Secret Linux Journal Editors' Guide
You didn't think I'd leave without revealing the secret of how to edit this thing, did you? There's already an author's guide for this magazine, but here, in my own humble opinion, is how to edit it.
First of all, on the Internet, every movement looks like a big argument. So don't make a big deal out of on-line debates, such as the infamous “GNOME vs. KDE” thread. Generally around here, for every dumb conflict story there's a real story. For every “GNOME vs. KDE” story, there's a freedesktop.org story trying to get out. Make the extra effort to get the real point—in this case, what the real developers are doing to make desktop apps compatible, not what random people are arguing about. Judge the tree by its fruit. If it's worth running, it helps the reader get something done that he or she couldn't do before reading it. You feel better and smarter after reading the good articles.
Keep running the weird articles. Most readers aren't going to navigate to the North Pole under the ice cap, put a Beowulf cluster in space, drive a Mars rover or and control devices with their brain waves. But, a good magazine gives you a kick in the behind every so often. Maybe I should be writing my next Web application in C or using a compression tool other than the venerable zlib, but I never would have thought to search for it. When readers live inside the Googlemind, there's little value to running the big obvious subjects. More and more, if it's something they already know they want, they've already gone out and gotten it.
Have helpful questions for authors who sound promising but don't have a sound article proposal yet. If you ask the right question, an author can turn an unworkable security proposal into a thought-provoking article on what not to do and why not or turn a general “how to use Linux in your business” proposal into a solid system administration article. Sometimes if you ask a really hard question, an author sneaks away for a while and comes back with something great.
You have a printing press at your disposal, so don't fear the infamous Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). You can see several articles in back issues that would have brought down a storm of lawyer letters if they had been on the Web. But not even an entertainment industry lawyer will walk into a courtroom and ask a judge to burn a book. Don't make too big of a deal out of the digital-freedom-enabling articles, but don't miss a chance to do one.
Make the authors do unconscionable amounts of work. Linux Journal authors will code and test sample applications, shoot photos, build circuits and even review other authors' proposals and articles. There's a lot of goodwill in the world for Linux Journal, so use it. One good point about working with authors is Linux Journal's secret weapon: an author contract that lets them keep the copyright to their work and use it however they like after initial publication.
Don't be afraid to be “too hard” or “too technical”. If a reader is motivated, he or she will catch up. If not, an article that describes an excellent result—something new and different—could be a great motivation. Show me a magazine that just covers how to get the same results on Linux as you had been getting on a proprietary OS, and I'll show you readers who are getting asked to make a painful switch for no benefit.
Every so often, you will run into a reader who tells you, “I didn't get my magazine.” Have a couple of extra copies on you, and make sure you know how to get into the subscription system and give the person a bonus month. In some companies, everyone is in sales, but when it's a magazine people really miss when they don't get it, everyone is in reader services. But the occasional complaint about a missed issue is a good sign. When you stop hearing complaints when people miss an issue, you're being too boring. Have a good time.
Don Marti is still editor in chief of Linux Journal for a little while.
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
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- SourceClear Open
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- Google's SwiftShader Released
- Parsing an RSS News Feed with a Bash Script
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- SuperTuxKart 0.9.2 Released
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