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The Media Linux

LWN.Net Celebrates Its 20th Birthday ( 24

Free software/Linux news site just celebrated its 20th birthday, with publisher Jonathan Corbet calling the last two decades "an amazing journey." LWN published the first edition of their weekly newsletter on January 22, 1998, and Corbet (who also contributes to the Linux kernel) writes today that "It has been quite a ride. We in the free-software community set out to change the world, and we succeeded beyond our wildest expectations."

Here's how he described their second edition the next week... We were arguably helped by the lead news in that edition: Netscape's decision to open-source its "Communicator" web browser. That quickly brought the world's attention to open-source software, though that term would not be invented for a few months yet, and to Linux in particular. LWN was a shadow of what it is now, but it was evidently good enough to ride on that wave and establish itself as a part of the Linux community.
Corbet reviews the highlights. ("Companies discovered our little hobbyist system and invested billions into it, massively accelerating development at all levels of the system...") But he also adds that "Through all of this, we also got to learn some lessons about successfully running a community information source on the net." For the last 16 years the site has supported itself with $7.00-a-month subscriptions, offering early access to their Weekly Edition plus subscriber-only mailing lists, "allowing our content to quickly become part of the community record."

Plus, through events around the world, "we have met -- and become friends with -- many of our readers and many people in the community as a whole. This community is an amazing group of people; it has been a honor and a joy to be a part of it..."

"The free-software community's work is not done, and neither is ours. "
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LWN.Net Celebrates Its 20th Birthday

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  • by taiwanjohn ( 103839 ) on Monday January 22, 2018 @09:09AM (#55977061)

    For almost 20 years I've been using "" to ping-test my internet connection, just because it's easy and quick to type on the command line. It's probably been 15 years since I actually read anything on the site, but I just pinged them a few weeks ago.

  • Looking at the "Software announcements" section on that first edition [], I notice they list Webalizer []. Made me realize how long that has been around. Another nice piece of open source software.
  • by Rob Riggs ( 6418 ) on Monday January 22, 2018 @02:27PM (#55979455) Homepage Journal
    I met Jonathan Corbet at the Boulder (Colorado) LUG back -- had to be sometime between 1998 and 2001, back when the meetings were held at NIST. I'd been an avid reader because their news was always timely, their articles more technical and in-depth that others, and they were local Linux enthusiasts. I continue to be impressed with their technical and editorial content.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday January 22, 2018 @02:58PM (#55979781)

    As a fellow member of the community, coder, business owner...

    Thanks for all you've done for these 2 decades. While other folks drifted off to do other things, and the community evolved to the mainstream it is today, LWN managed to retain its focus and continue to provide valuable content.

    Hats off, and here's to the future of LWN.

  • I remember when I was studying my RHCE in a local small college. My instructor & mentor RIP, really great guy had lots of good things to say about lwn when I brought it up once.

"I prefer the blunted cudgels of the followers of the Serpent God." -- Sean Doran the Younger