Preface to the Web Edition

As I worked on this book about Wikipedia, a free online encyclopedia, I anticipated being asked if Good Faith Collaboration was also free and online. Most books are published under restrictive licenses with little more than a promotional presence online. Of the open content books available, many are just PDFs of the printed work. So one year from its initial publication, I’m happy to be able to answer in the affirmative: this is now a Web-based open content book. Just as much of Wikipedia’s utility derives from it being a wiki, this work, too, is more useful when readers can easily follow references to the many primary (and secondary) sources available online. Plus, as the Web and free culture movement have shown, there are benefits to simply putting one’s work out there and seeing what happens. Indeed, some Wikimedians have already begun translating this work into Japanese!

Yet, producing a book intended as both a commercial/print and free/online publication is tricky, logistically and technically. So, I thank Marguerite Avery and The MIT Press for supporting the publication of the Web edition under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 3.0 license. I also thank those readers who pointed out mistakes, which are now fixed in the present text.

I wrote this book in the concise and elegant markdown format. John MacFarlane’s useful pandoc tool was used to convert the source text to LaTeX. Bibliographic functionality was provided by Philipp Lehman’s powerful biblatex package along with David Fussner’s comprehensive Chicago style. The final HTML was then produced via the late Eitan Gurari’s TeX4ht system. Each one of these folks personally answered my many questions along the way. Thank you.

Joseph M. Reagle Jr., September 2011