Applix Gives Open-Source Users and Developers A SmartBreak

Applix, Inc., (Nasdaq: APLX) a solutions provider for the UNIX and Linux markets, this week announced the creation of SmartBreak.com, a new Web site intended to accelerate support for users and developers working with open-source environments.

SmartBreak features a searchable knowledge base, containing information and documents to assist in solving users’ issues. The information that users are able to avail themselves of is composed of frequently asked questions, how-to, HTML and support database texts — all automatically updated and indexed.

“We created the SmartBreak Web site to address the need in the Linux and open-source software community for a more structured approach to providing knowledge and management support issues,” commented Jit Saxena, Chairman and CEO of Applix. “We are seeking to position SmartBreak.com as the Web site that brings users and developers together in one place and helps them to work together in a collaborative fashion.”

Support, Support, Support

The availability of support was an early issue identified as a potential barrier for moving the Linux operating system (OS) into larger business and consumer markets. Moves such as the current Applix Web site establishment, according to some industry analysts, might attract more adherents — including e-commerce professionals, who more and more seem to be identifying with the flexibility and cost-effectiveness Linux.

Support spread by way of sharing information across the Internet is of course nothing new to Linux. The concept, in fact, is essential to the proliferation and success of the Linux OS. Developed in 1991 by Linus Torvalds as an alternative to Windows, Linux has been tested and fine-tuned over the years by a legion of programmers and hackers who might be more accurately termed as believers.

The SmartBreak Web site will likely contribute to a momentum, which also includes the announcement last month by Red Hat, Inc. that the North Carolina-based Linux vendor will be making on-site professional services available for corporate users.

All the Geek News — and Otherwise — That’s Fit To Post

Andover.net recently announced that it had acquired the popular and occasionally controversial Slashdot, an online community featuring Linux and open-source news and resources for developers and other interested parties. “Leveraging Andover.net’s financial and technical capability,” said a joint statement, “Slashdot plans to extend its news and commentary serving its community of open source enthusiasts.”

Users stopping by Slashdot will be greeted by news items posted by community members. One such post, recently left by a netizen only identified as Justin, contained information and links regarding DVD and Linux. Another recent post — by Jon Katz, former columnist for Wired News and Slashdot regular — discussed how Amazon.com has become “a tacky online K-Mart.”

“Andover.net is thrilled to have found a partner with the clarity of vision and the commitment to open source community,” stated Bruce Twickler, president and CEO of Andover.net. “Together Andover.net and Slashdot will serve over 2,500,000 unique visitors per month, technical leaders who are today driving the direction of the Internet.”

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