comes back to life

Community Linux site in "alpha" release stage

After several months of reconstruction, the popular site quietly relaunched what it terms an "alpha release" on May 4.

Though the site's Twitter feed makes reference of an announcement to be made on May 7, no such announcement seems to be visible on the usual Internet news sources.

The new site seems to have much of the original content the old one did, as well as new articles that have been added since the site's soft launch in May. The site is still adding features: RSS feeds and inline commenting were added in mid-May, and more features are being hinted at.

According to whois records, the domain is owned by Linux Online, Inc., and presumably still administered by site founder Michael McLagen. The site was founded in May of 1994 by McLagen to "fulfill a need for information about the growing Linux movement," according to the old site's About Us page. The new mission seems to have a slightly different focus, starting that " is a user supported community website whose mission is to promote Linux through education."

McLagen has not responded to requests for comment on any of the changes to the new Nor it is not entirely clear how public McLagen will be as the new site rolls out. New content has been posted on the site, some from staff members of the ISP that hosts, IQnection Co.

Anecdotal evidence from readers on various Linux forums seems to indicate that the site went dark in mid- to late-January, and that seems to coincide with changes in Netcraft's records of the domain.

McLagen was a somewhat controversial figure in the Linux community. In 1998 he attempted to launch the Linux Standards Association, which was met with strong opposition by the community (particularly Slashdot's readership, which took particular issue with McLagen's announced attempt to trademark the term "Standard Linux").

Ultimately, Linux International, which was at the the steward of the Linux trademark on behalf of its owner Linus Torvalds, would step in to reassert its ownership of the term "Linux" and the vendors and community sentiment would swing towards the then-nascent Linux Standard Base.

Despite this controversy--or, perhaps because of has remained a popular site for the Linux community. And with good reason: the site was a treasure trove of information for new and experienced users of the Linux operating system.

Based on what's been rolled out so far, it seems that is on its way to becoming a marquee site in the Linux community once again.

Read more of Brian Proffitt's Open for Discussion blog and follow the latest IT news at ITworld. Drop Brian a line or follow Brian on Twitter at @TheTechScribe. For the latest IT news, analysis and how-tos, follow ITworld on Twitter and Facebook.

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