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Jun 93 Editorial
Volume Number:9
Issue Number:6
Column Tag:The Editor's Page

Everyone’s got a Sermon
Now you can grab the pulpit!

By Neil Ticktin, Editor-in-Chief

Each of us has our own sermon/ message. All you have to do is talk to any owner of a Macintosh. As the editor of this magazine, I get quite a few people telling me that I should do this or that I should do that. I like it, I expect it, it’s your obligation to the Macintosh community - remember, we’re supposed to be religious fanatics (at least that is what Apple says).

As David says in his column this month, we would like you all to continue writing to us. For those of you who have a complaint about the magazine - you have no right to complain unless you have told us your suggestion - then you can complain all you want. (Maybe I shouldn’t say that). I do read every letter and I do respond personally to many of them. So, you have no excuse.

Ok now what?

Now that we’ve produced a dozen MacTech Magazines (aka MacTutors) since we took it over, we would like to focus even more on the editorial direction of the magazine. By the time you read this, the new writer’s kit will be complete. If you have ever preached about a Macintosh development topic, now is the time to share your knowledge. Everyone’s ideas are welcome - commercial developers, professional developers and in-house corporate developers are obviously encouraged. But, novice programmers, scriptors, database programmers, hobbyists are welcome too. How often do you get your own pulpit?

But Neil, what do I talk about?

A lot of people ask me for ideas on articles. They want to write, but just don’t know what to write about. First and foremost - you should write about what you know. If you are a first time TCL programmer, you shouldn’t be authoring an article on designing a new class library - you probably don’t know enough. Yet, if you are the author of some hot little action game, you probably know a thing or two about animation.

My second suggestion is to browse some of the online services in both the MacTech Magazine areas as well as the other developer areas; see what people are asking about.

Third: Look at some of the hot development topics of the Macintosh universe. Apple and others are continually coming out with new tools and technologies. Ok you want some ideas, here I go (take a deep breath first, otherwise you’ll run out of air!). Bedrock, AppleScript, Frontier, 4th Dimension, QuickTime, Newton, PowerPC, PowerOpen, Taligent, C++, AOCE, Telecom, Comm ToolBox, QuickDraw GX, Voice Recognition, WorldScript, Agents, Human Interface design, Text-to-Speech, Cross-platform development, Hardware design and implementation, Client/Server topics, DAL, System Extensions, Networking, AppleTalk, HyperCard, ScriptX, Debugging, MacApp, TCL, Using Virtual User, prototyping, resources, memory issues, macro development, compression, installer scripts, bug report collection techniques, testing issues, SQA tools, imaging, visual programming, copy protection, animation, drawing methods, and the list goes on. I’m not trying to provide you with an exhaustive list - just a few ideas.

Fourth: We are looking for qualified product reviewers. No you won’t be reviewing the latest copy of Crystal Quest, but you will be looking at some hot development tools.

A good review can be extraordinarily helpful to the community. If a tool is good, it can help a developer get their project done much faster. More software is good for the community. Reviewers help people find the right tools and stay away from the wrong ones.

An open invitation

Ok, enough said. Now let me ask outright. You have an open invitation to submit articles. Ask us for a writer’s kit. Choose a topic. Research it. Send me an outline to get some feedback. Write the article. Submit it and let us have a chance to review it. And if you want the secret of how to communicate with me best it’s electronic mail.

As the magazine continues to grow, we’re going to want to make it bigger each month. To do that, we’ll need more articles. Who knows, you might even win one of our new contests! (See David’s article).

Product of the month

Just a quick aside. When was the last time you pulled a product out of it’s box and had it work the first time - no hassles and completely transparent? Well, we had it happen. Shiva Corporation was nice enough to send us a FastPath 5R router. This device is a LocalTalk to EtherNet router. We plugged it in, it configured itself, and that was it. I’m not sure why we bothered reading the documentation! If you want more information on their products, call Shiva at 617/252-6300.

I’m waiting for your articles

Neil Ticktin, Editor-in-Chief

The Publisher's Column

A year of Issues, changes and feedback
Now we want more!

By David Williams, Publisher

One year of issues ago, Neil made me buy this magazine. Then, Neil made me write my column on the new Macintosh he made me buy. Since then, my Macintosh has undergone a series of changes, each of which made it faster and better to use than it was. During the same time, we’ve made a much larger number of changes in the magazine. We’ve changed the format, the appearance, the editorial policy, and finally, the name (to MacTech Magazine) - all to more closely reflect the needs of our readership. Along the way, we have tried to respond to input from readers, and have repeatedly asked for more. Fortunately, I have come to like the Macintosh much better than my now obsolete PC, and our readership seems to like the new magazine, as we continue to grow in subscribers and in advertising.

We wouldn’t have been able to make all this happen without support from a great number of people. Specifically, I refer to our readers and our authors. The focus of this publication is to provide a forum for programmers to tell other programmers about new techniques and solutions to problems. MacTech is, in essence, a journal of an ongoing dialogue between a vast array of active programmers. Our goal is to continue to improve the usefulness of the magazine, and to do that, all that is required is to expand the dialogue. The more readers we have, the more articles we can print; more articles generate more comment, and the quality rises for everyone.

So, after one year, thanks to all of you who sent in your hard-earned money. Now, don’t get me wrong, the search for subscribers is truly endless, so please tell all your friends, colleagues, and acquaintances. Believe me, we can use their money too, because also endless is Neil’s search for the latest and greatest equipment (he just got an 800 [a requirement for anyone using Quark XPress regularly - Ed.]), more software, more nodes, more modems, more programming, more storage You get the idea.

Now that we have a stable, growing readership, our next task is to expand editorial content. Put bluntly, what that means is that we need more articles. We need to get our readership interested in writing. So, to do this we have decided to have three contests. Why three? Because we have three types of authors. Some authors produce one or more articles each year, and so contribute to the dialogue on a regular basis. Others write a single article, on a specific subject, and still others provide smaller pieces such as for the Tips and Tidbits section. So, the three contests are:

Best Author

Best Article

Best Tip

Each contest will have its own prize and associated award, in addition to one year’s free subscription and an All of MacTech Magazine CD. The winner of the Best Author award will be given the title of 1993 Top Contributor, which will show on our staff page, and will be given preferred status when allocating article space, for one year, in addition to the actual prize. The other two winners will be honored in the magazine, in addition to prizes.

So, as usual in my column, I’m asking something of you again. Write something. And with your submission, we’d like to hear comments on what the prizes should be. Now, don’t get carried away here, we can barely afford Neil’s equipment habit, so we won’t be giving away his new 800, or a trip to Tahiti. This is, after all, a technical journal. Our VP Finance, Andrea, says that the Best Author’s prize should be worth about $1,000 and the Best Article should be worth $250 and the Best Tip, about $100. We have found it painful to contradict Andrea, so those are the numbers.

The contest will be over the course of a year and the winners and runners-up will be listed in the magazine.

Our new writer’s kit will be available by the time you read this, so e-mail, write, or call for one, and then write an article!

 
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