User:Miriam e

From Wikibooks, open books for an open world
Jump to: navigation, search

I love the concept of open books and distributed creators.

The Wikimedia Foundation's byline is beautiful:

Imagine a world in which every single human being can freely share in the sum of all knowledge. That's our commitment.

So it worries me that many Wikibooks have been sliced up into unusably small pieces. It's only a small inconvenience for those who are able to use cheap, fast, always-on internet, but those of us who need offline access to content are severely disadvantaged by it. We can download individual pages, but they don't crosslink, and if the book is big then this becomes insanely difficult. Take for example Blender 3D: Noob to Pro which used to be in three easy-to-use large pieces, but which has now been cut into 254 tiny pieces. This makes it utterly unusable offline. Unfortunately the Collections function doesn't work properly (it chokes on big books) and doesn't deliver HTML anyway, making it useless for this. (PDF is almost completely useless for people who don't own printers. It bloats documents by up to ten times the filesize of the original HTML, and doesn't reflow to fit window size the way HTML was designed to.)

A long time ago somebody said that all web pages should be delivered in tiny chunks. Ever since then people seem to have unquestioningly accepted this. (I've been trying to find out who this revered, but mistaken prophet was.) It doesn't really make a lot of sense on normal webpages, but it is completely counterproductive on Wikibooks, which is not wikipages or wikiparagraphs, but wikibooks, where people come looking explicitly for long-form content.

Most of the world has expensive, slow, intermittent internet. Slicing pages into tiny pieces makes Wikibooks almost unusable for them -- the majority of the planet's people. I am one of those, even though I live in a first-world nation (I'm in rural Australia).

It's very frustrating because everybody I've spoken to on Wikibooks must have fast, cheap, always-on internet and they merely shrug it off. It seems they think it's obvious that what I say is wrong as it works fine for them and everybody they know. [sigh] Of course. The majority of the planet's people can't really use it much, so you won't hear much from us.