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

Re: Opening Up Linux Journal and O'Reilly

Author:Dave Winer
Posted:8/26/1999; 1:02:45 AM
Topic:Opening Up Linux Journal and O'Reilly
Msg #:9916 (In response to 9902)
Prev/Next:9915 / 9917

Doc, this sounds reasonable until you consider that Phil hides behind the advertisers. Do you want to change that? I don't believe that the advertisers have an opinion about whether or not Linux Journal runs stories from the magazine on the web. If what he says is true, they're going to get a black eye for this. If it's not true, he may be compromising the ad revenue that he values so highly. I'm going to ask the question of the Linux Journal advertisers, we'll get to the bottom of this, one way or the other.

As you know, I am not an open source zealot, but I am a zealot when I think I'm being lied to. You may want to reconsider this, and ask Phil to come up with a better explanation. Open source has become enough of an open sore for the software industry that its proponents are going to now come under a lot more scrutiny, to see if their business practices match the standards they want to set for commercial software vendors.

Some of us are not whores, and we don't like being painted that way. Some of us are hard-working people who really care about product quality, and have to make ends meet with less revenue than Microsoft or less stock value than Red Hat.

The Open Source issue is just like every other computer industry hot-button. In the early euphoric days there's no point questioning it, all that happens is you get painted as a Luddite or a person swept aside in the change. An example, they used to tell us that we had no future unless we recoded Frontier in Java. I said, we'll wait, they'll get over it. They did. Same with open source. Mozilla is the poster child for how it can go wrong. Eventually the truth will out, that open source projects are even more cathedral-like than commercial software companies (we have extra accountability that they don't have, our livelihoods depend on finding a market and being responsive to it) and the quality varies depending on the quality of the people and their committment to excellence (that's why Perl is such a hacked up language and Python is so excellent).

Software is software, and I'd appreciate it if people who don't know much about it and don't make it would stop preaching so enthusiastically if they also don't practice self-examination to be sure their businesses can stand the same kind of scrutiny. In this case Linux Journal is the emperor with no clothes. Doc, change your position, at least take the advertisers out of the hot seat, before we escalate this to the next level.

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