Sources close to the deal say that the deal was made because, -- an all too familiar story these days -- the company needed the money. SourceForge, had, in addition to its well-known open-source eponymous code Web site, been in the media business. In December 2008, however, the company laid off the bulk of its NewsForge editorial staff. NewsForge was hosted at Linux.com. The Linux.com site then became something of a placeholder site, which held only a discussion forum.
SourceForge had announced, on January 1st, 2009, that: "Many of you have commented that our NewsVac section hasn't been refreshed since the middle of last month. Others have noticed that our story volume has dropped off. Changes are coming to Linux.com, and until they arrive, you won't see any new stories on the site."
You will, according to sources, see new stories on Linux.com, but exactly what you'll see will be determined by you -- the open-source and Linux community. These tales will, however, not be written by the old NewsForge staff. They have either been laid off or are staying with SourceForge. SourceForge will continue to focus on its development tools and Slashdot.
Jim Zemlin, the Linux Foundation's executive director, when told that I'd discovered the deal, said that the new, revised Linux.com will launch tomorrow, confirmed what Network Solutions' Whois service had already shown, that the Linux Foundation now owns Linux.com.
Zemlin added that Linux.com is a natural extension of what the Foundation has already been doing. As to what exactly the Foundation will be doing, that depends on you. Zemlin said, "We'll be making it an IdeaForge. We'll build a site that gives the community what it wants. We'll provide a community forum and let people vote on the ideas, and then help make that happen."
This will mean, sources say, that rather than being a news site, the site will likely provide non-distribution specific Linux how-tos and documentation. However, at the end of the day, the new Linux.com will be what the developers and users want.
UPDATE: The Linux Foundation made it official today.
UPDATE2: The Foundation will be keeping the old Linux.com articles on-site.