From the Editor
Publishing a magazine every month --
even when it's an electronic one -- is hard work. It's even harder when you're not
really in the game.
When I became the Interim Editor
in Chief of OS/2 eZine I thought of it as nothing more than trying to maintain the
status quo -- put out a few issues until either Chris Wenham returned to
his old job, or someone else more qualified came to take over the job and run eZine
the way it was supposed to be run.
So immediately after Warpstock we
released a November issue. It wasn't too difficult, we had a set of articles we'd
intended for October anyway. So, as far as I was concerned, I'd done my job.
November came and went, and in December
I realized it was time to do this all over again. We barely made it this time...
the issue came out at what could only be described as the last possible minute,
and we barely qualified calling it a December release. It was at this point that
a part of me realized something wasn't working right... but I didn't know what it
January passed without an issue,
and February arrived. The February edition of OS/2 e-Zine! was not very large, but
it was still an enormous task to put out. Everything was too complicated. I didn't
know what I was doing.
It was too complicated because the
people who had managed OS/2 eZine before me were technically competent people...
Chris Wenham had managed to automate the building of each issue through the use
of an HTML Preprocessor called PPWizard. PPWizard is a very powerful tool that can
do an awful lot of things... if you know how to use it, which I didn't. And while
all the documentation was there for me to pick up (Chris had even written an excellent
series of articles for OS/2 eZine on how to use PPWizard) there was one thing missing
-- I didn't have a lot of time, and I needed to learn to use those scripts now.
Ultimately, I failed. Given the amount
of time I had, I couldn't learn to do what I needed to do. So February's issue was
small, and March's issue was non-existent. It was at this point when I realized
that I'd lost contact with most of the former staff of OS/2 eZine... most had moved
on to other jobs that required a lot more time than their previous ones had... and
I'd been trying to write, edit and publish eZine mostly by myself, with the help
of a few guest contributors every month.
April came, and as April was nearing
its end I realized that there wasn't going to be an April issue, either. And that's
when I realized what the problem was. It wasn't that the Rexx scripts Chris Wenham
had created were beyond my comprehension. It wasn't that all the former contributors
for OS/2 eZine were off doing other things. The problem was that I wasn't behaving
as an Editor in Chief should, interim or not.
All I'd done was to hold on to the
bits of OS/2 eZine that were flying apart and try to keep them together until someone
else came in to do the job right. But maintaining the status quo isn't an option
for any publication. If OS/2 eZine can't grow, can't actively fill a need in the
OS/2 community, it shouldn't exist. By simply trying to find articles to post on
our site every month I wasn't doing anything for the community. OS/2 eZine lacked
a vision, it lacked its original mission... it had turned into a shadow of its former
self, and I wasn't doing anything about it... I was just waiting for someone else
to volunteer to do it for me. So I took a deep breath, banged my head against a
wall for a five minutes, called up Thomas Bradford (our publisher) and erased the
"Interim" off my title. It was time to ressurrect OS/2 eZine.
The first order of business was to
get regular contributors again. A single WarpCast mailing took care of that... I'm
still trying to respond to all the offers of assistance. If I haven't replied to
your mail yet, please be patient... my mailbox was flooded with enthusiastic OS/2
users of every range of expertise, ready and willing to write.
The second order of business was
to figure out when we could actually publish the first issue of the "new"
eZine. It was late April at this point, and I wanted to put out an issue by 16 May...
which meant that we had approximately two and a half weeks to come up with our articles.
Fortunately, I was able to find people who were not only interested in contributing
to OS/2 eZine, but who were willing to provide something on that compressed schedule.
Finally, I needed to simplify the
design of OS/2 eZine so I could update it manually for the moment, but make it relatively
simple to switch over to a database-driven site when the blessed day finally came.
I also thought it was important -- at least from a psychological standpoint -- to
change the look and feel of the site.
The result is the issue you're reading
now. We'll be adding more to OS/2 eZine as time goes on -- more articles, more kinds
of articles, and we'll start re-introducing all the features you've missed... especially
the ability to download zipped versions of each issue. I understand how important
that is to people who are charged hourly for their internet access. That's something
I want to fix very soon.
I hope you enjoy this issue.
Christopher B. Wright (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Editor in Chief, OS/2 eZine