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Out in the Open

One of the many amazing and marvelous facets of the Open Source movement is its volunteer spirit. All across the Internet -- on the Web, and in newsgroups, blogs, and CVS trees -- people from all walks of life, spanning all parts of the globe, contribute their time, energy, and expertise to the cause. It's quite remarkable, and even though I'm exposed to Linux projects every day, I still find the whole Open Source process fascinating.

One of the many amazing and marvelous facets of the Open Source movement is its volunteer spirit. All across the Internet — on the Web, and in newsgroups, blogs, and CVS trees — people from all walks of life, spanning all parts of the globe, contribute their time, energy, and expertise to the cause. It’s quite remarkable, and even though I’m exposed to Linux projects every day, I still find the whole Open Source process fascinating.

In fact, for some time now, I’ve wanted to dive into individual Open Source projects to see what makes them tick. I wanted to know more about the coders behind the code, how they worked, and what processes they used to “herd cats,” an apt metaphor for managing software developers. And to the extent that Linux Magazine could, I wanted to give credit where credit was due.

At the same time, Pat McGovern at SourceForge.net had a similar idea to highlight projects hosted on SourceForge — projects like SquirrelMail, MyPHPAdmin, and JBoss — many of which have been featured in the pages of Linux Magazine. Surely, Pat and I thought (and swaggered), this must be a great idea! And off we went to do the work.

So, without further ado, I am pleased to announce the launch of our new, monthly feature called “SourceForge.net’s Project of the Month.” Each month, “Project of the Month” will focus on one SourceForge Open Source project to showcase new software, to introduce you to the lead developers, and to expose you to opportunities to contribute to the Open Source cause. You can read the inaugural column, featuring the Crystal Space 3D engine, beginning on page 14.

By the way, the new “Project of the Month” column does not replace Linux Magazine’s popular, hands-on “Project of the Month” feature. The former “Project of the Month” column has been renamed “Do It Yourself,” and appears on page 12. “Do It Yourself” will continue to bring you clever, hands-on projects guaranteed to make your Linux life better.

And while I’m talking about changes in the magazine, let me take care of some other business.

First, I’m happy to announce that Jerry Peek has joined Linux Magazine as our new “Power Tools” columnist. Actually, Jerry has been writing the column since September 2002 — I just don’t think I’ve mentioned it. Jerry recently completed “Unix Power Tools, 3rd Edition” for O’Reilly, and has some great ideas for upcoming columns. Congratulations on the book, Jerry, and keep up the good work!

Next, I hope you’re enjoying Forrest Hoffman’s monthly “Extreme Linux” column. As you’ll see in the sidebar of this month’s “Extreme Linux” column, a Linux-based cluster is now the fifth fastest computer in the world (and more than fifty other entries in the “Top500″ list are PC-based). Whether you have 20 nodes or 2,304 nodes in your cluster, Forrest’s insights, know-how and recommendations are invaluable.

Finally, if you have something to say, let us — me, the columnists, the feature writers — hear from you. Speak your mind, offer suggestions, give us feedback, and yeah, you can flame us, too. Our mailbox is always open.

I hope you enjoy the new “Project of the Month” column and all of the great content in this month’s issue.

Next month: Java!


booting

Martin Streicher, Editor

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