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Re: [Caml-list] The new OCaml book (Objective Caml Programming Language by Tim Rentsch)
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Date: 2009-03-02 (18:06)
From: Alexy Khrabrov <deliverable@g...>
Subject: Re: [Caml-list] The new OCaml book (Objective Caml Programming Language by Tim Rentsch)
Tim -- thanks for clarification.  I've bought the book at once when I  
saw it announced here, but now have second thoughts.

 From what you describe, it's clear to me that Jason is the originator  
of the book and you did the auxiliary tasks.  Noe amount of calling up  
publishers can substitute for teaching a class at Caltech and  
distilling a teachable text out of it.  Jason is known for OCaml  
software co-developed with his students, and I only found a few  
messages from you on this list.

IMHO, if you didn't come to an arrangement, too bad for you; but it  
doesn't mean you can come up with other alternatives excluding Jason.   
I can imagine lots of folks working for publishers doing lots of  
technical assistance, but not asking for their name to be on a book.   
If there was a disagreement, you could have excluded any material  
based on Jason's notes, and started from scratch; but not at 2/3 of  
the book.  As a friend of mine likes to say: "I'm afraid you have to  
go see Dr. Toughshitsky about this."

The era of self-publishing also shows that Amazon doesn't replace a  
publisher -- they don't check the rights and pedigrees of books as  
publishers used to.  But they do have reviews where folks can say what  
they think of this situation.  The pre-emptive self-publishing can't  
replace years of teaching and authorship -- the US legal system is  
good enough to sort this out and deliver justice, alas often after  
much agony and expense for all parties.

I believe it's best for Tim to retract his book ASAP; otherwise it  
might be done by Jason and CUP via legal means.  All of this is not  
helping OCaml.

Overall, I can't help seeing that any author who isn't known on this  
list ends up with a questionable book -- first Smith and now Rentsch.   
Perhaps the elders should form a book vetting committee? As a  
heuristics, since the community is still rather small and coherent,  
the rule works -- if you can't grep much on the author in this list,  
ask questions!