Originally Published: Monday, 12 June 2000 Author: Jeff Alami
Published to: columnists/Jeff Alami Page: 1/1 - [Printable]

Letters to the Editor: Part 2

A great deal of interesting comments have been sent to Linux.com over time. Here are a few of the letters written by our readers. If you'd like to see your letter in this column, please send your comments and questions about Linux.com or Linux in general to letters@linux.com.

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A great deal of interesting comments have been sent to Linux.com over time. Here are a few of the letters written by our readers. If you'd like to see your letter in this column, please send your comments and questions about Linux.com or Linux in general to letters@linux.com.

The Future of Linux

I have been a Linux user for a number of years now, and have been watching Linux evolve. It is really amazing. It started out as this "hacker's" OS that few businesses took seriously, and most people didn't even know existed. What has happened with Linux over the last year, I would equate to what happened to the Internet in 1995. There is this amazing hype that is based almost completely from word of mouth. There is just this very subtle sense that this is it -- the real Windows killer is here. I was amazed when I walked into a "major computer retail store" the other day, only to see two huge rows of Linux distributions! People were actually picking them up, looking at them, and buying them.

Linux is now not just a "hacker's" OS, or a server OS, it's also a desktop OS that average people can use. The wonderful part is that the options are still there though. With Windows, you either get the server or desktop, and that is just what you use it for. With Linux, you can easily use it for any number of tasks with little hassle.

This is the way I see it. We are close to conquering the server market, and we should make sure that that happens, but we should not forget that Linux is more than just a server OS. Fortunately many companies are addressing this. Also, projects like KDE and GNOME are doing a wonderful job of capturing Windows users. Why not have the best of both, a fully functional OS with an awesome GUI?

--Brian Horncastle

Yes, Linux' growth has been nothing short of phenomenal over the last few years. And having the best of both worlds is what Linux is all about. But projects like KDE and GNOME are just the beginning of getting Linux to be as easy to use as Windows or MacOS systems. The real challenge of Linux developers is to make the system user-friendly while keeping its power. Because of the free nature of the OS, pulling off this difficult trick could very well happen.

Open Source Linux.com

I noticed that Linux.com obviously works with open source software. Why don't you consider open sourcing your publishing and maintenance system?

--Marco Ghezzi

We have considered openly providing the code behind the scenes of Linux.com. We've encountered several challenges in doing so, however, and they stem from the fact that the code was not originally developed with open release in mind. It's quite tied in to Linux.com specifically, and quite a bit of effort would have to be made to release something which is actually useful to more than just this site. After all, even Richard Stallman concedes that free software really only makes sense if the software is generally useful.

As for software used by the site, we do use open source software extensively, including Apache, PHP, and the GIMP. To find out more about the technology that makes Linux.com possible, visit our Software Credits page.

Comments on Linux

I'm about to take the Linux plunge, having just ordered the Corel Linux Office package and their Linux distribution. Why? I have just about had enough of my daily Windows 98 crashes. So Bill, you're time's up, with me at least, and I suspect many more will be following. What I want is a simple, reliable system which does most of my work without me having to stop every two hours to reset the computer. I don't expect Linux to be perfect, just reliable enough so I can do my work. Whether Linux delivers I don't know yet, but I certainly hope so.

--Trevor Jonas

I'm glad to hear you're taking the plunge and giving Linux a try! After trying Linux, I'm sure you'll have many questions. I know I did when I first got started. This can be the most frustrating part about Linux, because it will be hard at first to find the answers. My advice to you is to find people in the Linux community who could help you. Whether it be a local Linux Users Group, a mailing list for Linux newcomers, or even real-time chat, you'll find a vast array of resources available to you. But don't blame me if after that you end up with even more questions!

Concerning Mixing Equipment

I was wondering what mixing equipment you use for your MP3s. I am hardcore into both Linux and electronic music. So you use linux software as your mixing platform, or do you have traditional equipment such as analog synthesizers? I am trying to get into mixing and was wondering where I should start.

--Nathan Downey

Linux and sound is a relatively new arena, and as such you probably won't find everything you're looking for. But there are a great many development projects happening with sound and music for Linux, so it's worth a try. Check out the Sound & MIDI Software for Linux page for a list of available software. Dave Phillips, the creator of the site, is also working on a book entitled Linux Music and Sound, to be available next month. Having read the proofs for Phillips' book, it looks like it's going to be an excellent place to start for both music lovers and music artists alike.

Thank you for taking the time to write these letters. Remember that we do edit them for spelling, grammar, and length, and we credit your name. Send your letters to letters@linux.com.

Jeff Alami, jeff@linux.com

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