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Re: [Caml-list] The new OCaml book (Objective Caml Programming Language by Tim Rentsch)
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Date: 2009-03-04 (06:59)
From: Tim Rentsch <txr@a...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] The new OCaml book (Objective Caml Programming Language by Tim Rentsch)
Alexy -- thank you for the reply, I appreciate hearing your thoughts
on the situation.  Before you completely make up your mind I would
like to offer some other perspectives to consider.

It's a given that Jason had more OCaml background and experience
than I did, especially at the beginning of our working together, and
also that his original course notes gave us a good start.  But there
was still a lot of writing work to do, even just for topics already
covered, before the earlier material would make it up to the level
of being book-ready.  And it isn't like Jason would work in some
sections and I would work in others.  We both worked in every part
of the new manuscript, and that work was substantial;  I wouldn't be
at all surprised to find that each of us spent more time working on
the joint manuscript than was spent altogether previously.

Because of the nature of our collaboration, it's harder to see the
value of my contribution in earlier chapters, but I believe that
value is there and that it's significant.  That might be hard to
see comparing my book and Jason's current manuscript;  has anyone
considered comparing our joint manuscript against the original
course notes?  Let me be clear that I'm not suggesting any
intentional impropriety on Jason's part.  However, it's hard not to
be unconsciously influenced by past memories during subsequent
writing.  If Jason's current manuscript inadvertently makes use of
value I brought to the joint manuscript, what should be done about

As to what should be done considering the similarities between my
book and Jason's manuscript, I was surprised by your suggestion that
my book be withdrawn.  Legally, the manuscript Jason and I worked on
is viewed as a joint work and we are equal co-owners, but even
ignoring that, I don't think what I've done is inappropriate.  I'm
confident that I'm responsible for more than half the value of
TOCPL.  I was willing for Jason to be listed as co-author.  I've
tried to make arrangements to pay Jason the royalties that I think
he's entitled to.  Furthermore I wouldn't have done the book if I
thought it didn't have unique value of its own to offer;  part of my
motivation is a sincere desire to contribute to a wider awareness
of the benefits of ML-style functional programming.

I see that there are other messages in this thread so let me stop
here and continue on to the other messages.