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

G.Rosamond george
Thu Sep 23 19:56:16 EDT 2004

On Sep 23, 2004, at 7:51 PM, Dru wrote:

> 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

It is a fact that we are a fraction of the Linux market.

But I also don't know to what extent most heavy duty users (eg, staff 
of Yahoo, Pair, Verio) make their presence known.  I think we're 
talking more quality than quantity when it comes to BSD users.. .

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

Very possible. . .but it's not a useful strategy to just implore people 
to buy BSD books.  We've pushed a number of books a lot, but what I can 
tell from BSD Mall sales is that it's those new to the BSDs that are 
the first to buy books. . .

> I can only speak for myself so I went through my book receipts for 
> this year. I've bought 8

Someone's a bit too organized. . .

>  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...

Right. . .I do think it's worth creating a NYCBUG mailing list on the 
topic of a BSD certification.  Certainly BSD Mall is in a good position 
to sponsor, as they have a respected name in the community.  We can get 
a list of necessities for a certification brewed up through a dedicated 
mailing list.

> 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 nothingness.

understandable. . .particularly for someone who can quickly find out 
the books they purchased in the last year. . .




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