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The New Linux.com, Not The Same As The Old Linux.com

Linux.com was nobody's idea of a portal to the world of Linux, and now thanks to the Linux Foundation -- the best gang for the job, I'd think -- it's now online with a snappy new look and feel. All right in time with Linux's recent uptick (however minor) in popularity: the last thing people new to this whole Linux thing is a site that looks like a bad fan page.

Linux.com was nobody's idea of a portal to the world of Linux, and now thanks to the Linux Foundation -- the best gang for the job, I'd think -- it's now online with a snappy new look and feel. All right in time with Linux's recent uptick (however minor) in popularity: the last thing people new to this whole Linux thing is a site that looks like a bad fan page.

The major categories for the site make sense: news, community (which includes blogs from the various coGNUscenti and scheduled events around the globe), Distribution Central (for distribution-specific news and info), "Learn" (for getting generic how-tos and what-do-I-do-nows), and "Directory" (for the rundown on what works with Linux, what else to read, and where else to go). A bit buried -- it's in News -- is the subcategory "Business of Open Source", which includes "Governance" and "Legal", two things I'd actually want to be bumped way up in the hierarchy.

A parallel site that's every bit as important is Ideaforge, a two-way street for Linux users, developers and community members. There, they can knock heads and find out what it is people want, need, look for and expect from Linux and its attendant community (or maybe communities, plural). Discussions range from the heated and contentious ("Make usability an issue") to the unilaterally agreed-on ("Inspire cooperation between different Linux distributions").

What's key here is that the discussions do not revolve around any one particular distribution, customer, approach or need. It's "Linux-generic", a mindset that's become increasingly crucial. There may be a million local incarnations of Linux, but there needs to be first and foremost the sense that under it all they're the same creature, that they face the same core issues, and that they need to work together more than ever.


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