Hard on the heels of the announcement that MSDN is giving up publishing on paper or online, we have the news that Linux Journal is going the same way – but in this case it isn’t even clear that the online presence will be maintained.
What is it with August that publications that have survived for a long time suddenly die? I guess it’s the holiday spirit, but I hope when everyone gets back to work they won’t wonder what’s happened in their absence. In the summer of 1991 things were more productive – Linux Journal was founded and quickly became an authoritative experts magazine.
Around two years ago the magazine nearly closed but was reprieved at the last minute by funding from Privacy Internet Access Group. It went on to create its 25th Anniversary issue and now to announce its final closure – unless someone, somewhere has cash to keep it going.
It have to say that the team at I Programmer shares the Linux Journal ethic.In the “goodbye”, Kyle Rankin writes:
“So we set to work and things were starting to look very promising. One of the changes I was particularly excited about was our expanded Deep Dive section in each issue. This “long-form journalism” approach to technical writing was something pretty special in the technical world and coming from someone who wrote a few Deep Dives of his own, there was something very freeing in knowing you could truly give a topic justice without artificial constraints on page length. You, the readers, and also new writers responded, and you could feel the new life and new energy in each issue. After dying and being revived, it was finally starting to look like some day soon we would be able to walk on our own.”
What is worrying is that there don’t even seem to be funds to keep the servers switched on:
IMPORTANT NOTICE FROM LINUX JOURNAL, LLC:
On August 7, 2019, Linux Journal shut its doors for good. All staff were laid off and the company is left with no operating funds to continue in any capacity. The website will continue to stay up for the next few weeks, hopefully longer for archival purposes if we can make it happen.
–Linux Journal, LLC
So is that it for long form technical journalism? Are we reduced to bitty threads on Stack Overflow and personal blogs that often reveal as much ignorance than knowledge?
You might say that the days of the “magazine” are over. I feel sorry for the generation who did not have the pleasure of curling up with a good issue of Byte, Dr Dobbs and yes, Linux Journal. There is a lot to be said for a curated collection of long form articles, written by people with a track record and kept in line by the hard man editor.
These days we, as consumers, won’t pay for content and we won’t even look at a few adverts so that the content can be free.
So long Linux Journal.
https://www.linuxjournal.com although it might not be with us by the time you click it.
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