Become a fan of Slashdot on Facebook

 



Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Linux

Linux Journal Ceases Publication (linuxjournal.com) 123

Not too long after Linus Torvalds wrote his own Unix kernel, which he called Linux, in the summer of 1991, a magazine was founded by enthusiasts to focus on the operating system. For more than two decades Linux Journal has been an authority magazine on all things Linux, often cited by mainstream outlets, but it is now shuttering doors. In a blog post, Linux Journal's Carlie Fairchild writes: It looks like we're at the end, folks. If all goes according to a plan we'd rather not have, the November issue of Linux Journal was our last. The simple fact is that we've run out of money, and options along with it. We never had a wealthy corporate parent or deep pockets of our own, and that made us an anomaly among publishers, from start to finish. While we got to be good at flying close to the ground for a long time, we lost what little elevation we had in November, when the scale finally tipped irrevocably to the negative. Thanks for all the fish.

Linux Journal Ceases Publication

Comments Filter:
  • cry cry cry (Score:5, Insightful)

    by no-body ( 127863 ) on Friday December 01, 2017 @02:52PM (#55659607)

    what a loss...

  • Welp (Score:5, Insightful)

    by war4peace ( 1628283 ) on Friday December 01, 2017 @02:58PM (#55659661)

    Another classical magazine succumbed to the advancement of technology it itself promoted.

    • Another classical magazine succumbed to the advancement of technology it itself promoted.

      Yes, it succumbed to the advancement of freely available information. While it's a shame that good people lost their jobs, the magazine offered nothing above what was already freely published. The same thing happened to Linux Magazine. Linux is one of the best documented operating systems ever made, and there is nothing that a fee-based magazine can offer to top that.

      • That's not exactly true. Firstly there is peripheral information like interviews with interesting people, or project overview articles. Second, Magazines are a repository for information - you don't need to google it, it comes to you. Thirdly, magazines are edited - tested for correctness, spelling, good prose, etc. I'm sure there are more reasons, but these are the few I can list off the top of my head.

        • Re: Welp (Score:2, Insightful)

          A magazine is static content with low levels of user feedback and input on article quality and interest. The production values, and expected print form releases increase costs above most of their competitors, and now above market value.

          Blogs and other web based publishing methods have all sorts of metrics and numbers to gauge interest. Article comments even give you insight into the reaction of a publication, which maybe even lets you gauge public relations.

          So you have a high supply of low cost, high t
          • Yep universal. Blogs, Vlogs, and forums have disrupted the mag biz across all spectrums. Cars, Sports, Guns, Gamers, Tech, Professionals... It's a good time to be alive if you don't work in the establishment media...
            • I'm not so sure. It is this content distribution system which has allowed the possibility of a Russian influence USA election to have become a reality.

              Everybody is a publisher, and there is little to no verification, or publishing standards to hold a person to. Things are not vetted, they are simply shared. A significant portion of information is now essentially gossip.

              Sure there may be some established content creators, but news on a feed somewhere is not required to come from a well established conten
      • Another classical magazine succumbed to the advancement of technology it itself promoted.

        Yes, it succumbed to the advancement of freely available information. While it's a shame that good people lost their jobs, the magazine offered nothing above what was already freely published. The same thing happened to Linux Magazine. Linux is one of the best documented operating systems ever made, and there is nothing that a fee-based magazine can offer to top that.

        No. It offered a curation of items (obviously freely available in the wild), organized and cataloged, in addition to interview and editorials. There is information, where is everywhere, and there is knowledge (what you get and create out of raw information.)

        That is was not valuable enough for consumers to keep it going, that is a different argument. But to argue it offered nothing above what was available for free, that does not make any sense. At. All.

    • Re:Welp (Score:5, Interesting)

      by bettodavis ( 1782302 ) on Friday December 01, 2017 @04:38PM (#55660543)
      Well organized, freely available information sources about Linux technical topics killed it.

      Nowadays it's easier and cheaper to go to one of many free websites with thousands of articles and technical questions answered and indexed, than looking for a solution in an old magazine rack.

      It is sad such a thing happened for the people making a living out of it, but it's good for Linux there are so many information sources nowadays.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Another classical magazine succumbed to the advancement of technology it itself promoted.

      Linux Journal was "classical" in the 1990s, but they failed to really transition into anything meaningful in the new millenium.

      I remember when they sent me the notice that they were discontinuing their print edition and migrating everyone to an "online only" edition. There was maybe 1 month's advance notice of these changes. I asked for a refund of my remaining subscription fees and took my business elsewhere.

      Over the years I remember:

      * Linux Journal page counts slowly declining.

      * Shawn Powers got stra

  • Too bad (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Bruce Perens ( 3872 ) <bruce@perens.com> on Friday December 01, 2017 @03:08PM (#55659721) Homepage Journal

    Phil Hughes started LJ and eventually gave it to Carlie Fairchild when he left for South America. I believe that Bob Young was a seed funder but I don't think the journal ever had that big a capitalization. Running a magazine about Linux in the face of the torrent of information about it on the Internet was never an easy thing. It's incredible that she was able to keep it going this long, and I wish Carlie luck in her future endeavors.

    • It's quite surprising. The FreeBSD Journal has some sponsorship from the FreeBSD Foundation (though I think it's now mostly self-supporting) as a marketing tool. A bunch of the articles exist to showcase the OS and provide a tool for people in IT departments to advocate within their organisation ('look, bigger-than-us company is using it to solve this problem we have!'). I'm a bit surprised that companies like RedHat don't find enough of a value in this to be able to bankroll it. That said, perhaps Linu
  • A damn shame. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Major_Disorder ( 5019363 ) on Friday December 01, 2017 @03:12PM (#55659755)
    I always like Linux Journal, it wasn't dumbed down, like so many things are these days.
    • Agreed. Back in the day (Byte, Dr Dobbs, etc.) Linux Journal had its place.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        Subscribed to those same three. It was sad when Byte abandoned the hobby readers by going all Windows and commercial.

    • Re:A damn shame. (Score:5, Insightful)

      by zeugma-amp ( 139862 ) on Friday December 01, 2017 @03:16PM (#55659797) Homepage
      True. I've been a subscriber for long enough to remember their (Monty) Python special issue. This is really sad that they couldn't keep it up even in an all digital format.
      • Ah yes, the Monty Python issue. And that came not long after LJ criticised booth babes, then showed the MP guy at a piano, naked. Who was it that left LJ after the abuse they received because of that hypocrisy?
    • by doom ( 14564 )
      Yeah. Recent issues have seemed pretty good to me. They always talk about something I hadn't heard about, and it's not like there aren't other sources of info out there...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 01, 2017 @03:16PM (#55659793)

    I used to have a subscription (I think I had it for 6-7 years), but when they went only to an electronic only version and dropped the dead-tree, I did not renew.

    I wonder how many other people did the same thing.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Still complaining about that after all of these years, huh?

      Even though I was disappointed, I stuck with the magazine and don't regret it at all. I can't say that I've seen other publications handle that type of situation, but I thought the way LJ handled it was very good. They were careful to explain the reasons behind it and were on top of subscriber feedback--positive and negative. I doubt anyone could have done better.

    • by crow ( 16139 )

      Yup, me too. I had jumped on a deal shortly before that where you could extend your subscription by 100 issues for $100. When they stopped mailing it, I never logged in to read it. I occasionally will find an old article when searching on some topic, and it's almost always a great source of information.

  • by Provocateur ( 133110 ) <shedied.gmail@com> on Friday December 01, 2017 @03:24PM (#55659865) Homepage

    Didn't have a 'fat pipe' nor a fast one either, back in the day.

    It's incredible that she was able to keep it going this long

    And sold with physical media (cd or dvd) off the stands!

    Plus all the tech articles it was filled with, that outnumbered the ads. It will be missed.

    It was a good run. Best of luck to the people who made it all work and muchas gracias.

  • by jfdavis668 ( 1414919 ) on Friday December 01, 2017 @03:53PM (#55660145)
    No wonder they went out of business, they shouldn't have accepted payment in fish. Harder to convert to hard currency than bitcoins, too short of a shelf-life.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I remember reading Linux Journal while flirting with the cute cashier at a local Tower Records. Today, Linux Journal is gone, Tower Records is gone, and that cute cashier is my friend on Facebook. At least the best element of that part of my life is still around...

    I think a lot of what Linux Journal stood for is alive and well with Linux Weekly News [lwn.net]. Yes, it's paywalled, but quality content costs real money to make, and the paywalled articles are made free to read after about a month.

    • by Herve5 ( 879674 )

      I am a subscriber to LWN, but you definitely can read it for free, only, with one week delay.
      And honestly, once you get used to reading it, you'll be considering subscribing...

  • ...when this was to be the Year of Linux ?
  • I was a subscriber for many years. One day they told me my print subscription had been converted to an esubscription and I wouldn’t get a refund. I never even looked at the esubscription and never renewed it. I would probably still be a subscriber if they hadn’t done that.

  • There is/was a Linux Journal.

  • by waveclaw ( 43274 ) on Friday December 01, 2017 @04:45PM (#55660593) Homepage Journal

    That leaves, what? Linux Format: the 400 Lbs Gorilla of Linux reading material, with a price to match, Linux Magazine and distro-focused publications like Full Circle?

    I do hope they get a chance to make a final run of the back edition PDF collection [linuxjournal.com].

    Many of the columns, such as David Taylor's work the shell, are timeless and quite useful.

    There is value even the Letters to the Editors where smart or at least smart ass people suggested better or alternative ways to implement the various little projects detailed in LJ.

    I also enjoyed the Linux Kernel Mailing List (LKML) summaries and discovered Reuven Lerner's python series through the magazine.

    And there are always the Geek Guides.

    • by reuven ( 32121 )

      It's heartwarming to know that people read and enjoyed my articles! Thanks for the mention.

  • Sad to see such a publication go, but it is interesting that in the FOSS world all comes down to money in the end as well. Also shows that documentation is the first thing to go in the FOSS universe, no different than in the profit oriented closed source world. So where are all these volunteers who make things happen for the better of the universe?
  • It's nice to see all of these comments.

    Here's my side of it, as a columnist since 1996: http://blog.lerner.co.il/sad-d... [lerner.co.il]

    • by zuki ( 845560 )
      As a subscriber until the bitter end, I would like to personally thank you for all of the many great articles you wrote. They were really on point, and super-helpful.

      Your columns were one of the reason I kept my subscription....

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN

Working...