...making Linux just a little more fun!
By Ben Okopnik
I'm going to get straight to the point - the Linux Gazette needs your help. No, I'm not going to ask you for money; what we really, really need are volunteers. People who are willing to commit a few hours of their time and effort every month to doing some of the work that's necessary to get LG out. Without that help, I see the Linux Gazette slowly grinding to a halt in the not-too-distant future - and that's a future I'd prefer to avoid.
I'll be honest with you: I love LG, and would like to see it continue, even after I've moved on to something else (as hard as I find that to imagine.) I see it as a terrific resource for Linuxers, both new and experienced - a place where people can ask questions about Linux and explore the answers along with The Answer Gang; a place for articles, humor, and challenges; a way to make Linux "Just A Little More Fun"; most importantly, a way for our community to communicate. Behind the scenes, though, there's a lot of hard work going on - and just a few people carrying the load. If one of us has a problem, or is tied up by large amounts of Life Happening in a given month, then... there's no one left to carry the ball. That, my friends, is a serious problem - or so says the engineering part of my brain. It's a system with lots of vulnerabilities and no backup.
What I'm trying to do is create a system in which there's not only a significant amount of safety but also less strain - a system in which we, the staff of LG, get to participate in the fun as well as create it. Producing LG, making it come alive can be really enjoyable... but not if it's a chore. More hands would make it light work - and add to the general level of fun.
At the simplest, most basic level, we need people who are communicative and punctual. Punctual, because LG has fixed deadlines; communicative, because the rest of the team relies on you to either deliver or notify. That is, you're expected to either 1) do what you've committed to do, or 2) tell us, as early as possible, that you've run into a problem. Either one is fine - but making an explicit commitment and not doing either of the above is a disaster in the making. (These skills would make you a valuable employee or business partner anyway - so get'em while they're hot.)
Going beyond that - there is a process to publishing LG; consequently, there is a need for people who can carry that process forward. I'll try to detail that process here, but do note that it's constantly evolving (comments on improving the process itself are also welcome, particularly if they come with an offer of help attached.)
"Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow." -- Linus TorvaldsTime commitment: ~2 hours per month.
Friends... help me - help us - keep LG running. It's a good way to "pay forward" for the value that you get from reading the Gazette, for the value and power you gain from being a part of the Linux community. Join us today by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor-in-Chief, Linux Gazette
Ben is the Editor-in-Chief for Linux Gazette and a member of The Answer Gang.
Ben was born in Moscow, Russia in 1962. He became interested in electricity at the tender age of six, promptly demonstrated it by sticking a fork into a socket and starting a fire, and has been falling down technological mineshafts ever since. He has been working with computers since the Elder Days, when they had to be built by soldering parts onto printed circuit boards and programs had to fit into 4k of memory. He would gladly pay good money to any psychologist who can cure him of the recurrent nightmares.
His subsequent experiences include creating software in nearly a dozen languages, network and database maintenance during the approach of a hurricane, and writing articles for publications ranging from sailing magazines to technological journals. After a seven-year Atlantic/Caribbean cruise under sail and passages up and down the East coast of the US, he is currently anchored in St. Augustine, Florida. He works as a technical instructor for Sun Microsystems and a private Open Source consultant/Web developer. His current set of hobbies includes flying, yoga, martial arts, motorcycles, writing, and Roman history; his Palm Pilot is crammed full of alarms, many of which contain exclamation points.
He has been working with Linux since 1997, and credits it with his complete loss of interest in waging nuclear warfare on parts of the Pacific Northwest.