People ask me what kind of articles I'm looking for in the Linux Zone on developerWorks. This is meant to be a permanent home for my thoughts on what I'm seeking in the way of articles with a little better explanation than I can offer on the basic developerWorks wish list
For the Open Source zone I decided that rather than just a bullet list, I would try to get you inside my head rather than just give you a list of bullets. It worked well there and so I'm going to try it again here. Consider this your guide for what I'm seeking. I'll update here when I have new information. I recommend that you subscribe to the feed for this article so that you keep up to date. When you know you're ready to write, review the guidelines in the developerWorks Author Resources and then submit your content.
First, you should know that I am a full-time Linux user. I have some servers that I deal with and I use it on every computer in my house. Yes, I am a desktop Linux user! This gives me a fairly broad view of what kind of information might be interesting to my audience. My experience has been that Linux fits well into just about anything I've wanted to do with it provided that I don't have a specific business reason for using something else. My experience has been that people are unaware of Linux or that their vision of Linux is several years out of date. Linux five years ago is a very different Linux! I find that many are just unaware of the tools and techniques that Linux offers and that they are concerned about a huge time investment in learning something new.
I'm also fascinated by the spectrum of platforms where Linux runs. Of course it runs on x86 PCs, servers, laptops, etc. It also runs on IBM's POWER and mainframe systems, offering a level of scalability that few people consider. everyone has gotten so used to the disposable commodity system approach that a building full of computers seems the obvious way to go. In fact, a strong Linux environment could probably move to bigger and more robust hardware without all the real estate (and power consumption, and cooling systems, etc.). Likewise, Linux is behind the scenes in many "smart" televisions and other devices. This creates some interesting opportunities for integration and interaction which is not really being tapped.
I'm also really intrigued by the possibilities for Linux in virtualization. The architecture of Linux makes it very suitable for connecting to virtualized resource. It's file-driven configuration also provides a number of opportunities for automation and customization on-they-fly. In a cloud-like future I like the idea of being able to set a few parameters and having a fresh operating environment building iteslf with my requested software stack.
I'm also interested in demonstrating techniques for working with Linux as a desktop environment. I know... I know... I've heard all the angst and arguments against talking about this sort of thing, but the fact is that some people actually want to run Linux on their desktops and when they are looking for best practices "You should be using Windows or Mac" is just not a reasonable answer. Furthermore, I think that people who do a lot of development and administration of Linux environments benefit from using it all the time. We create all of the same problems (if not worse) on our desktop machines that we do on a server, so dealing with our everyday computer messes help build and maintain skills for the bigger issues. I want to help people overcome technical obstacles to choosing their environment.
I'm not devoted to any particular distribution of Linux and I will tend to reject items that are specific to one flavor of Linux or another unless they speak to specific IBM hardware. Red Hat, Suse, Ubuntu, and all the others have their own article resources. I'm much more interested in technologies that move across the distributions, to help demystify the elements that can be obscured by tooling and convention. For example, boot loaders, application packaging, kerenel modules, etc. I think that if someone truly understands the technologies of Linux then they are not bound to any specific distribution, they choose the right one for the job and change them out when required. That applies to writing applications as well. I want everyone to have equal comfort across the entire Linux spectrum.
Here is a bullet list of things that I know would be of interest. These will change as my needs change.
There's more... tell me what you're thinking!