The Asia-Pacific Development Information Programme (website), a United Nations Development Programme, announced the donation of 15 e-Primers to Wikibooks this week. By releasing the e-books, which all deal with Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D), under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, the same license in which all Wikimedia Foundation projects (except Wikinews) are developed under, the Programme is allowing the books to be freely updated and improved. Nine of the books are in the Programme's series on "Information Economy, Society and Polity", and the other six are in a series concerning "Free/Open Source Software (FOSS)". Wikibooks was chosen because of the potential for collaboration, as well as the existing "quality control", policies and guidelines, as well as the free content license used.
Over the coming weeks, editors may notice that the user page messages and warning templates are changing. The WikiProject user warnings has started a program to harmonise the existing templates. Their objective is to create a simple structure to which current and future messages and warnings will adhere.
These messages are, for a lot of editors, their first actual interaction with the Wikipedia community. There are currently just short of 300 user templates, ranging from the ubiquitous test messages to messages about behaviour and format suggestions. Technical and wording changes will bring this number down to roughly 100, although redirects will ensure that old templates still work.
The project is currently run by six members, with another 40 willing to help out, and they are always looking for editors willing to participate. If you are not familiar with the project, visit the project page, and if you have some spare time over the coming months please lend a hand.