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From the Editor

Written by Carsten Whimster

  Happy New Year to everyone! This marks our fifth year of publishing, and in addition, it will be our first year of publishing every month, due to the change in policy which came into effect last fall. I have also changed the publication date to the 1st of each month, rather than the first Monday of each month from now on. For whatever reason, many people never caught onto this, and I still get mail asking me if we are publishing any given month. No more of that now. This is easier for everyone to remember.
With the release of the golden version of Netscape 2.02, Web Explorer is no longer my favorite browser. In fact, many workarounds were required to make the pages of EDM/2 look good in WebEx, due to a number of bugs. From now on, I will be designing EDM/2 with the help of Netscape exclusively. That does not mean that EDM/2 will suddenly grow frames and BLINK tags and so on, and I will continue to use HTML conservatively, as the standard grows. I am considering using a couple of the newer HTML features, like client-side maps, though. Using Netscape does mean that no workarounds will be included due to bugs in other browsers, including WebEx. The pages may look a little odd once in a while in Web Explorer, but they should always be readable. Tables are especially problematic in WebEx. Let me know how you feel about this if you have a strong opinion on the matter.
One thing I am still struggling with (although Netscape made it better by allowing me to choose my own fonts) is displaying code on a page that is generally narrower than the code is. In the past I reformatted the code to fit the page, but this is hugely time-consuming, and I had to give it up. At the moment, I am using a fixed font (personally, I use System VIO 5), which WebEx will handle poorly, due to the lack of choice of fonts, and Netscape will handle oddly. Netscape will allow the text to stick out of the screen, but will not add a scroll bar to the window, thereby preventing you from seeing the rest. If anyone can think of a better, but practical (ie. not too time-consuming) solution to this problem, let me know, and I will implement it right away.
I am also toying with the idea of moving the look even further towards that of a real magazine, with styling improvements, although bandwidth is always a concern, so this would be a conservative move, not a splash-oriented endeavour.
I am looking for more people to write book reviews. If you are interested in this endeavour, e-mail me, and we can talk about how to get it going. My feeling is that having two or three people doing this would be a good thing, as reading a book every month can get quite hairy. I am going to put together a guideline for writing book reviews, and anyone interested can grab it. At the moment I am hoping that people will help out by reviewing the books they already own.
I am also still in the process of setting up a series of mirrors of EDM/2 around the world. This should help us get more exposure throughout the world. If you are interested in hosting an EDM/2 mirror, mail me and we can talk.
I am still fiddling with the details of EDM/2, so every once in a while, you may stumble across something that is not quite how it used to be. If you find anything that doesn't work as well as before, please do not hesitate to mail me about it. I intend to enhance EDM/2, not destroy it, so if I mess up, I'd like to know.
I am trying to get all the old INF issues converted to HTML, and I have one other person helping me, Paul Czarny of BluePaint fame. If anyone else would like to chip in and help convert them, I would be delighted. Once you get used to the routine, an issues takes one to two hours to convert, or maybe even less. Even if you have only enough time to convert one or two, that would still be a help. Let me know if you are interested, and I will send you some issues. Once all the INF issues have been converted, I intend to tighten up the various indices, and perhaps add some more features to help the browsing experience.