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May 20, 1999

O'Reilly Frees OpenSources: Voices From the Revolution

Sebastopol, CA -- O'Reilly & Associates announced today that they a are making the entire new book, OpenSources: Voices From the Open Source Revolution freely available on their web site "Open Sources" is a collections of essays that offer insight into how the Open Source movement works, why it succeeds, and where it is going.

OpenSources, published in January 1999, has earned considerable critical acclaim. In "OpenSources", Open Source pioneers such as Brian Belendorf (Apache), Scott Bradner (Internet Engineering Task Force), Jim Hamerly (Netscape), Kirk McKusick (Berkeley Unix), Tim O'Reilly (O'Reilly & Associates), Tom Paquin (mozilla.org.), Bruce Peren (Open Source Initiative), Eric Raymond (Open Source Initiative), Richard Stallman (Free Software Foundation), Michael Tiemann (Cygnus Solutions), Linus Torvalds (Linux), Paul Vixie (Bind), Larry Wall (Perl), and Bob Young (Red Hat) share their vision of the Open Source movement.

"Of course, the hardcopy of the book will still be available for sale at bookstores," said Tim O'Reilly, president of O'Reilly & Associates, "But we felt that especially now, these are voices that must be heard. A key part of the success of Open Source depends on the easy dissemination of information over the Internet, so making it possible for people to freely redistribute these essays will help to spread the good word. The book is freely redistributable but not modifiable (which means it isn't open source by the terms of the Open Source Definition) because of the differences between software and a of opinion essay like this."

Each of the fourteen co-authors contributed a chapter to Open Sources Not surprisingly within this community, all chose to allow their work to be freely re-distributable, as long as it wasn't modified.

"The more people understand Open Source, the more they will demand it in their commercial environments." said co-author Michael Tiemann, "We are pleased that O'Reilly has made the bold move to promote the Open Sources book with an open source distribution policy. I have little doubt that such a move will increase the sales volume of this already popular book". Co-author Eric Raymond agreed: "'OpenSources' is important as a primary historical source. It is front-line reporting from the people who were there when the wave broke."

Even within the Open Source movement, there is a rich mosaic of philosophies--one of the things that makes the collection of voices in the book OpenSources: Voices From the Open Source Revolution so fascinating.

"O'Reilly & Associates and the other authors have joined to do the right thing--to permit redistribution of the rest of this book. Next I hope that ORA and authors will join to permit redistribution and modification of some of their manuals describing free software packages--to help fill the great gaps in documentation that remain in our free operating systems." said co-author, Richard Stallman.

On the other hand, Eric Raymond stated: "Unlike some, I don't think it's an ethical requirement that this book be freely redistributable; books are different from programs, they don't need peer review and rapid evolution in the same way. Still, I may have been the first person to do simultaneous paper and on-line publication of a book aimed at the mass market (the New Hacker's Dictionary back in 1991). If that experience is any guide, publishing this book on line will actually *increase* its sales."

What the Critics Have Said About
"OpenSources: Voices From the Open Source Revolution"

"What you can't find on the Web, apart from all the fragments, is a really comprehensive account of the (Open Source) movement. For that you need Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution from O'Reilly." --David Warsh, Boston Globe, February 28, 1999

"Maybe because I read it in one sitting in a hotel on the edge of San Francisco's Mission district, where many of the Net's architects still live and work and where Hotwired, the first website I wrote for is located, I was blown away by Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution, published by O'Reilly ($24.95). I've been struggling to learn about OS and free software and to acquire and learn Linux on my new box. I'm not there yet, but I'm not inclined to quit, and the voices in the book explain why. The programmers, hackers, and others developing OS are freedom fighters, guerillas of the Information Age; the Open Source and Free Software movements are both radical and unprecedented. There's a lot at stake in whether or not they succeed; whether the Internet remains the freest culture in the world or suffers the fate of off-line media -- becoming corporatized, homogenized, mass-marketed and pervasively censored. Open Sources is an important document, and this is the first of several columns about it. Every significant movement seems to have a book that sparks or defines it, from environmentalism's Silent Spring to Mao's little red book. Open Sources is that kind of ideological book... When I began reading the voices in Open Sources - including Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation, Tim O'Reilly of O'Reilly & Associates, Bruce Perens and Eric Raymond of the Open Source Initiative, and Linus Torvalds (Linux) - I expected to hear a description of a new kind of technology. But what's captured is the birth of a movement. --Jan Katz, slashdot.org, March 1999

"O'Reilly & Associates continues to impress me as a publisher. This week I received Open Sources: Voices from the Open Source Revolution, which I'm about a third through now, and find informative and fascinating." --Mark Hall, Performance Computing, February 1999

"Open Sources is a book of readings and one of the best reads I've had in years... If you are just being introduced to Free Software, you will find no better introduction to the thinking behind it than Open Sources. If you have been into Free Software for a year or two, Open Sources will give you a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of it. If you are an old Free Software hacker, Open Sources will give you fresh and fascinating glimpses into the minds of its creators, movers and shakers... In the end, there is absolutely nothing bad to say about Open Sources except that if you can't afford to buy a copy you might just have to steal one." --Dwight Johnson, Linux Today, February 25, 1999

If you develop software, or run a company that does, Open Sources is a must-read. This is Hackers (Steven Levy's classic portrayal of early microcomputer software renegades) for the next generation. It may also be a manifesto for software development and marketing in the next century. Open Sources brings together 14 of the brightest, most influential visionaries in the dynamic open-source movement to discuss the past and future of open-source software. Their fascinating first-person insider accounts range from the story of Linux by Linus Torvalds and a free-software manifesto by Richard Stallman to an essay on how to make money selling free software by RedHat Software, Inc. President Robert Young... This is one of those rare books that define a new paradigm. Highly recommended. --Amara D. Angelica, TechWeek, March 8, 1999

"Looking for a really good book about the Open Source concept? Then get a copy of the book entitled OpenSources: Voices From the Open Source Revolution... both entertaining and educational, and exposes the reader to some very creative minds who are destined to shape the future of our industry."-John Black, Real-Time Engineering, Spring 1999

"an excellent and fascinating look... well written and readable account with some genuinely interesting insights."-Nick Merritt, PC Answers, May 1999

OpenSources: Voices From the Open Source Revolution is available online at: http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/opensources/book/toc.html or from your local bookstore (O'Reilly & Associates, $24.95)

About O'Reilly

O'Reilly Media spreads the knowledge of innovators through its books, online services, magazines, and conferences. Since 1978, O'Reilly Media has been a chronicler and catalyst of cutting-edge development, homing in on the technology trends that really matter and spurring their adoption by amplifying "faint signals" from the alpha geeks who are creating the future. An active participant in the technology community, the company has a long history of advocacy, meme-making, and evangelism.

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