For the Love of Linux

This week I was speaking and working at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) in Portland Oregon. It was an amazing show with representation from some of the largest open source projects and dignitaries in the world. Rubbing elbows with them in the hallways, in sessions, and in parties really leaves me with a sense of hope for the future of software innovation. One theme that came through in several of the presentations was that things change. Open source is changing, software is changing, the people that make up the community are changing, but regardless of the changes it is important for the community to remain true to its ideals. This week we announced a major change for TUX, true to this OSCON theme, I want everyone to understand that regardless of this change, the magazine will remain true to its ideals.

In the first 15 issues of TUX we proved that our initial suspicions were true. The computer industry needs a magazine that delivers easy to read information for new Linux enthusiasts. We've also proved that an electronic delivery model has distinct advantages to the traditional methods of magazine publishing. Thus far, we've successfully resisted the temptation to revert to those traditional methods when we have been challenged or urged by our readers. We believe in this new model and from the correspondence that we receive from avid readers, you believe in it too.

One of or most distinguishing characteristics is our easy to read portable document format (PDF) file. Without a doubt, our PDF is remarkable. It is no coincidence, however, that our look is so distinct. From the beginning, we strove to create a magazine that was focused on our vision for the Linux desktop. Every month we aim to deliver a PDF that is easy to use (read), highly enjoyable (with vibrant colors and plenty of screen-shots), and above all, just plain works (landscape mode versus portrait). As I mentioned, none of this is coincidence, the team at TUX aims to deliver the highest quality Linux publication for the new Linux user. With this aim in mind, we now move to the next level in our efforts to create the finest magazine possible.

You've seen the announcement, you've probably received the email, and it has sparked a lively debate. I appreciate and encourage this debate. So no matter what you think , please know this: we love Linux and really believe in what we are doing. I've met a lot of our authors personally, and I can share with you that they are not writing in TUX for the money. In fact, I've had many authors tell me they can make more money writing for someone else. Good for them. However, for most of us, it is our belief in the ideals of open source and love of Linux that keeps us contributing.

At this point in our publication, we believe that a change is necessary. It is a change that will help fuel our efforts to help TUX achieve our lofty goal. Just as Linux Journal helped usher in the era of Linux in the information technology industry, TUX will help usher in the reality of desktop Linux. We love Linux, we love TUX, and we believe that this change will help turn our dreams into reality. There are so many other things that will now become possible. Some of which we can't even announce yet. However, we know that when you finally hear our plans you will agree that this was the right move.

In the coming months you can expect new additions to our editorial content. Currently we are considering a few. First, one of our favorite things to feature is how to accomplish specific tasks with Linux. We are thinking about a new style of article called "Git-R-Done With TUX". With these articles we will perfect the delivery of "doing x with y", where "x" will be a specific task and "y" will be a commonly available Linux application. Second, we're thinking of adding more articles to address how our reader community can help with Linux and FOSS advocacy. These will be more how-to style articles, but focus on community advocacy of Linux instead of on Linux applications. Third, we would like to expand our coverage of the most usable distributions available. Specifically, we want to expose readers to all of the features, in an in-depth manner, that make some distributions stand out. If a company or project excels in making an easy to use Linux distribution, we want our readers to understand clearly what makes it remarkable. Fourth, we want to create a search-able index of past issues, something many readers have been asking for. Finally, we believe we have a way to respond to one of the most frequent reader requests. I can't say what it is now, but I know that when we do make an announcement, many subscribers will be glad they renewed their subscription.

In conclusion, I want to stress how deeply we care about Linux and making the finest magazine possible. This change only ensures that we will have the means necessary to make good on that promise and hopefully, together, make our collective dream of a desktop Linux become reality. We hope this lofty goal drives us all on through this change and all changes to come.

Kevin Shockey - Fri, 2006-07-28 20:14.