in a coherent way will be gone. 2) there will be no real motive for anyone to submit a book report at all if they could just as easily submit their breakfast menu (which may or may not be more interesting).

    If you did limit the page content to book reports, then it would seem better (to me, at least) if they were organized in a more coherent and dynamic fashion than by the username of author of the report. After all, you can already review a book via the stickys, and use the search to narrow that by username, if you want. You could also search by actual author and title, since those will (almost) certainly be present. Where it gets less reliable would be if you wanted to search by subject, ala the dewey decimal system, only since our topic is much more focussed, the dewey decimal system is probably not specific enough*.

    This is why I mentioned wikipedia; surely it is the way the data is structured with nodes that makes it so useful, and it is the usefulness of the idea which has motivated people to contribute so much and made it so successful.

    *also worth noting is that such a database could very quicly grow to contain many more programming related titles than would be found in most libraries. I wonder how many more books are in print today, exponentially, than when the dewey decimal system was concieved?
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  9. #9
    C++ Witch laserlight's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MK27
    This is why I mentioned wikipedia; surely it is the way the data is structured with nodes that makes it so useful, and it is the usefulness of the idea which has motivated people to contribute so much and made it so successful.
    Has cpwiki been successful? I think that is certain critical mass of active contributors in order to really get going, and it can be difficult to get that.
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  10. #10
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by laserlight View Post
    Has cpwiki been successful? I think that is certain critical mass of active contributors in order to really get going, and it can be difficult to get that.
    Good point (I had never heard of cpwiki* until now). If this is just a suggestion to reorganize some stuff at cboard, I guess it doesn't matter.

    However, if the root node topic was "computer programming books" in general, it might be possible to do this as a separate project and involve other programming boards; I know perl, for example, has one or two that are at least as active as here. There is also room to include books in other human languagues, obviously. If the root node topic were "books on computers" (to include general theory, how-to use my OS, etc), then there's sure to be at least a dozen more large forums that could easily be involved. In fact, there might be A LOT of pre-existing material out there that could be quickly adapted and used to "prime the pump", to save having to start off with like three actual entries or whatever. Shame I didn't think of this a month ago, it might have been a decent proposal to one of the GSoc organizations.

    I wouldn't want to try paying my rent this way, but at least initially I think the work could be done and maintained by a fairly small group of volunteers. If it's slow to start, that's fine -- less stress. I will probably have a computer connected to the internet for a few more years at least, anyway.

    If anyone else sees the same potential, pm me. Please.

    *I may have misunderstood your point in using that as an example?
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  11. #11
    Registered User whiteflags's Avatar
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    A long time ago members independently decided the FAQ needed a redo and made a wiki. Contributions were sparse, we had really retarded arguments, and got bored. Maybe laserlight's point makes better sense now.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    The more functionality we add to the board the more maintenance it requires and thus more people to maintain it. I really don't think this would work well here. Gamedev has an articles and resource section as well as book recommendations. At times you can see that it is not well maintained and many of the articles and book recommendations are sorely out of date.

  13. #13
    30 Helens Agree neandrake's Avatar
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    For usage I was thinking more along the lines of -- I'm looking for a book on a topic, so I browse amazon.com. I find a few interesting books, and after reading some of the sketchy reviews, I could come to cboard and search if anyone here had a review of it. I understand the maintenance aspect of it all. I was trying to throw the idea out there as I often get frustrated looking for a good book on a topic. As far as involving other boards -- that could be useful, but was thinking more something centered on cboard, since after having trolled around here so long, I would take some user's reviews to be more credible. People from other forums would have no credibility with me. Interesting to think about though.
    Environment: OS X, GCC / G++
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  14. #14
    spurious conceit MK27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bubba View Post
    Gamedev has an articles and resource section as well as book recommendations. At times you can see that it is not well maintained and many of the articles and book recommendations are sorely out of date.
    That's the point. These resources are all scattered, so if you are looking for a book on a subject, you might as well just google -- but then the resources themselves, being scattered and overly specialized, are poorly maintained and little contributed to. After all, if you looked at a wiki or whatever, saw there are only four or five existing articles, etc., you probably would not bother to contribute to it, and so everything remains the same.

    But, if the resource were more generalized, it will be used by more people for more things. For example, if you like cooking and you want a "thai chicken" recipe, you might find recipes from all over the place, including sites that just do thai, that just do asian cuisine, that just do chicken, and even that just do spicy thai chicken. Search engines are fine for this, because you do not have an Amazon that is busy selling individual recipes to anyone, and very few people would bother writing "a review of this thai chicken recipe I found". But I imagine finding reviews of actual cookbooks is prone to the same problem as finding reviews of actual books on programming topics.

    The net effect of this is that far more people use the internet to look for recipes than would if the entire internet had been devoted only to cooking. Get it?

    Forgive my hubris, I just see a possible magic combination here in terms of the balance between specialization and generalization.
    Last edited by MK27; 04-12-2009 at 12:59 PM.
    C programming resources:
    GNU C Function and Macro Index -- glibc reference manual
    The C Book -- nice online learner guide
    Current ISO draft standard
    CCAN -- new CPAN like open source library repository
    3 (different) GNU debugger tutorials: #1 -- #2 -- #3
    cpwiki -- our wiki on sourceforge

  15. #15
    Administrator webmaster's Avatar
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    One quick and dirty option that would get something up and running fast is to create a message board (similar to the Jobs board) specifically for book reviews. It could be moderated so that each thread is tied to a specific book; threads can be rated, which could stand in as a proxy for a rating for the book. Anyone who wanted to comment on a book could then add a post to the thread.

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