Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Opening Up Linux Journal and O'Reilly

Author:Aaron Straup Cope
Posted:8/25/1999; 9:41:07 AM
Topic:Opening Up Linux Journal and O'Reilly
Msg #:9854 (In response to 9843)
Prev/Next:9853 / 9855

I didn't forget the Frontier book, but I wasn't sure where it fell in the whole equation since it was was written for v4.x and published just before [Frontier] became a commerical product again. :-)

It would be naive to think that O'Reilly is some kind of magical company, purer than the driven snow. O'Reilly is a book publishing company; a business like any other. They saw an opportunity in OSS, gambled that it would pay off, and succeeded (to everyone's benefit - bonus!). Of course they are going to play up the hype surrounding OSS. They have a great deal riding on it.

On measure, [they] publish the best books on the subjects they choose to tackle, but the key words are "publish" and "books" not "distribute" and "content". It is still worth it for me to pay money to have a printed and bound volume sitting on my bookshelf or my lap. The production quality and longevity of a book is simply worth more than the time and trouble it would take to set up a printer to print 500+ pages of online docs on to typewriter paper that may or may not ever be spiral bound in two or more volumes.

I'd also like to see them publishing lots of other books, but they publish the books they think, rightly or wrongly, they can sell.

If O'Reilly thinks they are a "better" book publishing company *because* they publish books on OSS, then I just write it off as cheap and mindless self-promotion. It's unpleasant, yes, but who ever said there had to be truth in advertising?

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