Daily Archives: October 23, 2006

Affiliate Networks

Another long-awaited round tuit is to try and get Apache Tutor to cover its basic running costs by linking to relevant books: both mine and others (which I guess I ought to review for that).

That means joining some affiliate network. My first stop was Amazon, where I tried to sign up a week or two ago. But it’s too broken to use:

  • The amazon.com front page redirects me to amazon.co.uk. Actually it doesn’t – it’s too broken – but that’s what it tries to do.
  • amazon.co.uk lets me sign up as an affiliate, but won’t generate a link to my book, which rather defeats the point. That’s presumably because – unlike amazon.com – it isn’t accepting orders.
  • Most amazon.com pages away from the front page let me view them, but it won’t let me either sign up as an affiliate or log in using my amazon.co.uk ID. More brokenness.

So the next port of call was Barnes & Noble. That was a much smoother process: it let me sign up as an affiliate and generate links to my book (which I’ve now done). The fly in the ointment is that its tracking mechanism is going to break, and not give me a referral fee, on anyone whose browser declines to load images from their site whilst viewing my page, or whose browser or network use privacy settings. Since my audience is people who are already web-savvy techies, that probably loses most of them.

Bah, humbug

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Half-open source

On October 17th, MySQL AB announced a new commercial offering, based of course on their renowned opensource database product. Apache folks Ian Holsman and Steve Loughran comment on the announcement.

But we have a very similar scenario even closer to home, with the acquisition by Breach Security of mod_security. I’ve actually been thinking about the possible implications of that one, with a view to featuring it in my column for El Reg, and my conclusion is that if Ristic and Breach play their cards right, this could be good news for everyone. Ristic’s interview with securityfocus is reassuring on this count.

One thing that may have profoundly affected the mod_security situation is the use of the GPL. Of course, Breach (like MySQL) can do exactly what they like with their product. But if AN Other bases a new product on it – and mod_security certainly has scope for that – it has a profound effect. In effect, Breach have bought themselves a monopoly on the right to release a closed-source enterprise edition.