One thing about a web site is that it's always being renovated. Users make suggestions, developers find ways to improve functionality; it's a process.
As part of that process, the Linux.com forums have gotten a nice makeover this week. While many of you liked the functionality, there were also a lot of notes about the width of the interface. That's why the first thing you'll notice is the increased size of the forums. We knocked down some virtual walls and gave the system more room to spread out.
Beyond aesthetics, the new layout will allow visitors to view more topics at once, and scan more information in a thread.
There are also more threads to peruse. We've added a new Linux System Administrator section, with topic areas on Cloud Management, Linux Security, and Network Management, to name a few. We really want to encourage sysadmins to use these forums to share information about using Linux on the larger scale.
When I was at LinuxCon last week, one of the regular Linux.com readers asked about the forums and what their purpose on the site was, since we have Answers and Groups. The answer is something I learned 'way back in my days at Sams Publishing: people approach learning in different ways. That's why some people like big, texty tomes to learn about computers, while others prefer step-by-step visual guides.
People differ, too, on how they approach community. That's why a good city/town planner will provide different forms of recreation areas for citizens: football fields, tennis, swimming, forested trails... if all rec areas were the same, it would be boring.
And that's the reason for all of these opportunities to share knowledge and information. Some Linux users prefer the forum setting, while others just want to get in, ask a question, and get out.