mike chambers | about

Introducing tostring.org : AIR / Flash Player / RIA books online

Prior to the release of Adobe AIR 1.0, I worked on two books about Adobe AIR (then know by its code name of “Apollo”). The books, “Adobe Integrated Runtime for JavaScript Developers Pocketguide” and “Apollo for Adobe Flex Developers Pocketguide” provided an introduction to Adobe AIR, and all of the information a developer would need to get over the hump of developing for Adobe AIR.

In addition to being published by O’Reilly, we released both books online under a Creative Commons license. We were not sure what effect, if any this would have on the book or community, but were pleasantly surprised when the community began to translate and republish the books online in different languages (including Russia, French and Japanese).

Introducing tostring.org

When I began to work on the updated “Adobe AIR for JavaScript Developers Pocketguide” for Adobe AIR 1.0, I wanted to provide a way to help support anyone in the community who wanted to give back to the community by translating the books. Well, I am happy to announce a new site that I have been working on called tostring.org, which in addition to containing the entire Adobe AIR for JavaScript Developers Pocketguide online, also provides an infrastructure for the community to contribute to the books, both through hosting translated versions of the books, as well as allowing comments on individual chapters.

The first chapter of the book has already been translated to German, and there are community members working on translating the book to Swedish and Polish.

The site is still in beta as I work out some kinks, and clean up the CSS, but it is pretty much fully functional now. I plan to start converting and posting the “Apollo for Adobe Flex Developers Pocketguide” to the site, and then updating it to AIR 1.1. After that, I am thinking about publishing some mini books on the site that do deep dives into specific AIR and Flash Player APIs and functionality.

Why does this matter to you? Well, if you don’t care about Adobe AIR, RIAs or the Flash Platform, then it probably doesn’t. But, at a minimum, it now makes it easier to reference / search the book content online. In addition, if you find an issue, or something isn’t clear, you can leave a comment on the chapter to clarify or get clarification.

However, the thing I am most excited about is the potential to start getting more content localized and translated into non-English languages. If you are interested in translating a chapter into a non-English language, then check out the translating page on the site, which describes how to translate a chapter.

Note, that all content on the site is released under Creative Commons licenses, which in essence means that this is the community’s site, and the books are the community’s books. Hopefully, this will help support the community, and generate all around better resources for developers.

Visit tostring.org.

Leave any comments, questions, suggestions or offers of help in the comments.

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