Guidelines for Article Submissions to the VOICE Newsletter
First and foremost, please do not hesitate to ask if you have questions regarding
these submission guidelines. We would rather work with you to ensure quality than
to turn you away by being either too vague or too specific.
Here's how it works: You write an article and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please be sure your article is a HTML file, plain ASCII text file, or any format
viewable by Describe, Lotus WordPro or StarOffice, which accounts for just about
everything other than IBM Works, Papyrus and Clearlook formats. We do prefer HTML
There is no requirement as to length, since this newsletter is only in HTML and
INF format. It can be as long or as brief as necessary, so be thorough in your descriptions
and commentaries. However, please remember that you are not writing your master
thesis, so you don't have to begin at the very beginning à la "And first
the earth cooled...". The reader will get bored very soon if you begin the
review of a word processor with a nicely worked-out history of word processing software.
Your article will then be reviewed and run through a spell checker. If there
are any non-spelling changes we think should be made, we will let you know and we
can discuss them. We do not make any major changes without input and approval from
the author. We will work on it with you to get it in shape. We are not professional
editors, but we believe we have done some decent work on the newsletter.
As to professionalism of writing, please refrain from vulgar and abusive language,
illegal subject matter, and slander/libel. Our aim is to encourage readership and
author participation by presenting a tasteful, yet useful medium for OS/2 related
If you are not sure, whether your idea for an article is suitable for the Newsletter,
have a look at the following list of general kinds of articles:
Reviews of hard- and software including naming and evaluation of facts regarding
installation, features, stability, and support.
Comparative reviews of hard- and software products of the same kind, e.g. graphics
adapters or office suits, including comparisons of properties like e.g. finish,
installation, features, stability, and support. Teaming up with one or more other
authors is advised due to the huge workload.
In-depth guides covering installation, configuration and optimization of complex
or hard to use products (so-called HowTos), e.g. OS/2 itself, Emacs, or TeX.
Essays and comments regarding things that are going on in the world of (OS/2) computing.
For some nice examples see OS/2 Headquarters (http://www.os2hq.com).
Presentations of OS/2-related projects and web sites like Odin, Netlabs, or OS2.org.
Tips & tricks
Introductions to programming in certain languages like, for instance, ADA95 or Python,
or to special parts of programming with an eye on OS/2 specifics, e.g. PM/WPS or
multimedia programming. (You may want to submit those to EDM/2
Collections of information resources regarding a specific topic.
Content and structure
The following should give you a rough idea of what to include in your article:
If your article is a review, it generally should cover the following additional
information, but don't feel locked into this:
Your Byline: Include your name, email and a web site if you'd like. You can
also give a brief plug for yourself/your business if you want but that would be
tacked on to the bottom of the page.
Resources: Please list URLs of web sites you refer to or titles of books
you have taken information from.
Graphics can help a lot with explaining how things work, but try to keep
them to 256 colors or less (this is a requirement of the INF version), and the smaller
the file size the better, as some people download the Newsletter to read off-line.
Depending on the size you may want to consider using thumbnails in the text. Please
add descriptions, e.g. "Fig.1: LAN interface setup dialog". Images can
be in just about any format, but we prefer PNG, JPG, or GIF (use a package like
PMView that has a valid license for the LZW compression). Remember to put in your
document where you want the images to go if you don't use HTML format.
Additionally: List any URLs for getting information about the device and
any software used specifically with it, if any. Also give the manufacturer's suggested
retail price and/or a general price range for it and possibly the vendor or vendors
where it can be purchased.
Initial Impressions: Why did you choose this particular package? How did
you go about deciding on it? What alternatives did you consider? What were your
initial impressions about it when you took it out of the box?
Setup/Installation: Was it complete out of the box (or zip file), or did
you have to purchase or find additional items like cables and drivers (this mostly
applies to hardware)? Did you have to read the manual? Was there a manual, if so
how good/helpful was it? Did you still have to boot to plain DOS or heaven forbid
Windows9x to run any kind of setup or calibration software? What hardware are you
using it with (major PC specs if applicable, ie CPU, RAM, HD) and what version of
OS/2? Any minimum hardware/software requirements for this application? What kind
of Support is provided? Did you have reason to ask for help, if so how was the response?
Normally, installation itself shouldn't be talked about that much, since a well-working
one is expected from every product. But if you had problems or you think that certain
things have been solved in a very intelligent way, do comment on that.
How Does it Work: Give some details on how you use the application. No need
to get into every detail, just the basics is fine. Many people seem to be tempted
to write something like a user's guide in this case. If you are just reviewing a
product, don't write about which menu you have to select to invoke a feature. Better
tell the reader how good that feature works. Graphic's are nice and help a lot in
showing how a product works,
Conclusion/Final Thoughts: Are you satisfied with this product? Can you give
a comparison to any similar product as far as quality and general usability? Would
you make the same decision again? What do you see as it's strong and weak points?
Did you have to contact the manufacturer or vendor for support? If so was it any
Formatting the text in certain ways can increase readability a lot. Please ensure
that your article conforms to the following to keep the Newsletter's interface consistent.
Again, if you have any questions regarding the submission itself or how to write
an article, feel free to ask.
If you would like to make use of tables, keep them simple: Please don't include
images in tables and avoid nested tables, since both kinds are not supported by
IPF and make generating the INF version of the Newsletter very complicated. Usage
of colors is acceptable though.
Things you want to emphasize should be bold, not in italics or in uppercase.
Please write names of objects, like the font palette, and options in dialogs in
italics, as well as values that are to be entered in dialogs.
Filenames, paths and source code should be monospaced (<tt> and <pre>
Anything that should be entered at the command line should be monospaced
and in the font color green. You may also want to put
these into a separate line.
Mark warnings in red color, preferably like this:
CAUTION: Never use this feature to...
Keys should be marked as monospaced and with smaller-than/greater-than characters
around them, e.g. <CTRL-ALT-DEL>.
All URLs should be listed fully readable in the separate references section, e.g.
as http://hobbes.nmsu.edu and not Hobbes.
The latter method is preferred inside the article's body.
Please do not use any specific font faces! Some editors seem to do this by default.
Ensure that your HTML editor doesn't use absolute local links like C:\VOICE\vnewsf3.htm.
The VOICE Editors. Last Updated March 29, 2001
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