As the open source community grows every day, new ideas and initiatives
come to fill in the areas where the concept was never heard before. The
most recent "open initiatives" refer to publishing, where Prentice
Hall, a technical and academic book publisher, has embraced the open-source
philosophy for a new series of books.
Mark Taub, an editor-in-chief within Prentice Hall, announced that six
books are to be released this year. The material of the books may be copied
and updated under the strictures of the Open Publication License, and
Prentice Hall will release electronic versions on the Web.
"We sell a lot of books into the open-source community, so it's
natural for us to want to contribute to the open-source community,"
Taub said. And for business reasons, "it's good to curry favour with
the open-source community. We think giving access to electronic books
will potentially spur sales of printed editions."
The move still stands against the general trend, represented by the efforts
of some media companies that are pushing for as much control as possible
over their content. Still, except for Prentice Hall, one of the competitors,
O'Reilly and Associates, has released several books under the Open Publication
License or the related Gnu's Not Unix (GNU) Free Documentation License.
Prentice Hall's first three books are about the use of the now-discontinued
eCos operating system from Red Hat; the Snort intrusion-detection software;
and programming on Linux systems.
"If they meet our expectations, we'll grow the series to nine or
as many as 12 next year, and more the following year," Taub said.
The series bears the name of Perens, the primary author of the Open Source
Definition and an outspoken advocate of the collaborative programming
There are options in the Open Publication License that can be invoked
to prohibit redistribution, but Prentice Hall isn't using either of those
options, Perens said.