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REVIEW: "Wikipedia: The Missing Manual", John Broughton

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  • Rob, grandpa of Ryan, Trevor, Devon & Han
    BKWKPDMM.RVW 20080306 Wikipedia: The Missing Manual , John Broughton, 2008, 978-0-596-51516-4, U$29.99/C$29.99 %A John Broughton %C 103 Morris Street,
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 10, 2008
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      BKWKPDMM.RVW 20080306

      "Wikipedia: The Missing Manual", John Broughton, 2008,
      978-0-596-51516-4, U$29.99/C$29.99
      %A John Broughton
      %C 103 Morris Street, Suite A, Sebastopol, CA 95472
      %D 2008
      %G 0-596-51516-2 978-0-596-51516-4
      %I O'Reilly & Associates, Inc.
      %O U$29.99/C$29.99 800-998-9938 707-829-0515 nuts@...
      %O http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596515162/robsladesinterne
      %O http://www.amazon.ca/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596515162/robsladesin03-20
      %O Audience i+ Tech 2 Writing 2 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
      %P 477 p.
      %S The Missing Manual
      %T "Wikipedia: The Missing Manual"

      Wikipedia is the online encyclopedia that is user built and edited.
      There has been much controversy over the concept that a reference
      created by volunteers, and one where the material may be modified by a
      random reader, could possibly have any significant value. What would
      drive anyone with anything worthwhile to say, to say it in this forum?
      Participants could create articles with any kind of garbage in them.
      Worthwhile articles could be altered or deleted. However, with some
      technical tools, and a semi-formal hierarchy of editors and
      administrators, Wikipedia has become a major resource for millions.

      The introduction states that the intended purpose of the book is to
      provide a guide to the core functions and rules of Wikipedia, and a
      structure for learning editing and related operations. As well, some
      of the material in the work may be of use to experienced editors,
      simply because of the wealth of functionality in the system. (The
      text deals only with the English version of Wikipedia, but most of the
      content should be relevant to other versions using the same software
      and policies.)

      Part one starts with the basics of editing, creating, and maintaining
      articles. Chapter one has extensive information on editing, although
      a number of the figures have possibly been trimmed too much: they do
      not always show relevant links and results of coding. Wikipedia
      articles must be documented, notes chapter two, and lists various
      examples of citation. While chapter three recommends creating an
      account and personal page, the operations described in the text are
      not always clear. What not to do when creating a new page is in
      chapter four. Page histories, and the options for reversion, are
      outlined in chapter five, and chapter six reviews options for
      monitoring changes. The issues of vandalism and spam (articles that
      are contrary to the intent of Wikipedia) are addressed in chapter

      Part two moves to collaboration with other editors. Communicating
      with editors, discussed in chapter eight, concentrates on the various
      "talk" pages. Wikiprojects and other group efforts are examined in
      chapter nine. The deliberation on content disputes, reviewed in
      chapter ten, is part policy, and part psychology. Chapter eleven's
      material on personal attacks is similar. Chapter twelve notes ways of
      helping other editors learn and develop.

      Part three turns to formatting of articles. Sections, tables of
      contents, and overall issues of structure are discussed in chapter
      thirteen, lists and tables in fourteen, and images in fifteen.

      Part four looks at factors involved in improving the encyclopedia.
      Getting readers to the right article, using proper naming, redirect
      pages, and disambiguation, is covered in chapter sixteen. Chapter
      seventeen notes categories of articles. Much of the prior content is
      repeated in chapter eighteen, which appears to be a review of basic
      article creation and editing, but primarily in terms of policies. The
      process for deleting articles is described in chapter nineteen.

      Personal customizing of Wikipedia makes up part five. Chapter twenty
      outlines the preferences for your account, while twenty-one notes how
      to set up the possible JavaScript utilities available.

      A good many people think they know about Wikipedia, but fail to fully
      understand some of the necessary functions or policies that make it
      work. Indeed, many who would have much to contribute to the project
      may have been discouraged by failed attempts because of simple
      mistakes. For anyone who is interested in becoming part of the noble
      experiment, this book is an excellent introduction.

      copyright Robert M. Slade, 2008 BKWKPDMM.RVW 20080306

      ====================== (quote inserted randomly by Pegasus Mailer)
      rslade@... slade@... rslade@...
      Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality.
      - Jules de Gautier
      victoria.tc.ca/techrev/rms.htm en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Slade
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