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Open Sources is Open Sourced 72

chrisd writes "The book Open Sources has been opensourced, and is available here. with a mirror available here. (with a tarball) Enjoy! " I haven't had a chance to read this book yet, but I will now.
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Open Sources is Open Sourced

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    Free Speech, Not Beer.

    Show me someone who will shovel shit for love, and then I might believe you.

    Until then, look to the former soviet union as an example of how wrong you are.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    Now, why should I buy another O'Reilly book when they'll be put on the web a short time later?

    If they'd put it on the web, and then in print, I could have perused it freely and then said,
    "Wow, I love this book! I'll have to add it to my book museum!" Instead I just feel ripped off for buying it because I thought it was the only way to get it and not buying because I happen to like books. The end is the same but my goal is destroyed, so I'm not satisfied.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    i'm a big dork! i erased it by accident...
  • I have no problem with them providing the book free online and keeping the copyrights reserved. However, they cannot call that "Open Source," as that is neither accurate nor permissible under the trademark.
  • So is the book in fact Open Source? Many of the pages still say All Rights Reserved. Have they just not gotten around to taking these notices out, or are the rights still reserved?

    If the book is indeed still "All Rights Reserved," and therefore "free beer," but not "free speech," then it obviously cannot be considered "open sourced" as the slashdot headline states. If they're claiming it's open source just because they let us read the book for free, that's not any better than Al Gore's stupid "open source website" project.
  • Posted by Futron:

    Me and a freind were just talking about this book no more than an hour ago. We were joking about how a book called open sources should be open sourced.
  • Like I've said before, this is only the beginning. We need mathematics texts (done by people who want to teach others based on that merit alone), etc. etc.. It's only logical that the "open source" spirit will spread into areas that need it. Hopefully, corporations won't try to stamp out the idea altogether (i.e. RIAA and MP3s)..
  • Fortunately the best essays about Open Source are, not coincidentally, all under licences that offer at least unlimited redistribution already. The only possible exception I can think of is Neil Stephenson's "In The Beginning".
  • Note who sent the story in: "chrisd", aka Chris DiBona, one of the two editors.

    It used to be the case that only some of the chapters were available.
  • The book is online, but the copyrights are in many cases still "All Rights Reserved".

  • Quick, call Consumer Reports, Ralph Nader, and Batman! While you're explaining them how you were ripped off by an evil publishing magnate with only your best interest in mind, play a sad song for me too: I had to pay for gas today, and it was expensive! And by next month, it'll be all gone!
  • by sterwill ( 972 ) on Monday May 17, 1999 @01:20AM (#1889025) Homepage
    Damn short list, isn't it (other than some old religious texts, I sure can't think of any)
    Perhaps thinking is not your strong point. Few musicians make music their parents informed them at an early age that it would be a "good business move." If you know the music industry, you know just how ludicrous such a statement would be. Few programmers started programming because it pays better than emptying trash cans. Even in the world of professional sports, athletes started playing for enjoyment. A fourth-grader doesn't pick up a basketball and think, "I'd rather be reading, but my financial planner advises basketball is a sound investment in my future, for reasons both monetary and selfish. I shall now hone my skills for the professional leagues."

    People do things because they like them, and sometimes they do things they don't like, but the love of a person, place, or thing is the motivation behind great works.

  • Um... why? You've already read it... Seems like a waste of resources to me.

    Maybe he'd like to have it on a bookshelf. Maybe he'd like to hand it to someone and have them read it. Maybe he'll read it again with more attention because he won't be in front of a monitor. I know that when I read things on the computer I skim more often that I do with a physical book. Current computers do not replace books as the best way to read linear information.
  • Parents change diapers all the time.
  • Well they tried it with the Network Admin guide, and it didn't work at all. Another company re-printed it. The problem is that if a book does not sell over a given number of books it will not get shelf space. Unfortunitly the publishing industry and the software industry do not follow the same rules.
  • Actually RMS Talks about this, In his essay he says that essays (like the one he wrote or this one) Should not be under the GPL as they represend the someone's Opionion.

    The post is to express what I think and if you take it and "Improve" it you may end up with something that I don't at all like.
  • by gaj ( 1933 )

    While I agree with you that things created out of a love for the act of creation are usually, even often, superior to those done only for hire, I must take exception with your msg on two points.

    First, those are not the only choices. Only the naieve see situations in such polarized terms. There are few situaltions in real life that are so black and white, and this is certainly not one of them. What about work done for hire that you genuinly love doing? Wouldn't the double motivation of money and satisfaction drive one to even greater heights of creative frenzy (not to mention the money possibly allowing for enough of a sobering to bring QC to the picture...not that there aren't those who include that as part of their "labor of love", mind you, but...)?

    Not that it matters, mind you. The third sentence in your message makes the assertion that money will one day be seen as a passing fancy. How do you mean? Money serves as a convenient representation of value. Value in a general sense. It allows use to trade that value easily. Without such as instrument of value, trade between people becomes far to inefficient. Barter is neat in a small community, but it breaks down on a globel scale.

    What is it about money that makes it so evil? Certainly people do evil based on their greed, but greed does not require money to exist...only value. Without money as we know it, greed would still exist, it would simply need a different measuring stick. Land, for instance. Oh, wait...that was used as a measure of worth once upon a time. Again, the only downside to money that I can see is the way that our current monitary systems are encroaching upon our privacy. But, given sufficient grass-roots effort, that can be fixed. (not that I think it's likely, mind you...people in aggregate are basically herd animals, it seems)
    "First they ignore you.
    Then they laugh at you.
    Then they fight you.

  • I would have had to wait until the end of May or early April

    Do the months go backwards in Australia? ;-)
  • Sure it's stupid to say that OSS will make money obsolete.

    But it's also stupid to start with the premise "there's something to be said for the profit motive" and conclude that we need copyright as a legal and social system. To think that without copyright one cannot profit from creation of "intellectual capital" just shows your lack of a creativity. A direct, per-copy payment system is not the the only way. You need a better business plan, not government help.

    Finally you say "nobody's gonna do high-end olap tools". First it was compilers, then it was operating systems, then it was GUIs and applications, now this. give up.

    information is free.
    the only question is:

  • by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) <> on Monday May 17, 1999 @03:19AM (#1889033) Homepage Journal
    My chapter was Open Source before, by the OSD, not by O'Reilly's definition, whatever that is. So was ESR's and RMS. I don't know about the others, but O'Reilly doesn't own the copyrights, the authors do.



  • yes you can, you just have to provide the source. you're adding value by printing it.
  • I don't think that it would have helped them at all to release it as open source first. Nobody would have bought it then. Book sales would drop dramatically if every book was open sourced. I think the only reason that they did this is because they got such an earfull when people noticed that the book was closed-source. I really think that if all technical books were open-source, we really would have excellent technical book and you wouldnt have to go through buying a bad book again. Propane News []
  • by Pyro P ( 7396 ) on Monday May 17, 1999 @01:32AM (#1889036)
    Okay, who here's actually read the book? If you've read it, you should know that all it really is is the same essays, rants, and overviews by open/free/blah software programmers/figureheads/zealots/blahs that we've already heard before (like ESR's A Brief History of Hackerdom, Bruce Peren's The Open Source Definition, that really cool Larry Wall thing that i can't remember the name of). The open sourcing of this book is wholly redundant, since afaik all the content of this book was already free/open/blah.
  • by Signal 11 ( 7608 ) on Sunday May 16, 1999 @11:13PM (#1889037)
    Why read the book? If it's been open sourced, in 2 months most of the book will have been rewritten, and there won't be any typos...

    On the downside, there will be no installation instructions - and the system requirements are ambigious: "must know how to read".. but doesn't specify a language.. I guess you'd better read the source to keep it from defaulting to Espaniol.


  • Well, it has. Yet another ages-old story suddenly popping up on /.
  • I couldn't agree more. At university, I spent a small fortune on textbooks, only to use at a chapter or so... Anyone out there know of "open-source" educational material? I'd even contribute, just to pass on my Infinite Wisdom ;-)
  • Essentially the book's content is all downloadable via the internet but yet I have purchased a copy as have many people I know. It's nice to have a bound book and I don't think it'll hurt sales too drastically IF the book has value in the sense that it'll be re-read. Once you get over 100 pages of printed paper it get cumbersome to handle and a drag if not double-sided. A nice statement on O'Reilly's part is what I say.

  • >It's a simple fact.

    It's a simplistic opinion.

    Love and money are not XOR. Most really successful people have been lucky enough to make a living out of something they enjoy. Writers, muso's, athletes ... programmers.

    Money is right up there with fire and the wheel as a useful invention IMHO. Greed is the problem, not money. Get rid of money, greed won't go away.

    If I told my wife I was going to program for love and forego my paycheck, she'd kill me and I'd deserve it. I like being a software developer. I also like being able to pay off my house.

    If you really want to program for love, I've got a distributed credit card transaction capture system to build. You can come do it for $0.00 while I collect my salary and go surfing all day. You'll be doing it for love, so you'll come up with a better product than I. Everyone will be happy.

    "None but a blockhead ever wrote except for money" - Samuel Johnson.
  • I ordered Open Sources from B&N in February (along with a CSS reference). Because I'm in Brazil and it was shipped by surface mail, the book only arrived two months and a half later. I've barely finished reading the damn thing, God damn it. They could at least have warned us.
  • The ideas in this book are excellent, and I've shown my copy to others to expose them to some Open Source concepts. It is even possible that after reading a "free" (as in free download, not free beer) version I might even have decided that buying a copy for the sole purpose of showing it to others might have been worth it.

    However, now I just have a bad taste in my mouth about the money I spent, and regret giving O'Reilly money. I think that I will be quite a bit more likely to hunt for O'Reilly books in the (free) library than give them more cash.

  • I have a web page with links to free book sites: ooks.html
    please be patient since the server is slow, so even though it's 1K it usually takes about a minute to download. A free book site specializing in IT is:
  • "Why should I buy another O'Reilly book when they'll be put on the web a short time later?"

    Same reason you might want to own the printed version of JARGON.TXT from MIT press (I know that it is called something else but I think JARGON.TXT is a much better name). It is fun, plus it does not go away when I reformat, and I can put it into my backpack instead of taking a laptop with me. The point is : If you think it is a worthwhile book, don't hesitate to buy it. You may never know when you will want to read it again. And you will definitely not regret buying it if the book is that good. From the sample chapters that appeared a few months ago, I'd say that the book really is great.

    p.s. myself, I am looking forward to printing out the web version though 8) just because I like the smell of printer ink, the heat the pages have when they come out of the printer, and the soft cover made out of a paper folder. I wish my CLR was like that. 8)
  • Actually I know several people who shovel shit for love. They raise horses and make no money on them. They enjoy the horses, (and hardly ever ride them)and that is enough of a reason to do it.

  • Those that do things for love do thing better than those that do it for money.

    Oh, bullshit...

    Lets look at all the great books, great music, great archetecture done for free over the years....

    Damn short list, isn't it (other than some old religious texts, I sure can't think of any)
  • .... and when it comes out over here I will buy it.

    Um... why? You've already read it... Seems like a waste of resources to me.
  • Prehaps reading comprehension isn't your strong point. I was responding to the not too well thought out point that the above poster made that those that do things for love do thing better than those that do it for money. Which, IMO, is a bunch of nice trite sounding crap-ola.

    My challenge, which you avoided, is to name something that was done for free by someone that was a great work some field. For your above examples how about some great songs that no one received payment for, or one of those althletes that plays for the "love of the game" and doesn't take a salary.

    I'm not denying that people do things because they enjoy doing them. I just think it is silly to assign a value that something is "better" than something else, just because one person recieved or didn't recieve payment for it.

  • Well, I really mike Michaelangelo and as far as I know all of his art was "commercial" art.
  • That's not the point, the point is would the work be any better if he had done it for free? I say, nope.
  • >Open Source will eventually rule all and money >will one day be seen as a passing fancy.

    okay, this is taking dot communism _too_ far! oss will make money obsolete???

    seriously, i agree that oss has its place but c'mon nobody's gonna do high-end olap tools as oss, or any other number of cutting-edge tools. theres still something to be said for the profit motive (at the risk of exciting those ayn rand fans out there)
  • is you think that just because something is in software it isn't _real_ . i.e. if its intellectual property, then you should be able to steal it with impunity. do you shoplift in stores? that said, i think the RIAA and other clueless execs have toface the fact that people will steal ip, they need to figure out how to make money given that people want their product.

    THAT said, you're extrapolating too far i wasnt necessarily talking about copyrights.

    on the free software issue, i think that you're foolish if you think it will take over everything. i applaud gnu, linux, bsd, apache, perl, etc. but there's a role for high-end vendors as well. also, software and services are merging in interesting ways, and there's no "free" services - requires greedy entrepreneurs to compete to provide those services.

    information ISN'T completely free. just cuz you read it on some boardz in the eighties doesnt make it true...
  • by InvisibleCraterFunk ( 29222 ) on Monday May 17, 1999 @12:36AM (#1889054) Homepage
    There are only "binaries" on that page :)
  • by hasse ( 30390 ) on Sunday May 16, 1999 @11:31PM (#1889055)
    Too bad. You can't print it and sell it then. You can still read it for FREE though.


    Open source fanatics are doing a lot of damage. It's hard to take people serious when the message is "open source or crap".

  • c'mon isn't being able to read it for free enough.
    It's not like you could debug it and sell it for more, right?

    It's free beer!!

  • I was talking about the main *reason* for doing things. Starting from a position of doing something you enjoy as opposed to something for personal gain _as the main reason for doing it_. Commercial art vs. "enjoyment" art, which is better to look at? Which has a heart? Which would YOU rather buy?!?

  • and I'll bet he loved doing it.

  • The chapel wouldn't have been painted unless he had gotten paid,, so his motiviation was money.

    ..and it wouldn't have been great if he didn't love it.

    He loved the game, yes, but was as good as he was because of the money.

    No, he got paid the money because he was as good as he was and he was as good as he was because he loved the game. He also worked his freakin' ass off even when he was the best because he knew he could get better. But the only reason to push yourself above and beyond like that is a deep respect, love, need, for the game..and to be the best.

  • If it wasn't for the money, he wouldn't have pushed himself to be the best.

    He had the money, why keep pushing so hard, it wasn't greed (which would be the motivator at that point) Then what was it?

    It is cyclical, but having to choose between the two, I choose my answer. For someone who knew true loss (his father) he would surely know the relative value of money and basketball. And it wouldn't replace what he lost, he could have made more money by overcoming his (lack of) enjoyment and playing longer, but HE CHOSE NOT TO (citing phil jackson and management issues). As an example, when looked at start to finish, this one proves my point.(would have continued conversation on e-mail, but couldn't{AC})
  • by Wah ( 30840 )
    It's a simple fact. Those that do things for love do thing better than those that do it for money. A simple reason why Open Source will eventually rule all and money will one day be seen as a passing fancy.

    first post

  • You've never read the GPL, have you? Go do that, and you see why the statement you just made doesn't apply to any software covered by it.
  • I can remember not that long ago reading someplace a strong criticism by RMS of O'reilly and Associates. For the last decade+ O'reilly has written EXCELLENT manuals for most of the essential Unix tools, including some on various GNU tools. RMS made the criticism that because of O'reilly producing high quality, but definitely NOT free books on the subjects, it wiped out the incentive for free "open source" documentation to be created.

    I personally have many many O'reilly books, and don't agree with RMS on this matter, but it does seem to stand that if "Open Source" is essential then O'reilly should put latex copies of all their books online. Or at a minimum, they should put 'binaries' (postscript images) online.

    Of course, that will never happen. Let the proles eat manpages.
  • Sounds to me like it's similar to the first Linux book I ever bought, the Yggdrasil "Linux Bible." I spent fifty bucks on it, had it rush shipped to me, and when it arrived, I discovered that all it had in it (and I mean ALL, not just most) was printed out copies of HOWTOs and FAQs.

    That was ages ago, and it was probably one of the, if not THE first published book on Linux, but I remember at the time how upset it made me that they charged me fifty bucks for it. (and that I waited in excitement for something I already had)

    I believe there's a RedHat book on the market now(published by Redhat themselves) that's basically the same thing. I recall seeing it on a bookshelve at Borders this past winter.
  • Free is used in the libre sense here, not in the gratis sense. The software can be sold for a price, but it is free and open for anyone who wants to to look at the source code, modify it in any way, and redistribute it.
  • by amper ( 33785 ) on Tuesday May 18, 1999 @03:49AM (#1889066) Journal
    This book is possibly the single most valuable collection of ideas about open source and free software that has ever been written, and it comes at a point in history that could not be more opportune.

    I admit to some small measure of chagrin, having purchased the paper version a couple of weeks ago, at finding the book available on-line. Downloading the book and printing it out on my own equipment would have enabled me to leverage the non-insubstantial investments I have made in coputing hardware, Internet access, printing equipment, toner, paper, and knowledge.

    I would have been far less disappointed had ORA released the on-line version at the same time as the printed version. This would have allowed those of us who wished to download the book, while still allowing the printed version to reach the hands of those who have neither the time nor willingness to seek out an on-line book on a subject such as this, a group of people who we in these communities need so desperately to read this work, namely, business managers.

    The danger of a work like this, however, is that it will be seen as the ultimate source of thought concerning open source and free software and business practices. I propose that OPA consider a relaunch of this book as a more truly open source project.

    ORA should create a Slashdot-like WWW site where public opinions about open source and free software and business practices may be discussed and concentrated. We in these communities should rally behind such a project. As the site matures, ORA can take extracts from the site as material for publishing new versions of the book in printed form. The subjects covered in this book are not the sort that can remain in static form. We must all have the chance to respond to the authors of the included works and the chance to have our opinions included alongside in a forum of like size.

    Already we have seen drastic changes in the open-source/free landscape. One of the prime examples of this is the release of significant portions of the source code of previously proprietary software by Apple Computer under the Apple Public Source License and the resulting debate that led to the changes Apple made to the APSL to accomodate the community. This story should be the first new chapter in Version 2 of Open Sources.

    The word *must* be spread, and it must be done in a definitive fashion by an organization that is well-respected by both the community and those outside the community. Allow me to be the first to offer my services for the mantenance of this project.
  • by Belkheldar ( 38821 ) on Sunday May 16, 1999 @11:03PM (#1889068)
    Living in Australia means that sometimes you have to wait for some things. In this case it was the book OpenSources. Unless I chose to purchase it over (or the other e-book stores) I would have had to wait until the end of May or early April. I just downloaded it and will read by this time tomorrow.... and when it comes out over here I will buy it.

It's fabulous! We haven't seen anything like it in the last half an hour! -- Macy's