In Linux Journal's 21-issue history we have already had two issues that focused on the World Wide Web. Many people (including myself) have found answers to Web-related questions in those and other issues of LJ.
Early in 1995, SSC, the company that publishes Linux Journal, decided to establish a Web site. We decided, of course, to base it on a Linux system. We cautiously promoted it while waiting for some problems to appear. We watched page hits grow from less than 10,000 per day to over 35,000 per day. Performance continues to be excellent as we happily provide articles from back issues of LJ, links to advertisers, SSC's own product catalog and more. (If you have Web access and haven't taken a look. you should. The URL is www.ssc.com)
Back in June, I was reading one of the Web-related articles in LJ and realized that the growing hoards of Web developers needed the same sort of concise technical information that Linux Journal is offering the Linux community. After talking to Belinda Frazier, Associate Publisher of Linux Journal, about the idea and seeing that we were in agreement, we started doing some research. Our conclusion was that while there were lots of Web and Internet magazines, most primarily addressed the “consumer”, i.e., the Web Surfer.
With virtually exponential growth in the Web community and substantial drops in the cost of providing a Web presence it was clear that the development end needed to be addressed. And the amazing speed at which changes are appearing dictated that a magazine was a better approach than a book or series of books.
At this point, Belinda paid the price of agreeing with me. She got saddled with the job of Publisher of the new magazine. My contribution consisted of sparing her the same mistakes we made starting Linux Journal. Happily, I can say that we fewer mistakes have been made in this effort than with LJ. After we start 50 or more magazines we may have it all down pat.
One of the best decisions we made was to introduce WEBsmith as a supplement to Linux Journal. After all, the idea came from articles in LJ, much of the Linux community has been involved in the Internet, and the Web and Linux make a first-class Web server.
A recent survey showed that 9% of all Web servers are Linux-based. That makes it th second most popular Unix-like platform (behind Sun). While WEBsmith is not intended to be another Linux magazine, my personal hope is that we can show the growing Web community that we have a pretty handy operating system here for doing Web work. If you are interested in the Web—either as a developer or a manager who needs to build a Web presence for your company—I encourage you to subscribe to WEBsmith. Expect the same high-quality technical articles you have come to expect in Linux Journal, addressing your concerns and answering your questions.