As far as pdf's being updateable, well that's all they are, as I've still to this day yet to find anybody who has updates one for the player (you must recall how this was a selling point of virtually all companies getting rid of printed manuals).
Well, Charles, I have the luxury of owning Adobe Acrobat, which allows you full access to, and control over, PDFs. You can insert your own illustrations (screenshots and the like) rearrange things, edit for sense, and, above all, CONDENSE.
As an editor of over three decades experience, I can tell you that it is a rare wargame manual, indeed, that is not vastly improved by ripping out and discarding about half of it.
For me, it's all part of learning and enjoying games. The manual I put together for WitP is almost completely original. It contains, for example, a lot of material gleaned from the postings of many of the highly experienced WitP maniacs around here.
One other thing that's really nice is the ability to link with other archived documents, so that you can immediately access more detailed information from secondary sources that you have created and tucked away on your hard drive, external drive, memory stick, CD, or what have you.
As far as "all this" turning into a full-time job, I guess I don't mind spending a little time at it because it helps so much in the learning and analyzing process. First turn for the Japanese in a new WitP PBEM game taking too long? Shoot, I've got eight or ten saved that have served me well in the past. I just fire up the game, open my archive, select the start I want, and enter the orders. Takes maybe 10 minutes. You see, there is some time-saving method in my madness after all, JD...
Can't wait to rip that nasty AE manual to shreds ... maybe I'll just toss it and start fresh ...
Yes, well you do present the other side of this, that the "user" is updating the manual, but this issue had always been presented as those who made the manuals would update it. That of course is used to excuse their not providing a manual, but since they never update it, it's just empty rhetoric. I have never seen anybody claim that getting rid of the manual was better because the user could then update it, but that the publishers could update it, because nobody wants to spend time putting unofficial data together, especially the opinions of this board and their information, apart from you that is. So what do you do when you have two different opinions and both seem plausible? I suppose you have to get the publisher slightly involved then, do you not?