documentation has been a foundation of grassroots technology
development. FreeBSD, Linux, Perl, Apache, MySQL, and other core
Internet technologies have flourished with the help of documentation
created by dedicated members of their technical communities. The
O'Reilly Community Press, a new series from technical publisher
O'Reilly & Associates, publishes essential community-generated
documentation. Thanks to that classic user interface, the book, hackers
can now access the wisdom of their community on the bus, at the beach,
or in the bathroom.
"We learned long ago that good, accessible documentation spurs the
development of interesting technologies," said Tim O'Reilly, founder
and president of O'Reilly & Associates. "And our customers tell us that
they want to wrap their hands around a hard copy of the documentation
they use, even if it's also available online. Through the O'Reilly
Community Press, we'll publish the best of the documentation that
emerges from the technical communities we serve."
Unlike classic O'Reilly animal books, which are created to fill an
information void, the Community Press titles simply provide convenient
printed copies of documentation that is already available online.
Although the books must meet O'Reilly's standards for containing clear,
useful information, our role is limited to providing manufacturing and
distribution services rather than editorial development. Each book
reflects the editorial voice and organization of the community that has
As a result, the covers of O'Reilly Community Press titles are distinct
from O'Reilly's classic animal books. "The series look is a direct
descendent of early O'Reilly Nutshell handbook covers, which featured
simple, classic line drawings printed with black ink on nubbly brown
paper," said Edie Freedman, O'Reilly's creative director and original
cover designer. "The oak tree on the cover of the books in the series
represents the organic way the O'Reilly Community Press titles develop.
The covers also evoke the books' importance to their communities, for
oak trees grace the 'town common' in most New England towns, anchoring
the town's gathering place."
The first O'Reilly Community Press title, available in April 2002,
is the "MySQL Reference Manual." Other books in the pipeline include a
new edition of Greg Lehey's "The Complete FreeBSD" and "DocBook, 2nd
Edition" by Norm Walsh and Lenny Muellner.
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conferences and summits bring innovators together to shape the
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