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O'Reilly Media

O'Reilly Media
Founded 1978
Founder Tim O'Reilly
Country of origin United States
Headquarters location Sebastopol, California
Publication types Books, Magazines
Official website

O'Reilly Media (formerly O'Reilly & Associates) is an American media company established by Tim O'Reilly that publishes books and Web sites and produces conferences on computer technology topics. Their distinctive brand features a woodcut of an animal on many of their book covers.


File:ACM OReilly-Rainbow-large-flash.jpg
O'Reilly Media is best known for its color-coded "Animal Books".

The company began in 1978 as a private consulting firm doing technical writing, based in the Cambridge, Massachusetts area. In 1984, it began to retain publishing rights on manuals created for Unix vendors. A few 70-page "Nutshell Handbooks" were well-received, but the focus remained on the consulting business until 1988. After a conference displaying O'Reilly's preliminary Xlib manuals attracted significant attention, the company began increasing production of manuals and books

In 1992, O'Reilly Media published one of the first popular books about the Internet, Ed Krol's Whole Internet User's Guide and Catalog.[1] O'Reilly Media also created the first web portal, the Global Network Navigator ("GNN") in 1993; it was sold to AOL in 1995, one of the first large transactions of the dot-com bubble.

O'Reilly launched a Perl Conference to raise the profile of the Perl programming language. Many of the company's other software bestsellers were also on topics that were off the radar of the commercial software industry. In 1998, O'Reilly invited many of the leaders of software projects to a meeting. Originally called the freeware summit, the meeting became known as the Open Source Summit. The O'Reilly Open Source Convention (which includes the Perl conference) is now one of O'Reilly's flagship events. Other key events include the Emerging Technology Conference and FOO Camp.

Besides publishing, the company hosts many annual conferences, and provides online services for the open source community. Among such conferences are O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference in California and O'Reilly Open Source Convention. Overall, O'Reilly describes its business not as publishing or conferences, but as "changing the world by spreading the knowledge of innovators." O'Reilly has also adopted[citation needed] Creative Commons's Founders Copyright, which limits the maximum term of copyright protection to 28 years; it is much shorter than the current default duration of the monopoly in copyright law.

Dale Dougherty, O'Reilly Media vice president, created the phrase "Web 2.0" during a brainstorming session during 2003.[2] This then became the name for the Web 2.0 Summit run by O'Reilly Media and TechWeb (formerly CMP Media). They registered Web 2.0 as a Service Mark "for arranging and conducting live events, namely trade shows, expositions, business conferences and educational conferences in various fields of computers and information technology."

In May 2006 CMP Media learned of an impending event called the "Web 2.0 Half day conference." Concerned over their obligation to take reasonable means to enforce their trade and service marks CMP sent a cease and desist letter to the non-profit Irish organizers of the event. This attempt to restrict through legal mechanisms the use of the term was criticized by some.[who?] The legal issue was resolved by O'Reilly's apologizing for the early and aggressive involvement of attorneys, rather than simply calling the organizers, and allowing them to use the service mark for this single event.[3]

File:O'Reilly logo.png
the tarsier featured on the cover of Learning the vi Editor has been incorporated into the O'Reilly logo

For many years the most typical O'Reilly books, the "animal books," have been designed as thorough guides for work with established technologies. The original animal design was developed by Edie Freedman because she thought that Unix program names sounded like "weird animals." [4]


O'Reilly began its conference division in 1997. Today, the company offers over one dozen conferences:[citation needed]



Since 2005, O'Reilly has published a quarterly magazine known as Make: technology on your time. The magazine contains articles on hardware hacking, as well as several technology-related do-it-yourself (DIY) instructions for hobbyists, and was later adapted into a television series by Twin Cities Public Television.

In the fall of 2006, O'Reilly added a second magazine, Craft:, with the tagline "Transforming Traditional Crafts." Craft magazine folded in 2009.


Over the years O'Reilly tried many other types of products. In 1993, they launched one of the first Web-based resources, Global Network Navigator, which was sold to AOL in 1995.[8] Around that time, they started two short-lived book lines: one of travel books (including Travelers' Tales Mexico) and one of general business books (including Love Your Job! and Building a Successful Software Business). They produced an audiotape version of the interview show Geek of the Week by Internet Talk Radio. They sold Windows based software for six years, including the first commercially available Web server, Web Site.[citation needed]

O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures is a venture capital fund focusing on software, cleantech and other emerging trends.[9]

Online resources

In 2001, O'Reilly formed a partnership with Pearson Publishing to offer "Safari Books Online". This service makes the complete text of over 20,000 business and technical books as well as technical videos available for online viewing through a subscription. Safari Books Online includes books and video from Adobe Press, Alpha Books, Cisco Press, FT Press, Microsoft Press, New Riders Publishing, O'Reilly, Peachpit Press, Prentice Hall, Prentice Hall PTR, Que and Sams Publishing. In 2014,[10] O'Reilly Media acquired Pearson's stake, making Safari Books Online a wholly owned subsidiary of O'Reilly Media.

O'Reilly formerly offered "SafariU" to educators to compile custom textbooks from individual chapters of books and from their own uploaded materials.

In the late 1990s, O'Reilly founded the O'Reilly Network, which grew to include sites such as:

  • O'Reilly Radar

In 2008 the company revised its online model and stopped publishing on several of its sites (including Codezoo and O'Reilly Connection).[11]

The company also produces dev2dev (a WebLogic-oriented site) in association with BEA and (an open-source community for Java programmers) in association with Sun Microsystems and CollabNet.

In 2014 O'Reilly acquired Infinite Skills, a Canadian publisher of online and DVD video courses.[12]

See also


  1. ^ Guynn, Jessica (2008-10-10). "Tech guru challenges next generation to get serious - Los Angeles Times". Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ Ivry, Sara (May 29, 2006). "Squabble Over Name Ruffles a Web Utopia". New York Times. 
  4. ^ Levy, Steven (October 2005), "The Trend Spotter", Wired (magazine), retrieved November 24, 2009 
  5. ^ "O'Reilly Peer to Peer Conference". 2001. 
  6. ^ O'Reilly Emerging Technology Conference discontinuation notice
  7. ^ O'Reilly, Tim (2 May 2013). "Ending the TOC Conference, But Still Pushing Tools of Change for Publishing". O'Reilly Media. Retrieved 27 September 2014. 
  8. ^ Levy, Steven (October 2005). "The Trend Spotter". Wired. Condé Nast. Retrieved 27 April 2014. 
  9. ^ "O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures - About". Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  10. ^ "O’Reilly purchases Pearson’s stake in Safari". O'Reilly Media. 4 August 2014. 
  11. ^ "Codezoo and Connection landing page". 2007-10-03. Retrieved 2010-08-10. 
  12. ^

External links