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August 92 - Editor's Letter

August 92 - Editor's Letter


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Dear Readers,

Time marches on, and with it, inevitably, comes change. I'll be telling you here about some recent changes in the world of Macintosh documentation and develop . We think they're changes for the better--but of course you, the developer, are the final judge.

First, the "bible," Inside Macintosh , is on its way out, starting with the imminent publication of New Inside Macintosh . I know only too well what your problems were with the first three IM volumes, which I slaved over for a good chunk of my life--not enough examples, not enough explanation of how the parts work together as a whole--and (till now) I've resisted the urge to defend myself here by telling you how time- and staff-restricted we were, how the software kept changing out from under us, and numerous other excuses. Volumes IV through VI sparked new complaints, primarily that the information on a specific topic was scattered over several volumes. All these problems have been addressed in New Inside Macintosh , which brings everything together in an organized and understandable way that should, once it's published in its entirety, have you happily discarding all your old volumes (except for you sentimentalists who will never part with your old "phone book" edition). The first NIM books are due to appear in bookstores in September, and the last books in the series should be available by May 1993. The electronic versions of these books will show up on the Developer CD Series  disc as soon as they're ready. References to Inside Macintosh  in develop  will continue to point to the original IM volumes until next year when the transition to NIM is complete.

Tech Notes have also undergone a reincarnation, as you'll notice when you look at them on the CD. Our new Tech Note poobah, Neil Day, talks about this at the end of the Letters section, on page 6. The Notes are no longer numbered, but are now organized by subject, similar to the organization ofNew Inside Macintosh . As a result of this change, develop 's references to Tech Notes now refer to numbered Notes as things of the past (for example, "formerly #161").

Another change in this issue of develop  is one we want to be sure you know is an aberration: There's no Print Hints column this time. It turns out that Luke Alexander committed one of the very printing crimes he wrote about in Issue 10, and he couldn't pay the bail. Well, actually, Luke was very busy preparing for his talk at the Worldwide Developers Conference while this issue was being written, and we had to let him off the hook. He promises he'll be back stronger than ever in Issue 12.

Speaking of the Worldwide Developers Conference, it was wonderful to meet so many of you there, hear your good words about develop , answer your questions, and set you straight on a few things. Many developers didn't know, for example, that develop  accepts articles from outside Apple (though we rigorously review them just like our own) and that they don't have to already be at the polished level of writing you're used to seeing in develop  (we have editors who help with that). The overwhelming majority of Associates and Partners expressed their displeasure at no longer receivingdevelop  in printed form in their monthly mailing (though some of them still hadn't realized this, because it usually takes a long time for develop  to get to them anyway). Not all of them knew that they could subscribe to get printed develop  (through APDA, AppleLink DEV.SUBS, or thesubscription card in an actual printed issue). We'll keep trying to spread the word; meanwhile, please tell two friends.

On to the trivia . . . Issue 10's editorial asked: What character in develop 's body font is upside-down (not just one-time-only, but defined that way)? The answer is "8"--see? If it were a snowman, it would topple over.

Some of you wondered about my answer to this earlier trivia question: What word was used instead of "click" to describe the action of pressing a button on that first mouse? The answer was "bug," and I was asked whether the choice of that word was a joke, or what. I called Doug Engelbart himself to find out, and he said that in those days the cursor was called a "bug," so it became short for "to put the bug somewhere by pressing this button." It had nothing to do with the meaning of "bug" as a problem in a program. As to why "bug" was used to refer to the cursor, he didn't know the history of that. So I guess--unless one of you can shed some light on this--the bug stops there.

Caroline Rose Editor

CAROLINE ROSE (AppleLink: CROSE) first interviewed at Apple in 1982, when she was shown a Macintosh with balls bouncing all over its screen. Having been raised on computers as card sorters and number crunchers, she thought this was pretty exciting, and signed up to write its technical documentation. Her love affair with the Macintosh suffered a blow when she left in 1986 to join NeXT, but she came back after five years away, and all was forgiven. Caroline recently learned from a bio in an early issue of develop  that 8/8/88 was considered a very lucky day by the Chinese, and she ponders the significance of having missed that day entirely due to crossing the international date line. She loves to travel, whether in planes, trains, and automobiles, on foot, or simply back and forth in a swimming pool. *

SUBSCRIPTION INFORMATIONYou can subscribe to develop  through APDA (see the inside back cover) or by using the subscription card in the back of this issue. Please address all subscription-related inquiries to develop,  Apple Computer, Inc., P.O. Box 531, Mt. Morris, IL 61054 (or AppleLink DEV.SUBS).*

BACK ISSUESFor information about back issues of develop  and how to obtain them, see the last page of this issue. Back issues are also on the Developer CD Series  disc.*


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