Anyone with connection to the Internet has access to a vast number of philosophical documents via online etexts. Fortunately, quite a bit of the best work in philosophy is in the public domain, and a few of these readings provide a convenient access for almost anyone seeking information and help in the history of Šsthetics. However, many of the historically significant writings in Šsthetics are not presently available on the Internet, and this open source text helps somewhat to remedy that need. The collection of readings selected for this open-source text is "free," subject to the legal notice following the title page.
By placing these reading selections in the public domain, production costs are minimized, and users themselves can improve the product, if they wish to do so. Current working versions of the readings, individually, and the book, as a whole, are available in CVS Repository and tarball. The current release is, in a sense, a small test of the Delphi effect in open source publishing.
This edition of Readings in the History of Ăsthetics (version 0.11) should not be viewed as a completed work. Our development process is loosely patterned on the "release early, release often" model championed by Eric S. Raymond. When version 1.0 is complete, additional formats of the text will made available via the Internet for free distribution under the GNU Free Documentation License. Our publication is based on Open Source DocBook, a system of writing structured documents using SGML or XML in a presentation-neutral form using open source programs. The functionality of DocBook is such that the same file can be published on the Web, printed as a standalone report, reprinted as part of a journal, processed into an audio file, changed into Braille, or converted to most other media types. If the core readings and commentary prove useful, successive revisions, readings, commentaries, and other improvements by users can be released in incrementally numbered "stable"versions.
Eric Raymond. The Cathedral and the Bazaar. Sebastopol, CA: O'Reilly & Associates. 1999. Online at The Cathedral and the Bazaar