Subject Re: [IBO] OT: Help files help
Author Christian Mautendorfer
Hmmm, Helen when reading your post I got a couple of Ideas. Maybe you've
thought about them.
+ at the end Helpfile clarification request.

At 08:07 07.02.2001, you wrote:


>At 05:47 AM 07-02-01 +0000, you wrote:
>The plan was to do this (all the stuff developers need to do InterBase) in
>one big book - the InterBase Developer's Handbook. It's been a dream of
>mine for nearly 5 years now. Last year I set up a project to do this book,
>not a trivial exercise, but the willingness of content contributors to
>participate was very exciting. If you haven't seen the outline and the
>plans, take a look at

>Well, the project has been on hold now since the end of July, for lack of
>sponsorship. More than once, Jason offered to assist with funding but I've
>held him back, knowing how much of his own money he has already thrown at
>the IBDI's activities to (successfully) save IB from the gallows. Quite
>simply, no matter how much I want the book to happen, I refuse to accept
>that it's the responsibility of one man of modest means to fund everything
>the IB community needs.
>I would love to be in the position of being able to get this crunching
>along. It will take 9 months' full-time writing to do it. I don't have
>the means to stop other work and dedicate my time to the book. I doubt I
>shall ever be in a position to do that.
>Publishers have rejected the project as "too huge" to risk investing
>in. Some have expressed interest in looking at the manuscript when it's
>I've recently updated the IBDH translator group lists, as I feel the need
>to resolve the IBDH project one way or another. The translators put in a
>huge amount of effort over several months of last year, to ensure that
>material in the English IBDH would be translated to German, French,
>Spanish, Portuguese and possibly some other languages, too, allowing the
>IBDH to hit the bookshops in several languages simultaneously. There
>is/was a "one-worldness" about the project and a determination for
>technical excellence and accuracy. I don't wish this to go away.
>This is to say, I have a book plan (the combined work of many) and a
>development plan. I have contributors, I have translators. What I have
>not is money to pay the rent whilst I write it.
>One of the sad offshoots of IB's user base becoming dominated by people who
>got the database for nothing, is that they seem to want EVERYTHING for
>nothing. Most want to take the free database, the free support, the free
>books, the free enhancements (nobody gets paid in Firebird!) and want to
>put nothing back in return. (The IBO community is exceptional in this
>regard - the freeloaders seem to get stamped down pretty quickly around
>here <g> and we are highly fortunate to have some VERY skilled folk around
>to help with enhancements and support.)

This is a big community and I think a LOT of people would love to see this
book happening.
How about having the community support this book? Open an account into
which it is easy
to transfer money (via Credit Card, so it's international) and the allow
people to buy the book
ahead of time, or even donate more if they would like to.
Make it clear that it will happen if enough donate/buy but will only be
possible... if enough donate/buy :)
For me this Project is Important enough (+I love the idea behind this
community) to be willing to give
some money towards the possibility of getting the book = buying this book
before it is finished.
If I am willing to do so, maybe others are as well.

It would be great if the community without which IB would now be dead would
also make this possible!


>It's on the Agenda to review the component help over the forthcoming
>months. YOU can help us to prioritise this mammoth task by REQUESTING the
>sections you most want clarified. I'm the one who is collating stuff and
>writing it up; and I'm also developing "IBOBase" for storing all the
>documentation, wish lists, etc.

I spent a little more than an hour looking for information on all the
possible stuff you can put into ColunmAttributes in the Connection.
It would be good for the Helpfile to write about them or at least point the
user in the direction of IB_Constants
so he can find them there!

> >Hoping to learn how the better organised amongst us function,

Well I just work with all the manuals same as you. It's not that bad if you
think that
for a particular problem you only need to look in 4 places or so (no use
looking for IBO the Interbase pdf's).
It get's really bothersome if I don't find the answer in the help because
checking the source is pretty
time-consuming (see above), as I try to find my own answers before I would
ask the list to answer them
for me.
And memory like always in programing is of course a real plus.

So that single big Interbase book would be a real time-saver. Especially if
I had it on-line as well so it's searchable. *dream*
Well hope it becomes reality :)