I recently did an e-mail interview, in the guise of Editor of Linux Gazette, for the Italian Edition of Linux Gazette. I know it sounds strange, but the Italian edition is basically our LG with a few additions such as this interview. (I really wasn't interviewing myself.) The questions were presented to me by Francesco De Carlo, a member of the faculty of Computer Science at University of BARI, Italy and the Director of the Italian Edition of Linux Gazette, which can be found at http://www.media.it/LUGBari/index.html.
-- Marjorie L. Richardson, Editor
Francesco: When and why did SSC decide to publish Linux Gazette in the current version? Originally, LG was edited only as an extra-curricular activity by John M. Fisk.
Margie: During the summer of 1996, John Fisk decided he no longer had the time to keep Linux Gazette up in the fashion it deserved. LG had become very popular, and readers were wanting it to come out on regular monthly basis. Between school and work, John just didn't have time to do this, so he put out feelers looking for someone to take it over. We responded and he accepted us as the right people to continue LG.
Margie: SSC responded to John because we had always felt that Linux Gazette was a worthy and necessary asset to the Linux community. We did not want to see it either go away or be taken over by someone who would turn it into a commercial enterprise. We promised John that LG would remain free and it has.
Francesco: What kind of relationship does the LG have with his "big brother" Linux Journal? Some exchanges of articles, writers, ...?
Margie: Yes, Linux Gazette and Linux Journal do a lot of sharing. As of February 1 of this year, I am Editor of both Linux Journal and Linux Gazette. Every month we use an article from LG in Linux Journal, and occasionally, I will use articles from LJ in LG--usually those about conferences and other events surrounding Linux. And yes, I have authors who write for both magazines, most notably the regular contributors of columns to LG: Larry Ayers, John Fisk and Michael Hammel. Linux Gazette's Answer Guy, Jim Dennis, has done an interview with Stronghold's Sameer Parekh, which will be appearing in the August issue of Linux Journal.
Francesco: Are authors wishing to write for LG contacted by you or do they send articles to you? That is: do you prepare a list of the subjects that will be discussed in the next issue of LG, or can users send you any article, on any topic?
Margie: LG is managed very casually; authors can send me articles on any topic and I will include them. Whatever comes in during the month goes in the next issue. There is no focus other than Linux. Also, I do not edit the articles; they are posted just as the authors send them.
Francesco: Are you alone in producing LG? Or do you have a real "editorial office" with real "editors" and "reporters"? If yes, how do you make it function?
Margie: I have no real editors or reporters to help. I depend on outside authors in the Linux community to make their contributions, and the wonderful thing is, they do. Some months I have more material than others (January was really packed), but I've never been short. I have gotten a lot of help with graphics and HTML from SSC's webmaster, Michael Montoure. Beginning this month, I have a new assistant, Amy Kukuk, who will be helping out by doing the News Bytes column and perhaps more.
Francesco: What are your plans for the near future? Introducing a new LG with a renewed graphic look, new articles and so on?
Margie: I intend to continue posting Linux Gazette each month and promoting it wherever I can. I feel it is even more of an asset than ever to both new and experienced Linux users.
Margie: Our look seems to change periodically. With the March issue, we dropped the spiral that caused so many problems. Michael is inventive, and we mainly add things as we come up with them.
Margie: We have two new columns that will be appearing regularly, "The Answer Guy" by Jim Dennis, and "Clueless at the Prompt, A Column for New Users", by Mike List. Both columns are good for new users looking for help.
Margie: Linux Gazette is free for the readers, but is not free for SSC. To help defray the publishing cost, LG has begun accepting sponsors. A small acknowledgment of these sponsors will be made on the Front Page. Our first sponsor is InfoMagic--our thanks to them for their help.
Francesco: What do you think about our LGEI? Is it a good idea and, above all, can it help Italian Linux users to better understand this OS?
Margie: I think LGEI is wonderful! It'a great way to spread the word about Linux to all Italy. With our regular columns and articles, as well as all the tips and tricks people send us, I feel LGEI is an invaluable resource to Italian Linux users, just as our English version is to Linux users worldwide.