[linux-elitists] Open-sourcing a book

Jonathan Corbet corbet-elite@lwn.net
Fri Mar 23 07:37:34 PST 2001

> As some of you might know I'm currently writing a book for O'Reilly called
> Managing RAID on Linux. I'd like for the book to be resdistributable under
> an open-source license.

I've been following this discussion with some interest, since the second
edition of Linux Device Drivers (which went into production this very week
- yay!) is also a candidate for an open source release - both Alessandro
and I want to do that.  We, too, have not yet worked out licensing, though.

For what it's worth, O'Reilly distributed the Samba book under a pretty
open license:


I think it should meet Rick's simplicity criteria; it doesn't call for much
more than attribution most of the time.

I'm curious about how you handle other things as well.  For example, we'll
certainly get large numbers of "patches" once the book goes out.  We were
having to make updates for API changes that are still in the 2.4.3
prepatch; "stable kernel series" indeed...  Books of this nature tend to be
fairly static, but the subject matter is very far from that.  Besides,
unlikely as it seems, we just might have gotten something wrong somewhere.
So, do we...

- make a big errata/patch file for the third edition?

- keep the online version current (probably rewriting the "patches" to
  fit the rest of the work), quickly obsoleting the printed version?

- call the printed version perfect and forward the patches to /dev/null?

The point, of course, is that we *would* kind of like it if some people
bought the printed version, even though we want to make a substantial
contribution to the free documentation base.


More information about the linux-elitists mailing list