From: John McCormac (jmcc at domain hackwatch.com)
Date: Thu 18 Oct 2001 - 20:45:57 IST
Matthew French wrote:
> See my last point. The Oxford dictionary has been "developed" over
> hundreds of years. Anyway, the complete Oxford dictionary was pretty
> expensive until recently... (AFAIR £1,000 for a set).
Basically meeting the demand and mass production criteria. The OED has
been actively worked on since 1857.
> > > A book does not need to be tested or debugged. If it has a few
> > > typos then nobody will mind.
> > Pardon?
> A book does not need to be tested or debugged.
> Does that make it any clearer? :)
So why do the larger books tend to have editors and fact checkers?
> I have published theses, books and software. And I can honestly say
> that publishing a book is a hundred times easier than publishing a
> software product. Also, as the size grows a software program becomes
> considerably more complex than a book.
Unless you were writing under an alias, I find this claim about having
published books hard to believe. :-) Unless of course you were stuck in
the publishing end of things rather than the actual writing business. In
that case publishing would be a lot easier. Doing theses is trivial and
they do not even rate as book publishing. Writing software is easier
than writing text. With software you are producing a functional item. It
has to work the same way every time. With a book, you have to make sure
that it means the same thing to all those who read it (textbook) and
that it is actually interesting enough to read. Everyone seems to think
that writing books is easy but it is a very tough business. Popular
textbooks/reference works are continually updated.
> As someone else mentioned, one reason MS can't drop their prices is
> that it would be considered anti-competitive. Which is why I expect to
> see Word costing $5 in the next few years when the competition hots
> up. ;)
M$ is moving from a perpetual licence to a time limited subscription
system. One of the financial reasons for this is the reluctance of
people to upgrade. A low yearly subscription would make some of their
software more attractive to these reluctant upgraders, or so the theory
goes. The catch is that the system has to work well enough to allow the
update and the licence subscription fee to work. Though software piracy
is prevalent, the way in which M$ is going after pirates tends to
indicate that it is in a lot more trouble than it is letting on. In a
boom time, most software companies are making too much money to worry
that much about piracy. However grouped with a recession, a reluctance
to upgrade and a potentially massive fine, M$ will be very eager to
implement a subscription based revenue stream. It is all a matter of
presentation and a small annual fee may be very attractive to some.
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