[nycbug-talk] Re: BSD Success Stories (fwd)

Dru dlavigne6
Thu Sep 23 19:51:50 EDT 2004

Please forgive the crosspost but I know that members of both lists were 
awaiting a supply of BSD Success Stories pamphlets.

After 5 months of run-around, I've finally gotten word on the progress of 
the pamphlets from the (newly hired) product manager for open source books 
at O'Reilly. The message follows but the basic gist is there's not enough 
of a BSD market to justify the cost of the pamphlets. This is in-line with 
the trend I've spoken about with some of you individually: publishers in 
general and O'Reilly in particular do not see BSD books as a viable 
market. Noone is arguing the _quality_ of BSD books (thanks to Lucas, 
Anderson, Lehey, et al.) but it does explain the skew in _quantity_. It 
also means that I won't be successful in pushing a second BSD book anytime
soon (if at all) so I'm afraid the next book won't be on BSD.

As I see it, this skew is due to one of two things:

1. There's just not that many of us BSD people out there


2. We're out there but we're not putting our money where our advocacy is.

I can only speak for myself so I went through my book receipts for this 
year. I've bought 8 tech books, none of them BSD. (If I don't count the 
Annaliese Anderson one I've promised to buy for a former student but 
haven't had the time to order yet). So this weekend I'm going to order Greg
Lehey's latest to replace my well-thumbed 1st edition as well as 
McKusick's latest.

On a related, it's been a long week, topic, I had lunch with some execs of 
a fortune 500 company today. (I've had an ongoing contract teaching their 
employees Linux+.) Of course, BSD always comes up in class. Not just 
because of yours truly, but because the students are current BSD admins 
whose company's product line is migrating from FreeBSD 3.x to Redhat 9. 
Many of the employees requested that the company pay for a FreeBSD course. 
The execs were willing and wanted to know the name of the BSD certifications 
that were available. Their training budget is related to certifications: 
no certification, no training money...

O'Reilly's response and this company's response should be a very big 
wakeup call to anyone interested in BSD. I won't be posting to advocacy 
until my double-shifts are over next Thursday. I need time to think and 
rest so I won't be overly irritated when that advocacy thread fizzles into 


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Wed, 22 Sep 2004 16:36:34 -0700
Subject: Re: BSD Success Stories

Hi Dru,
I've read through several of the stories and feel that it's very much 
worthwhile to give these as much exposure as permits.   I'd love to share these 
in a Weblog on the O'Reilly network and possibly create a PDF doc that will 
contain them all (free download on the Unix/Linux resource center).  Given that 
the BSD market is not huge, the expense in both laying out these stories in 
man-hours and printing a small quantity is too great given the sales 
opportunity.  For the conference, I can create a four color flyer that would 
include teasers for a few of the articles and a URL where the collection can be 
found.  We could also include a plug and cover image for BSD Hacks on the 
flyer.  Sorry, I know this isn't what you were looking for.  That said, I do 
think the web features and flyer can achieve the goals of spreading the word 
about BSDs.

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