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January 2005

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Letters, Addenda, Errata

Translation: Christian Hennecke

If you have any comments regarding articles or tips in this or any previous issue of the VOICE Newsletter, please send them to We are always interested in what our readers have to say.

Errata - Michael Kleß points out an error in Wolfgang Draxler's article series In close collaboration: MySQL and OS/2:

The third part of the series in the April 2004 issue describes how to create a database. However, this is not possible with the Create Database object created in the May 2004 issue. According to the manual, the command is:

create database adressen

Please change the parameters of your WPS objects accordingly.

November 17, 2004 - Robert Smits offers his perspective regarding last month's editorial Your turn to decide!

As someone who has edited a newsletter or two in his time, let me say how glad I am that you are doing it. I know from painful experience how much time this often takes.

It seems apparent to me that regardless of the improvements to eCS, it still isn't ready for prime time, and what you're witnessing is the result of people drifting away to other operating systems that don't require months of effort to install.

I say this as someone who purchased eCS preview (and Warp 3 and 4) as well as GA and 1.2. I can't even get eCS to install on a month old Compaq laptop, and after 4 years of waiting we still don't have drivers for common USB HP scanners.

I have to wrest every minute I spend installing from a ton of other work, and I need operating systems that I can pop into the CD drive and install themselves without a lot of fuss. eCS isn't in that category. And frankly without the ecs newsgroups I'd have turfed ecs long ago. And I think others are coming to that conclusion too.

Christian Hennecke answers:

I wouldn't paint that bleak a picture when it comes to installation. From my experience, eComStation 1.2 is easier to install than a number of other "alternative" operating systems, and I have been forced to spend hours and hours even on Windows installations. The result you describe is correct, though. In many cases, eComStation 1.2 may just have come too late and people aren't convinced to return easily.

Personally, I think that the problems we experience are due to some more things: General laziness, resignation, burn-out, and last but not least a certain kind of being fed up with the apathy of users on the side of those who used to be very dedicated to the cause. The latter two reasons are probably those that are most dangerous to the community now. 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, and unless you at least see a certain level of contribution by others it will finally make people withdraw.

November 19, 2004 - Another reply to last month's editorial comes from Per Johansson:

I think the newsletter is too much like a paper magazine, not taking enough advantage of the web technology. I would like to add:

We could have a living and even more useful magazine that way.

This does not exclude monthly issues or the INF edition. The new editors of EDM/2 have shown how an old magazine can be improved.

Obviously someone will have to develop the proposed new functionality, and the editors seem to have enough to do already. . . .

Christian Hennecke answers:

The feedback possibility would be nice to have indeed. It's also likely to encourage more people to give us some feedback. On the other hand, such facilities are an invitation to carry trenchwars over to the VOICE web site. So I guess people would at least have to register somehow.

Well, we barely have enough resources to get the normal issue out. Updating old articles is not an option at the moment.

Usually, we do use the keyword attribute in the meta tags. I don't know how the search engine handles that, though.

I have wanted to make the switch to XHTML for over a year now, but a number of things have kept me from doing it. When we switch, we also ought to overhaul the page design. One of the most important problems is also that, to my knowledge, there is no software available for OS/2 that generates valid XHTML (let alone HTML 4). NVU is a bad joke in its current state.

A normal Wiki is not an option for us. Imagine what happens if everyone can edit a page and we publish a review of eCS. "Tim Martin." Do I need to say more? Someone would have to constantly watch the pages for unwanted changes.

Regarding development of new functionality: Exactly that is the general problem. Well, maybe this editorial sparks some discussion that lead to some improvement.

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