Many salutations and welcome to the development site for Why's (Poignant) Guide to Ruby, a very slight handbook, designed to help teach the Ruby language to anyone and all. I think the motivations for writing the book are best laid out in the original announcement.

I'm guessing you're here because you want to help out with the book. You are so kind. I'm spending crazy amounts of time drawing and writing for this project. I just finished working about 20 straight hours on chapter four before starting in on this page. My hands are trembling.

I'm totally ignoring to do a lot of things though, since the book is sucking me in and consuming my resources. So, here's a list of small, digestable things you could pitch in with if you like. And for the record: I'm not looking for mirrors at the moment. Nor am I entertaining any offers for publication. I don't think those are bad things to examine, but I really only want to focus on things that will assist the actual writing of the book.

Four Ways You Can Help

  1. Inform others. Since the graphics and text of the book are open to any use, you may cite text from it, remix the cartoons, print your own t-shirt, whatever.

    Many people ask, "Why publicize a book that's incomplete?" First, I think a lot of people will enjoy watching things come together. In addition, I feel motivated by the immediate response. I think the book will get done quicker. I have also had a lot of invaluable feedback since releasing chapter three. I think the book will be of a higher quality.

    You can also stay informed about chapter releases, general news by subscribing to the low-traffic poignant-watchers mailing list.

  2. Send me feedback and demand more. Give me the queen's beating.

    The poignant-stiffs mailing list is a medium-traffic list where interested parties can talk about the book as a group and help see it realized.

  3. Help translate into other languages. It's certainly not too early to begin translation. Since the text of the book is stored in a YAML document with Textile formatting, it is very clean and easy to edit. If you feel you could do the Guide justice in another language, please.

    Come join the poignant-translators mailing list. You can also read about checking out from CVS below.

  4. Convert the Guide to new formats. Currently, the Guide is only avaiable in HTML and YAML formats. The YAML document is the master file and I have a script which generates HTML. I know there is a big interest out there in seeing the guide available in PDF.

    If you would like to help me offer PDF, Palm reader, TeX, etc., hop on the poignant-stiffs list and let everyone know. Check out the Guide from CVS and go at it. All the images and stylesheets are there.

Checking Out from CVS

If you would like to check out the book, just to sleuth around in the code, you can check out using the anonymous account. The module is named: wpgtr.

cvs -d:pserver:anonymous@rubyforge.org:/var/cvs/poignant login
cvs -z3 -d:pserver:anonymous@rubyforge.org:/var/cvs/poignant co wpgtr

If you are a translator or you are working on conversion to new formats, use your RubyForge login to pull down a copy for editing.

export CVS_RSH=ssh
cvs -z3 -d:ext:developername@rubyforge.org:/var/cvs/poignant co wpgtr

If you are new to CVS, a good introduction is The CVS Book.

cackle as you do so™
© 2004 why the lucky stiff.