Writer's Guidelines (Style)

TUX Magazine appeals to the computer enthusiast and user who is uses their computer in the office and at home to do all the things we normally do with computers (email, web surfing, documents, spreadsheets, etc). These readers also see their home computer as a source of entertainment and use it to play music, watch videos, play games and so on. While most computer enthusiasts tend to be somewhat technical (or have interests in that direction), they don't all want to set up Apache web servers with Jakarta and Tomcat while writing embedded Linux code and scanning their networks for statistics on various running services. We want this publication to have a decidedly friendly feel to it with a heavy graphical focus. There will also be occasional articles with more meaty content for the more advanced user as well.

Pretend that you just set your non-techie brother, sister, or friend's PC with Linux and now you need to explain things to them. Your goal is to have them walk away excited and energized about doing whatever it is you've just showed them.

Make sure the style to be friendly and conversational, as though you were sitting with the person, showing them how to do what you are writing about -- hands-on and practical. When they finish reading the article, or during the article for that matter, we want the reader to reach for his Linux PC so he or she can try out what you are writing about. Since TUX is rich is graphical content as well as text, we not only accept screenshots and graphics, but encourage them. Don't be gratuitous with screenshots, but do take the time to let the readers see what you see.

Show people how to work with their Linux system its applications, but don't write me a point form HOWTO (as in the online Linux documents by that name). There's nothing wrong with the Linux HOWTOs at www.tldp.org -- in fact, I regularly point people to them -- but they do tend to be point form and that is not what I am looking for here. Let your personality and voice come through.

You should also know that while we plan on covering many different types of applications, we're going to concentrate on using and showing the KDE desktop. The reason for doing this isn't to deny the reader choice, but to create a consistent entry point into the software being discussed. Since we expect a sizable percentage of our audience to be fairly new to Linux, KDE also provides (at this time) the friendliest and most mature of the desktop environments.

This is not to say that I want to ignore GNOME applications, but I want the desktop to be KDE so you need to be comfortable with that. Let's not forget either that there are numerous desktop environments in the Linux world and that some of these are also very popular (eg: IceWM, WindowMaker, XFCE). Rather than try to cover everything and risk confusing an audience that is new to Linux, TUX will concentrate on KDE as the desktop environment.

Marcel Gagné - Thu, 2004-12-09 13:54.