Now Arriving at Gate 6, Your New Editor

by James Turner

As chromatic alluded to in his newsletter on Monday, there's been a changing of the Guard here at ONLamp. After many years of faithful service to the LAMP community, he's moving on to greener pastures inside the O'Reilly family. I'm honored to have been chosen to take over for him here, and know I have some large shoes to fill.

A few brief words about myself: I've been a software engineer for almost 30 years now, and have worked all over the industry, from Artificial Intelligence to desktop publishing to e-Commerce. I've worked in huge (Xerox-sized huge) corporations and tiny little startups. In addition, I've been an active member of the open source community, including working as a committer on Apache Struts.

About a decade ago, while working as the web site manager of the Christian Science Monitor, I started to write professionally, first for the paper itself and then branching out. I've written for WIRED, Processor, Linux Journal, LinuxWorld Magazine (where I was Senior Editor), Linux Today (where I am still a Senior Contributing Editor), CPU,, InfoWorld, CMP Tech Pipeline and many others. I've reviewed PDAs, and covered the 2000 NH Presidential Primary. I've also written two books (for, as they say, another publisher...) on Java Web Development.

When I'm not programming or writing or editing, I'm an avid science fiction fan, a private pilot, a scuba diver, a videographer and a cat herder. I believe in Heinlein's motto that specialization is for insects.

Anyway, that's who I am, now a little about what's upcoming in ONLamp's future. I intend to continue the tradition of in-depth technical articles that ONLamp and it's sister sites are known for. But (you knew there was a but coming, didn't you?) I also intend to bring some more introductory material to the sites. Not dumbed down, just more approachable for someone who wants an overview of a technology rather than a plunge into the deep end. You'll see that in some of the articles I've got out with authors right now, and which should start showing up in April.

We're also planning some new features for the site. One thing we hope to roll out quickly is the ONLamp Ombudsman. This will be a once-a-month feature where we'll take a particular user problem or complaint, one that's languished in the support forums or mailing lists of a given technology, and chase down a solution or explanation. So get your most aggravating problems ready to submit, maybe yours will be the one we go after.

We're also going to have a little fun on the site. Believe it or not, there's potentially a comic strip in the works, one that would star characters that O'Reilly readers will be very familiar with. We're also hoping to improve the layout and user experience, although this will have to wait on the next generation of our content management system to roll out to ONLamp, probably midyear.

I'd also like to hear from you. I'm a big believer in the open source methodology in all things. No one knows what you want to read more than you do. So drop me a line with a suggestion, a constructive criticism, or just a friendly hi. At the end of the day, I work for you as much as I do O'Reilly, so let me know what would make the site better for you. And of course, if you have an itch to write on any of the broad range of subjects that ONLamp and its sisters cover, definitely drop me a line. The beast always needs to be fed.


2007-03-16 06:37:49
It sounds promising. I like the idea about an ONLamp Ombudsman. Welcome James!
Shlomi Fish
2007-03-16 07:48:17
Welcome James! I noticed chromatic has been pretty busy lately, with him being the editor of, and the linuxdevcenter (as well as many other stuff). So I'm glad that he would be less busy now and that will be ran by a person that's (hopefully) less busy than he is.

I'll keep you updated with the articles-in-progress that I have started writing for and have been in touch with chromatic about them.

2007-03-20 14:03:52
Welcome. I like the idea of the ONLamp Ombudsman. One of the things you can accomplish in addition to fixing problems is to point folks to where to report them for various projects, where to go to ask for help, etc. Sources for support are one of the most F of the FAQs among newbies to open source. Having some good articles to point them at with links would go a long way towards easing their transition.