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Linux Journal Ceases Publication (linuxjournal.com)
258 points by voidmain0001 on Dec 1, 2017 | hide | past | web | favorite | 51 comments

The publishing situation is so bleak, and the saddest part is that the higher the quality, the deeper the problems.

Does anyone know how lwn [0] is doing? It's one of the latest very high profile publications remaining as of now.

[0] https://lwn.net/

I just bought a LWN subscription for the first time ever in an attempt to prevent the same thing from happening to them.

I have paid for a LWN subscription for several years now for exactly that reason. The standard rate is $7/month, but you can also subscribe as a Starving Hacker for half price. LWN is a great source of Linux-related news and well-deserves your support.

On the topic of Linux Journal, I can remember many years ago when I bought a subscription of 100 issues for $100.

As a pretty long term subscriber, I get the impression that things are OK at the moment. JC and Co are probably not millionaires but it seems pretty comfortable at the present. They have had their moments in the past.

A recent series of articles were about accounting software (ie getting away from proprietary software) which is the sort of navel gazing that wouldn't happen if things were bad.

I'm not affiliated in any way but if you want to read the thoughts of some seriously clever people, then LWN is the place to go. Subscriptions start at $7 per month but if you can't manage that then you can read slightly older content for free.

Remember this colour code: #ffcc99 - you'll need that to make it look right 8)

We need to start making lots of money so that we can pay a lot of money for these things that we like.

> The publishing situation is so bleak ...

And yet we cheer at every progress made in Web technology.

If web standards had prevented the tracking abilities advertisers currently have, i think there would have been plenty of money still in paper based ads because they wouldn't be any "worse" than web page ads. Things seem to be slowly moving towards preventing some of it without users having to be proactive about it. That's progress I can cheer for.

This is sad news. Years ago we developed a Linux Journal Press imprint but it didn't really go very far. Many great authors have written for Linux Journal and I've enjoyed many excellent articles over the years.

LJ generously offered me two options as a subscriber with issues owed: 1. "In true community spirit, Linux Pro Magazine has offered our subscribers six free issues of their magazine, a publication we at Linux Journal have always admired. In our time of need, they were the first ones there for us, and we are thankful for their gracious offer." 2. "We also just finished up our 2017 archive today, which includes every issue we’ve ever published, including the first and last ones. Normally we sell that for $25, but obviously you will get it for no cost."

PSA: I found an archive link amongst the comments (http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/linux-journal-ceases-pub...)

It's being sold for $11.99.

Here's the purchase link: http://lj.mybigcommerce.com/linux-journal-archive-1994-2017/

Apparently it's HTML-format. No mention is made of whether it includes images or how big the download is. My suspicion is that it's pure-text, which is really sad.

If anyone wants to look into scraping the site, I wouldn't mind jumping on board. (Suffice to say that... not everything submitted into the Web Archive is let back out.)

Thanks for the link to buy the archive. I haven’t read Linux Journal much but I’ve read a couple of Kyle Rankin’s articles and got a lot of value from them (he’s also very responsive to feedback). As it’s only $12 to purchase the archives, I figured I’d take the chance.

I can confirm that it’s totally worth it. It takes only a minute to purchase the download. I used my Paypal account and made the purchase as a Guest as I didn’t want to create yet another account on the Internet. Within seconds, I received a download link in my email.

After unzipping the download, there’s a shell script which starts a web server and opens your web browser at the Archive index. You can then either navigate by selecting an issue by year and month – or by using the search feature provided by the Archive web server. I’ve tried a number of search terms (“docker”, “ansible”, “mutt”) and can confirm that it works well; the only issue I’ve had is that the search results list the articles by the name of the column, e.g., this article [1] is listed as Hack and / rather than the more descriptive sub-title Take Mutt for a Walk.

I’d also confirm that the articles are not in plain text – they use HTML and include images (where appropriate). Best of all, there’s no visual clutter, e.g., distracting advertisements. The format reminds me a lot of the CDs with collections of digitised books that O’Reilly used to publish.

In my opinion, the archive is excellent value for money – and I’d highly recommend it.

[1] http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/10858

The LJArchive2017.zip is a 741039880 byte file with a

$ shasum -a 256 LJArchive2017.zip fbf20d2a1708bb6ea37265c601b543266dd6a4f4f37221597f1e6683d07f7fe8 LJArchive2017.zip

A list of the contents is available https://gist.github.com/anonymous/e77e8558835bc0a6ff30a81c6a...

I made the mistake and never bought the Doctor Dobbs Developer DVD and it isn't available anywhere. I even wrote the new owners of Doctor Dobbs, they had no original.


Luckily the Internet Archive has nice collection, but it isn't the same as the content of the DVD.

If you are in Seattle, the living computer museum has a small nook sized library with some really old issues.


I think that torrent hasn't had any seeders in a really long time.

Dr Dobbs Developer DVD-5 is available at the Internet Archive, https://archive.org/details/DrDobbsDVD5

>Doctor Dobbs Developer DVD

What does / did the Doctor Dobbs Developer DVD contain? I used to read DDJ back in the day, when it was available (didn't have access to it in India, used to buy used copies at second-hand book shops, or sometimes read full articles standing right there in the shop, ha ha. Thankfully the shop owners never prevented me from doing that, maybe because of seeing my genuine interest, and I did buy copies once in a while). And I remember DDJ issues used to have ads about things like DDJ's CD-ROM of Alternative Programming Languages, and other such interesting stuff. Perusing the contents of such ads might even have been (not sure) how I got to know about Python, for example, which I use to this day :) A pity they had to shut down. I remember that the quality of the articles was very good, as was that of CUJ (C User's Journal). I also used to grab and read issues of these two magazines (and a few others, like VBPJ, Java Report and others) in the libraries of bigger companies where I worked some time later (the small one where I worked earlier didn't have much of a library, though it was not zero there either).

I have release 5 right next to me... (And my email address is in my profile)

It's 700MB and has images (not always inline)

While I think this is sad, it’s been clear where the wind is blowing for quite some time.

Lots of equivalent publications (PC format, Amiga format, etc) called it quits long ago. Surely it must be more than a decade ago?

Amazing how a magazine for a “free” culture somehow managed to postpone the inevitable(?) closure for so long really.

makes you wonder, what is next?

Publishers have it hard but tech publishers especially so - considering all of the free sources of information on the Internet. Between online documentation, blogs, forums, and tutorials, one can generally find the information they are looking for if they seek it hard enough.

All that said, there is something to be said for a well written article or book by someone with a command of language and a love for teaching.

Interestingly I'm finding it harder and harder to find good howtos. Most of them offer too little, too specogic topic, or vaguely generic examples.

Yeah, the tldp is way out of date but still comes up high in web searches.

I use Fedora/Centos/Redhat mostly and I find the best quality docs are on

    arch linux wiki
    Fedora site
    Ubuntu answers
You can also get the official Redhat docs if you sign in. I'm pretty sure it's free.

I definitely agree. Book publishing, in my opinion, needs to shift to meet the changing needs of readers. Many tech book publishers continue to publish the way they have for the last 20+ years but the world has changed. We don't need more, poorly written and poorly edited documentation. We need better books.

Lots of data, but not much information. Before, tech books were an oasis because there wasn't much of anything anywhere. Now it is the opposite, too much of everything everywhere, I need someone to condense it down into a form I can use.

That can change; it depends on the publisher's perspective and goals. Our goal is always to publish fewer better books. (I stole that line from Prentice Hall. They forgot it years ago. :)

Did they ask for contributions before going bankrupt but not get much, or did they never ask?

I feel these tech magazines should be more open and transparent about their finances and horizons, so that people who feel like contributing can start doing so at the right time.

When they went from paper to digital only everyone knew it was just a matter of time. My paper sub had like a year left at that point and I was granted a multi year digital sub instead. It didn't have time to expire even. They played very nice with paper subscribers, and that might ultimately have killed them. To be honest I kinda stopped reading when they went digital as the content at that point felt geared towards newbies and not tech people.

The Guardian newspaper (online) does that.

I miss "Sys Admin". It and LJ were two of my favorite magazines.

Yes, SysAdmin is another one I used to like. Also that reminds of me on Unix Review, another good one. See my other comment about DDJ and CUJ in this thread.

Can't remember whether I had seen UnixWorld earlier or not. Thanks. Will check it out.

Linux foundation could support them, they have big corporations and big money behind them. Big corporations also need good employees from this magazine's readership, so it wouldn't be wasted money even economically.

long time subscribers here(10+ years), also subscriber to lwn.net for many years, both are great. this is a sad story. I loved LJ's kernel korner and its four-embedded-linux series a few years back. Linux is getting more and more widely used, while google gives you many info and it is still meaningful for a magazine such as LJ to exist.

i remember at one time lwn.net was asking for life support, since then it seems to be doing well, maybe LJ can do the same? I tend to think LJ needs rethink about its content, that could be voted by its potential subscribers as well.

This makes me sad. I love Linux Journal.

"loved", unfortunately.

Unfortunately, lots and lots of quality publications will continue to go out of business. When information becomes radically more free to distribute, the economics of publishing are upended.

Information is so free that the noise to signal ratio is trash. It’s worth paying for a solid channel.

Somehow I feel a model marrying journalism and industry certification could work. Ie if you read and do some examples from every magazine then every 3 years you’re very likely to pass a certification test from the magazine.

It will be sorely missed. I loved reading it as a kid.

I have paper copies of the first few years of LJ, including issue #1. Does anyone want them?

send them to the Internet Archive, or the Computer History Museum.

My recommendation would be to scan them, and then send them somewhere.

Awh that's a shame.

I used to like picking that up from Borders, although after Borders closed I don't remember seeing it in the UK.

Linux Journal actually helps me every time, every month. I have been a subscriber for a long time.

Sad news - I remember reading that regularly back in the day.

Can’t they donate their archives to archive.org?


This is great news! I stopped reading Linux Journal once they went all digital.

I'm not sure I'd call it great news. But I too have stopped reading a few magazines that went all digital. There is just too much other digital competition when I've got a browser open. But when I'm sitting at breakfast and what to read something physical, there was very little competition (I don't like getting iPads sticky, so don't use them when eating!).

I subscribed for a couple of years but regrettably didn't have the time to read each episode because of competing digital distractions. Print has a cost but also a permanence that digital mediums can't compete with. Even though Linux Journal had really great DRM free access to all of their magazines while I was a subscriber after my subscription lapsed I didn't have access and hadn't bothered to download them.

If I tried I'm sure I could get them elsewhere, which is the odd state of media these days. Anyone can get it for free but it means something to actually participate in supporting it.

I've actually been thinking of buying physical copies of music albums partly for nostalgia but also because it would provide a greater sense of investment in the music and actually listening to it.

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