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Why I subscribe to Linux Weekly News
Disclosure: I am an unofficial contributor of Linux Weekly News, but I am not part of the staff
Linux Weekly News is a high quality, online weekly newsletter about Linux and the free software community. If there exists such a thing as an independent, accurate, unbiased source of news in the computing world, LWN is among the closest things I can think of.
LWN is looking for more subscribers (scroll down to section LWN update). Purchasing a LWN subscription might also indirectly help spread the word about Lisp -- okay, very indirectly.
I was first introduced to LWN in 1998, the same year it started publication, by Schemer Erick Gallesio of STk/STklos fame. At the time, the newsletter was freely accessible.
I was pleasantly surprised by the fact that LWN regularly published news about non-mainstream programming languages in its Development section. So, in September 2000, I asked the section editor whether they were interested in more or less regularly receiving short news items about the Lisp world. They agreed, and I have been volunteering my contribution since then.
At the beginning I sent both Common Lisp and Scheme news. But since I am more interested in the former, and the Scheme community seemed well organized news-wise anyway, I later concentrated on Common Lisp. I mostly sent announcements of new projects and updates on software releases.
LWN has been publishing an average of one Lisp news item per
week since September 2000, up to 3-4 per issue. Visit the
site and feed the string
lisp to the local search engine
Search at the top of the page): you will be
pleasantly surprised -- there are actually more references to Lisp,
but earlier issues are not searchable. I am not aware of any
other computing publication, online or otherwise, that has been
covering Lisp weekly for the past 4 years.
After some partnership experiences with other companies, two years ago the LWN staff realized they needed a major source of revenue. They switched to a distribution model similar to ghostscript's: the current LWN issue is accessible only to paid subscribers, and can be seen by everybody else the following week, when a new issue is published.
Two years later, they haven't fully reached the number of subscribers
they had originally hoped for. I am a subscriber. If you like LWN,
you might consider subscribing too. Given the above, this might also
indirectly help Lisp. Someone is willing to purchase
subscription for those who can't afford it (see the letter with
Free subscription offer; this page will be freely
accessible from October 7, 2004).
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