Linux as a Publishing Platform
Taking care of customers after they purchase a product is an important part of developing a good reputation as well as repeat business. Because book authors and publishers thrive on repeat business, this kind of after-purchase care is especially important for Clinton. Open-source software is helping Clinton address that issue in two different ways. The first is through his Web site, where he posts supplemental materials for his books, which often is material provided by his customers. The contents of the Web site are maintained as a text file and are converted with Python DocTools. He uses CVS to maintain version control on those contents, including the text of the book itself. This work is done at Clinton's home, on his Linux machine.
The single largest part of after-purchase care is the player forums Clinton maintains at The Forge, an on-line site for independent game publishers. Hosted on Linux and using the popular phpBB forum software, it provides a low cost, highly effective mechanism for building a community out of existing customers. These customer forums suggest new ideas and serve as a good introduction to the product for new and prospective customers. The forums also help provide inspiration to existing customers when they read what other customers have done.
Although many technically inclined people are out there with something to say, there are many more small publishers that are not technically inclined. When I asked Clinton about this, he said that the combination of OpenOffice.org, Scribus and The GIMP is suited perfectly to willing users, even if they aren't technically advanced users. As the IT director for a printing company, Clinton has helped introduce many non-technical employees to OpenOffice.org and The GIMP. Most if not all of the people he introduced to these tools stopped using the commercial software equivalents. The users cite the superior features and ease of use as the reasons for their switch to open-source tools.
The single biggest hurdle for most people is installing Linux itself. Converting to a new operating system is no small move, even if it is more powerful and offers a serious price advantage. Linux distributions such as Ubuntu make the move easier. To help address that concern, Clinton is presenting sessions on self-publishing at gaming conventions. He also will be giving away copies of Ubuntu, his preferred distribution. Ubuntu is designed with the end user in mind and is intended to be a desktop Linux distribution.
The first steps to capitalizing on Clinton's work, however, may not involve Linux at all. OpenOffice.org and The GIMP already are available for Windows and Macintosh OS X systems. Users who become comfortable with these new tools on a familiar operating system then may become more open to trying a new operating system where all of their tools are already available.
The compelling story here clearly is the ability to publish without fear of expense. Although print-on-demand publishing isn't appropriate for every book, it is suitable for a lot of books. Low overhead coupled with a low initial investment in tools can make it possible for many more authors/publishers to distribute their work.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
Free to Linux Journal readers.Register Now!
- Stunnel Security for Oracle
- SourceClear Open
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- Google's SwiftShader Released
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Parsing an RSS News Feed with a Bash Script
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide