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GNU is Not Unix

Salon Tries Online Book About Free Software 14

suix was the first person to write about Salon's new section. They are calling it the "The Free Software Project", which apparently is also the title of Andrew Leonard [?] 's new book. From what I can tell the section is simply a collection of the Free Software articles published on Salon, most of which are by Leonard, with a couple other people thrown in there. I dunno - it just like it's an archive to me, but hey, it does get its own section name now. *grin*Update: 03/06 03:39 by H :Thanks to Salon for pointing the new sections that are online - I sit corrected.
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Salon Tries Online Book About Free Software

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  • by Watts Martin ( 3616 ) <{layotl} {at} {}> on Monday March 06, 2000 @05:49AM (#1223057) Homepage

    ...if you read what Salon's saying, this is a book about the free software movement being written. It'll probably be drawing on what Leonard's already written, because that's what columnists generally do. Only one chapter is online so far, though, so it's rather disingenous of the Slashdottian editors to call it an archive--although it's probably misunderstanding borne of a too-quick look at the site.

    The interesting thing is that it's being "made visible" throughout the writing process with the idea of being subject to peer review--not identical to free software, but in terms of book writing, perhaps analagous. This seems to me to be a fairly neat approach to a book on this subject, and one that future journalists quite likely won't take. (If Jon Katz was writing about the movement, would he invite the community to comment on drafts in progress, or would he be more interested in giving us 100% unadulterated Katz?)

  • No matter how many I may hurt with what I am saying please consider that my words are not badly intentioned.
    In my opinion every movement needs its prophets, its legends, odes and history. Or at least that's what has happened with all other movements (either religious, ethical or anything that was based on principles).
    For now we have some "prophets" (Mr. Stallmann, Mr Torvalds, Mr Cox - and I wrote Mr because I respect them and what they are doing, although it sounds a bit unusual to use this particle), we have legends (how many of you havent't heard about the quick patches of Alan Cox ?) - I agree they may be real (I haven't seen that though) and even if they aren't there must be something true about them.
    Now with this book we have an "ode" to the free software movement and from what I read it looks really good. Not to mention that it is accessible to the most computer illiterated human being.

    As you can see there is only one thing to be said : all the things written in that book, and that happened lately will make history. And this sounds really great.

    Oh, yes : and the picture of billy - really cool !!!!!
  •'s stock has been floundering since it's IPO and so, like many companies in their position, they've been going through their own version of the Linux Death Spasm. This is were a desperate company, left without anything real to bring to the table, announces a major push into the world of Free Software in general and/or Linux in particular.

    For example, several months ago they made a big announcement that they were switching to Linux machines to host the site. Why this matters to the readers is beyond me. Whateve they were running on before the switch worked perfectly fine, and has been since the switch. The net effect has been nothing.

    Just a couple of months ago they announced a relationship with Red Hat.

    In both cases there was a small bump in their stock that quickly evaporated as it became apparent to investors that neither issues had anything at all to do with making them a profitable business.
  • And I'm surprised that it took so long to happen in a formal way -- the appearance of 'free' etexts developed online in a public environment subjected to realtime critique.

    Granted, you probably can't contribute to the body of text as one might add code to the Linux kernel, but there appear to be public comment sections available for discussion of this work, which is close enough, I suppose.

    The next logical step would be GNU-copylefted manuals available freely online (are you listening, O'Reilly?) or available at cost. Imagine the life of one of these documents, kept live and up to date by an international cadre of users adding how-tos, updated fixes and the like ... well, we can always hope.

    ikaros, who'd be perfectly happy to download and print.
  • by radicimo ( 33693 ) on Monday March 06, 2000 @09:43AM (#1223063) Homepage
    I don't care to comment on your premise, but you do have some facts terribly wrong. The announcement regarding a switch to Linux machines for the backend architecture was roughly a year ago. At that time, corporate and media support for Linux was nowhere what it is today, and the reception was overwhelmingly positive in places like Slashdot.

    'Whateve [sic] they were running on before the switch' did not work perfectly fine. That there was even an illusion that it did is a testamant to the people who were breaking their asses to make it appear so. How do I know this? Because I was the architect of the migration. The difference can be summed up in two words: manual versus automated. We, the admins, were the primary instigators behind sending out press releases for that, as a way of spreading the word that Linux could successfully replace NT. It was not a trivial migration, but a rousing success when all is said and done.

    Salon was still pre-IPO when that took place and the announcements were made, so how could that possibly bump the stock?

    Anyway, just correcting some of the facts.


  • Salon is not doing well? Man, I'm sorry to hear that. Besides Slashdot, Salon is the only other site that I visit every single day. Where else do I get such a range of news, reviews and just overall good writing (Certainly not Slashdot. I like what you guys are saying, but your grammar stinks! And I'm not even a native speaker). Are there more magazines like Salon on the web? I don't think so.
  • This story has been posted here on slashdot for more than eight hours now, and look at my message number... I almost got a first post! Assuming that posting correlates with pageviews, do you think Salon has noticed the uptick in traffic? This might be the one case where a Smurf attack would make the victim feel better! Do you think there is any hope for Salon? :)
  • Didn't Linus Torvalds get an honorary doctorate from the university of Stockholm last year? So it's Dr. Torvalds now..

Q: How many IBM CPU's does it take to execute a job? A: Four; three to hold it down, and one to rip its head off.