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From "Jon Skeet" <jon.sk...@peramon.com>
Subject RE: [POLL] Commercial documentation
Date Thu, 10 Jan 2002 19:14:29 GMT
> I am pondering whether it is possible to earn revenue by offering
> log4j documentation online, a bit like what JBoss is trying to
> do. Needless to say, the log4j API (the software) will always be
> licensed under the Apache Software license and would include some
> basic documentation. However, writing good documentation is very time
> consuming and I'd like to see if I can get paid to do it.
> 
> This documentation will be based on the long log4j manual which was
> until recently part of log4j 1.2 alpha3, alpha4 and alpha5. However,
> the latest alpha6 does not include it. This document carried a clearly
> visible copyright notice. It was always copyrighted by me and not the
> ASF.
> 
> Do you think this is an honorable approach? Your comments on the 
> subject are welcome. Thank you.

I personally don't like the idea. It feels like it goes against the spirit of the open source
movement in general. I'd like to think that good documentation should come with good software
- the fact that it generally doesn't isn't a reason to follow that model.

I rather suspect that if you go this way, others will write a good manual which *is* open
source and part of the kit/website. I would try to support such an effort, although I'm in
no way a technical writer. As the sole committer for the Log4j project you could, of course,
avoid putting it into CVS, but I feel that would splinter the project quite severely.

I know it's nice to get money for things, and I'm in no way averse to writing code for a living
(otherwise I wouldn't do it), but I don't think it goes along with the spirit of the rest
of the project.

I know that people *are* writing books for profit based on Ant, Struts etc, and see no reason
you shouldn't do this as well - but not by pulling decent documentation away from Log4j leaving
only minimal documentation in the project.

Jon

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