From the Editor
Written by Carsten Whimster
has been another busy month this month. This month is a real block-buster
issue, with more articles than you would dream of. We have articles
reviewing the official full-fledged release of graphics old-timer PMView,
as well as the first installment in the most massive and huge programmer's
editor shootout ever. This installment focuses on an OS/2 old-timer:
Visual SlickEdit 2.0. Originally I was going to try to review all three
commercial editors this month, but that quickly proved impossible. With
the depth of features available, even scratching the surface becomes quite
hard with these three editors, so one will be reviewed each month for the
May, June and July issues of EDM/2.
The biggest news of the month is that we have a new Java columnist from Tel Aviv in Israel: Shai Almog. He will be moving quickly through the basics of Java 1.1 in his column Grinding Java, and then moving on to cover the AWT and much more. Note that Java 1.1 has not been released by IBM yet, but should be very shortly, so be sure to pay attention to what is legal 1.0x and what isn't, if you are still using 1.0x. Please join me in mentally welcoming Shai to our team.
Our long-running An Introduction to C Programming series is slowly beginning to come to an end. It has seen some very useful techniques and tips for beginner and professional programmer alike in the last couple of months. Once it wraps up, EDM/2 will continue to publish the work of Björn Fahller in his upcoming series on C++. There will probably be lots of interest in this series, as C++ has gained massive ground in popularity in the last few years.
We have an article on the Digital Sound & Music Interface for OS/2, written by the DSMI author, Julien Pierre. This exciting interface supports multiple channels of sound, even on a sound card with only one channel. Any game developer should be perking up right about now...
The new ICAT debugger has just been released by IBM (see this month's news), and to go along with that, two of the programmers from the ICAT team have put together an article on this extermely capable debugger. I hope this signals a new trend of participation in the OS/2 developer community from IBM!
We also have an exciting look at the making of a PM game: WarpTris! Paulo Gago da Camara wrote this unique four-cornered version of this classical game, and in this short series, he will walk us through the source code to his program, showing us the critical steps necessary to make this all work.
Alger Pike, the device driver man, is back! This time he has recompiled the Info-Zip code to DLLs, and shows you how you can easily add compression to your file save and load routines. This is the shortest article this month, but may be the most useful to the general developer population!
This month's snippet is a simple telnet type program written with named pipes. Look for it in our Code Snippets & Tips section, reachable from the front page or the table of contents of the month.
As you may or may not have heard, there is an incredible amount of flooding going on in Manitoba this month, and people are getting out of the affected areas by the truckload. Unfortunately, Gordon is one of the affected, so this month there will be no OOPS Avenue. Think of him as you read this.
Finally, the revealing foray into the internal workings of HPFS, Inside the High Performance File System, will continue on next month. Dan just got married, and is spending lots of time on other things, understandably. Everyone send him a mental note of congratulations!
As you may have noticed, there is a small logo with a link to OS/2 e-Zine! on our front page now. Both Larry Salomon and I have enjoyed a close relationship with Trevor Smith for quite a while now, and after the recent format changes in both of our magazines, we had some discussions during which it came out that we both really enjoyed the coverage and quality of each others' magazines, and so we decided to firm up our mutual respect with an informal agreement regarding coverage, and a link to each others' sites. OS/2 e-Zine! is a really nice end-user magazine with many more reviews of everyday software than EDM/2 could ever hope to have. The editorial content is great, and the quality of the magazine is very high. I hope that if you have not given OS/2 e-Zine! a look before, you will now.
In March we broke 3000 readers for the first time! We have not really had any reliable way of estimating readers until we moved to the OS/2 SuperSite, but our best estimates have been around 3000 per month for the last couple of years. In March, we surpassed this by quite a margin. According to the logs, the main site's top page alone had 5171 hits during March, from 4804 individual hosts! April has been even better so far, and the day is not quite done yet. That is quite a leap, and by examining the logs in detail, I have ascertained that one reason for this jump is our foray into power-user and graphics material, so this trend will definitely continue. This doesn't seem to account for all of the increase however, and I can only think of two other reasons: visitors to other OS/2 sites see our link, and come in to have a look, and the number of OS/2 users online is increasing. I have seen other evidence for this last postulation, so perhaps OS/2 is actually doing quite well, contrary to the nay-sayers on several of the newsgroups. As for the visitors from other OS/2 sites, I spent quite a lot of time in March visiting OS/2 sites, and mailing any webmaster who had a link to one of our old sites. If you see any EDM/2 links to either os2ss.com, iqpac.com or telerate.com, please mail the webmaster and let them know that we are now at www.edm2.com. As for the increase in reader numbers, I'll leave the final judgment up to you.
I have started posting our monthly issue announcement to a few of the non-programming newsgroups, so once word spreads, we should get even more visitors. The more people visit, the more people may write, so this trend can only improve things. If you are interested in writing for EDM/2, let me know and we can discuss how to get things moving. Keep in mind that we have a strong editorial team available to help with spelling, grammar, style, and so on, so don't let inexperience stop you. If you have something to say, here is your forum. I am also interested in starting up some opinion-style editorials, so if you have a big mouth, and some well thought-out opinions, EDM/2 wants you. The more distinctive a style, and the more flair, the better. Note that you should be able to back up your statements with well reasoned arguments. Just mouthing off is not enough :)
I have been quite busy trying to get an initiative into Java off the ground, and I have had many interested writers contact me recently, some of which have already started submitting work. It looks like we will have several different series and columns starting soon, including intro Java material, AWT programming, and much more. Grinding Java is merely the tip of this iceberg. Look for more next month.
I could have sworn that one of the major search engines on the web had a service through which you could set up a search facility for your own private site by following the instructions on this search engine's web site, but I can't find it any more. I thought it was either Alta Vista or Lycos, but I could be wrong. If you know anything about this, or can suggest some other way for us to incorporate searching into the EDM/2 web site, please mail me.
As usual, if you have any suggestions regarding layout, content, and so on, mail me by clicking on my signature below.