Here is a free/open upper secondary mathematics textbook written in

~~a single day~~**three days** by a group of Finnish math teachers, working together in a "booksprint." Related news:

California's passed a bill establishing 50 "open source" (CC-BY) textbooks for core lower-division college courses (though, as a poster on Slashdot notes, this still has to be funded in the California budget, which is a place where many good ideas go to die).
(

*via Hacker News*)

Though India’s independent telcoms regulator has banned services like Facebook’s “Free Basics” — which bribed phone companies to exempt Facebook’s chosen services from the carriers’ punishing data-caps — the debate rages on, as Free Basics has taken hold through many poor countries around the world.

“Bentonite Me Baby” is a brand of “detox clay” that you spread on your face, or eat, to rid your body of mysterious, nonspecific “toxins.” It is full of lead.

Last December, Vtech, a crapgadget/toy company, suffered a breach that implicated the data of 6.3 million children, caused by its negligence toward the most basic of security measures.

Hackers are people too. And sometimes, they’re the good guys. The fundamentals of hacking have created an entire new level to the security industry and one that you can totally dominate with this certification training course that’s 98% off now. To know how to protect something, you have to be able to see how it’s […]

Light used to just be one of two things: on or off. Simple as that. Either a flood of yellow or total darkness. Then the dimmer switch happened and you could adjust the brightness to meet your seductive needs and suddenly everyone looked a little better in the gentler light. And now your luminary universe […]

Projects will always need management. And now with the tech gold rush it feels like there are more projects than ever with fewer managers than there’s demand for. But it takes too much time and money to go back to school full time so luckily the Project Management Professional certification training course is now 96% […]

Could someone familiar with github’s interface clue me in on how to get to any of the textbook’s pages?

They are just here: https://github.com/linjaaho/oppikirjamaraton-maa1/tree/master/sisalto

Mind though that the material is in Finnish (as it is written by teachers from Finland).

Those links just go to lines of code, is there any way to read it as it would look in a textbook?

you can convert from LaTeX format to more common ones like PDF

So, how does one go about converting LaTeX to PDF?

Look for a pdflatex sooftware suite.

https://github.com/linjaaho/oppikirjamaraton-maa1/downloads

The download is in pdf format.

So, they Finished it?

Yeah… cool idea but very far from completed. Most chapters are 100 lines (2 pages) max, many even almost empty. They _started_ writing it on a weekend which is cool in and of itself.

According to the linked post it’s not in a day but in three days, and hopefully ready tomorrow.

I laugh every time they describe a book as “open source”, as though they had source code.

Well, this one is written in LaTeX, so it kinda does have source code.

A Finnish math teacher can write 2 textbooks in 120 days. If 1 group of Finnish teachers working together can produce 1 textbook in 3 days, how many Finnish math teachers are in a group?

Without being able to read Finnish, it looks like what they wrote might be equivalent to source code for slides to use in lecture, or bare bones Wikipedia entries on high school math topics. Obviously not a complete text book, and I’m pretty sure it’s the easiest part. Example problems work through in detail, practice problems throughout the chapter, and a collection of practice problems with answers available and others with a teacher’s key… these are most of what most students will use in a math text. And they have to be chosen carefully to be representative and of appropriate difficulty, carefully laid out, and painstakingly proof read or they’ll be worse than useless.

That said, hopefully they’ll keep pushing and get to a useful point.

Having worked for a small educational publisher I agree — a textbook is more than a couple lines explaining a concept. It takes thousands of hours per grade to create complete worked examples (having full step by step solutions that explain the problem solving process), mathML equations, graphics including charts/graphs/diagrams and practice questions — lots and lots of practice questions will full solutions so students can practice what they are learning.

Then it takes a tremendous amount of time, particularly in mathematics, to edit the whole book. Every mathML equation and every question needs to be examined and the questions solved independently of the solution to ensure they are accurate.

Then, finally if you are publishing in XML you need to have a technical person go through the document to ensure that it is valid, well-formed and will render properly.

One math concept would take, on average 0.5 days of effort for a team of 5 people (2 writers, 1 graphic artist, 1 editor and 1 technical XML person). An average math course in the US is 1/5th of 180 days of instruction which equals about 216 instructional hours. A math textbook will have about 100 concepts to present in those 216 hours which means it will take 5 people 50 days (almost 3 months) to write a single text book.

A handful of teachers cannot possibly write a high quality, curriculum aligned and comprehensive resource in a weekend. It just is not possible.

May be the first math textbook to refer to Wolfram Alpha! (not counting Wolfram Alpha’s own interactive textbook)

Chapter 17, end of first paragraph via translate.google.com: “Functions can also easily draw

graphic calculators on the computer or the software (for example Wolfram Alpha).”

Based on PDF GlyphGryph mentions, http://cloud.github.com/downloads/linjaaho/oppikirjamaraton-maa1/current_draft.pdf

When I was in college, it was widely told that our calculus professor had written the textbook in two weeks, on a bet. And it might as well have been in finnish. So this one will be better if only on price.