Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.
Re: open sores considered harmful
Author: Tom Neff Posted: 8/25/1999; 12:33:54 PM Topic: Opening Up Linux Journal and O'Reilly Msg #: 9873 (In response to 9840) Prev/Next: 9872 / 9874
"If open source is so good for software, why isn't it equally good for books and magazines?" You might as well ask, "if English is good for love letters, why isn't it good for ZIP disks?"
Software is a type of content. Books and magazines are types of distribution media. They can contain anything - including software.
Open Source is a process for creating and maintaining software. It can and has been applied to various collaborative written works in the past, and it continues to be used for (among other things) the book-length documentation accompanying software packages.
A characteristic of collaborative sourceware projects is the frequency of updates, which usually means that bound books become obsolete quickly. When a work is mature, stable or abandoned (the distinction in software is often fuzzy :) ) it can be distributed on clay tablets if you like
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