Learning Linux the Mailing Lists Way
When a new Linux stumbler decides on switching on to Linux for full-time, s/he is often marred by an array of negative thoughts which intercept his desires of doing things differently. However, the good news is that there are more than just a single avenue where one can gander around for help. These include IRCs, forums, websites/blogs, e-books, etc. But one of the best ways to learn Linux is following the so called mailing lists.
For a neophyte, Wikipedia defines e-mailing lists as,
A special usage of e-mail that allows for widespread distribution of information to many Internet users. It is similar to a traditional mailing list - a list of names and addresses - as might be kept by an organization for sending publications to its members or customers, but typically refers to four things: a list of e-mail addresses, the people (“subscribers”) receiving mail at those addresses, the publications (e-mail messages) sent to those addresses, and a reflector, which is a single e-mail address that, when designated as the recipient of a message, will send a copy of that message to all of the subscribers.
Mailing lists are pretty addictive and they instigate a sense of learning Linux, differently. Following a mailing list thread and watching it grow bulkier every next day enables a direct response learning methodology.
It is advisable to join a few mailing lists and participate in them to enhance the learning experience. There are mailing lists available on a wide range on topics. For instance, to catch up with a topic related to GNOME, you may join one of them at GNOME’s public mailing lists directory.
Let’s move on to have a look at few of the world’s best mailing list posts about Linux and open source technology.
- This post by Linus Torvalds revealed the thoughts about Linux kernel, the most successful ever Unix-like kernel which can be ported to maximum number of architectures.
- Sir Richard Stallman publicizes his radical ideas for a new UNIX implementation, which we today know as GNU.
- Jeff Waugh’s answer to the biggest mystery in free software world.
- Tim Peter’s Zen of Python.
- Poul Henning Kamp’s introduction to Bike shed.
- Linus Torvalds gives an explicitly documenting patch submission after being falsely accused of stealing his own code. This post sheds his anger off!
- Ingo Molner gives an estimated worth of the Linux kernel.
- A good discussion about RMS and VRMS on the Debian bugs mailing list.
- Martin Bligh’s failed attempt to ban binary kernel blobs.
- Linus/Tanenbaum smashdown where Tanenbaum predicted the future of Operating Systems way back in the year 1994.
These were few of the best ones I could discover. Feel free to add to this list via the comments section of this post. Few of the world’s best written articles are found on the mailing lists, giving them the gravity they have. Mailing lists revolve around the concept of sharing, pretty similar to the concept of open source realm. Get, try and redistribute knowledge!