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EDM/2

From the Editor

Written by Carsten Whimster

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  The numero uno change this month is the URL, but then you already discovered that. Enough of our readers (you), chipped in that I was able to buy two years worth of URL. This address should be the last name/location change we ever go through (famous last words). I feel really good about the www.edm2.com address, and you may have noticed that everyone contributing to EDM/2 on a regular basis now has an edm2 mail address. I am carsten@edm2.com and editor@edm2.com, Gordon Zeglinski is gordon@edm2.com and so on. The complete list is on the Logistics page, which can be accessed by clicking on the little EDM/2 logo in the top left corner of each page. There are also some workhorse addresses such as feedback, os2api, webmaster, and so on. These come to me currently, but doing it this way leaves things flexible for the future.
From this month on, I will use a single-pixel trick to format the From the Editor column, as well as the About the EDM/2 Site page. I prefer the layout made possible by this trick, but out of consideration to Netscape users who read EDM/2 with graphics off, I will limit its use to this column for now. One day I can achieve what I want with Cascading Style Sheets, but for now this is all I have. Let me know how you feel about this, one way or the other.
For this issue, I have turned the links in the teal area on the front page and in the table of content into white text images, because the red caused problems for some viewers. I don't like the way this looks as much, but it improves the situation for some readers with darker monitors. I have changed the pages to use variable width tables, so that more people can view it well. Just resize your window to get the width you want. If you size it outside of the 500-700 pixels wide range, the presentation starts to suffer a bit, but this shouldn't cause too much heartache. I removed the grey area to the right of the page, so that code that sticks out is readable. I tidied up the top page, because it was messy. I added the common files to the current issue's zip file, rather than keeping them in a separate file. I should probably have done this from the beginning, but live and learn. Now you will only have to download one big file each month. Finally, the toolbar on each page has been redone smaller, and now appears both at the top and bottom, to speed up navigation.
I added a Testimonials page, so that you can read what other people think about us. I also moved our awards to this page, since they really don't need to clutter up the front page. I anti-alised my signature :)
There are many other smaller changes, but they all improve one thing or another, either visually, or functionally, or both. All of these changes are meant to increase the appeal and make the magazine more enjoyable and visually appealing. I hope that you agree. They take a long time to put into place, so I want them to be worth it.
Because of the many changes, you may want to take the time to redownload each of our HTML issues. They have all been modified to use the new look. I realize that this is a hassle, but I think that the changes make it worth it. I will try to avoid doing this type of thing too often.

The other major change this month is something you may want to pay attention to here. There are three major user-oriented OS/2 magazines, two of them now have development-related columns, and it is probably only a question of time before the third one tries to catch up. Until now, I have avoided getting into the user market, and have referred offers of articles on various user-oriented software to one of the other magazines.
BUT! Now I don't really have any choice any more. If they are going to invade my turf, I will invade theirs :) From now on, EDM/2 is not only a developer magazine, it is not only a technical person's magazine, it is now also a power-user magazine. To kick this new direction off, this month will have an article reviewing Partition Magic 3.0. From time to time, you will see a review of some power-user program for OS/2 or other. Sometime soon you will see a review of Warp 4.0 from a power-user/developer perspective. In the future, look here first for your power-user program reviews.
Let me know what you want to see reviewed, and I will try to accomodate you. If you would like to review power-user software, drop me a note. I will expect you to review what you already have for the first two or three months, but after that I can probably send you the occasional piece of software for review.
We'll see if that stops their advances, but if it doesn't, I will likely move into the novice and intermediate territory as well. Two can play this game. Let me know what you think of this change.

I have started collecting and receiving programmer's editors for the biggest OS/2 programmer's editor shoot-out ever seen. I have installed some, and have started comparing features, but this is going to be a huge job for one person, so I will probably start publishing the reviews next month, and do a few each issue. Let me know what you would like to see in such a review, other than the obvious feature lists, and bug reports.
April 1994's issue has been converted, and so have many others. I will finalize each of them as I get the time, and place them on the site. Each month I will note which issues are now available in HTML. Currently we have 1-01 to 1-03, 2-04, and 4-05 to the present. Issues 1-04, 3-01 to 3-10 and 4-04 are all in the works!
The Introduction to C Programming series has become so good now that I am tempted to rename it to Introduction to Programming (in C) :) It includes some great tips on real-life programming by contract, and so on. This stuff should be examined closely by anyone without a formal education in computer science, since this type of programming can really prevent lots of bugs.
The code snippet for this month is a trick that allows you to override functions that you otherwise would not have access to, such as WPS internals. This example is a very well thought out piece of code, and even provides a useful example. Now that I have you interested, take a look at it. It is on the Code Snippets & Tips page, accessible from the front page and the table of contents in each issue.
As usual, inundate me with your opinions on anything regarding the magazine, and I will listen.

Ciao,

Carsten
 

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