March 93 - Letters
TECH NOTES: WORD IS OUT
Why are the Tech Notes in Microsoft Word documents? Are you assuming all developers have
Microsoft Word? I don't think this is a good assumption. Developers who don't have Microsoft
Word would be required to either purchase it or get an illegal copy. Or I suppose they might be able
to use their favorite word processor and convert the Tech Notes if such converters exist.
Big developers may have the capital to purchase Microsoft Word but small or starting developers
may not, especially those enthusiastic and creative programmers in school. It would be a shame to
force them to get an illegal copy of Microsoft Word so that they could learn the same wonderful
magic tricks that others get from the Tech Notes.
Is it possible to produce the Tech Notes in a minimal text editor such as TeachText or DocMaker?
Or better yet, why not use Apple DocViewer like the New Inside Macintosh documents?
-- Hoon Im
This is a timely question, as the format of Tech Notes on the CD has changed. But first, some background.
There are several reasons why we distributed Tech Notes as Microsoft Word documents. Internally we use
Microsoft Word as the authoring tool for Tech Notes because of its relatively powerful formatting abilities and
ease of use. It also turns out that most word processing packages, such as MacWrite ® II, have translators that
do a reasonable job on Microsoft Word documents, so most people have access to the information. We're firmly against pirating software!
Also, our primary commitment has been to providing the highest quality technical material possible; rather
than focusing on format conversion, we chose to improve the overall content and organization of the Tech
Notes. Only then were we ready to turn our full attention to the question of format.
You mention Apple DocViewer as a possible alternative format -- we have in fact converted the Tech Notes
into Apple DocViewer format (take a look on the CD). Over time this will be improved to provide better
indexing and cross-reference facilities -- whose absence we've been painfully aware of in the Microsoft Word
-- Neil Day, Tech Note Pooh-Bah
We are a long-time Macintosh educational software developer. We've traditionally converted our
printed documentation to HyperCard® for on-line use by our customers. I wondered to whom we
should speak to request developer licensing of Apple DocViewer?
Apple DocViewer documents are sourced from several word processors. These documents must be processed in
another application before they become DocViewer documents. This application is currently not of commercial
quality and is for Apple internal use only. However, we're in the process of investigating whether to refine the
application and make it available outside Apple. This process may take some time and may not result in
providing the software to external parties. Please stay tuned!
MORE PRELIMINARY NIM?
Many thanks for your magazine and CD. I've been following the progress of New Inside Macintosh for a while and I wanted to know if it would be possible to get more preliminary drafts put on the
CD. The Network volume and the book that includes the Sound Manager would be naturals, since
the information for both of those areas are sprawled all over the regular Inside Macintosh books.
Having that handy soft copy would make life easier and give us a peek at what we won't see till next
-- Ron StevensonI've asked around and haven't been able to get any specific answers for you. It's not clear when or if
preliminary New Inside Macintosh drafts will become available for the CD in he future. But I've passed on
your suggestions, and the Technical Publicatiosn group will do the best they can. Once the books are final, they
will of course be put on the CD.
-- Caroline Rose
GIVE US A PIECE OF YOUR MINDWe welcome timely letters to the editors, especially from
readers reacting to articles that we publish in develop . Letters
should be addressed to Caroline Rose (or, if technical develop -related questions, to Dave Johnson) at Apple Computer,
Inc., 20525 Mariani Avenue, M/S 75-2B, Cupertino, CA 95014 (AppleLink CROSE or JOHNSON.DK). All letters should
include your name and company name as well as your address and phone number. Letters may be excerpted or edited for
clarity (or to make them say what we wish they did). *