SPUG: Status of Perl Journal (from Editor)

Tim Maher/CONSULTIX tim at consultix-inc.com
Tue Jan 2 20:55:31 CST 2001

----- Forwarded message from Jon Orwant <orwant at oreilly.com> -----

Date: Tue, 2 Jan 2001 19:18:48 -0500
From: Jon Orwant <orwant at oreilly.com>
To: Jon Orwant <orwant at oreilly.com>
Subject: The state of TPJ
X-Mailer: Mutt 1.0.1i

January 2, 2001

Some folks have been asking me about the status of The Perl
Journal #20, and prospective authors have been asking me
about deadlines for future issues.  The answers: TPJ #20 is
in press and ready to print, but EarthWeb (the owner of TPJ)
has told the printer to stop the presses until further
notice.  I am currently responding to proposals sent to me
with approximately "I don't know if there's going to be
another issue, but when I do I'll respond to your proposal."

Since the future of the magazine is in doubt, I can't in
good conscience greenlight proposals; I will not encourage
an author to spend weeks writing an article when I know that
it might never be printed.  So I've told people who've asked
what I know about the current situation: while EarthWeb has
sold many of its properties to internet.com so that it can
focus on "career services", it has not sold TPJ.  However,
EarthWeb has also made it clear that they don't want to
publish TPJ any more.

This story has started to leak out to the Perl community and
has already mutated a bit in not-quite-correct directions,
so I wanted to write this note to set the record straight.
Or as straight as I can, given what little I know about
EarthWeb's decisions.  

While TPJ's future is very much up in the air, people
shouldn't take this as any indicator about Perl itself.  
TPJ was doing just fine back when I ran it, there's no
shortage of content out there, and the magazine could easily
go bimonthly and then monthly -- indeed, when EarthWeb
acquired TPJ I had thought that was the plan.  I still enjoy
the editing, the authors enjoy the writing, and the 
designers enjoy the designing.  What happens now is up to
EarthWeb.  And no, I'm not suggesting that people bombard
them with email.  Heck, they just laid off 100 people, so
I'm not even sure who to bombard.  Eventually there will be
some resolution, and when there is I'll write again to let
everyone know.

As of December 27th, this matter is now in the courts, and
so I have to adopt the "just the facts" tone of this letter
without portraying my opinions.  Someday I'll be able to
talk more about what is happening in these strange days;
until then, you'll have to conjure up your own adjectives on
my behalf.


Jon Orwant

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