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'...and Thanks for the Fish'

'...and Thanks for the Fish'

Yep, there is a new sheriff in town. I am pleased to be writing this editorial as the new editor-in-chief of LinuxWorld Magazine. Before I start prophesying about the bright future of the magazine, I would like to reflect on our accomplishments, thanking former editor-in-chief, Kevin Bedell, who will continue to provide his talents as our editor of open source.

Kevin will be joined by passionate Linux enthusiasts and authors like Dee-Ann LeBlanc whose award-winning work and Linux gaming expertise have been an asset to our publication. *NIX guru and senior editor James Turner, who I have enjoyed debating about the Linux desktop, will share his expertise as well as his playful satire. LAMP editor, MC Brown, will carry forward with more book reviews and share information about how open source technology can benefit the deployment of Web applications.

We look forward to seeing more of Maria Winslow's work including Linux success stories and her continuing efforts to help debunk the mysteries of total cost of ownership (TCO) studies. Steve Suehring, our advocacy editor, will ferret out case studies showcasing Linux in interesting new arenas like he did in our August issue cover story, highlighting Linux and its role in helping to design Formula One race cars.

Also, I expect many more great submissions from Ibrahim Haddad, who has provided his Linux expertise in clustering gained from his research at Ericsson Research. I also look to new additions to our editorial board like Bill Roth who has a strong Java background and will talk about best practices for the use of Java and Linux among other things. Pawel Leszek wrote his inaugural piece for LWM in November 2003 on IPSec, one of what I hope to be many interesting security pieces. Plus we have had the pleasure of submissions from industry experts like Sam Greenblatt of Computer Associates who shared his thoughts on User-Mode Linux, Dave "Wicked Cool" Taylor and his tips for the Linux command line, and a host of others all willing to share their experience and insight about the success of Linux.

As we move forward we'll offer both open source news and education pieces accompanied by stories we think will interest you. We hope to engage you, our readers, with exciting new developments and helpful product reviews. I also appreciate your feedback as we continue to evolve along with Linux and, like our favorite operating system, we believe we are getting better every day. Our goal is to be a positive and informative source of information for the Linux community and especially for those of you investigating the feasibility of Linux for yourself and your enterprise.

We want to hear from you about your experiences, both good and bad. It's encouraging to learn how others have solved problems or improved their IT infrastructure by utilizing open source technology. I think we are all enthusiastic about anecdotal stories about Linux users who have succeeded in solving a problem, improving an IT system, providing a service, or saved money by implementing a Linux solution. We want your story and welcome your submissions. Our goal is to provide you with useful information and provide insight into how to best use these powerful and evolving technologies.

I have been using Linux since the mid-1990s and I'm pleased to see how far Linux has evolved from the back of the data center to being on the lips of every CIO I meet. In some ways I feel like a parent (or maybe just a proud uncle) watching Linux mature from infancy to a clumsy awkward teenager to a capable young adult. As a witness to the success and relevance of open source technology, I would like to share some statistics that assure me Linux is an important part of the future information technology landscape.

  • Number of Google "hits" when searching for Linux: 97,200,000
  • Number of Google "hits" when searching for Microsoft: 102,000,000
  • World's second fastest supercomputer - Lawrence Livermore's Thunder (www.llnl.gov/linux/thunder/) running Linux Source: www.super500.org
  • Number of Linux distributions in use: 346 as reported by Distrowatch (www.distrowatch.com)
  • Number of Firefox (www.mozilla.org/firefox) downloads in the first 30 days after announcing a prerelease: 5 million
  • Number of OpenOffice downloads as of October 13, 2004: 31 million
  • Number of open source projects hosted at SourceForge.Net: 89,868
As time goes by I hope to share even more promising statistics. Maybe you will add to the count of total Linux users through your own evangelism and at the very least we do hope that you continue to remain a part of my favorite statistic, LinuxWorld Magazine readers.

More Stories By Mark R. Hinkle

Mark Hinkle is the Vice President of Community at Cloud.com. the maker of the open source cloud computing management software, CloudStack He also is along-time open source expert and advocate. He is a co-founder of both the Open Source Management Consortium and the Desktop Linux Consortium. He has served as Editor-in-Chief for both LinuxWorld Magazine and Enterprise Open Source Magazine. Hinkle is also the author of the book, "Windows to Linux Business Desktop Migration" (Thomson, 2006). His blog on open source, technology, and new media can be found at http://www.socializedsoftware.com.

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