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Whiteknight (8626)

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My name's Andrew. I'm an open-content advocate at I'm also involved with Parrot as a semi-competent C hacker. This blog is going to be a forum where I can ramble about minutia and post information about perl-world stuff that I care about.

Journal of Whiteknight (8626)

Thursday September 11, 2008
06:59 PM

Parrot Virtual Machine

[ #37416 ]

It's not just the name of a hot virtual machine, it's also the name of a book I'm writing. Not a regular book, mind you, a Wikibook.

Ever hear of Wikibooks? Well this is as good a time as any to learn what it's all about. We're the same group of people as are behind Wikipedia (The Wikimedia Foundation), but we're writing textbooks instead of encyclopedia articles.

I've been writing this book for a while now, compiling it piecemeal between work on my other projects. It's not in publishable condition yet, but it's coming along pretty well. I'm not quite an expert in all the topics that I'm trying to cover in this book, but the blank spaces work like a to-do list for things I need to learn. The printable version of it is over 150 printed pages now, although I haven't been able to generate a high-quality PDF of it yet.

Also included in the book is a wikitext-formatted fork of KJS's Squaak tutorial, which he graciously released into the Public Domain. If anybody else has any cool tutorials or lessons that they would like to contribute, that would be awesome too.

Wikibooks also has a book about Perl 5 programming, although I haven't been involved with that topic much. I am, however, planning to create a new book about Perl 6, but haven't had the tuits to start it yet. Eventually though, I'll get that project rolling too. I even kicked around the idea of applying for a TPF grant to work on it, but that's another topic for another day.

Unfortunately, Wikibooks uses the GFDL license instead of the Artistic License or any of the CC licenses. It's a misfortunate artifact of our history, and sheer momentum prevents us from changing it at this point. It's still an open content license, so that's good, but this book is never going to find it's way into the Parrot repo.

If you want to learn a little bit more about Parrot, or if you know a lot about Parrot and want to share it with the world, come on down to Wikibooks and take a gander. Until O'Reilly jumps on it, this is the only (up to date) book we Parroteers have.

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  • It’s still an open content license, so that’s good, but this book is never going to find it’s way into the Parrot repo.

    You haven’t signed your copyright away, have you? If all of the copyright holders can agree to re-licence a work, or the ones who do agree can remove or substitute the contributions from those who do not agree or cannot be reached, then it can most certainly be distributed under a new licence.

    The original copyright holder is, after all, not subject to their own lice

    • This is true, I was over-simplifying. I haven't signed away my copyright, in fact I've explicitly mentioned that my contributions to this book are also available under the Artistic License 2.0. However, other contributors haven't made such a statement, and there are some anonymous contributions that we can't track back to their editors to get their permissions to dual-license.

      Andrew Whitworth