July 25, 2002 8:30 AM PDT

Linux publication to close

LWN.net, a Web site that has chronicled the roller-coaster fortunes of the Linux operating system, will shut down Aug. 1 after failing to find a way to finance the operation.

"Over the last several months we at LWN have looked at numerous ways of funding this operation," LWN.net said in a posting in its Thursday edition. "What LWN is offering is not what the market is willing to pay for at this time...The end result is that next week's LWN Weekly Edition...will be the last."

The publication, originally called Linux Weekly News, was founded in January 1998, the same month that Netscape Communications decided to release its Web browser's source code, the underlying blueprints of the program. That move fueled interest in open-source projects such as Linux--a clone of Unix that in recent years has become popular in lower-end servers and has won the backing of IBM, Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems and others.

The Linux hype waned not long after strong initial public offerings from Red Hat and VA Linux Systems. Though Linux programmers and enthusiasts remain abundant, the days when Linux ventures were flush with cash are gone.

Slashdot, a site for tech enthusiasts that has a loyal following of Linux fans, has used larger ads and subscriptions to boost revenue.

LWN examined several ways of raising money but found none satisfactory.

"Various approaches to bringing in money have been tried; the most successful of all was simply asking LWN readers for donations to keep the operation going. But we have not succeeded in raising even a fraction of the required funds," the publication said. "Other options (such as subscriptions) have been considered in depth, but there is little promise (and much aggravation) to be found in that direction."

Some parts of LWN may persist "in a different form," LWN said, "but this particular journey is coming to an end."


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