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Better name?

Better name?

Posted Dec 15, 2002 4:22 UTC (Sun) by Peter (guest, #1127)
In reply to: Better name? by coriordan
Parent article: The LWN.net 2002 Linux Timeline

The title could be better though.

The "Linux" in "2002 Linux Timeline" has the same meaning as the "L" in "LWN". It doesn't mean "Linux the OS kernel" or even "Linux the OS". Rather it is more like "Linux the socio-politico-economic scene" - which encompasses any and all free software, any and all non-free software that happens to work with free software, any and all companies that have ever made a single positive gesture toward either of the above, any and all companies that have ever made a single negative gesture toward free software, and any and all political doings that have any an impact on free software or vice versa.

(Yeah, you guessed it, that's my biggest problem with LWN - the scope is a little broad. This has gotten a lot better lately, by the way - the main thing that bothered me in the past was the "Linux in the News" section - it used to be chock full of articles that weren't at all about Linux or free software, but happened to drop the word "Linux" somewhere. It seems we're seeing less of that "not really Linux related" news in LWN nowadays, which is good.)


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Better name?

Posted Dec 15, 2002 4:55 UTC (Sun) by ncm (subscriber, #165) [Link]

(... although I'd be happy to see treatment of significant *BSD events, too. It's all in the family.)

Better name?

Posted Dec 15, 2002 5:15 UTC (Sun) by coriordan (guest, #7544) [Link]

:) Thanks for clarifying that one for me.

> biggest problem with LWN - the scope is a little broad

yeh, maybe a survey to find out what the paying readership cares about
could help LWN to focus.

I like hearing about GNU/Linux and some *BSD news but I really don't give
a rats about Oracle applications being ported etc.

News about major non-Free software can be relevant but a two-liner usually
would suffice. It's often hard to believe anyway, it's all been filtered
through a bunch of marketing clowns before the public/free press hears
about it.

(the 'L' in LWN is quite inaccurate but I suppose it's become a brand name,
a change to FSWN may cause confusion)

Any chance of a survey?

Ciaran O'Riordan

LWN on-topic vs off-topic content

Posted Dec 15, 2002 7:16 UTC (Sun) by Peter (guest, #1127) [Link]

(the 'L' in LWN is quite inaccurate but I suppose it's become a brand name, a change to FSWN may cause confusion)

Agreed. And don't take away the convenient 7-letter URL! (:

To clarify my position: I like reading about more than just Linux here. I like reading about the BSDs, and Mozilla, and XFree86, and The HURD, and Wine, and other free software. I like reading about free software politics - DRM, DMCA, Eldred, b-flag, and the doings of the EFF. I like reading about new frontiers for free software - Tivo runs Linux, Compuserve uses Gecko, Company Foo rolls out massive POS upgrade with Linux thin clients, Ogg Tremor ported to iPod. I like - to a lesser extent - hearing about non-free software in the context where it is competing with free software - viz. Microsoft, Apple, Fraunhofer.

What I don't like are stories that have nothing to do with free software or related freedoms - news articles that happen to mention Linux once, 2/3 of the way down the article, or press releases about a new version of Oracle that does this, that and the other thing, and oh by the way Linux is one of 15 supported platforms, or news about uninteresting companies like Corel that once upon a time did something related to free software.

Just a subscriber datapoint. (:

LWN on-topic vs off-topic content

Posted Dec 16, 2002 10:50 UTC (Mon) by alan (subscriber, #4018) [Link]

For what it is worth as a subscriber, I would also like to see more *BSD news, but frankly there doesn't seem to be that much coverage in the press. Kerneltrap does a decent job of mixing all free unix kernel info.

Oracle, and news about other major application vendors, et al. may not matter to you very much, but there are whole worlds of people to whom this information does matter, part of my job as an admin is in finding solutions for my employer on linux as a platform, and therefore am most certianly interested. Also LWN is trying to attract corporate accounts, people to whom this sort of information matters. What is nice about the LWN format is that it is nicely broken up and I can quickly scan down to things that are most relevant to me.

Since I like to be up to date, aware, and at least semi knowledgeable about things that don't even directly affect me, I end up reading the full bigpage. I never can get enough. Kudos to LWN for a job very well done, between lkml, kerneltrap, and your kernel page, I stay well informed.

LWN's coverage

Posted Dec 16, 2002 12:04 UTC (Mon) by james (subscriber, #1325) [Link]

Maybe LWN's coverage is a little too broad, but not by much.

One assumption, and I think it is a good one, is that many Linux users and administrators are using it in a mixed environment. This means, for example, that Windows problems can be our problems: certainly if they start adversely affecting our systems or our bandwidth.

Suppose that there was a new Code Red style Windows worm. It was spreading widely, causing Windows users problems, and showing up, in bulk, in the log files of Linux applications. Under the current approach, the LWN editors would write a short article explaining what all those lines were, and saying that, as far as they knew, Free Software was not vulnerable.

I personally find that helpful, and relevant to the Linux experience of a fair proportion of the readership. I'd say that had a place here.

(Now if the Windows worm showed up problems with Free Software, or squid or iptables or sendmail/postfix could be configured to block it, knowing that would be Really Useful).

There's also an assumption that our computing interests are broad enough that some "general computing" pieces are relevant, especially in the growing number of areas where most of the "general computing" is done with Free Software.

For example, this month's Crypto-gram newsletter mentions Linux once. Yet much of it is highly relevant to Linux security administrators. Similarly, (pointers to) articles on accessibility, clustering, standardisation or internationalisation are relevant, useful and interesting.

And Linux isn't just about Free Software these days. The vocal supporters are those who come from the Free Software / Open Source communities, but there is a reason why commercial Unix on x86 is visibly on its way out.

Many commercial Unix applications are deploying on Linux because it's just plain better than commercial Unix on x86. LWN can't cover the lot of them, but major new developments or security bugs on the most important ones probably would be useful or interesting enough to enough readers.

Besides, people who are used to paying thousands or millions for commercial software on Linux are more likely to pay for a subscription to LWN to help keep their software running...

James.


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