Linux Format logo

Change is afoot, part 2

Six months ago I blogged about some changes we were making in the magazine to help readers get more value from their hard-earned pennies. Well, those changes were only the beginning, and we have a couple of other ideas we're thinking about. But before we dive in, we'd like to know what you think.

So, here's what we're thinking:

  • Drop the Newbie Zone pages. I know these are nice, but the whole left-hand page doesn't change, and can go onto the disc every issue.
  • Trim the right-hand Newbie Zone page and put it into the disc pages, making it a "Get started with your new distro" page.
  • Use the second two pages in the DVD area to talk about installing and using software from the disc, rather than just focusing on the one or two biggest things.
  • Add two more pages to the sysadmin section, covering server reviews and other enterprise-focused hardware.
  • Add two more pages to the tutorials section, and guarantee at least one programming project every issue.
  • Drop one column from the news section, and replace it with a box on KDE-related news.

What do you think?

We are, by the way, always looking for ideas for newbie tutorials we can put on our DVD. If you see something in LXF and think, "newbies would really benefit from having that on the DVD every issue," let us know and we'll do it.


Your comments

Sorry for the bad English. A

Sorry for the bad English. A few ideas:

* Although I'm a KDE user I like the columns better than a box on KDE related news. For news about KDE I just go to KDE.org or osnews.com. They are faster and all the big pieces of news about KDE are already in the magazine. In fact one of the things I like of LXF are columns from the magazine's journalists and collaborators. Nowadays news are really easy to get, it's not so easy to find educated opinions.

* About the Newbie Zone, I think that a more comprehensive explanation could be in the LXF web. There new users should be able to find screencasts, videos, etc. explaining everything. From how to install a distro to how to use Gnome.

* About the server/admin area, I'm a desktop user. In my case (probably I'm part of the minority here), they will two less pages to read.

* Have you ever thought about making a videocast? Nothing big or complicated. Something like the videos of Macworld. If you are testing a printer, you could pick up a video camera and make a 3 minute video explaining how the review is going or showing the good or bad parts of a program. Those videos could included in the DVD, if there is space available.

Anyway, keep on doing such a good work!

Javier (who uses this blog and the forum to practise English)

I forgot to add the URL of

I forgot to add the URL of the Macworld videos: http://www.macworld.com/weblogs/mwvodcast.html

Building on Javier's idea of

Building on Javier's idea of videos, how about opening this up to readers, developers...etc?

They could showcase their own set-ups, give demos and tutorials and generally highlight how (and why) people from various computing backgrounds implement Linux.

I like it, except the KDE

I like it, except the KDE news. How about it rotates? One month KDE, one Gnome, one XFCE and cover the big three?

Like Javier said, with

Like Javier said, with everybody using RSS readers and blog planets and so on, news bits about a favorite project (say, KDE) are really easy to come by. Why add that feature into Linux Format and make us pay for it, rather than leaving the opinion piece which is more valuable to us?

If somebody wants to write opinions that focus on the KDE community, I'd be delighted to see that.

"Drop the Newbie Zone pages.

"Drop the Newbie Zone pages. I know these are nice, but the whole left-hand page doesn’t change, and can go onto the disc every issue."

Yep, good idea (although already kicked around here in the past).

"Trim the right-hand Newbie Zone page and put it into the disc pages, making it a “Get started with your new distro” page."

Good idea also, I don't see why not.

"Use the second two pages in the DVD area to talk about installing and using software from the disc, rather than just focusing on the one or two biggest things."

As long as it's specific to what's on each disc, sure. Otherwise you just have Newbie Zone again. Would it really need two pages?

"Add two more pages to the sysadmin section, covering server reviews and other enterprise-focused hardware."

Well, it wouldn't interest me personally, but if there's demand, sure.

"Add two more pages to the tutorials section, and guarantee at least one programming project every issue."

YES! Best idea of the lot. :)

"Drop one column from the news section, and replace it with a box on KDE-related news."

Why?

Dropping the newbie zone

Dropping the newbie zone seems like a sensible idea to me, especially if it can free up pages for other material.
I definitely like the idea of adding tutorial pages (you can never have too many tutorials IMHO). My only issue, would be the kind of content in the programming sections. As someone who dabbles in bits of programming (a BASH script here, some python there, a drop of PHP if I'm in the mood), I'd welcome more beginners and intermediate programming tutorials. Also, more long term series of tutorials would be good - to take a project from the very basics through to something reasonably advanced would be something I'd enjoy.
As for the KDE column, I'm not sure about that! Why is KDE news singled out as worthy of its own column? Surely if you want to do something like, a column focussing on something the whole community uses would be better. e.g. a column on kernel developments

BTW, I like Javier's comment about video 'vodcasts', although I know from experience that they can require a lot of work. I'd definitely love to see videos from the Linux/open source trade shows that LXF attend. They'd also be good for videoing interviews.

En passant... I like Doc

En passant... I like Doc Brown's 'Administrivia' a lot. Please consider including more of that kind of stuff.
Keep up the good work! :-)

The Newbie Zone on the disc

The Newbie Zone on the disc is a good idea, but definitely make reference (even if multiple references) to it in the mag... gotta make sure those newbies (errr, dopes like me!) know their getting love.

Perhaps get into further details/more specifics with the programming tutorials? You'll certainly have the space for it now...

The vodcasts idea sounds neat... did "lithiumx" just coin a new term?

Server reviews and other enterprise-focused hardware - Cool, but dont forget to mix in some desktop stuff every now and again for us mere mortals.

I had another idea, but it just slipped my freaking mind... it's late... good night, folks!

Sounds interesting on the

Sounds interesting on the whole, but even though I am a KDE user, I don't see the point in having a dedicated news section for it. If anything especially noteworthy occurs, I'm sure it would make it into the magazine anyway.

Adding more tutorials and

Adding more tutorials and programming articles would be brilliant! These are the main reason I buy the magazine. I know they are time-consuming to produce (and difficult to check), but I don't mind how obscure the app, I'm always eager to learn how to use different stuff!

Something that wouldn't need

Something that wouldn't need to change very often, but would be useful would be a "top pick of compatible hardware" in different sections. Or possibly (given that linux seems to run on the kitchen sink) a "danger area" list of incompatible hardware that you should avoid.

I can see how this could lead to quite serious conflicts of interest, but it would be useful. Just an idea...

I have benefitted from your

I have benefitted from your tech resource for the last 6 mos. Keep up the good work.

Can you offer a VmwareESX, VirtualBox, or XEN section once every other month?
Hypervisors are here for good!

Jeff

It's been, what, 18+ hours

It's been, what, 18+ hours since my post... and I'm just now remembering that fleeting thought from last night: Kernel compiling! That oughtta wake some people up!

Oh, and... I dont think tutorials have been mentioned yet, so I'll go ahead and recommend tutorials. About anything. And everything.

;)

Captain Tux: Wikipedia have

Captain Tux: Wikipedia have the term "vodcast" so it must be bon afide: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vodcast

Re. KDE, instead of news

Re. KDE, instead of news maybe you could ask Aaron Seigo to contribute a regular column. He is very active in explaining the progress of KDE4 on his blog and has recently started a weekly videocast, the latest of which is linked here(click "on demand" on the mogulas page to see it)

http://aseigo.blogspot.com/2008/12/video-cast-site.html

the notes for which are available here

http://plasma.kde.org/KTW/2008-49.html

Although I know it would be

Although I know it would be difficult to implement, I'd like to express my support to Charlie's idea of 'a “danger area” list of incompatible hardware that you should avoid', above.
Webcams immediately come to my mind, followed by a bunch of wireless cards.

I definitely agree with

I definitely agree with making tutorials larger and guaranteeing a programming one each issue.

I'm not too keen on the news in general, I get my news from other sources it's not really what I look for in Linux Format.

Even though I don't follow it completely I think the more technical sys admin stuff that's in there at the moment is a good addition.

Good idea!

Good idea!



Web hosting by UKFast