Writing this editorial is much harder than I thought it would be. I made the mistake of leaving it last, and now the problem is that I have written so much over the last three months for this magazine (articles, emails, plans, business letters, personal diaries...) that I can’t think of anything I haven’t already said at least ten times.
Well, I have to start from somewhere, and I believe I ought to answer the most important question: what is Free Software Magazine?
Allow me to answer by explaining what Free Software Magazine is not.
Free Software Magazine is not another Linux magazine. There are plenty of them, and they have now reached very high standards. Free Software Magazine will talk about GNU/Linux as well as other important free software which shapes the IT world.
Free Software Magazine is not an online magazine. It is printed on real paper, and is sent to its subscribers each month.
Free Software Magazine is not a typical computer magazine. It contains four sections; the first one, Special, contains two or three articles about one particular topic; the second one, Tech world, is the most technical one and concentrates on case studies and existing solutions. It is not meant to explain the details of how to configure your DNS server or to make your Apache more secure. Rather, this section shows what is achievable with free software, and how. The third section, Word world, covers the non-technical side of free software. It contains articles on laws, commentaries on significant episodes, predictions for the future of free software, descriptions of past events, and so on. The fourth section, Fiction world, contains short stories that relate to the technological world we live in, and (possibly) free software. I obviously did my homework to find out what people wanted, but I must say that I shaped Free Software Magazine so that I would buy it if I hadn’t been involved in making it.
Free Software Magazine is not yet another tiny magazine that will disappear in no time. We are here to stay, to increase our subscriptions and to prosper.
Free Software Magazine is not quite a free magazine. All the articles published in Free Software Magazine (apart from the ones in the Fiction world section, for obvious reasons) are released under a free license, six weeks after they are published. This means that only subscribers get the latest articles; it also means that over time more and more articles will be available online.
So, what is Free Software Magazine? Well, as it’s in your hands (or on your screens) right now, I think I’ll take a virtual emergency exit and leave the answer to you. If you find out the answer, don’t forget to let me know - along with your comments, ideas and criticisms that will be, I promise, more than welcome.
I will see you here next month!