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Books errata

Christophe Verré

Joined: Nov 24, 2005
Posts: 14688

Why don't publishers provide a wikipage for erratas of their books ?
I'm fed up posting loads of erratas which I'm not sure will ever be added in their list. For some publishers, it even requires submitting the same form for each error. Why isn't there any decent way to keep errata lists up to date ?
(yes I'm a bit tired right now )

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Gregg Bolinger
GenRocket Founder
Ranch Hand

Joined: Jul 11, 2001
Posts: 15302

This seems a good post for the Bunkhouse Porch. I'll move it...

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Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24199

I've just started doing this for "Jess in Action", and within a week two previously unreported errors were added to the list, which I think is great.

The downside of any Wiki, of course, it that it's not authoritative. Unless there's a sufficiently large community looking at the thing constantly, vandals will ensure that there's at least some crap up there at least half the time (and I'm speaking from experience here.) There is automated wiki spamming as well as old-fashioned trolls, and I've seen plenty of both on my small public Wiki. A static web page doesn't have these problems.

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Bert Bates

Joined: Oct 14, 2002
Posts: 8898
Perhaps there's a workable compromise? Maybe confirmed errata could be on a static portion of the page and unconfirmed errata could be in a wiki - then occasionally some of the stablized wiki entries could be transferred to the static area...

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Christophe Verré

Joined: Nov 24, 2005
Posts: 14688

Yes, as Bert said, the wiki part would be for unconfirmed erratas only. Then the author could pick them up, and update the confirmed errata list.

At some publisher's homepage, there are forums where we can post erratas. I find it very time consuming to go through the whole forum to find out all errors reported by others. Putting them in one wiki would really help.

A page like Ernest's Jess In Action wiki is great
Jeroen T Wenting
Ranch Hand

Joined: Apr 21, 2006
Posts: 1847
The volume of "errors" which are really caused by the reader's lack of understanding of the topic under discussion might rapidly make such a wiki useless.

And that's if the trolls and spammers don't get a hold of it first (which is one reason I pulled my own little experimental wiki I'd put up as a toy, hosted on a machine that didn't even have a domain name).

I think O'Reilly have a good system, having an automated submission tool which forwards the reports to the book author (and I guess others) for screening before they're put up as either confirmed or unconfirmed in the errata lists.

Cameron Wallace McKenzie
author and cow tipper
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Aug 26, 2006
Posts: 4968

amazon is also an interesting place to post errata. Each book now has a discussion forum, which is neat.


I agree. Here's the link:
subject: Books errata
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