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May 92 - Editor's Note

EDITOR'S NOTE

CAROLINE ROSE


Dear Readers,

We've made a change to develop  that I'd like to draw to your attention for two reasons: (1) observant long-time readers may wonder why we're reverting to an old, abandoned practice, and (2) we've learned a lesson that also applies to the products you're developing.

Issues 1 through 4 of develop  were "subtitled" January 1990 through October 1990. Our fifth issue started out 1991 not only with the since-abandoned "Vol. 2" designation, but also with the subtitle "Winter 1991." When I started this job in February 1991, I learned that the change to seasons was made because of the uncertainty of just when an issue would fall into developers' hands. But now we're switching back to months with this, our May 1992 issue.

There's the problem that it's not real clear which year any given winter belongs to, since that season spans two years. But the worst offense is that winter doesn't hit all parts of the globe at the same time. So we were confusing and offending some of our Australian developers, for example (see the first letter in the Letters section).

Localization is something that's of course critical to any products you hope to sell in other countries--sometimes even other cities or states. And it applies to both code and documentation. Way back when we were writing the first Macintosh user manual, we were surprised to get feedback that we shouldn't refer to pizza in our sample text because it was too regional. (Somehow the problem of having only white males in all the photographs was overlooked, but that's another story.)

If you're thinking that people in other countries never use your software anyway, consider this: In the song "Talkin' Wheelchair Blues" by folk singer Fred Small, a woman in a wheelchair has extreme difficulty getting into a restaurant. She tells the owner that there are things he can do to make it easier for folks in wheelchairs. The owner replies, "Oh, it's not necessary. Handicapped never come here anyway." The moral is that if you essentially shut some potential users out, of course they won't use your software.

Apple can offer some new resources to you in your quest for localization. The Guide to Software Localization  will be replaced by a Guide to Macintosh Software Localization , to be published by Addison- Wesley and available by around late July. Besides the subtle title change, the difference between these two is that the new book will cover third-party script support as well as script systems directly supported by Apple. And by the time you read this, there should be a new APDA product, calledLocalization for Japan , that covers the business and technical aspects of getting software into the Japanese market. You'll of course get all the latest technical details on worldwide software in the forthcoming new, improved Inside Macintosh .

Another change starting with this issue is that there's no longer an Apple II Q & A section. Instead, we'll pass on those Q & A's to the Apple II journal A2-Central  (published by Resource Central). We think this is a better way of getting the information out to the majority of Apple II developers. All current Apple II development products previously sold through APDA are now sold through Resource Central. For more information, you can phone them at (913)469-6502.Now on to Issue 9's trivia question. Here it is again: The original hardcover Inside Macintosh Volumes I-III had a running pattern of Macintosh computers across its endpapers . . . what broke this pattern, and why? The first two correct replies came from Tom Bernard of Bersearch Information Services and Bill Lipa of CODAR Ocean Sensors. The answer is that the screen of the last Macintosh in the back of the book contains my favorite character in the Cairo font, a rose, and it represents yours truly, the editor and principal author of that tome. The tricky part of the answer is that the rose was a surprise to me. My boss arranged for it to be put there; I didn't know about it until he handed me my first hardcover copy, hot off the press, and slyly asked me to lift up the inside end flap.

This time I've got a puzzle for you font fiddlers out there--a test of just how good your font- observing eye is: What character in develop 's body font is upside-down (not just one-time-only, but defined that way)? Clue: There are lots of them in this issue, but none in this editorial. Get out those magnifying glasses!

[IMAGE 002-003_Editorial_rev2.GIF] Caroline Rose Editor


CAROLINE ROSE (AppleLink: CROSE) has been writing computer documentation for more than half her life. She harks back to the days when using "you" in a manual was controversial. Caroline hasn't stood still: she switched from writing and programming (at Tymshare, R.I.P.) to writing and editing ( Inside Macintosh , at Apple) to managing and editing (at NeXT) to editing develop  (couldn't stay away). Besides her job at Apple, Caroline loves almost all kinds of music, dancing, and reading. Her eclectic tastes are typified by the three books she's involved in at the moment: a history of MAD  magazine, an annotated Hamlet , and an Italian language textbook. A New York City transplant, Caroline thinks that nothing compares to the New York Times Book Review  or real  New York pizza. She's occasionally nostalgic for knishes. *

 

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