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Breck Carter
Last modified: August 11, 1998
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An Open Letter To Steve Benfield

Please don't associate with the PowerBuilder Developer's Journal or SYS-CON Publications any more. When you feel the urge to write, or to advertise, please use some other publication, or do it via the Web. The business practices of PBDJ and SYS-CON should make it impossible for you to continue on their Editorial Board.

For example, SYS-CON Publications has banned free-lance authors from writing for any publication other than PBDJ. I can speak from personal experience; it happened to me, and it has happened to others.

I'm writing to you because of the "Open Letter To Sybase" that appears in the August 1998 issue of PBDJ. Here are some excerpts:

"This Powersoft conference issue of PBDJ marks the fifth anniversary of our service to the PowerBuilder community. From the very first issue, the support we've received from Powersoft/Sybase has gradually eroded to none."
. . . "Our readers have not seen a PowerBuilder/Sybase ad in PBDJ for more than six months. Sybase's media program did not even include the announcement of this year's Powersoft conference in PBDJ, while investing significant amounts of money in other industry publications whose readership consists of only a small percentage of identified PowerBuilder developers."
The letter is signed "Editors of PBDJ", which includes you. The sentiments it expresses are offensive to many people, in light of how PBDJ and SYS-CON has treated writers. The reference to "other industry publications" is particularly offensive because of the chilling effect the SYS-CON ban had on the competition.

Steve, you are respected and admired in the industry. Folks look up to you, they look to you for direction, and you provide it. All I'm asking is for you to provide some more direction by severing your ties with the PowerBuilder Developers Journal. You don't need them, and free-lance writers need to know they really are free to write for whoever they please.

Breck Carter

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