Wednesday, October 15, 2008

FAQs

What programming standards and commenting standards should I use? The same as in the Greenberg book.

Do we have to use a style sheet? No, just send in the text using your own style. We will use a style sheet of our own.

Can I email you at any time? Yes, if you have problems or any queries at any time then let me know. I will try and answer within two days. There will be times when I will be away from my computer; I shall, however, advertise them on my main blog. Only email me on MCT-Mass-Writing@open.ac.uk

I live on mainline Europe I can't get to Waterstones; what do I do? You let us know and we will ship the book to you by surface mail.

I have found the Greenberg book at a cheaper price than Waterstones at another outlet. Can I buy it there? The best thing to do is to buy it and then use your Waterstones voucher for yourself, for example by buying some Christmas presents.

What is the target audience? The target audience is readers who want to get involved in computer art but who have no programming expertise and little mathematics. Processing has two modes: procedural and OO. I would hope that we could get this sort of reader up to complicated procedural programs.

You mention that one program should be used to illustrate my 2500 odd words, is this a hard and fast rule? No, if you feel some shorter programs would do then please use them. The choice is up to you.

If I use diagrams what graphics format do I use? Any format that can be embedded within your word processor text. Don't forget to send the graphics separately in the zip file that you send us when you have completed your part of the book.

You say that you want a 100 line program to illustrate each chunk. What if I'm writing a chunk right at the beginning of the book and there's little scope for a large program? The best thing is to develop a collection of small programs and describe each one. Try and make them as visual as possible.

Can I write more than one chunk? We are hoping to get 85 volunteers. This is very ambitious so contact us in November/December if you have enjoyed writing your 2500 words and want to do more.

Do I get paid? Unfortunately not; you do get the book that you will work from and a presentation copy of the book that you helped write. Look on the project as a way of donating some time to the OU, rather than money.

Can I use text and diagrams from the Processing book that you give us? Definitely not this would give rise to all sorts of copyright problems. Don't even devise computer programs that look like the ones that are described in the book.

How do I insert diagrams into my blog? Diagrams are important and most of you will need to employ them. Use any graphics program you like as long as the end-product can be embedded within the text from the word processor that you use.

Does my English writing have to be perfect? No, as long as it is readable and understandable then it will do. All the contributions will be edited. However, don't use this fact to write sloppily and assume that someone will rescue you.

How long should I take over this task? Its up to you: some of you will have good writing experience and have used Java for a long time, so the task may take a few weeks. Some of you, however, may struggle a bit with writing and need longer and might even deliver just short of the deadline.

You ask us to load each version of the text into our blog, do you mean the first 500 words, then the first 1000 words etc? This is one option; another option would be to write an outline of your part of the book and each version would refine it. If you feel you can do this then it might be the better option as it will give others a good idea of what your text is all about.

How do you want us to post each version of the text? You can either do it by just having one post and continually editing it showing each version or by creating a post for each version. It is up to you. The first way will result in less text.

Can I look at other blogs? Yes you should. There are a number of reasons for this. First, it might give you ideas about what you write. Second, it would enable you to check that there is no major overlap with your material and others material. Third, it would enable you to comment on other blogs and help other writers.

2 comments:

martin_p said...

I question whether word is a suitable editor for anything other than a totally Microsoft environment (they designed it that way!!!).

martinpchunk68 said...

The point about the inversion of the Y coordinates, might benefit from some re-iteration.
Commenting with my OpenId to link to my book chunk.