Tabula isn't free: Annual subscriptions will cost $72. According to Sam's announcement, Tabula won't launch until it has at least 1,000 paid subscribers signed up; if it looks like the magazine can't hit that goal, anyone who paid will get their money back, and they'll abandon the start-up effort. The magazine will also accept display ads, presumably with the same promise of a full refund if the magazine never gets off the ground.
I am pleased to announce that the mysql Journal is moving forward. During the past two weeks, I've been discussing the journal with mysql AB, and the plan that's been devised benefits all involved, including authors, readers, the community, and mysql AB.
Let me outline how the journal will operate:
* The name of the magazine is Tabula: The Journal of mysql Development. The domain name of the magazine will be themysqljournal.com. The trademark "MySQL" is being used with the permission of mysql AB.
* The magazine is dedicated to mysql development, deployment, maintenance, and programming.
* Of course, since mysql is a database, there are any number of languages, toolkits, libraries, and so on, that interact with MySQL. All of those topics -- a wide range of Open Source topics -- will also be covered in the journal. That includes, but isn't limited to, Rails, Perl's DBI and DBIx, PHP, Python, Java, .NET, scripting, administration, backups, replication, performance tuning, migration from other databases, and more.
* The magazine will be published monthly and will be distributed solely as a personalized, password-protected, watermarked PDF.
* Each issue of the magazine will include three feature stories, six or so columns (TBD), and other content to support the community, such as calendars, news, puzzles, profiles, interviews, press releases, software releases, etc.
(If you're wary about sending money -- which is always a good idea -- I'm sure you could contact MySQL AB directly and ask them about the project, since Tabula is using the organization's trademark with its permission. Sam is managing the launch of Red Letter, a new magazine on Ruby development that O'Reilly should be launching any time now. )
Tabula has recruited a small, permanent staff, but it is also looking for outside contributors. They're offering modest but reasonable payments for contributed content; the terms for contributions (first serial rights, perpetual usage, and a 60 day exclusive-use window for commercial publication) also look reasonable.
MySQL strips email addresses from its archived mailing list posts, and as of today, Tabula's Web site (www.themysqljournal.com) isn't yet live. If you'd like to subscribe, pitch an article to Sam, or have any questions, you can reach him at [email protected].