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Should I organize a boycott of camel 3?

by merlyn (Sage)
on Jul 26, 2000 at 05:34 UTC ( #24382=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

I wrote more of Camel 3 than Stephen Potter did of Camel 2, and yet I get 0 credit and 0 royalties from camel 3, and Stephen got 10% royalties and "with" credit for Camel 2.

I'm just pissed enough at how O'Reilly did (or didn't) negotiate with me that I'm thinking of calling for a boycott. The trouble is, do you think it would be more backlash than benefit? Perhaps I should just quietly pass the word about this inequity, and leave it at that.

Looking for your input...

Update: After consideration of the feedback I've received (public and private), I see that any boycott or even public outcry would only harm the community, and that's not my intent.

I was upset when I wrote the original comment, and I had to vent a bit. I think my next action will be one more attempt to resolve this through my contacts at O'Reilly, and if that fails, just write it off to experience.

Thank you for the feedback.

  • Comment on Should I organize a boycott of camel 3?

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RE: Should I organize a boycott of camel 3?
by chromatic (Archbishop) on Jul 26, 2000 at 07:06 UTC
    I can't realistically see where it would have *any* benefit. It sounds more like a private dispute, best handled privately.

    If you've tried that and failed (and I know Tim O'Reilly and Larry are both reasonable men), then it may be worth pursuing public action. I think you run the risk of straining relationships and causing fractures in the higher-level Perl community even then... but after you've exhausted all other options, if you can do it reasonably, clearly, with precisely defined goals, you might be able to pull it off.

RE: Should I organize a boycott of camel 3?
by japhy (Canon) on Jul 26, 2000 at 05:43 UTC
    Look at the following for Tom's issues with Randal, and Randal's reply. There is coarse language, but stomach it.

      It saddens me to see the 'luminaries' of the Perl world angry and embittered. I know that this comes from many different people working together. The first thing you learn in kindergarten is not everyone is your friend, and you won't always get along with everyone. But that is a matter better left to those in dispute, and not aired in public.

      Merlyn, if you feel slighted for business reasons, then by all means approach Tim O'Reilly and talk to him. You should be credited for work you did. People in general should be credited for work they do, period. But this expose of personality conflicts should be left behind here.

      IMHO, Perl is the community, the contributors to CPAN, the members here, and people who visit #IRC, and the Usenet subscribers. Let's focus on their wealth of knowledge, and general goodwill.

      That benefits us all.
      Actually, I don't understand what is happening here, or why this thread exists at all. I don't have any insight on the social conflicts between the leading perl gurus. But - if this is not a rude privacy conflict - I would like to know more about that, maybe here, in public, or via private mail.
RE: Should I organize a boycott of camel 3?
by steveAZ98 (Monk) on Jul 26, 2000 at 07:48 UTC
    I'm not sure that a boycott of the book would accomplish anything. Most people buying a programming perl book for the first time aren't going to be aware of a boycott and hence it will not do anything except provide a little satisfaction (well deserved I must agree)

    Maybe a better way is to write a comprable book with all your knowledge and experience that gives programming perl a run for it's money or surpasses anything available for perl in the form of a book.

    Personally I would like to see some more higher level perl books that include things that don't seem to be available at the present time. Maybe something that takes Damian Conway's book, Mastering Algorithms, and Advanced perl programming to the next level or maybe combines some of these things.

    I know you could put together something that would blow them out of the water, especially if it was a collaborated effort from some of the top people on this site. I'd be willing to put time toward it, although I don't know how much help I'd be. What does everyone else think about this? What kind of support is there? I'd be very interested to know.

    Thanks for listening to my ramble, maybe something will come of it.
      Interesting idea. And if there is one things monks are famous for (aside from messing with peas) it's writing books.
        Monk's are also famous for Cappucino.

        Some one had askedabout this reference. I am referring to the fact that Monks are widely credited with the invention of Cappucino. I am sorry that I can offer little more than that at the moment. If I run into the information again I will pass it along. Gandalf tea Wednesday.
RE: Should I organize a boycott of camel 3?
by perlmonkey (Hermit) on Jul 26, 2000 at 07:08 UTC
    I dont know anything about the book authoring world, but I would guess that it all comes down to whether you had a written contract or not with O'Reilly. If you did, then you are getting screwed and deal with it accordingly. But if not, then you may be SOL. I would hope that this can be sorted out with Tim O'Reilly, or someone there that can respect your effort and contributions. Hopefully any inequities can be resolved without blasting O'Reilly or organizing a boycott.

    I certainly think that a boycott would not be good for the perl community, and probably negatively affect your image. You helped teach me Perl with "Learning Perl" but I also own about 15 other O'Reilly books (and I love them all). The issue might seriously divide the community, which cant be a good thing.

    I know 'respect' does not pay the bills, but you have my (and many others) respect for all your contributions to the perl community.
RE: Should I organize a boycott of camel 3?
by chip (Curate) on Jul 27, 2000 at 02:26 UTC
    I think that if you're asking for input, the least you could do is provide the full facts.

    • How much of Camel 2 did Steven Potter write?
    • How much was he paid?
    • Which parts of Camel 3 did you write? EXACTLY?
    • How much have you asked to be paid for this?

    Without this information, it's impossible to know whether a boycott would be even the right order of magnitude of response.

    -- Chip Salzenberg, Free-Floating Agent of Chaos

RE: Should I organize a boycott of camel 3?
by barbie (Deacon) on Jul 28, 2000 at 00:19 UTC
    I heard there was rift between Randle and Tom last week, but never realised it was so deep.

    It's a pity they've let it spill so openly into the public eye. Personally I think that's very bad for the community, and the current publicity people are trying to generate about Perl. Having the "gurus" air their differencies publicly is simply embarrassing.

    The fact that Randle took such umbridge over the "p-i-m-b" t-shirt idea (due to it being printed at the same time as the YAPC::Europe T-shirts) on a certain mailing list recently is laughable compared to this. One of the things that was really good about the conference last week was being able to listen to advice from the people who effectively run the show. By opening up warring factions is likely to lead to these authors being asked to not to represent the Perl community and not attend the conferences, if this goes too far. That would be a great shame.

    I hope that both parties cease any further publicity over these private matters and sort it out personally without trying to engineer the Perl community to take sides.

    Following the conference I have successfully got our Managing Director (equivilent to a CEO) to agree to help set up a local Perl Mongers, part of that was my ability to show him the "Perl success stories" booklet and tell him what a great and supportive community there is out there. Not just here in the UK but around the world. If this bickering perpetuates it will only harm this sort of sponsorship.

    Boycotting Camel 3 would be a pointless exercise, as most people will still buy it to further their knowledge. Which IMHO is a good thing. If there is any litigation required talk to O'Reilly and/or lawyers. Don't bring it into the community.



      Please let know about how the 'Perl success stories' booklet helped you as I know she put a lot of work into it and it would give her no end of warm fuzzies to hear some feedback such as this. :)
RE: Should I organize a boycott of camel 3?
by turnstep (Parson) on Jul 26, 2000 at 05:39 UTC

    How much (credit and royalties) is Potter getting for Camel 3? What does O'Reilly have to say for themselves? Why would they remove your name? Sounds unjust, but I'd need to know a but more before answering.

RE: Should I organize a boycott of camel 3?
by agoth (Chaplain) on Jul 26, 2000 at 13:33 UTC

    I definitely think you shouldn't in the interests of Perl. It would most likely only serve to fragment further the community and / or the language.

    Once youve registered your complaints with the relevant parties at O'Reilly I think your interests may be best served doing as you have done here.

    The backlash may be far worse in terms of loss of respect, flamewars left, right and centre, could be a whole can of worms.....

RE: Should I organize a boycott of camel 3?
by ivory (Pilgrim) on Jul 27, 2000 at 04:38 UTC
    I don't think a boycott is a good idea. The thing is, all this stuff needs to be in the contract before you write the thing...if you want to re-negotiate the conract afterwards, you're fighting an uphill battle. BUT, if you feel O'Reilly is misrepresenting the authorship of the book, you might want to have your lawyer send a letter (but be prepared to sue). So I say, 1. No boycott (most ppl like O'Reilly books and they are helpful) 2. Reread the contract. If O'Reilly is acting according to the contract (i.e. there is no provision in the contract for royalties or authorship credit, or provisions specifically stating that these would not be granted), then you are fighting an uphill battle and unless you want to threaten to quit writing for them, etc. you will probably not get anything from them. If, however, they are in violation of the contract (i.e. you were promised something that they didn't deliver, or there are no specifc provisions stating that you would not be given credit for authorship AND you feel that they are misrepresenting who wrote the book), then talk to your lawyer.
RE: Can you organize a boycott of camel 3?
by frankus (Priest) on Jul 27, 2000 at 18:52 UTC

    This posting alternately rocks and sucks.

    It rocks because it's reassuring to see people being human and having bad tempers.

     Often I think I am the only angry person: everyone else is on valium.
     However IME getting angry where money is concerned isn't a good plan.

    It sucks because this is a place of meditation. Why unsettle the still waters?

     The Dark Side of the Force are they‹/Yoda>

    It rocks because these postings show a comedic back-biting and squabbling

     In ways not too disimillar to the 3 Stooges or the Nazi Party of WW2.

    It sucks because the comedic back-biting amongst leading lights is not going to do wonders for Perl's image.

    It rocks as an example of how wrong the cult of personality is.
     Is it optimism or egotism that makes a member of the Perl community
     think they can mount an effective boycott on any Camel Book?

    It sucks because it shows that the cult of personality is alive and well and being milked.
     If this was a rant by Joe Bloggs, who earns 14K whilst his junior
     earns 19k, it would be voted off.  Why hasn't this happened here?

    It rocks because it should give rise to a new node.
     Here Perl Luminaries can post their (hate|e)-mail about
     one another in tabloid style mud-slinging match.

    It sucks that money was mentioned, Do you need the money? it's almost insulting.

    Brother Frankus.

    Edit 2001-04-11 by tye

    A reply falls below the community's threshold of quality. You may see it by logging in.
by Nitsuj (Hermit) on Jul 27, 2000 at 19:05 UTC
    O'Reilly is one of my favorite publishers. I must admit, I would be more than a little miffed if I wrote a commercial work, and recieved little to no credit/payment. Is it in your contract with O'Reilly that you are entitled to this payment, however? You must remember that O'Reilly is an established business, and established businesses have SOPs and precidents that must be followed in order to ensure smooth operation and in order to stay out of legal trouble. I am sure that it was not their intention to screw you over. They are probably just looking after their own backs to ensure that there is a camel 4. My best advice is to use your work on camel 3 as a chip in negotiations for future work with the company. It may not have profitted you this time, but it can be the springboard that you need to further yourself in the future. Many people miss this thought. I know that I myself, have missed several opportunities because I did not view them in the right light. So, in closing, please view this as a lesson, and an opportunity, not just as a dissapointment.

    "We're all different!"
    "I'm not"
    -The Life of Brian
RE: Should I organize a boycott of camel 3?
by Anonymous Monk on Jul 29, 2000 at 11:14 UTC
    sheesh! How many different ways can you act like a total weeney. If you have a problem with Tom take it up with Tom. If you have a problem with O'Reilly, take it up with O'Reilly. If you have personal problems, take them up with your therapist! When you have a question, or a meditation, or something of value to contribute, then by all means, post something in public.
RE: Should I organize a boycott of camel 3?
by Anonymous Monk on Jul 27, 2000 at 20:28 UTC
    Randal, why do you continue to spread FUD throughout the community on such things? Your name is on EPP though you wrote none of it yet I don't see the author of that book here whining. This type of whining makes us all look bad as we can't seem to shut you up on such petty topics. I would be willing to bet that there is no content left in the Camel3 that you could claim copyright to. How are we supposed to create Perl6 when we can't even get along on this level? Just for this, I'm going to order as many Camel3 books $3k will buy and give them out on the street. You claim you want peace and closure. May I suggest you work at it a little more ernestly than "ORA was mean to me so now I want to punish them". Having a big mouth got you into trouble before Randal. LEARN!
Re: Should I organize a boycott of camel 3?
by coreolyn (Parson) on Apr 12, 2001 at 20:08 UTC

    A boycott would only hurt everyone (as I see you've already concluded) As to the other matters it's all bad business. But then we are dealing with Open Source and Perl, so the boundries of the playing field are considerably different.

    I think with all the help you've given to the Perl community and on Perlmonks you've the right to air any dirty laundry you see fit. That being said, I think your solicitation for input does more damage than good. In the future I hope you decide to use other venues for such disputes. I hope all parties concerned can get past these issues in a resonable and fair fashion and keep the illusion of the pedestal that some of us put the Perl elite on untarnished


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