Originally Published: Monday, 14 May 2001 Author: Jessica Sheffield
Published to: interact_featured_articles/General Page: 2/6 - [Printable]

Two Years of the LiNUX.COMmunity!

Celebrate two years of Linux.com! Join us as we take a look back at how it all got started, where we are today, and where we're headed. Come on in for the whole the story from the people who lived it!

Dream Team  << Page 2 of 6  >>

Trae assembled a team of coders, writers, and artists to bring this vision to reality. "Anyone who knows Trae knows that he can be very persuasive," remarks Gareth Watts, Senior Developer. The original staff was thirteen people determined to launch the best Linux resource anyone had ever seen. Some of them were already working together on a project called 'SixSteps'. "Gerard, Matt [Trent] and myself were working on a site called sixsteps.org - interestingly enough Gareth was hosting it," relates Mike Baker, "the idea for the site was that any concept, no matter how arcane or complex, could be explained in six simple steps -- the idea was quickly dropped but the name was kept. It turns out the name was one of Trae's ideas... small world!"

Mike Baker continues, "Word about the [sixsteps] site eventually reached Trae -- just about a week before our scheduled launch. Trae wouldn't tell us exactly what was going on, just that it was "something big" which involved VA and that we shouldn't launch our site just yet. The next day it was on Slashdot that VA had bought the Linux.com domain. Gerard, Matt and myself joined the Linux.com development staff and met up with Gareth again and the rest of the original Linux.com staff."

Now that the team was together, the next step was to create and launch the site. The staff worked long hours and consumed much caffeine in the pursuit of their goal. "No sleep... tons of work," is how Trae remembers it, while Gerard adds, "The early days of development were filled with a lot of excitement as it was going to be a big launch. I remember a lot of phone calls from Trae and many late nights." Mike, Gerard, and Gareth worked on the code that would drive the site, while Garrett and Trae sweated over the interface. Peter Clark set up the original development server. "Things were coming together at a very fast pace. Every hour or so, the developers (read: Gareth) would want another module compiled into PHP. It was then that I became one with the true wonder of Apache's DSO module format. Using APACI, I would have had to compile the whole webserver each time another module was requested, instead of only PHP." Another win for open source software.

Oh, how we would have loved to have had a blueprint at times! -Gareth Watts, Senior Developer

The clock ticked closer to launch. The code began coming together. Gareth surprised everyone with a full-featured news system instead of the small-scale system they thought they only had time for. Garrett "doodled around in the Gimp using [his] trusty trackball, and came up with the original concept for the site." Quentin Cregan began "frenzied negotiations with Rob Levin of OpenProjects to get our server linked up as we realized that was necessary for the Java/Web IRC client to work effectively for #linuxhelp." Trae managed it all, cracking the whip where necessary and assuring Larry that yes, we would launch on time.

"I just remember having a big online discussion with everyone as to the 'countdown' - and how much we'd leak to Slashdot in the last few pre-launch days. We considered whether we'd start rotating 10,9,8,7,6,5,4,3,2,1 on the front page just to mess with people. I think we did a really limited countdown for the last few hours before the site launch," Quentin recalls. Other staffers, including Trae, remember even less of the push to get the site live. "The others, I'm sure, have a much more vivid memory of what went down. To me it's much more of a blur than anything else."

Dream Team  << Page 2 of 6  >>