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April 91 - Getting the Most from MacApp.Tech$

Getting the Most from MacApp.Tech$

James Plamondon, Power Up Software

MacApp developers participate in MacApp.Tech$ in order to learn how to use MacApp more effectively, and to share that knowledge with others. This free exchange of information is an invaluable resource for MacApp developers, regardless of their level of experience or expertise. With a little effort, you can ensure that your messages to MacApp.Tech$ get the results you need.

MacApp.Tech$ Mechanics

Anyone with an AppleLink account can subscribe by to MacApp.Tech$ by sending a link to MacApp.Admin saying "please sign me up." AppleLink users contribute to MacApp.Tech$ by sending their links to the AppleLink group address MacApp.Tech$.

On America Online, there's no need to "subscribe." America Online users contribute to MacApp.Tech$ by sending their links to the America Online address MacAppTech.

On AppleLink, each MacApp.Tech$ subscriber receives a copy of every message in their In Basket. On America Online, all MacApp.Tech$ messages appear in the MacAppTech Message Board in the MacApp Developers Association area.

Every working day, Pat Slider-MADA's volunteer Sysop-cross-posts messages between AppleLink and America Online, so that all MacApp.Tech$ readers on AppleLink and America Online see every message-whether it originated on AppleLink or America Online. When messages are posted to the MacAppTech Message Board on America Online, they are sorted into folders by subject-an added advantage for America Online users.

How to use MacApp.Tech$

MacApp.Tech$ is a perfect vehicle for the discussion of MacApp problems. For example, a person new to MacApp programming might send MacApp.Tech$ a message asking why the buttons in a dialogue aren't responding to mouse clicks. It's likely that one or more subscribers will suggest enabling the dialogue view. The programmer's problem is solved, as if there had been a dozen MacApp experts by her side.

Similarly, an experienced MacApp developer may need a certain feature in his program. If the feature seems common, he may send a message to MacApp.Tech$ asking if anyone has implemented it before. More often than not, such requests are filled by someone, either with actual source code or with code designs.

Another example is the MacApp developer who discovers what she thinks is a bug in MacApp. To share this discovery with other MacApp developers, and with Apple itself, she sends a message to MacApp.Tech$, knowing that members of Apple's Developer Technical Support and the MacApp engineering team are MacApp.Tech$ subscribers. The message describes the problem in detail, and a way to fix it.

Civilized Email

If you think you've just discovered an obvious bug in MacApp, and you want to tell Apple about it, step back for a minute and think. If you send off a scathing message to MacApp.Tech$ excoriating Apple for selling such buggy software, and it turns out not to be a bug, you'll look like a jerk, and Apple may discount your opinions in the future (to the detriment of everyone, should you someday happen to be right).

On the other hand, if you assume that you're missing something, and write a link requesting an explanation of this strange feature you don't understand, and it does turn out to be a bug, then you'll be a hero for discovering it. And if it's not a bug, well, you never said it was, so nobody can get mad at you, can they?

The bottom line

MacApp.Tech$, whether on AppleLink (which charges for access time and data transfers) or America Online (which charges for access time), costs its participants money. Before sending a message to MacApp.Tech$, consider that everyone who reads it is going to be indirectly charged for the privilege of doing so. Send only those messages that will benefit someone sooner or later. It's easy to overlook this if you're not paying the connect charges yourself.
 
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