Re: Fake award to "the collaborative software community"
It is very important to speak publicly about what makes the award to
O'Reilly a fraud--so the public will be able to understand the
situation, and see what we see. This will give O'Reilly a certain
fractional amount of extra publicity, which is unfortunate. But it
will give the free software movement and its point of view a
considerable amount of extra publicity, and that good result will far
outweigh the drawback.
I would not call for a boycott of O'Reilly or Infoworld on account of
this affair. That would be an overreaction for a publicity stunt.
The reason we should avoid buying most O'Reilly books is the same as
the reason we should not buy Windows, Oracle, Quicken, or Sun JDK:
they are not free. Those books don't fit the GNU Project's definition
of free software, or the DFSG. If they do an important job, that is
not a reason to use them--it is a reason to replace them, one way or
another, with free substitutes.
A free substitute for a manual about configuring Sendmail need not be
about configuring Sendmail--not necessarily. A free manual for
configuring some other free mailer that is a good substitute for
Sendmail would do the job too, and we may already have one. If so,
maybe we should do more to encourage people to use that other mailer.
One way in the other, we should strive to remind people of the
long-term goal: make free software do it all.