[closed] Possible WordPress Book (59 posts)

  1. skeen
    Posted 11 years ago #

    If your aim is to make a contribution to new WordPress users, and the WP community by producing some extensive documentation, why not do it in the form of PDF's? And let the users print out the books themselves?

    You haven't been quite clear on your aims/intentions here.

  2. James Huff
    Support Representative
    Posted 11 years ago #

    I think the real problem with this whole thing, is that most of feel that there are individuals more qualified to write a book about WordPress. And, out of those individuals, Podz is probably the most qualified. Podz cranks out tons of WordPress tutorials and is constantly contributing to both the forums and the Codex, but I've never heard of Larry Ayers until he made this forum post about his book plans. In fact, this topic is the first topic he's ever made. Since then, he's added several replies to this topic and posted one reply to another topic in which he recommended Emacs for composing your WordPress posts. My personal opinion is that a book should be written as a co-venture between the chief developers of WordPress, Podz, NuclearMoose, and anyone else who wishes to contribute a page or two. IOW, it should be a paper version of the Codex.

  3. Joni
    Posted 11 years ago #

    I dropped the below comment at Larry Ayers' blog (which is quite nice, both in design and content, I might add).

    I bought the first O'Reilly book on "Blogging" and as I read it, I thought to myself, "Gee, I could have written this thing." A monumental waste of a good $20 plus shipping. Do you know how many lattes I could have had with that?! Well, a few anyway!

    So either the O'Reilly editors are slip-sliding into the "Dummies" field, because that book was as basic as it gets -- Is there even a Blogging for Dummies book out there?

    I will say here what my gut reaction to your post was, and not intenting an insult, just to impart what went through my head at the time:

    Who is this guy and why would I buy a WP book from him? I'd probably buy one written by any of the devs or any of the regulars on WP. I'd have to ask, what are your credentials?

    Plus someone did make a good point: By the time the book went to press it may be so outdated as to be rendered useless, much as the aforementioned book on Blogging was. This kind of technology ages quickly because of its mercurial nature.

    The argument that only WP devs should be writing a WP book is baseless, since I don't believe the Trotts had a say in the O'Reilly book I read. I did note that one contributor developed a blog tool called Bloxsom, and it was given considerable more page time than I thought it merited, probably simply due to the fact that its developer was one of the book's writers.

    If you feel capable of writing about WP no one can stop you. Furthermore, if you get a foot in the door at some publishing house, then more power to you.

    I personally feel it is the answer to a question no one asked.

    Nice blog, BTW. Like the design and the content, as I've been birdwalking through here this afternoon!

    And ... I just have to ask: Why haven't we seen you on the WP forums before?!

  4. LarryAyers
    Posted 11 years ago #

    To respond to some of the preceding posts: perhaps Podz could have turned his tutorials into a book. But he chose to make them freely available on the web and should be commended for doing so.

    Not everyone learns well from documentation spread around the web. Everyone here probably is comfortable learning this way as we've grown up as the web evolved. Others like to have a tangible printed book that they can take into the bathroom.

    To make my intentions a bit more clear, I think that WordPress is such a quality product that it should be more accessible to the many people who aren't the type to even know about it or the existence of such useful forums as this one.

    My qualifications? I enjoy writing, can write clearly and understandably, and I'm able to put myself in the shoes of those who don't have geeky tendencies.


  5. Mark (podz)
    Support Maven
    Posted 11 years ago #

    I could post a reply, but then I'd have to moderate it. Heavily.

  6. LarryAyers
    Posted 11 years ago #

    Come on Podz. Have I stolen something from you? I take a look at your site, appreciated the information you so graciously provided, and you are still pissed off?

    Don't provide free information if it makes you angry when people read it!

    Or thwart my evil connivings and write a book yourself!


  7. James Huff
    Support Representative
    Posted 11 years ago #

    I don't think he'll be less pissed if you keep poking him like that.

  8. Mark (podz)
    Support Maven
    Posted 11 years ago #

    Not yet Larry, no.
    You have taken a look at the documentation available. That involves many blogs - mine included - and also Codex. You decide that seeing you cannot log into Amazon and buy a book on WordPress, you will write one. But not by taking the time to get to know the program, or by hanging around the forums to see what the typical questions and issues are (and believe me, I have a better idea of that than 99% of the forum users). No, you will just steal the work of others and put that work out in a form that makes YOU money.
    My views on capitalism and such matter not, what does matter to me is that I have provided work which is - by my own admission - easily converted to another form. I have never put ads on my site, and until today (and in a move which had been planned for a short while) had not even had a donate button. I believe that quality help for WP should be available free.
    It's not just my guides, it's also my time. I have given (freely I know) a huge amount of time, and here you are, swanning in and creaming off the profit. I have paid in time and money, yet you seek to steal the rewards.

    People can read my work as much as they want - I know the visitor count (no, I'm not telling you).

    As for what I plan to do ?
    It's 01:48 here, and I'm tired. Very pissed off and very tired. So I will sleep on it. But yes, I do have a course of action in mind and would you mind terribly if you do not get to be the first person on the list to know ?

    Now, flamers / anons / unregistered - poke away. I'm sure you've been looking forward to it.

  9. James Huff
    Support Representative
    Posted 11 years ago #

    Well said, Podz.

  10. Cena
    Posted 11 years ago #

    This whole thing is very reminiscent of the Root vs. Kubrick controversy awhile back.

    SO WHAT if LarryAyers talks about writing a book about WP? Has he done so? Chris Davis talked about doing one for O'Reilly, too...eons ago, it seems, in #wordpress. (It must be at least a year ago, now.) Still no WordPress book on the shelves. And even if he did somehow write this book and find a publisher, no one's forcing anyone to buy it, are they?

    With all respect, Podz: SO WHAT if LarryAyers has been to your site? I've been to your site too. Back when I was an active member of the docs team, I visited lots of docs-related sites (and not just WP-related ones). NOT to steal people's content, but to see what others have done: how they presented the material, what they've covered. That's just good research, in my opinion. How you make the leap from 'you've visited my site' to essentially accusing the man of ripping off your work (or planning to) is puzzling to me. Believe me, I understand the difficult and largely thankless job docs-writing is. I understand not wanting to feel that someone may profit from your (freely-given) works.

    HOWEVER. You're accusing this man of stealing from you,
    based upon the fact that a)he's been to your site and b)wants to
    write a commercially produced work. Your conclusion seems
    logically flawed. Nor do I understand the red-faced anger so
    apparent in your posts on this topic. If your works are copyrighted, you have no worries. If LA uses works that are
    covered under the Creative Commons or some similar licensing
    scheme, that's fair play too. What's the license on the contents of the Wiki/Codex, by the way? I couldn't find one that was apparent, after some time spent looking specifically for that. If the content is covered implicitly under the GPL, he's free to use it, as well.

  11. James Huff
    Support Representative
    Posted 11 years ago #

    I'd be a lot more comfortable with Chris Davis, another heavy WP contributer and developer, writing the book than someone who just appeared and has only used WordPress long enough to write 29 posts.

  12. LarryAyers
    Posted 11 years ago #

    Well, Chris Davis is as free to write a book about WP as I am. More power to him if he does it!


  13. Jinsan
    Posted 11 years ago #

    Having read Larry's comments on his own site, I noted that he only discovered WP approx 3 weeks ago, so either he would be writing a very small book or he would have to take much of the material from existing items.

    There's nothing wrong,r eally, with what Larry is doing, just as long as it is credible and fair, and doesn't venture on plagarism. As has been stated, however, that even after 1.5 goes final, there are so many elements to WP that are dynamic that it is forever changing. The book may not be able to truly reflect the latest updates, but it may prove useful for those who are trying to venture into WP.

    Still, I have to question Larry's experience with WP - I mean 3 weeks and already you feel confident enough to write a book? I also thought it unfair at taking a dig at podz on personal issues on your site, be they true or not, about the bi-polar issue. Rather than making snide observations, it may have been better to stick to the topic at hand and justify your reasoning for a book by yourself than to make assumptions about whether Podz's personal health is the cause for his disappointment with you writing a book.

    You obviously fail to take Podz's arguments without any serious thought - and assuming you're of the older generation, I would have expected a more mature response to Podz's comments.

    The only way your book will work is if you work with the WP community, rather than against it - the truth is, that even Larry did steal the work from anyone, he could change the content to such an extent that it would look different enough to be considered original. I don't think he would foolish enough to do so, but I question the credability with which you've approached this matter.

  14. Joni
    Posted 11 years ago #

    Well, basically any program that has a set "way" to accomplish a certain task (e.g., posting an entry, backing up a database) is going to fall victim to claims that someone's words were stolen.

    To back up a PHP database, open a browser, launch a Windows program, there are several specific steps. There are only so many ways to string the words together telling people how to do these things. Someone somewhere is bound to have written down those steps in the same or similar verbage. Do you see where I'm going with this?

    I still think a "how-to" book on WordPress is an exercise in futility, but it's not my time or resources that are at stake here. And no one is forcing me to buy such a book should one ever hit the bookstore shelves. Since WordPress encompasses so much more than just its own code, being PHP-based and all, if I were a person interested in gleaning as much knowledge about it and its underpinnings as possible, wouldn't I be better served picking up one of the many O'Reilly books on PHP, CSS or XML/XTML?

    Well, I personally have done my share to beat this horse, be it dead or alive. G'night everyone!

  15. ZephyrSky
    Posted 11 years ago #

    I think the idea of a book is awesome. Just having the book on the market would open up the exposure to anyone looking for a blogging book. I personally like having books to reference. Even though I haunt these lists daily. How many people are there looking for 'said' book? That I don't know but having the WordPress name on the shelf would never hurt.

    I agree that a book on WordPress would be dated fast due to the rapid development going into the platform. So maybe do a hybrid Book/Wiki. You work out a deal with the publisher to release the book and after a pre-determined number of months (6 months or something), you could release a wiki that would allow the book to become a running document that could change and grow with the changes.

    Good luck!

  16. LarryAyers
    Posted 11 years ago #

    Good point, Joni. It is true that all of the underpinnings of WP are covered well by other O'Reilly books. I have many of these books on a shelf in my room, but isn't there a need for a book that brings together the necessary elements of these varied free software subcultures and shows how they can work together to make possible a revolutionary publishing platform such as WordPress?

    Thanks for the positive comments, ZephyrSky! The idea of a book/wiki combination has crossed my mind. I'm very impressed with the Wikipedia and use it often.


  17. mfiszman
    Posted 11 years ago #


    You seem like a nice guy, you generally respond in a pleasant fashion to people's questions in the forums, and, though I haven't looked at much of "your" material, it seems you've put together some nice tutorials for the benefit of the community. Good on you for all of these things :)

    Having said that, you are not the "be all and end all" of the WordPress scene. You are not the WordPress guru we all come running to when we have a problem. There are other ways a person could research a book on WordPress than run to your site and "steal" "your" material. You're being very paranoid. There's really no need :)

    I'm really not trying to start any silly arguments here, but your actions and manner are rather immature. You have certain opinions, fine; I respect you for that. But at least try to express those opinions in a civilised, grown-up fashion. This frothiness of yours is really not conducive to healthy debate :)

    I might also note that given your position as a WordPress developer, what you say, and how you say it, may well have a particular influence on people's attitudes towards the WordPress product. Something to bear in mind, perhaps.

  18. James Huff
    Support Representative
    Posted 11 years ago #


    Most of what fuels Podz' fire is that he's devoted a great deal of his time to supporting and contributing to WordPress, but I've never heard of Larry Ayers until he made this forum post about his book plans. In fact, this topic is the first topic he's ever made. Since then, he's added several replies to this topic and posted one reply to another topic in which he recommended Emacs for composing your WordPress posts. Larry has also only used WordPress for less than three months and only made a total of 29 posts using WordPress. In short, there are other people far more qualified to write a WordPress book. This is not to say that Larry may not write a good book, but it would seem that most of us (Podz included) would rather not have the author of this book be someone who just appeared in the WordPress community. And, if you look at Larry's blog he hasn't been the most mature either. Call that what you may, but when you start using someone's mental condition as evidence for why they're wrong, you're hitting pretty far below the belt. And, remember, any developer has the right to be passionate about his project.

  19. Mark (podz)
    Support Maven
    Posted 11 years ago #

    To the hundreds who have no doubt read this by now, and have said nothing, cheers, great, lovely.

    To the very few who have posted here and supported me, Thank You.

    To Larry - that was a low, low thing to do. It had no fucking place on your site.

    And for the powers that be ? WP Community ? Fuck I've been ignorant.

  20. mfiszman
    Posted 11 years ago #


    Fair enough :)

    But just a note on a "developer being passionate"...

    I (generally) think it's wonderful that people are passionate about ideas, but anger and aggression are (generally) not the best ways to convey those ideas to others.

    Also, re. Larry's blog: that's really more of a personal forum :)

    Yes, of course, others are invited in. But Larry's blog is Larry's blog; he sets the agenda, he can write what he likes.

    The WordPress forums belong to the entire community and shouldn't really be used for personal agendas.

    I think it's a bit selfish to talk too much about yourself here ;)

  21. RustIndy
    Posted 11 years ago #

    I guess this means I'm qualified to write a book about WP then, yes? :D

    Seriously, whatever. I'm not in the demographic for an introductory-level WordPress book, "WordPress for Dummies" kinda thang, so that makes me qualified to write it. Don't get mad, it's true. I have the necessary amount of PHP, *NIX, Windows, Apache/IIS, and MySQL knowledge/experience to cover 99% of the bases when it comes to installing and using WP at a beginner level.

    On the other hand, I don't see any point in doing so. How hard is WP to install? Not very. Odd server configurations can make it more difficult, but all of the common problems are well documented already. How hard is WP to actually use? Not very. Click Write, then write. Easy easy. Again, the features are well documented already.

    But on the other other hand, this information is NOT all gathered in one spot. It's spread and sprinkled over blogs, wikis, forums and brains. Someone should collect this information into a single, highly searchable and accesible location. The Codex comes to mind, though it doesn't necessarily need to be the place.

    Yes, everyone says "someone should..." and no one does it. I am, unfortunately, no exception this time. I don't have the time, but I definitely would if I did. Actually, I will have the time in a few weeks or so, but hey - changing the world is hard work and takes a surprising amount of paperwork ;)

    So Larry, I can't say I see any real market for a printed WP book. Some people would buy it, most wouldn't. If profits went to support WP itself, though, that might be different :) It would be smart to gain the support and input of the community instead of alienating them in that case, though.

    Podz, I haven't bothered reading this whole thread, but I did get the picture. I am one of the hundreds who never read the posts here before just now, and I am saying something. I love WordPress, end of story. I don't care if Cybil (or Sybil... or Truddi Chase for that matter) writes the thing. NuclearMoose could be a 300 pound sumo wrestler from Sweden for all I know, and it wouldn't matter. You guys have done a spectacular job here.

    Shallow folk care about image - "oh, this dev's a trans-gendered cross-dressing homophobic midget with herpes" is a deal-killer for them (I'm not calling anyone a herpes-riddled trans-gendered cross-dressing homophobic midget, it's just an example off the top of my head), but many of us don't. Shallow folk care about a buck more than they care about "right," but many of us don't. Shallow folk resort to personal attacks when they have nothing stronger to make their points with, but many of us don't.

    Am I coming through? I wrote too much....

    In short, I say let Larry write his book and keep the money. If he can write a decent WP book after such short experience, power to him. I won't buy it. If he violates copyrights, bend him over and do him dry (sorry, crude analogy there, but apt given the legal system these days). If he decides to do the smart thing (in my humble opinion) and write the book with the profits donated to WP (or even other F/OSS projects related to it), then I'll buy the thing whether I need it or not.

    In closing (the length, sorry, I can't help it), I don't need any flak for this post. Don't like my opinion? Fine :) I suspect I'll be happier if I ignore what remains of life in this thread, at least until certain folk start acting their ages instead of their shoe sizes (nope, not going to be more specific than that - if this sentence insulted you, then you're probably one of those folk, and you know it; don't get mad at me for pointing it out).

    Did anyone count how many grammar rules I've senselessly broken here?

  22. LarryAyers
    Posted 11 years ago #

    It's all moot at this point as O'Reilly hasn't yet responded to my proposal.

    As for donating profits to WP: who would these even go to? The developers of WP don't seem to be in it for the money, as they have turned down offers of money in exchange for features. Is there some sort of WP non-profit organization in existence? I'm open to the idea of donating a portion of any profit I might make on a book to some sort of WP organization, if such an entity exists.


  23. khaled
    Posted 11 years ago #

    See that Button at the top there Larry, it says DONATE. Simple concept actually. It doesn't say DONATE FOR FEATURES :).

  24. dawg
    Posted 11 years ago #

    After spending an hour reading thru this post for the first time, let me add my two cents. First things first, I would not buy an online book for a blog. Second of all I think Larry has done much harm to himself as to why he would be a good author for this book, through his own admission of only three weeks use age of WP.

    The point of writing a book was compared to the hundreds of books written about Windows sticks out to me as a valid comparison.

    Who am I to say that Larry might not make the best author, well I have taken the time to read his posts here and a minute on his own blog, writing skills are shown better by other posters within this thread.

    As fas as the knock on bipolor, I found this to be a cheap shot, I did go to Podz site and found his own reference to it but in the light he made it I felt it was facetious. This reminds me of a page I saw on thirty some reasons for not posting your picture on the internet.

    While some points by Larry are made, I just do not feel that this book would go over well so it will join Amber Frey's book on the list, along with Hillary's of things I will not read

  25. CarLBanks
    Posted 11 years ago #

    I support Podz because Podz has done a great deal of WP help. WP is the way it is because of hard working helpers like Podz and the others. I myself couldn't do all the work Podz does.

    A book would be thrown away when the information is dated. Free online PDFs or books would be there and updated.

  26. NuclearMoose
    Posted 11 years ago #

    Anyone who has been around here for any length of time knows all about the the countless hours of work Podz has put into his guides and the THOUSANDS of posts here on the forum helping people. He has the right to be protective of his own work in what way he sees fit.

    You or I or the next person can go ahead and create a unique product using WordPress as the basis. It's all part of the big scheme of things.

    This thread is now starting to meander into darkness and it is getting far too personal for my taste. I can't close this thread, but if I could, I would. Enough said, people.

  27. Matt Mullenweg
    Posted 11 years ago #

    I don't think anyone was suggesting Podz's work or anyone else's be stolen. Please consider this thread closed, until I upgrade bbPress to actually close it, which I don't have time to do right now because I'm working on 1.5.


  28. sea
    Posted 10 years ago #

    I am a newbie to WordPress and I am very imPress'ed by it;)

    I wanted to know more about the under the hood stuff so I googled "books WordPress" and this forum was top of the list.

    I am glad I read all the postings as now I know that all the information I need is available online. This is a change of paradigm for me as I normally tend to run towards linear media such as books when faced with the challenge of learning something new.

    I am sure as WP continues to grow that more and more people will seek info about WP and its capabilities just as I did and looking for a book may probably be their first attempt to accomplish this.

    Had I not read this particular heated forum topic I probably still would be looking for a printed guide.

    Educationally speaking, people like me need to quickly learn the methods, etiquette and conventions associated with the online, do-it-yourself nature of learning about software such as WP. I need to build CONFIDENCE so that I can do this without a book beside me.

    Now, my first step is to learn "how to learn" from online resources. I will set about researching WP through the fantastic resources that this community has contributed for free. THANK YOU to all who have provided beginners like me with very useful and encouraging information and the support to get me through this.

    Thank you for your COMMUNITY

  29. skippy
    Posted 10 years ago #

    Thanks for the positive note, sea. We're here to help you when the online documentation doesn't give you what you need.

    And now that threads can be closed, I'll go ahead and close this!

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