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That's disappointing. I wonder why wikibooks haven't taken off? I found a few cases where students made textbooks as part of a class project, but have yet to find an example of anyone (besides me and one other colleague) who actually use them as the textbook for other courses.
Hi, Karen. I noticed you had a post where you were asking about teachers using wikibooks in their courses. Did you find any? I'm doing some research on the topic for a presentation this weekend at Writing Program Admins.
I see what you're saying about the standards. I can provide a little bit of insight into why things are the way they are.
The web uses some basic data transfer protocols. These are things like ftp, http (web pages), ssl, smtp (email). They operate through ports that have basic programs running on the other end. In the case of http most servers use a program called apache. Apache will interpret information passed to it much more dynamically than any of the other protocols. As a result you end up with a massive number of "standards" that develop. It was sort of inevitable for the net to turn into a mess because of this. it's interesting to note that mail and http are the only protocols that turned into an uncontrollable mess for one reason or another. It's probably becuase they're the ones that get used.
I think everything should basically feel like email on the web, as far as creating and distributing content. It should all look, feel, and work in a way that requires minimal technical understanding. I don't think this is the way wikis and blogs work, however, some social networks do to a limited degree. I think you'll find that's how we're trying to make christonium.