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EDM/2

From the Editor

Written by Larry Salomon, Jr.

  After a rather bumpy release of volume 1, issue 4, we have high hopes that things will go a bit smoother in the future. Things that are on the board, so to speak, are:

Subscription service

For the Internet-reachable community, we thought that it wouldn't be too difficult to write an auto-mailer, especially since the Unix mail program will accept everything necessary on the command line. Add a list of people to mail to, bake for 30 minutes, and voila!
Unfortunately, things were not that easy. After a first attempt, a SunOS limit on the number of processes was reached since mail spawns a copy of sendmail and then exits. Tweaking the process somewhat (pun intended) yielded a subscription mailer script that builds the mail header with all of the addresses in it and calls sendmail once for each part of the file.
Having verified it with a small file, we have decided to test it for the first time with this issue, so we are asking that you please check the (alphabetical) list to see if your userid is on it. If it is and you did not receive the magazine automagically, please send us email as soon as possible. Assuming all goes well, an article will be posted to comp.os.os2.programmer.misc describing the subscription process, so be patient. Of course, the magazine will still be placed on the nets as before, but adding this service will allow us to keep a more accurate size of our reader base as well as allow us to reach other networks (like MCIMail) and BBS's with Internet mail links.

New look (somewhat)

[Note that some of these changes were specific to the INF version -- Ed] Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, so we've made a few changes to the magazine format. Firstly, the Questions and Answers column is being revamped, starting with a name change. It will now be known as the Scratch Patch and will contain not only Questions and Answers, but also the following items:
Snippet(s) of the Month
This is for those useful, modular, functions that have been written and found indispensable by their authors. All submissions are requested (though not required) to be one function whenever possible and thoroughly commented, including a prologue which explains the purpose and the parameters.

Documentation Chop Shop
This is for documentation-related submissions dealing with inaccuracies, inconsistencies, and vaguries. All potential submitters should remember that the goal here is to correct and clarify whenever possible; so, while pointing out the "tar pit" is something to write about, how to grab the vine swinging overhead is much more helpful.

Want Ads
As in the past, we always look forward to your comments. Of particular interest are the requests for specific topics. Since we do not pretend to know everyone on the Internet, any topics that look appetizing or that have received a number of requests will be noted in this section in hopes that someone reading it will be masochistic enough to want to write an article on one of them. Don't forget to read the Article Submission Guidelines!!!

Any submissions should be received by the editors by no later than the 25th of the month. And as always, even though it seems redundant, please explicitly state your permission for us to use what you have sent.

Secondly, for this and all subsequent issues, we will try to include a hypertext link at the end of each section which will take you to the next section, so you should only have to repeatedly press ENTER (with an occassional TAB) to read the entire magazine.
Thirdly, an installation program will be included with each issue, starting with this one. This Rexx/2 command file searches your entire desktop for a folder called "EDM/2" and creates one on the desktop if it cannot find an existing one. After doing this, it creates a shadow object within that folder that is linked to the filename of the current issue as distributed in the zip file (so if you change the name, it will not work). Finally, it sets the icon of the file to a newspaper so that you can spot it in a crowd.
INSTALL.CMD makes the following assumptions:
  • C: is the drive containing the desktop folder hierarchy
  • The desktop root folder is named "d:\OS!2 2.x Desktop" where "x" is the version of the operating system. Note that if you reset your desktop using the Ctrl-Alt-F1 key combination, the system does not overwrite your existing folder, meaning that the actual desktop folder has another name. To get around this, you will have to edit the installation file (search for WP_DESKTOP).


Miscellaneous

Also, I have been in contact with Gavin Baker, who was the "Introduction to PM" columnist and he expressed a desire to continue writing for EDM/2. Unfortunately, he was pressed for time and could not complete his column for this issue, so we all will be looking forward to that in the next issue.
Finally, as an update, I have also been contacted by David Singer with whom I was able to work out the necessary kinks to make EDM/2 available inside of IBM on a regular basis. He will be placing the issues on his Gopher servers (one for internal use and one that is reachable via the Internet). We are very thankful for his "contribution to the cause" and hope that by his offer we can expand our audience (and thus the number of potential authors). For more information about reaching the Gopher servers, you can contact him at singer@almaden.ibm.com.

Enjoy!
The Editors