Suggestion: I would love a RTFM service

The 'F' standing for Free software :)

Here's my problem that I think could be solved easily: Once again, I am reading on a screen a manual for a piece of Free software (GNUnet). The handbooks are great but the problem is that I suffer from migraines and electronic screens are one of my triggers (desktop, lappy, tablet, phone, doesn't matter) if other triggers are present to compound it. This means that many days I need an actual book because I have to look away from the screen from time to time. I'm also not allowed to use a computer at work much of the time (but I 'sneak read' books all the time ;))

If I could have physical books made of online copyleft manuals I would be in heaven!
I think this would also be useful to other persons as well.

Firstly, with many Free software manuals being GFDL, CC-BY- - , etc. I don't see licensing being an issue for most. Electronic formats are great for skimming to decide if the software is something you want to incorporate/use for your own purposes but an in depth understanding requires, well, reading the manual. Many people prefer reading paper regardless of the content  being fiction or non fiction too :)

I would love it if I could just enter an url to a copylefted text or pdf and order a physical book made of that content. I would be fine with paying more for that service. Perhaps even implement a profit sharing plan (give the project a percentage) where projects can place a badge on their website (or in the primary developers mailing list signatures, etc.) offering the physical book version of their manual that directs here.

Just something to please think about  :)



  • Hi Sarah,

    Not only do we agree with you, we've started taking steps to make this a reality.

    The catalyst, unfortunately, has to be the manuals author or owner. Because our self-publishing and print on demand software requires users to submit the files to ensure print quality, we can't print anything a user hasn't run through our system checks.

    But we do offer a Developer API, allowing any with web development skills and content to plug in directly to our print network. We already have numerous businesses that use our print on demand to offer printed versions of manuals that would otherwise be digital only. As time goes on, this service will only expand and increase.
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