OT: O'Reilly 'Perl CD Bookshelf' - gone for good?

Discussion in 'Perl Misc' started by Richard Williams, Nov 16, 2006.

  1. Just noticed on the O'Reilly site that the 2004 4th edition of the 'Perl
    CD Bookshelf' is out of print (as are all the other Bookshelf titles), and
    cdbookshelves.oreilly.com is gone. I guess that means it's just Safari or
    dead trees from now on, which seems rather a pity - the Perl CD has been
    my main 3rd party reference since version 1, and there are several obvious
    new candidate books for a 5th edition. Just wondering if any of the
    O'Reilly authors here happen to know if (or why) this is indeed the end of
    the line?

    Richard.
    Richard Williams, Nov 16, 2006
    #1
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  2. Richard Williams

    John Bokma Guest

    (Richard Williams) wrote:

    > Just noticed on the O'Reilly site that the 2004 4th edition of the
    > 'Perl CD Bookshelf' is out of print (as are all the other Bookshelf
    > titles), and cdbookshelves.oreilly.com is gone. I guess that means
    > it's just Safari or dead trees from now on, which seems rather a pity
    > - the Perl CD has been my main 3rd party reference since version 1,
    > and there are several obvious new candidate books for a 5th edition.
    > Just wondering if any of the O'Reilly authors here happen to know if
    > (or why) this is indeed the end of the line?


    I bought ages ago the perl resource kit, which IIRC came with the 3rd or
    2nd edition. I browsed a few times through the print outs of module
    documentation (nice books), but I think that trying to use perldoc is in
    the end smarter. I have the chm version of perl core documentation in my
    PDA now, and get more and more used to read from that instead of a book.

    --
    John Experienced Perl programmer: http://castleamber.com/

    Perl help, tutorials, and examples: http://johnbokma.com/perl/
    John Bokma, Nov 16, 2006
    #2
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  3. >>>>> "Richard" == Richard Williams <> writes:

    Richard> Just noticed on the O'Reilly site that the 2004 4th edition of the
    Richard> 'Perl CD Bookshelf' is out of print (as are all the other Bookshelf
    Richard> titles), and cdbookshelves.oreilly.com is gone. I guess that means
    Richard> it's just Safari or dead trees from now on, which seems rather a pity
    Richard> - the Perl CD has been my main 3rd party reference since version 1,
    Richard> and there are several obvious new candidate books for a 5th
    Richard> edition. Just wondering if any of the O'Reilly authors here happen to
    Richard> know if (or why) this is indeed the end of the line?

    From what I heard, piracy killed them. It's too easy to put the entire books
    online from the CD. Safari has a lot of anti-scraping technology in it to
    prevent that, so it's safari from now on, not CDs.

    Stupid Pirates. Ruining it for all of us.

    --
    Randal L. Schwartz - Stonehenge Consulting Services, Inc. - +1 503 777 0095
    <> <URL:http://www.stonehenge.com/merlyn/>
    Perl/Unix/security consulting, Technical writing, Comedy, etc. etc.
    See PerlTraining.Stonehenge.com for onsite and open-enrollment Perl training!

    --
    Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com
    Randal L. Schwartz, Nov 16, 2006
    #3
  4. Richard Williams

    DJ Stunks Guest

    Randal L. Schwartz wrote:
    > >>>>> "Richard" == Richard Williams <> writes:

    >
    > Richard> Just noticed on the O'Reilly site that the 2004 4th edition of the
    > Richard> 'Perl CD Bookshelf' is out of print (as are all the other Bookshelf
    > Richard> titles), and cdbookshelves.oreilly.com is gone.
    >
    > From what I heard, piracy killed them. It's too easy to put the entire books
    > online from the CD.
    > <snip>
    > Stupid Pirates. Ruining it for all of us.


    hmm, that's funny, that's not the conclusion I reached...

    s/Pirates/overzealous publishers/

    you were still selling books despite the websites, were you not?

    -jp
    DJ Stunks, Nov 16, 2006
    #4
  5. Richard Williams

    John Bokma Guest

    (Randal L. Schwartz) wrote:

    >>>>>> "Richard" == Richard Williams <> writes:

    >
    > Richard> Just noticed on the O'Reilly site that the 2004 4th edition
    > of the Richard> 'Perl CD Bookshelf' is out of print (as are all the
    > other Bookshelf Richard> titles), and cdbookshelves.oreilly.com is
    > gone. I guess that means Richard> it's just Safari or dead trees from
    > now on, which seems rather a pity Richard> - the Perl CD has been my
    > main 3rd party reference since version 1, Richard> and there are
    > several obvious new candidate books for a 5th Richard> edition. Just
    > wondering if any of the O'Reilly authors here happen to Richard> know
    > if (or why) this is indeed the end of the line?
    >
    > From what I heard, piracy killed them. It's too easy to put the
    > entire books online from the CD.


    Almost every O'Reilly book is either available in CHM or PDF format,
    pirated. One can download 4-9 GB of books using bittorrent in the blink
    of an eye. I am quite sure that some books are leaked when send to the
    printing departement, or even before.

    So it sounds to me like a non-argument.

    > Safari has a lot of anti-scraping
    > technology in it to prevent that, so it's safari from now on, not CDs.
    >
    > Stupid Pirates. Ruining it for all of us.


    Maybe a better distribution method should be thought up? It's like
    saying that the stupid bookpress took away work from the monks. Mind, I
    am not saying that authors shouldn't be paid for their work. But if one
    can download 500 books in a few hours that's a huge temptation. Again, I
    am not saying that piracy is right.

    I would love to buy DRM free books online in either chm or pdf format
    and pay with paypal hassle free. And yes, the keyword here is often
    hassle free. I recently bought a PDA, and checked out some ebook sites.
    I am not going to install Adobe PDF again on my Pocket PC. It's a joke
    compared to xpdf. But I am afraid xpdf is not going to handle all those
    fancy anti-piracy measurements. It's beyond me why people keep investing
    money in stuff like that, when people who want to have it rights free
    already have it, often before the site makes it public available.

    Also, like the book press made it possible to have your own book printed
    instead of hiring 20 monks, or a digital camera made it possible to make
    portraits of your family members instead of hiring a painter, authors
    should consider going with the flow. The only other options are pulling
    your hairs out or start doing something else.

    I have published a little on my own site, yet the income from
    advertisements is more then sufficient to pay the rent.

    Finally, "all of us": who's us? There are people who can't afford to pay
    60 USD for a book (I guess that's what the local price is here for a 45
    USD book). You might not consider it fair, but is it fair to get paid 8
    times less, and sucked dry by luxery that costs 50-120% more? (Talking
    in general about the situation in Mexico).

    --
    John Experienced Perl programmer: http://castleamber.com/

    Perl help, tutorials, and examples: http://johnbokma.com/perl/
    John Bokma, Nov 16, 2006
    #5
  6. Richard Williams

    John Bokma Guest

    "Robert Hicks" <> wrote:


    > I don't think they really lost any "sales" by those CD's going online.


    Same here. If O'Reilly is losing sales it's because there is so much
    available online. I mean, I bought in the past an O'Reilly for a chapter,
    even a page. Now I can find the same information in several tutorials
    online. Times have changed, and it's easy to blame it on all those bad
    guys. Probably most people having 20 GB of books haven't read most of
    them, if at all. Just pack rats.

    --
    John Experienced Perl programmer: http://castleamber.com/

    Perl help, tutorials, and examples: http://johnbokma.com/perl/
    John Bokma, Nov 17, 2006
    #6
  7. Richard Williams

    John Bokma Guest

    John Bokma, Nov 17, 2006
    #7
  8. >>>>> "Robert" == Robert Hicks <> writes:

    Robert> Yes...but we were hoping for "future" editions.

    yeah, and thanks to pirates, you won't be getting them.

    --
    Randal L. Schwartz - Stonehenge Consulting Services, Inc. - +1 503 777 0095
    <> <URL:http://www.stonehenge.com/merlyn/>
    Perl/Unix/security consulting, Technical writing, Comedy, etc. etc.
    See PerlTraining.Stonehenge.com for onsite and open-enrollment Perl training!

    --
    Posted via a free Usenet account from http://www.teranews.com
    Randal L. Schwartz, Nov 18, 2006
    #8
  9. Richard Williams

    John Bokma Guest

    (Randal L. Schwartz) wrote:

    >>>>>> "Robert" == Robert Hicks <> writes:

    >
    > Robert> Yes...but we were hoping for "future" editions.
    >
    > yeah, and thanks to pirates, you won't be getting them.


    Get over it Randal. Reply to my post which made a lot more sense then this
    O'Reilly propaganda you are parroting.

    --
    John Experienced Perl programmer: http://castleamber.com/

    Perl help, tutorials, and examples: http://johnbokma.com/perl/
    John Bokma, Nov 18, 2006
    #9
  10. On 2006-11-18, John Bokma <> wrote:
    > (Randal L. Schwartz) wrote:
    >
    >>>>>>> "Robert" == Robert Hicks <> writes:

    >>
    >> Robert> Yes...but we were hoping for "future" editions.
    >>
    >> yeah, and thanks to pirates, you won't be getting them.

    >
    > Get over it Randal. Reply to my post which made a lot more sense then this
    > O'Reilly propaganda you are parroting.


    Ok, I'm confused as to how saying that a practices that encourages
    people not to buy books discourages publishers from continuing to
    publish new versions of that book doesn't make sense. Or, for that
    matter, is propaganda. Publishers put books out because they make money
    on it and if they're less likely to make money on a particular book,
    they're less likely to continue publishing that book. In what way is
    this nonsensical?

    I mean, if you want to argue that pirating is, in reality, a minor drain
    on revenues, I'd still be likely to disagree with you, but at least we'd
    have something we could try to quantify. Dismissing the general idea,
    however, makes no sense to me.

    dha

    --
    David H. Adler - <> - http://www.panix.com/~dha/
    M-x induce-carpal-tunnel-syndrome
    - Greg Bacon
    David H. Adler, Nov 18, 2006
    #10
  11. Richard Williams

    Dr.Ruud Guest

    Sherm Pendley schreef:

    > I'm not saying that piracy wasn't a factor, Randal, just that I doubt
    > it was the *only* reason for the decision.


    It doesn't have to be the only reason to be reason enough.

    --
    Affijn, Ruud

    "Gewoon is een tijger."
    Dr.Ruud, Nov 18, 2006
    #11
  12. Richard Williams

    John Bokma Guest

    Sherm Pendley <> wrote:

    > Occam's Razor applies, and the simplest explanation by far is that
    > most of the target audience for the CD Bookshelves have moved to
    > Safari, just like many people are moving away from music CDs to online
    > vendors like iTunes.


    Yup, but the pirates did it sounds much more cool, or at least a few
    hundred years ago. And since "we all" have probably something we shouldn't
    have, "we all" are guilty. Much easier then looking into the real issue or
    even wondering if there is an issue at all.

    I think my explanation based on personal experience: in the past I bought
    books for a single chapter, or even a page of information, which has now
    been replaced by using Google, was not that bad. Probably closer to the
    real thing then Jack Sparrow and his mates. Most people I know who have
    20G or so of "e-books" just burn them on DVD and never use them. They just
    moved the library and their network of friends from whom they borrowed
    books in the past to a DVD.

    What's next? Photo development shops blaming P2P and pirates for losing
    business?

    --
    John Experienced Perl programmer: http://castleamber.com/

    Perl help, tutorials, and examples: http://johnbokma.com/perl/
    John Bokma, Nov 18, 2006
    #12
  13. Oh well, whatever the reason it's a real shame (O'Reilly has also
    confirmed by email that the series has been axed). Plain HTML is pretty
    much an ideal format for reference material like this (how many of us are
    guilty of cutting and pasting recipes straight from the Cookbook?), and
    having the whole thing in a nicely indexed format was a great complement
    to perldoc. Safari doesn't really do it for me - I don't like the idea of
    depending on rented information, often work offline, and can't really
    justify the price of a subscription for the number of books I'm likely to
    use. But then I'm one of those people who still buys CDs in preference to
    DRM'd downloads (Safari is rather like the current Napster basic monthly
    subscription, where access to the whole library ceases when you stop
    paying). Hopefully they'll keep printing the paperbacks for a while yet...

    I can understand piracy being a real issue for the Bookshelves - it's got
    to the stage where the first page of Google hits for many common Perl
    seaches features at least one pirate site. Dig a little deeper, and you'll
    find pages from (e.g.) major universities (and at least one competing
    publisher!) including pirate sites in their external Perl and Linux links
    (quite possibly without even realising that the sites aren't legitimate).
    Pirated material from other sources (e.g. OCR'd books or ebooks with
    cracked DRM) isn't as blatantly accessible, and is hard to run into by
    accident. But it's still a shame O'Reilly bowed to this pressure.

    I don't really see legitimate online resources as direct competitors to
    the Bookshelves - Perl has had good free literature for a long time (both
    in the core docs and in articles on sites like Stonehenge), much of it
    written by the same people who write the books. But the books still have
    enough added value to make them well worth buying, though this would
    change for me if they ever became 'subscription only' (e.g., Safari with
    no paper alternative).

    Richard.
    Richard Williams, Nov 19, 2006
    #13
  14. Richard Williams

    John Bokma Guest

    (Richard Williams) wrote:

    > Oh well, whatever the reason it's a real shame (O'Reilly has also
    > confirmed by email that the series has been axed). Plain HTML is
    > pretty much an ideal format for reference material like this (how many
    > of us are guilty of cutting and pasting recipes straight from the
    > Cookbook?), and having the whole thing in a nicely indexed format was
    > a great complement to perldoc.


    CHM does the same. What's in my not so humble opinion really crazy is
    that *buying* an e-book in CHM format is next to impossible (if not,
    please give me a site). Moreover, e-books have been protected, so I am
    afraid it's impossible to convert, say, LIT to CHM (which I understand
    should be no big deal), or LIT to PDF.

    It's like going to a book store, picking a book, and having to decide if
    you're going to read it in a chair, in bed, or behind a desk, and are
    not allowed to read it somewhere else.

    (But I might be wrong here)

    By dowloading via Usenet / BitTorrent, there is no such problem. Not
    that I recommend the latter, but book publishers shouldn't join the
    music and video industry and accuse everybody of piracy (which is
    probably not far from the true), and then waste money on measurements
    like everybody is a dangerous criminal.

    Also, I forgot the actual price, but getting a book by mail here (I live
    in Mexico) is about 1/4th of the price of a book. Books are not cheap,
    and sending them neither (and it takes 2-5 weeks). I am all for e-books,
    withouth DRM (silly, people can remove that in no time, waste of money).

    I can read a normal book in the library, take it from the library, copy
    50 pages (or under Dutch law, all), and use the copy. I can give it to a
    friend for a month, and he can make copies. Why are e-books less
    compared to normal books (printing might be disabled, copy paste ditto).

    Because of the pirates? Come on, books are already on Usenet and various
    torrents *before* they have been printed.


    > Safari doesn't really do it for me - I
    > don't like the idea of depending on rented information, often work
    > offline, and can't really justify the price of a subscription for the
    > number of books I'm likely to use.


    I can afford it, but I agree with you. My PDA has Wi-Fi, but that drains
    batteries, so I prefer to upload documentation to it, and be able to
    read where ever I want.

    > But then I'm one of those people
    > who still buys CDs in preference to DRM'd downloads (Safari is rather


    Ditto, and DVDs for that matter. I still buy, despite nowadays it's
    easier to just download (DRM free that is)

    > like the current Napster basic monthly subscription, where access to
    > the whole library ceases when you stop paying). Hopefully they'll keep
    > printing the paperbacks for a while yet...


    If they don't I am sure number #1 cause will be the pirates, those
    pirates.

    > I can understand piracy being a real issue for the Bookshelves - it's


    I doubt it is. Printed books are also pirated. Like I wrote earlier, I
    use more and more often either perldoc or Google to solve issues. I am
    sure I am not alone with this. Also, more and more publishers seem to be
    publishing computer related books. I recall there was a time there where
    2 books for years. Now there are several published a year as far as I
    can see, (even bad ones, or not worth the money ones). Reprints and new
    books (I once had 3 Perl Cookbooks, which is about 120 USD (!)).

    > got to the stage where the first page of Google hits for many common
    > Perl seaches features at least one pirate site.


    I used to report this but got the idea that they are not really
    interested. Tracking piracy probably costs more then the actuall loss.
    Via bit torrent people download hundreds of books. Wouldn't amaze me if
    publishers count each of those books as a major loss. Instead of doing
    that, they *should* look into real causes that maybe can be handled.


    > Dig a little deeper,
    > and you'll find pages from (e.g.) major universities (and at least one
    > competing publisher!) including pirate sites in their external Perl
    > and Linux links (quite possibly without even realising that the sites
    > aren't legitimate). Pirated material from other sources (e.g. OCR'd
    > books or ebooks with cracked DRM) isn't as blatantly accessible, and


    Really, like many others, you're looking in the wrong places. The real
    thing happens on Usenet and Bittorrent.

    <http://btjunkie.org/torrent?do=stat&id=
    3782dc2f43b0c6e2bd6a183298d79e85a588e92b0158>

    353 O'Reilly books. You really think that everybody downloading those
    should have bought all those books? I own a lot of O'Reilly books, but I
    don't even come close to that figure.

    You really think that each download should be booked as: minus 353 x (40
    USD - costs USD) USD? Wouldn't amaze me if publishers will use it like
    that, record companies seem no to have problems with it, so why not?

    I called it earlier propaganda: "The systematic propagation of a
    doctrine or cause or of information reflecting the views and interests
    of those advocating such a doctrine or cause." (source:
    http://www.answers.com/topic/propaganda )

    > is hard to run into by accident. But it's still a shame O'Reilly bowed
    > to this pressure.


    Again, I doubt this is the major cause.

    > I don't really see legitimate online resources as direct competitors


    CPAN, perldoc, and the hundreds and hundreds of well written articles, a
    lot standing far, far above some books I bought. Also documentation that
    comes with programs seem to have improved. In the '90s this was often
    "use the source, Luke".

    I mean, when I used a web server for the first time, documentation was
    hard to find. Now one can find countless good articles on how to
    configure such a program, hints, tips, etc.

    > to the Bookshelves - Perl has had good free literature for a long time
    > (both in the core docs and in articles on sites like Stonehenge), much
    > of it written by the same people who write the books.


    I am quite sure it's much more, and growing. The Internet is an
    extremely easy publishing platform. I get about 14,000 visitors. I doubt
    that if I published a book I would even get that many buyers in total,
    and I am sure I will make more money in the end with it. :-D.

    --
    John Experienced Perl programmer: http://castleamber.com/

    Perl help, tutorials, and examples: http://johnbokma.com/perl/
    John Bokma, Nov 19, 2006
    #14
  15. In article <Xns98807A896BEBEcastleamber@130.133.1.4>,
    John Bokma <> wrote:
    > (Richard Williams) wrote:


    >CHM does the same. What's in my not so humble opinion really crazy is
    >that *buying* an e-book in CHM format is next to impossible (if not,
    >please give me a site). Moreover, e-books have been protected, so I am
    >afraid it's impossible to convert, say, LIT to CHM (which I understand
    >should be no big deal), or LIT to PDF.


    Certainly I'd love to see more stuff in unrestricted formats, just as the
    Bookshelves were. My preference would still be plain HTML, which is
    readable everywhere, even on my phone or (obviously) with a text mode
    browser like lynx.

    >Also, I forgot the actual price, but getting a book by mail here (I live
    >in Mexico) is about 1/4th of the price of a book. Books are not cheap,
    >and sending them neither (and it takes 2-5 weeks). I am all for e-books,
    >withouth DRM (silly, people can remove that in no time, waste of money).


    I'd be happy so see DRM-free downloads replacing the Bookshelves, but
    clearly O'Reilly isn't likely to go that route, either. It's a particular
    shame that it's no longer possible to point to them as a well-known
    publisher making a profit from selling major DRM-free technical ebooks
    (except presumably the 'Rough Cuts' and 'Short Cuts').

    >Really, like many others, you're looking in the wrong places. The real
    >thing happens on Usenet and Bittorrent.


    Sure, but people looking for pirated books in places like this know
    exactly what they're doing. It's quite possible to run across the pirated
    Bookshelf volumes purely by accident and, if you're not familiar with the
    CDs and don't look too closely, without even realising they aren't
    legitimate sources (I'm pretty sure this is true of some of the academic
    sites that reference them). The FIRST Google hit for 'Perl cookbook',
    'Perl in a nutshell', 'Perl for system administration', 'Perl CD' or 'CD
    bookshelf' is a Ukrainian site (presumably as untouchable as allofmp3 in
    Russia) that hosts over 60 O'Reilly titles copied directly from the
    Bookshelves. Pirated copies of 'Programming Perl' and 'Learning Perl' are
    also in the top five Google hits for these titles. I can't think of any
    other pirated texts that are this prominent and accessible, and wouldn't
    be at all suprised if (for the Perl books at least) many more people are
    reading them on these sites than on Safari (let alone going to the trouble
    of downloading the torrents). But obviously nobody knows the real figures.
    No one seems to have gone to the trouble of making the non-Bookshelf
    volumes available this way (which would involve a bit more work - the
    Bookshelves are already 'canned websites').

    >CPAN, perldoc, and the hundreds and hundreds of well written articles, a
    >lot standing far, far above some books I bought. Also documentation that
    >comes with programs seem to have improved. In the '90s this was often
    >"use the source, Luke".


    Even so, the commercial texts are filling a need (e.g. for extended
    explanations and a comprehensice collection of useful recipes) that isn't
    met by the online documentation, and plenty of people are still buying (or
    otherwise obtaining) the O'Reilly books (if they weren't, we wouldn't be
    having this discussion, and the pirated books wouldn't score so highly in
    the Google ranking).

    Richard.
    Richard Williams, Nov 20, 2006
    #15
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