Linux Journal runs shutdown -h now for a second time: Mag editor fires parting shot at proprietary software

The Linux Journal has closed without "operating funds to continue in any capacity," according to a notice on its site.

First published in March 1994, Linux Journal was founded by Phil Hughes and Bob Young, the latter being the co-founder of Red Hat. The first issue, which you can read online, includes an article by Linus Torvalds where he talks about the impending release of Linux 1.0, and notes that "1.0 has little & # 39; real meaning & # 39 ;, in regards to development, but it should be taken as an indication that it can be used for real work. "

Linux took off, and the Linux Journal grew with it as a highly technical publication for enthusiasts and professionals. That said, the impact of the Internet on print media meant that in August 2011 the magazine was forced to abandon printing and search for digital subscribers. "The lack of presence in the newsstand meant that we lost one of our main ways to attract new readers to the magazine," editor Kyle Rankin wrote in a reflection on the history of the magazine earlier this year.

In December 2017, Rankin announced the publication of the magazine. shutdown, but was rescued by London Trust Media, a VPN service provider, who developed a plan to make the publication viable. "Things were beginning to look very promising," Rankin wrote, but "when we discovered that we needed to walk by our own strength, we simply couldn't."

FOSS advocates in many circumstances do not use Linux themselves, and often make presentations on the benefits of FOSS from proprietary laptops running Windows or macOS

The website will remain active "for the next few weeks" and there are hopes of preserving the content file.

Linux is more successful than ever, and even Microsoft is adopting it to some extent, turning a Linux virtual machine into an integral part of Windows 10, transferring SQL Server to the operating system and making Linux hosting a key part of your Azure cloud. That sounds like a big win for FOSS (free and open source software), but Rankin said this is not really the case.

The golden age of FOSS, Rankin argued, was around 2007 when Linux was the mainstream in corporate IT and the developers worked with it directly. Today, he says:

The same is true of mobile devices, which are dominated by proprietary software even though Android is based on Linux.

The FOSS community has also changed, Rankin said. "FOSS advocates in many circumstances do not use Linux themselves, and often make presentations on the benefits of FOSS from proprietary laptops running Windows or macOS. Many, if not most web application developers write their intended web applications to Linux from Windows or macOS environments, and if they use Linux, it's inside a VM. "

Rankin fears that "if current trends continue, we could return to a world of proprietary software, vendor blocking and closed protocols like the world before 1994"

On a related topic, Eric Raymond, open source advocate , he wrote on the Linux Journal site about the problem of critical Internet services that depend on unpaid volunteers "because they cannot be monetized and, therefore, have no transmission income for the maintainers to live."

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Large corporations will always intervene to fix things, but for Raymond that is part of the problem. "Wouldn't you like to have a less compromised Internet at the mercy of large corporations and governments?"

There are other Linux magazines, even some still printed, so it is possible to make it work. However, it is true that Linux is largely hidden, thanks to the era of Linux on the desktop never arrived. Even on a Chrome OS device, which is based on the Linux kernel, users interact primarily with web or Android applications. This limits interest in Linux compared to Windows, macOS, iOS or Android.

Another factor is that the FOSS ecosystem, by its nature, has fewer advertisers than the real one for proprietary software.

Twenty-five years It's not a bad run, but you'll miss Linux Journal. ®

Balancing consumerization and corporate control

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