August 17, 2001

Web review: The cozy close-knit feeling of

Author: JT Smith

- by Tina Gasperson -
Nicholas Petreley writes a lot of articles for I guess that just wasn't enough to satisfy the Open Source blood in him, because he's created, a site that feels like a living room with several of your closest friends sitting around chewing the cud, as we like to say down in Florida.If ever there was a spot for the inner circle of the Linux community to gather and gnosh, this is it. But don't get the impression that you'll be snubbed if you're a more recent convert. Paradoxically, VarLinux also seems to welcome the uninitiated in much the same way as Slashdot or Linux Today, but without the immense crowds that can sometimes keep newbies from even being noticed.

There are no surprises when it comes to format. News headlines and original stories are posted straight down the middle in web log fashion just the same way everyone else does it. Comments are invited. If you register, you can customize the look and feel of the site. There are polls, and a place to submit your news tips.

The default color scheme at VarLinux isn't the prettiest. Sorry, I'm a girl and I like things to be pretty -- or at the very least, not ugly. Maybe it's just my monitor, but the minty green and greyish yellow just look like a 1950s school restroom to me. Maybe that makes Petreley feel at home. I don't know. Just a thought.

But I like VarLinux, despite the icky colors. They have an interesting slant on the standard happenings in the community. I've begun to make it a habit to go and check the discussions to see if I can learn anything new about what's going on.

Yet, VarLinux's appearance in the Internet Open Source community begs the question: Do we need another Linux Web log? The answer is yes. Granted, unless Nick has posted an original story, you're not going to find any headlines here that you wouldn't find at NewsForge, Slashdot, or Linux Today. However, the market is not saturated yet; each site has its own distinct flavor and will attract and satisfy a slightly different demographic.

We don't need any monopolies over on the side of the light. So go visit, change the default color scheme, and read a few comments. You may find that it is just your cup of tea. But if not, make sure you come back to NewsForge.


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