O’Reilly Beta

It’s somehow appropriate that O’Reilly, the creators of the Web 2.0 meme that has made beta online services ubiquitous, is now selling beta versions of its books. (Mind you, given the high error-rate in many non-O’Reilly technical books, many would argue that its competitors have been in the beta end of the publishing business for some time.)


  1. personally i have become disappointed with o’reilly. first, they have of course published some terribly error-ridden books, but often this is a function of the author, not the editor or publisher.
    my primary gripe with o’reilly is the need to publish literally dozens of titles on a subject when one or two will do. take java. how many “starter” guides alone does o’reilly publish? sadly the java boomlet took place just as tech publishing was creating and just prior to the advent of good online docs. probably more pulp has been wasted on java than on any topic i can think of. o’reilly became part of the problem.
    contrast this with their initial forays into perl programming, which consisted of Learning Perl and Programming Perl, two books that covered different topics but together really did provide more or less exhaustive coverage. now look at their perl line. pity the poor forests!
    oddly enough o’reilly once prided itself on not undertaking pointless publication.