VOICE Home Page: http://www.os2voice.org
An editorial view from Christian Hennecke, Editor in Chief of the VOICE Newsletter.
Yes, it's that time of the year again. The VOICE Newsletter needs your help. Most of the problems remain the same: Too few people on the team, which resulted and still results in accelerated burn-out of those who are left, and not enough articles. However, there has been a certain shift in focus and quality.
Thankfully, with Bill Loughman doing a great job we have overcome the issues with the tips page. Some recent restructuring of the way the Newsletter is organized has helped. The arrivel of a few dedicated volunteers has also helped a good deal with the English language version by relieving the editors of some tasks - for now. But the situation of the German one is grave again personnel-wise. We need more good and reliable translators and proof-readers.
The number of submitted articles has decreased to a level that is threatening the very existence of the Newsletter. This year saw the first time that an issue had to be cancelled for lack of articles. Actually and in spite of having extended the dead-line for article submission way beyond the usual date, this very issue would never have seen the light of day either if it hadn't been for the effort of its editorial staff. Do have a look at the list of this month's authors, will you?
Please spare us Newsletter/e-Zine merger comments. We have been thinking about this
approach ourselves. It would bring some relief but only temporarily so. After a while,
the resulting only international magazine would almost certainly suffer from the same
issues and at a least a bit of diversity is vital.
The same applies to a switch to bi-monthly schedule or publishing articles as they are finished. If at all possible, we need up-to-date and regularly published information.
In the past, we have repeatedly appealed to the sense of companionship and helpfulness of OS/2 users - with less than optimum result, since the situation usually did not improve beyond the "bearable" level. In these times of "me, my, myself, mine, me," people having to fight hard to make a living, and with less OS/2 users around, this isn't viable any more, apparently. Things can't go on as they did lately. Something has to change. So I'll just present you with the cold, hard facts:
To continue with a monthly publishing schedule, we need more articles. A lot.
Article have to be submitted in a timely manner for the team to be able to do decent work.
If you need our help to work on an article or time to add more flesh that is not much of a problem, usually. But remember that it takes time. So, please think about it early enough in the process.
Submitted articles by all means should adhere to the guidelines.
Especially those regarding formatting. Pretty please with sugar on top?
Ensuring compliance with the guidelines generates little additional work for you but failure to do so places an enormous amount of surplus work on the editors.
Articles need to be submitted in an easy to edit format.
Most HTML that is generated by word processors and WYSIWYG HTML editors easily blows the top of the Richter scale of crappy code. This even includes OpenOffice.org and NVU, the stand-alone successor of Mozilla Composer! Correcting erroneous and bloated HTML code often takes more time than converting an article from plain text to HTML format. Basic HTML markup is something you can easily add yourself, and I have made new binaries of HTML Tidy, the HTML code checker, available.
To continue with a monthly publishing schedule, we need more personnel. Reliable people.
The translation team needs backup. The editors could also do with somebody who can handle the formatting of an article before it is passed on for proof-reading and translation. This all the more true the more submitted articles do not comply to the guidelines and have to be converted with great effort.
That's it. Now it's up to you to decide whether you want the VOICE Newsletter to continue to provide you with information, to decide what it is worth to you, and to draw the consequences.
On a lighter note, Netlabs has finally relaunched the old Electronic Developer's Magazine. Taking into account the changed realities of the OS/2 development scene, the new approach employs a Wiki. This means that everybody can contribute to this important information pool and help keeping OS/2 alive. We are currently discussing the donation of VOICE Newsletter articles that are related to development.
Warpstock Europe 2004 is nearing fast. If you haven't already decided whether to attend or not, pay their web site a visit and take a look at the program that includes 23 sessions. This year's event takes place from November 26 to 28 at the same location as 2002, the Stayokay Hostel in Arnhem. The hostel has been renovated since last time but from what I heard Warpstock Europe 2002 was not the thing that necessitated this. Besides the usual product updates, the main focus lies on interoperability with other systems. This should help users to avoid having to migrate away from OS/2.
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 email@example.com. Please note our guidelines for submissions to the VOICE Newsletter. There you will 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 Saturdays November 6 and 20 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 - http://www.os2voice.org/meetinginfo.html.
If you have an idea for a Speakup event, please submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org, and we will try to 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 http://www.os2voice.org/calendar.html for more details on future VOICE events.
This month, Christian Hennecke reviews a real gem that has been unnoticed by many OS/2 users for many years: F - file manager and power user's toolbox. This freeware program could be the solution for your file management needs and more.
Last year, Microsoft bought Connectix and thus ended the history of Virtual PC for OS/2. Jason Stefanovich takes a look at the successor for Windows and how it works with OS/2 as a guest operating system. Read more in Microsoft Virtual PC 2004 and OS/2.
Not everybody who uses a wireless network also has the pleasure of broadband internet access. Bela Bargel looks into a solution for ISDN and reports how he made it work with OS/2 in spite of the vendors denying it to be possible. This could also be an interesting read for other people with hardware that is said to be unsupported on OS/2. More in Wireless Internet access via ISDN.
This year's Warpstock on the American side of the big pond is over. Mark Dodel fills you in about what happened in Denver. Even if you were there, you may find something you missed. Learn more in Warpstock in the Rockies.
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 email@example.com. If you have any comments or suggestions about the newsletter or articles in it, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming articles include more in the series on DrDialog by Thomas Klein, as well more details on eComStation and the new and improved features by Walter Metcalf.
That's it for this month.
Christian Hennecke, Mark Dodel, Marckus Kraft, and Jason R. Stefanovich
VOICE Newsletter editors
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