11570 posts since 7 Dec, 2004
Self published works are becoming far more commonplace due to many factors including the lack of any value added by publishers which don't do any meaningful editing or peer review anyway and never did, yet place all sorts of hurdles and sometimes insurmountable obstacles between the authors and their audience, which defeats the whole purpose!
It doesn't make sense to publish with a publisher who is going to actively work against your interests as an author.
Part of the advantage of placing such works in access to the public is defensive: the techniques now described by these papers although they have long existed and even in some cases been applied in software are no longer eligible for patent protection due to the publishing itself. Any related patents must also cite these works as prior art which increases the burden (perhaps to nearly insurmountable) to those who would wish to apply patents in blockade of their competition.
Demonstrating the obviousness of an invention is not so easy until you have a published paper available to the public which describes the complete invention and the process in which it was invented (whether or not invention is the right term, I'd prefer "discovery") which then definitively makes it obvious.