The PC-BSD 8.2 Handbook is now available through Amazon’s Kindle Store. The English version is already available for purchase at most of the Amazon country sites and the Indonesian version should be available sometime in the next 24 hours. We’ll add other translated versions as they become available. Purchase price is $4.99 USD and proceeds are used to help fund the development of PC-BSD.
I’m also working on an epub version so the Handbook can be available for other e-reader devices. I currently don’t have access to a device so will probably put out a call for testers once the formatting looks correct within Sigil (an open source epub editor).
The 8.2 version of the Handbook has been frozen to leave time for translation work before 8.2 is released. This means that if you make any edits to the Handbook on the wiki, that change will not make it into the 8.2 version of the Handbook. Once 8.2 is released, the 8.2 Handbook will be available for download/viewing in PDF and HTML formats. The wiki will be unfrozen at that point and work will start on updating the wiki content to reflect the upcoming 9.0 release.
If you are interested in assisting with a translation of the Handbook, please read the instructions in this mailing list post.
We’re looking for someone who can test the EasyBCD page of the Handbook. To do so, you’ll need an installation of Windows and PC-BSD.
I’ve verified that the instructions work if you check the “Install PC-BSD bootloader” in the disk setup screen during PC-BSD installation. What needs to be tested is if the Windows boot loader can still find PC-BSD if that box is not checked during the PC-BSD installation. Please leave a comment posting your results and I’ll finish up this page of the Handbook to indicate whether or not this box needs to be checked.
We’ve installed the page translation feature on the wiki that is used to develop the PC-BSD Handbook. If you’re interested in becoming a translator for the Handbook, please ping me on #pcbsd IRC freenode or by email so your wiki logon can be added to the translators group. This is the first time we’ve used this feature on mediawiki so if you have experience using this feature we’d love to hear from you as you can help us reduce our learning curve and streamline the process for translating pages.
The wiki will be a busy place as we gear up for publishing a version of the Handbook to be released with 8.2. We can use assistance in the following areas:
- experimenting with the new PDF creator extension–this one has been a bit of a nightmare to install and configure and we hope to have it ready to use by end of this week. In theory, it should make it easier to visualize what the finished Handbook will look like. It is also supposed to allow any user to create a customized PDF containing just the pages of the Handbook that interest them.
- reviewing the content, filling in any missing or incomplete portions, and checking for typos, grammos, unclear sections.
- comparing the content of the Handbook to the 8.2 snapshots to ensure the content and screenshots accurately reflect what an 8.2 user would see on their PC-BSD system.
- beginning the translations of the Handbook
If so, the Input Methods section of the Handbook needs your help!
We would like this section of the handbook to include practical information from users such as how to use IBus and what applications are useful. While we’re on the topic, are there any applications in the ports collection that you find you have to install because they aren’t included with PC-BSD? Let us know and we’ll see about either including them with the system or rolling them into a PBI. We could also use screenshots from working systems so that users can better understand input methods.
You can edit this wiki page directly. We’ll see your changes and can tidy them up so don’t feel that you have to be a good writer in order to contribute. Alternately, you can use this page’s discussion tab to leave notes on what you think should be included on this page.
FreeBSD 8.2 is scheduled to be released towards the end of January, meaning PC-BSD 8.2 will be released shortly thereafter. We’ve started a TODO list for PC-BSD 8.2 and expect this release to be mostly bug fixes and the most recent versions of KDE and the other software that comes with the PC-BSD operating system. Note that most of the new features coming in 9.0 (e.g. multiple desktops, new control panel, new PBI format, etc.) will not be in 8.2. However, Kris will backport the bug fixes that have been made to the System Network Configuration tool and the Disk partitioning screen of the installer so users can take advantage of those changes in 8.2.
There are several ways you can help with this release. We expect to have beta snapshots available in early December and will announce them when they are ready for download. If you have a spare system or virtual machine, install a beta version and let us know if you come across any problems. We’ll have full instructions for reporting bugs when the beta releases are announced.
Another way you can help is with the Handbook. Starting in 8.2, we plan to include a “release” of the Handbook with the operating system. We also hope to start on translated versions. While work has been steady on the Handbook, there are still many sections that need to be written and proofed for readability and usability. From the Handbook’s preface:
This is the wiki area for the collaborative editing of the PC-BSD Users Handbook. The Handbook grows into a useful resource when users (meaning you!) contribute to it. You don’t have to write large sections of the Handbook in order to be a contributor. You also don’t need to have a lot of time on your hands. You simply have to create a login account in order to assist with any of the following tasks:
* proofread existing pages and fix any typos, grammos, or unclearly worded sections.
* add to sections containing missing, outdated, or incomplete content.
* update any screenshots that are out of date.
* every page has a Discussion tab. You can use this if you would like to suggest further information that should appear in that section of the Handbook.
* create a new section for content that is not yet covered in the Handbook. If you are not sure where to do this, ask on a semi-related Discussion tab.
We are emailed whenever edits are made and will contact you for clarification if an edit is unclear. You can also be notified when specified pages are edited–simply click the “my preferences” or “my watchlist” links whenever you are logged into the wiki.
Beginning with PC-BSD 8.2, the contents of the wiki will be generated into a “released” version of the Handbook that will be included with that PC-BSD release as well as made available in HTML and PDF formats. Once the Handbook is released, the wiki version will be updated to include changes being made to the next version of PC-BSD. This means that, over time, separate Handbooks will be available for each release. For those familiar with FreeBSD terminology, consider the wiki version of the Handbook to be “CURRENT” or “HEAD”.
Let us know if you are interested in translating the Handbook. We will “freeze” the Handbook during the RC phase of a release to give time for translation work.