back to article Nothing to see here, says IBM, Redbooks are still a thing. Move along please

IBMers were last week treated to a re-enactment of the Hokey Cokey*, sources claim, as staff working on Redbooks technical papers were told of planned reassignment, only to be told days later by the architect of the change that it was all a "misunderstanding." Redbooks is technical prose created and published by IBM Garage. " …

  1. David 132 Silver badge

    "There was no backtracking here"

    Just once I wish a PR weasel would lay off the spin. Had the spokesperson said something to the effect of, "Yes, we planned to shut down the Redbooks team, but we had seriously underestimated the depth of customer and stakeholder feeling, so we are reversing that decision" - they'd actually earn my respect.

    Instead of which we have a Putin-esque attempt to deny reality, "all the people involved completely imagined being told to shut down their projects, you are imagining it too, black is white, war is peace, there are no Russian troops in the Crimea".


    1. Ian Mason

      Re: "There was no backtracking here"

      Yeah, exactly that. What message are your sending if it's obvious to all and sundry that you're lying through your teeth. Oh I know, "You cannot trust the people I speak for."

  2. JacobZ

    PR weaselry at its finest

    Read the IBM statements carefully. They are entirely consistent with the original plan to move all internal staff to "other projects" and to produce Red Books using external contractors. PR weaselry at its finest.

    The resulting Red Books will, of course, be complete crap, and will come at the cost of doubling the effort required from the IBM SMEs who create and check the meat of the content - and, I suspect, many of those SMEs will be exactly the same IBM Garage people who were previously professionally producing the old Red Books that customers loved so much.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: PR weaselry at its finest

      FWIW, most of the good redbooks were written by customers or in collaboration with customers. I've been involved in a number of them, and being able to contribute what I learned was always the best part of a redbook team.

      I think enough someone's picked up the phone and tore this bozo a new one, and as high in the food chain as they dared to call. I know I did.

  3. Secondrule

    Never explain, never complain.

  4. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    One day...

    You are producing Redbooks

    Next day, you receive a Pink Slip

  5. fredesmite2

    Virginia M. Rometty.

    Virginia M. Rometty.

    The only person at IBM over the age of 50 that actually reached the retirement age without getting laid off.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    seriously upset

    I can understand many customers would be seriously upset about RBs being stopped.

    After all, they're probably the *very* best of technical IT literature of the whole market, and one massive reason why one would buy IBM kit.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Understandable concern about the demise of RefBooks

    It is very clear that RedBooks are still important, even more so considering the woeful state of IBM primary product documentation. It used to be RedBooks complemented IBM documentation, but now they are the only thing that is actually left worth reading.

    I've seen IBM docs. go from some of the very best, if a little dry, full bookshelves of dead tree to nothing on paper, everything on the web, only available to support paying customers, and so poorly indexed with dead links, deprecated or removed websites, and no real technical details if you do find what you're looking for.

    At one time, I thought there was a deliberate push to try to make customers pay for training from IBM education by making the documentation less useful, but that's gone as well.

    It really does seem to me that the execs of the remaining bits of IBM are so uninterested in their own product that they wish it would go away so they could just become a cloud and cognitive integration business, but I really think they've even missed the boat there.

    If someone high up in IBM doesn't refocus on what IBM still has left of their old values, IBM will become like the oozlum bird, and disappear up it's own fundament.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

      Re: Understandable concern about the demise of RefBooks

      Oooh noo, please, it's wicked to mock the afflicted!

    2. MrBanana Silver badge

      Re: Understandable concern about the demise of RefBooks

      Navigation through the IBM docs website is horrid for getting technical information. Everything chopped up into short paragraphs, with links splattered around. Totally useless if you want to read through a topic as whole thing, with the ability to scroll through it. Not having to continually click backwards and forwards through random links. It used to be possible to get decent PDF versions of the manuals, but that option seems to be disappearing as well.

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