Requiem for Linux Journal

I loved Linux Journal. I spent too much money buying import editions at the newsagent. I loved its enthusiasm, its positivity, and its hackerly enjoyment of everything we do in the world of Free Software. I loved the numbers and quotes in upFRONT. I loved the smart articles. I recommended Linux Journal as wholeheartedly as I recommend LWN. It was eclectic. It was great.

The Linux Journal I loved was undeniably Don Marti‘s Linux Journal. In a final interview with Don, Doc Searls gave his editorship a glowing review:

“I’ve been around Linux Journal from the beginning — and this is not a knock at any editors — but as far as I am concerned, you’re the best editor we’ve ever had and it’s been an honor to work with you.”

Linux Journal has a new Editor in Chief, Nicholas Petreley, who brings an altogether different character to the magazine. As of February’s edition, Petreley has contributed a new back page article called “/etc/rant”. This space was previously reserved for visionary (or just outright cool) articles from trusted names in Free Software. Now it’s gutter talk. A soapbox for himself alone. He has adopted a rant-mode-on closing line: “Yeah, but what do I really think?” Petreley has a knack for this kind of writing, and a lot of history doing it, but it is not what I’ve come to expect from Linux Journal.

This appears to be Petreley’s first significant change to the magazine. It does not bode well for the future.

Update: The Don actually wrote a Secret Linux Journal Editor’s Guide before he left. It’s well worth reading — “for every dumb conflict story there’s a real story”.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.