Why I subscribe to Linux Weekly News - Lisp Propulsion Laboratory log

Lisp Propulsion Laboratory log

Paolo Amoroso's weblog. Main interests: Lisp, astronomy (Moon), space exploration (Apollo and early manned programs) Calendar of past entries | Related links xml

Why I subscribe to Linux Weekly News

Friday, October 1, 2004

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 (link 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 subject Free subscription offer; this page will be freely accessible from October 7, 2004).

Copyright © 2004 by Paolo Amoroso

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