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January 2005

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Your time to decide - continued

An editorial view from Christian Hennecke, Editor in Chief of the VOICE Newsletter.

Last issue's editorial brought you a rather crystal clear description of the Newsletter's current situation, and you have been able to witness it first hand in December. We asked for more articles and volunteers for the team. So far we have received the following in response: some letters, a few with interesting points of advice; a few offers for articles which we've happily taken; and exactly four offers to join the Newsletter team, two of which I got at Warpstock Europe and whom I haven't heard from again. Finally, one of the most dedicated members of the Newsletter team told me that he won't be available to work on the German issue any longer. In the light of what he has done for the Newsletter in the past, I can very well understand that. Another victim of burn-out and fed up with the apathy in the community.

The bottom line is: First, however good the advice we get, someone has to implement them. And we do not have the resources to do so - unless we see some major improvement in community involvement. Second, we still need a lot more articles. Third, with the almost non-existant response to our call for new members for the Newsletter team, regular publishing of the German issue is just not viable any longer. As a result, this issue is the last with a regular German one accompanying it. In the future and provided approval of our Board of Directors, the German issue will only contain translations that have been finished in time and the international issue will not be postponed to make up for delays on the German side. We will closely monitor the activities during the near future. Depending on the outcome, I will either maintain that practice, or to shut down the German issue entirely. It's my baby, and having invested so much work I'd really hate to see it die. But at some point you have to decide between delivering mediocre work that will drive the whole thing down in the long run or making a clean break.

Above I mentioned one of our most dedicated contributors withdrawing from the team. The reasons for this are the most dangerous ones for the OS/2 community. I have seen them in action repeatedly. At a certain point the thought "I have done more than my share. Now it's the turn of others." is very likely to creep into your head, stay there, thrive, kill the fun, and unless you at least see a certain level of contribution by others it will finally make people withdraw. Definitely something that the silent majority should think about.

Our helpers should get enjoyment out of crafting something that is read and hopefully of help to them as well. They should get some benefit, and we can honestly say that it has been a learning experience for everyone involved, including ourselves.

When it comes to writing articles, many people seem to think that they don't have anything interesting to tell, or that they are not up to the task. I can only repeat myself: "None of us is a professional writer." We all started as greenhorns and slowly gained experiences by reading, watching, and trial and error. Some may be more gifted than others as far as writing is concerned but the editors are always there to help you to get your article into shape and the guidelines provide hints and skeletons for different types of articles that you can use. As for the "interesting" part: Everybody has an own area of expertise. A how-to article about, for instance, doing advanced work with your favorite word processor is as welcome as is a technical piece about software development. Often, people think of their knowledge as self-evident. We can assure you that this has proved a misconception in many cases. Others have greatly profited when that knowledge was shared. So, if you are in doubt whether a potential topic would be suitable for an article in the Newsletter, and even you think that it wouldn't, then by all means do not simply discard it. Don't be shy. Ask us!

Happy new year!

We are always interested in your thoughts and views on subjects related to OS/2 and would like to see opinion/editorial pieces, as well as hardware/software reviews and HowTo articles. If you have an idea for an article, why not write one. It's one of the best ways, short of programming native OS/2 applications, that you can help the OS/2 Community. And anyone can do it. Few of our writers are professionals. They are just OS/2 users trying to help other OS/2 users. Please send me your ideas or, better yet, a draft of an article to Please note our guidelines for submissions to the VOICE Newsletter. There you find suggestions for topics, hints on content, structure and formatting, as well as the legalese.

VOICE Online Update: This month the general member meetings are scheduled on January 1 and 15 at 3PM EDT (20:00 GMT). Everyone interested in OS/2 or eComStation is invited to attend either or both of these sessions in #VOICE on the Webbnet IRC network. For more information on attending online VOICE IRC meetings please see the VOICE Meeting Information page -

If you have an idea for a Speakup event, please submit it to, and we will schedule something. As always, please be sure to check out the updated VOICE Future events Calendar in this newsletter or on the VOICE website at for more details on future VOICE events.

This month, our focus is OS/2 events and especially Warpstock Europe.

Peter Koller of Maul Desktop Publisher fame talks about Shaping the future of OS/2 events. Both Warpstock Events have experiencend problems over the last years, especially Warpstock Europe that actually did not take place in 2003. This is a direct threat to the existance of OS/2 itself. Peter suggests a way to ensure that this won't happen again.

Completely unrelated to that is Per Johansson's introduction to Visual Programming with OpenGL and Innotek GCC C++. IBM's implementation was geared towards IBM compilers but those have fallen behind modern C++ considerably. If you are interested in graphics programming and want to use an up-to-date compiler, this will help you to avoid the pitfalls.

Thankfully, Warpstock Europe attracted more visitors than its North American cousin. Keith Merrington reports about presentations and more. Read Warpstock Europe 2004.

It is always good to get to know different perspectives of a subject. Niels Jensen tells you about his Impressions from Warpstock Europe 2004.

Finally, we have our OS/2 Tips and Letters, Addenda, Errata pages. If you have any OS/2 or eCS tips you've uncovered, please send them to If you have any comments or suggestions about the newsletter or articles in it, please send them to

That's it for this month.

Christian Hennecke, Mark Dodel, Marckus Kraft, and Jason R. Stefanovich
VOICE Newsletter editors

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