12.4. Single-Source Textbook Publishing

Overview. The fourth case is also an actual case—a self-referential one. It is a case study about the organizing system involved in the creation, production, and distribution of The Discipline of Organizing. See (Glushko 2015).

We have known since the beginning of this project that this book should not just be a conventional text. A printed book is an intellectual snapshot that is already dated in many respects the day it is published. In addition, the pedagogical goal of The Discipline of Organizing as a textbook for information schools and similar programs is made more difficult by the relentless growth of computing capability and the resulting technology innovation in our information-intensive economy and culture. We think that the emergence of ebook publishing opens up innovative possibilities as long as we can use a single set of source files to produce and update the print and digital versions of this book.

What is being organized? The content of this book began in early 2010 as more than 1000 slides and associated instructor notes for a graduate course “Information Organizing and Retrieval” that Robert J. Glushko, the primary author and editor of The Discipline of Organizing, was teaching at the University of California, Berkeley. These slides and notes were created in XML and transformed to HTML for presentation in a web browser.657[Com]

[657][Com] (Wilde and Catin 2007). Looking back it seems ironic to start with a single-source XML ...

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