Article from Issue 203/2017

As our industry evolves, we evolve to stay with it. The goal, of course, is to keep delivering exciting and thoughtful content to our readership, and we're proud of how we've managed to do that through the years.

Dear Reader,

Sometime around a year ago, I used this space to talk about the advantages of small magazines banding together to take on the big players in the market. The big players aren't just other magazines, but also, other companies that inhabit the supply chain leading from us to you: distributors, shippers, truckers, and retail outlets.

As our industry evolves, we evolve to stay with it. The goal, of course, is to keep delivering exciting and thoughtful content to our readership, and we're proud of how we've managed to do that through the years.

The newest development in our ongoing evolution is to welcome the readers of another excellent magazine into our community: I would like to welcome Ubuntu User readers, who are receiving this issue instead of Ubuntu User.

I know Ubuntu User well, since I served as the founding editor when we launched it back in 2009. UU was the brainchild of our US Linux Pro Magazine office. We wanted more space to cover the emerging phenomenon of Ubuntu Linux, and we thought the Ubuntu topic had diverged enough from what we were covering in Linux Pro and Linux Magazine to warrant another magazine.

Ubuntu User was well served through those eight years by several able editors, including former senior editor (and former Linux chef) Marcel Gagné and Rikki Endsley, now the editor and community manager for Opensource.com. Most recently, UU editor Paul Brown has done an excellent job with exploring the tools of the Ubuntu environment and still keeping the focus on community.

But while we were evolving, Ubuntu was evolving, too. When we launched UU, Ubuntu was a community distro with the emphasis on the desktop. Now the story coming out of Canonical and the Ubuntu team is about cloud, containers, servers, and IoT, which is more like the stuff we talk about here in Linux Magazine. Ubuntu is still a great desktop system, but the emphasis is changing in ways that remove the necessity for maintaining separate editorial streams.

When we launched UU, Ubuntu had a well-defined look and feel. The developers took a new direction when they invested in the Unity desktop, which caused some splintering to other *buntu flavors. Now the official version is going back to Gnome, but users will no doubt continue to use Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Xubuntu, Ubuntu Mate (which I use), and the latest sensation: Ubuntu Budgie. Vast numbers have migrated to Linux Mint, the Ubuntu derivative that has outranked Ubuntu on the DistroWatch page hit ranking every year since 2011. Rather than trying to chase them all at once, we eventually came to the conclusion that, at least at this point in our evolution, we can serve our readers better by acknowledging that the real focal point for the UU audience is Linux.

Starting with this issue, we will serve the Ubuntu and Linux readers directly from this one magazine. Welcome over, Ubuntu User readers. We think you'll like what you find. Our Linux Voice section continues some of that good energy and community spirit you know from Ubuntu User, and you'll also get that to-the-point power-user focus we specialize in at Linux Pro and Linux Magazine.

I should also add, in case you haven't noticed, we use many of the same kinds of articles by the same authors we used in Ubuntu User: Erik Bärwaldt and Ferdinand Thommes, who were frequent Ubuntu User contributors, both have articles in this issue. Other UU authors, such as Tim Schürmann, Frank Hofmann, and Karsten Günther, will continue to write for Linux Magazine as they have in the past.

You'll also find other great authors and articles in this issue of Linux Magazine, which features a practical look at some innovative tools for home automation. Keep reading – we hope you like what you find!

Joe Casad, Editor in Chief

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