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From the Middle English Phrase "God Be With Ye"

Jul 11, 2008, 12:00 (46 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Brian Proffitt)

By Brian Proffitt
Managing Editor

It's funny how things get started.

In early 2000, I was sitting uncomfortably on the trade show floor of LinuxWorld, lurching through my first and only book signing. Being a strict egalitarian Hoosier, the whole thought of a book signing seemed pretentious, especially at a convention of my peers.

But I did get to meet one man who would change the course of my professional career from full-time author to full-time journalist. It was none other than Kevin Reichard, the man who offered me a chance to write articles for LinuxPlanet as a freelance writer. And thus began the journey with Internet.com.

While still happily freelancing, it was I who recommended Michael Hall as a potential new hire for Linux Today's editorial staff. Michael and I have worked together since our days on the college newspaper, and when LT needed an editor, he was the best candidate around. After he took over the reins at LT, it was he who would in turn graciously recommend me when he was ready to move to other things within the renamed Jupitermedia.

Since then, my relationship with Linux has become oddly... personal. That may seem weird, but six years of covering such an interesting technology created and supported by this really unique band of characters has led me from being an interested observer to an advocating participant.

It was, ultimately, the people who won me over. That might really come across as ironic, given the scathing treatment I have sometimes received at the hands of some of LT's more, ah, vocal readers. But those incidents were few and far between when compared to the positive support and encouragement I have received from so many others.

The technology of Linux and the philosophies that surround it have also been a big draw. The complexities of the free vs. open source software have caused a lot of back and forth over the years, but for me, the simple truth of making something then sharing it with anyone who's interested so they can make it better is just plain Good. With a capital G.

As time has passed, I must confess that my role as an impartial journalist/editor has been compromised. Watching from the sidelines is all well and good, but I have increasingly wanted to participate in a more active way.

It is, then, in this context that I am sharing this news that today is my final day as managing editor of Linux Today and the other Jupitermedia Linux/Open Source sites.

This was not a quick decision, by any means. A few weeks ago, I noted an opportunity had come along that would allow me to move from the role of observer to participant. After some inquiries and discussions, I was offered the opportunity and choose to take it.

In doing so, I leave a position that has been personally rewarding, and a community that has been exceptional in its support of me. But sometimes an opportunity really does come along that you just have to take, or otherwise wonder what might have been.

Beginning Monday, I will begin my role as community manager for the Linux Developer Network for the Linux Foundation. In that position, I will begin by helping to re-launch the LDN effort, turning that site in what should become the premier development and technical resource for anyone interested in coding for Linux. The Network will feature in-depth technical articles, white papers, community forums, and wiki-based content that will provide the most up-to-date information about the technology behind Linux.

It won't hurt that I will be able to work directly with kernel developers, independent software vendors, and device manufacturers to get high-quality documentation together, not to mention thousands of open source software developers.

For me, this is a chance to give back to the community, lending my skills as a writer to help advance Linux onto the desktop... into embedded space... into data centers... into... wherever Linux can go.

It's funny how things get finished. Six years, 40,000-plus stories, and nearly 150,000 talkbacks later, I am saying goodbye to the readers of LT, but not to the Linux community. If I were leaving for good, I would regret not being able personally thank all of the people who helped make Linux Today the site it is today. But, since I'll likely be calling them anyway on Monday looking for favors...

No, seriously: thanks to all of the friends, colleagues, and readers who have been a part of my tenure here at Linux Today.

When I leave, LT will be left in the more than capable hands of author and Linux expert Carla Schroder, which means it will continue its editorial charter of providing links to the broadest range of Linux and open source news, opinion, and tutorials.

So for now, it's not goodbye, but see you later. And until we meet again, I wish you, as always, peace.