From the Editor
Written by Steve Luzynski
EDM/2 has finally made it to its third issue! You've probably
noticed that this issue says 'May/June' on it - that's because I ran out of
time to do separate issues for each month. I'm back on schedule now,
The Microsoft Upgrade Advisor
This month, I happened upon an interesting little piece of software. This is a free advertising tool MS has come up with to hype DOS 6.0 and Windows. Oddly enough, you must have at least Windows 3.0 to run it. No problem - A double-click from the OS/2 drives object, and it started up.
After a few screens worth of stuff, it noted that I have OS/2 2.0 on my system. It recommended that I 'upgrade' my 32 bit multitasking OS with DOS 6 + Windows 3.1. Obviously I'd want to drop back down to an 8 bit OS with a cute graphical shell.
My point in bringing this up was not to trash MS in any way (although that's sometimes fun too). Instead, it got me thinking about what they're doing. While IBM does have an OS/2 demo disk out, I would never have seen it had I not been poking around on Internet. On the other hand, I have 3 MS Upgrade Advisors.
Getting three free high-density disks wasn't bad, of course, but I am a bit distressed to find that IBM isn't throwing their disk out in the quantities MS is. Perhaps if IBM started pushing OS/2 as hard as MS pushes Windows, I might be able to walk into a Babbage's or an Egghead and be able to pick DeScribe up off of the shelf.
In Other News...
Starting with the next issue, I hope to have a new column. The idea is this: Each month, you, the readers, write up reivews of your favorite pieces of OS/2 development software. This can be any native OS/2 program, be it PM or text mode. Originally, I was going to limit it to public domain tools, but I see no reason to exclude commercial tools. After all, for upwards of 400 dollars in most cases, I'd like to hear from someone else who has used a particular program before I buy it.
At any rate, Larry Salomon and I will go through your articles and select which ones get in to EDM/2. (Chances are that almost all of them will.) Here's yet another chance to get your name up in lights!
Submissions can be in either .IPF format or plain ascii, and can be sent to either firstname.lastname@example.org (Larry) or email@example.com (myself). I will be getting back on schedule after this month, so for the July issue I'd like your submissions no later than June 25th.
Once again, I'd like to remind you all that I'm always in the market for articles for EDM/2. No topic is too broad or too focused to not be of interest to someone out there.
I prefer submissions in .IPF format, but if you don't know how to create an .IPF file, plain ASCII is fine as well. The rules go like this:
For .IPF format submissions, your article should start at a heading level of three. This is because the table of contents is at level one and the cover panel (with the EDM/2 logo, article title, and author's name) is at level two. This means that when you are writing your article, you'll need to include dummy :h1 and :h2 panels.
Beyond that, do what you want. You can either write an elaborate article with hotlinks to glossary items and animated example windows, or just stick with a straightforward series of panels.
For ASCII format submissions, there are a few things that make my life a lot simpler. First, since the .IPF tagging language uses colons to tell the compiler that something is a command, colons should be represented as '&colon.' rather than ':'. For the same reason, ampersands should be '&.' rather than '&'.
Next, each new paragraph should start with ':p.'. This indicates to the IPF compiler that it should start a new line. Any place you would like to put special emphasis on a word or phrase, place asterisks (*) around the text. You should also indicate what kind of emphasis you want: bold, italics, underlining, or a combination of the three.
All submissions should come with a brief blurb describing the author. See the 'Contributors' section for several examples of what it should look like.
If you already have a piece you'd be willing to contribute, but don't want to rework, contact me anyway and I'll arrange to convert your article for you. Please note that: 1) I really hate doing it; and 2) I'll have to have your article early so I have time to do the conversion. For example, converting Andre's article on Installable File Systems in this issue from Word for Windows format into what you see took me almost 3 hours!
In the future, I hope to include some how-to columns on using the help compiler (.IPF files can compile to either .INF or .HLP files). For now, I'm including in this issue's sample code both my editorial and the 'base' file for this issue. While you won't be able to compile them directly without some reworking, it should give you an idea of how to proceed.
Steve Luzynski, Editor.