[kwlug-disc] what would you pay for good kernel documentation?

Paul Nijjar paul_nijjar at yahoo.ca
Sun Jun 6 00:01:31 EDT 2010

On Sat, Jun 05, 2010 at 11:45:20PM -0400, Robert P. J. Day wrote:
>   i'm thinking that it could be clear from the beginning that, say,
> the first month's lessons would be free, after which you would
> subscribe to the rest of the course for some reasonable amount like
> $39.  if you didn't think the first month was worth it, you walk away
> and you've lost nothing.  if you were enjoying it, you pay the money
> and complete the course.  (there's no bait and switch here -- it would
> be clear that there would be a subscription fee after the first
> month.)

I know that the word "month" is tentative, but does this refer to time
or to a fixed number of lessons? I would suggest that the latter is
more predictable (for the end user) and easier to administer (for you). 

>   i have to admit, given how people in some of the other forums were
> freaking out over a proposed amount of five or 10 dollars just for
> documentation, $39 might drive them right into a fainting spell.

If the interactive course is all they get, then you will have piracy.
One alternative is to include a portion of your *services* with the
course (which might well raise the price). For example, you could
critique submitted code snippets for customers for things like style
and common errors. I could see that being valuable for somebody who is
trying to get code committed to the kernel, or to make a kernel module
that is going to be maintainable over kernel versions. 

That relates to maybe the most important question: what kind of target
audience would be willing to pay for this? If you really want to make
some income from this, then those are the people to target, not
general newbies who are kind of interested in dabbling with kernels. 

I think one reason people faint over paying money for kernel training
in forums is that there are a lot of things to learn, and unless there
is a solid reason to learn about kernels there are cheaper learning
opportunities out there. (I could make disparaging remarks about
freeloaders in the Linux world, but I don't want to be guilty of

- Paul


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