Letters to the editor
Fancy graphics are OK, but keep them useful. Same for backgrounds. While I do not print out much,
long articles, sample scripts and such could make me change my behavior. I
do like long articles, if given an overview.
--Dr. C.W. Research Assistant
One advantage of the online format is that the text of articles and
programming examples is available for later use on the computer
locally. Articles can be e-mailed and circulated to peers fairly easily
(as opposed to making and distributing photocopies!) Advanced
Systems is (was?) a great magazine -- (one of) the only ones I
bother investing my very limited reading time with!
--F.L. Quality Assurance Engineer
I think SunWorld Online is the best online publication I have seen to date, and I hope you keep it this way.
-- GG Business Development Director
Good job! I liked the menus bars at the beginning and end of each article. I also liked the listing of the number of words in each article in the table of contents.
-- Dr. PM Member of Tech. Staff
One advantage to the on-line version is that I can download text files and e-mail interesting articles to friends who do not have access to a browser.
-- JS System Designer
The idea of having a short synopsis of an article of more than one page I like. This gives me the opportunity to decide if an article is worth it.
-- BB Systems Analyst
If this is the first cut, I don't see how you could improve it! Great
start! I would usually skip any articles that are too long, but if the
ability is there to download, I'll do that for an article I'm
interested in so I can read it later.
-- DP Computer Specialist
One of the big advantages of online publishing is the opportunity to reduce or eliminate the production delays inherent in print and physical mail.
-- MF Senior Systems Engineer
I liked the amount of graphics in this first issue. It looked good
but still downloaded quickly. I prefer thumbnails of graphics in an
article with a hot link to the full size picture like you did for the
New Products section. I liked how the table of contents listed the word
count for the articles. Good luck. I'd like to see this
-- TL Senior Technical Consultant
I currently receive six free paper publications, most of which find
their way to the trash after I browse them. I believe on-line
publishing is a great way for me to keep up-to-date on technology
without wasting so much paper.
-- BW Systems Analyst
I've always cut out really good articles like Brian Wong's and kept them in a folder. I can never find anything that way. Now I can save articles and find stuff with my favorite database manager ... grep.
-- SR MTS
It is unfortunate that one of the better magazines was discontinued.
I have not found a suitable replacement. Some of the PC oriented mags
are no better than The National Enquirer when it comes to
accurate and fair reporting. Sun ... thanks for saving the
-- GK Systems Project Manager
Online publishing is a good idea, especially in the area of trade
journals. I look forward to future issues of SunWorld Online.
I can't tell you how many times I have wanted to review an article only
to realize that I didn't have the magazine at hand.
-- JJ Network administrator
I have been a vocal advocate of online publishing for documentation for
years, and I believe that HTML, together with WWW servers/browsers, is
the "One True Way." I applaud the editors and staff of
SunWorld, and the Powers-That-Be at Sun Microsystems, for
putting up this trial balloon.
-- JH System/Network Manager
Well, in general, I like the idea. I can save files that I would
like to refer back to later, it's perfect for presenting code fragments
and example scripts, and I don't have to wade through the
advertisements. On the other hand, it's tough to throw it in my
briefcase so I can read it on the plane...
-- JH Senior Engineer
I liked having a real magazine in my hands.
-- JM Senior Member of Tech Staff
This is a BIG mistake! I have to digest a lot of info and fast. Doing it this way is to slow and too inconvenient. Impossible to view this at home or in the commute.
-- HA Sr Staff Systems Architect
The reason I didn't spend that long examining SunWorld
Online is a really slow link (you wouldn't believe it ...). Since
turning into Advanced Systems it's been by far the most
serious magazine of its type and the one most likely to have useful
information in it from my point of view.
-- PO Professor (Brazil)
The problem with online journals is that when they are on the other side of the transatlantic link, by mid-morning European time download times can be so long that they can be a pain to read. It needs to be available from fast sites worldwide.
-- DM Head, Personal Systems
It may be, eventually. We're part of the IDG worldwide publishing empire, and Sun is a worldwide company. Stay tuned. -- Editors
The benefit of the printed magazine is that it stares at me from the
desktop where the Webmag will require that I remember to seek it out.
One monthly reminder via e-mail would be nice. Good luck and count me in
as a viewer!
-- GH Computer Lab Director
E-Mail notification is a must for me. We get so busy in the day to day business. Thanks for Advanced Systems, and now this.
-- JS Operations Analyst
It is still very difficult to read large on-line docs. Not everyone has a 21-inch monitor and high-res graphics.
-- PW Senior Systems Engineer
Can't take laptop with net connection into the bathroom very easily.
-- AF Net Admin
In general, I like things to be online. On the other hand, I usually
go to the park on my lunch hour and read. Mosaic doesn't travel very
-- MD SW Engineer II
Try printing the articles you want to read. Then you can not only read them when you like, you can recycle them afterwards -- and still find them later online. -- Editors
If I wish to save some article for later reading, or printing, it is
annoying to discover that the linked pieces, e.g., sidebars, are not
part of the saved file.
-- PH Sr Staff Advisor
OK, we fixed that. -- Editors
Another benefit of online, I can save the copy in a file for later reference (grep for something), or e-mail a copy to a colleague.
-- DO Distinguished Member of Technical Staff
I grabbed copies of the Hal Stern's and Chuck Musciano's columns by e- mailing them to myself for adding to our local web page. Point is: printing off for later reading isn't the only option. I e-mail and stash in either mail folders or actually put into our web hierarchy for sharing.
-- ML Project Manager
Would be good if the issues are archived on a site that we can retrieved/ftp later.
-- SH System Engineer
Everything will be archived; in addition, Catalyst is archiving the publication and has archives for the past year's worth of Advanced Systems already. InfoSeek is also offering searchable archiving service to both Advanced Systems and SunWorld Online. -- Editors
A few more articles on system administration would be nice, since I do like the SysAdmin column.
-- CO Computer Scientist
I enjoyed reading on-line but several times found myself wishing for more hyperlinks. One thing that I would like to see is a link to a description sheet for each company mentioned. Data might include e-mail, address, tel, fax, & a contact.
-- WC Sr. Member Tech. Staff
Articles should be short, with lots of links - to
more detailed info, to e-mail the author, to vendors mentioned, to
persons quoted, etc. Take advantage of the media! What I saw today was
just a magazine on-line, not a "new media publication."
-- CL Systems Analyst
More technically oriented articles, including example code, would look good to me. This in addition to, not as a replacement for, your current format.
-- BR Operations Technical Specialist Analyst
I may not need a DAT stacker today when I read about one coming out, but three months from now, when I need one now, I will remember that it exists. What I need is an online search capability to find past articles that reference my present need.
-- RF Astronomer
I am a developer and would like to see more information about development issues. Maybe you can have another mag for developers. Have Sun provide some tricks-of-the-trade. Special sections for kernel debugging, application building, etc.
-- MM Senior Project Engineer
Cover the Java development. Give full coverage to OpenStep, Object Oriented Development.
-- NS College Director Comp. Svce
I appreciated your longer-than-normal articles. Make the SunWorld Online icon smaller and more subtle. You are not a hot rod
magazine. NO huge graphics. It is just gloss and kills transmission
rates -- if you must have large graphics then bury them deep.
-- PB Manager, IS
Make sure the articles have an abstract as well as the in-depth part. Hate to download a long article and then find it isn't what I thought it was based on title.
-- RR Chief, Automation Technology Div
We took your suggestion -- see this issue. -- Editors.
I'm a newbie to the Sun system. I would also like to see either an "Ask the pros" column or a "help" index of common newbie problems and possible solutions. Thanks.
-- SS Plant Engineer
Great work! Make sure that you provide a lot of articles to keep the technical folks happy. How about a tips & tricks column for sys admins?
-- AA Advanced Systems Engineer
Post articles as soon as they are ready. Create a "Next issue in
progress" area where timely articles can be posted before the official
issue is published.
-- ET System Engineer
Definitely have to incorporate HotJava applets to spice up SunWorld Online. I think you'll be a class by yourself and easily shine among the other online publications!
-- RT Senior Systems Engineer
It sounds as though you're subsidized by Sun and likely to be biased. If I want a rah-rah rag I can read Sun Expert or (worse yet) an SGI pub.
-- MM Scientist
My concern is that since Sun is hosting you, you'll end up not being able to be straightforward in your reviews and articles. Also that this will become a marketing/propaganda tool for Sun.
-- JA System Administrator
I am worried that it will degenerate into a narrow trade magazine instead of broadly Unix. I've appreciated the balance in the printed version. However, since we are just about to purchase a SPARCstation for my work, everything Sun-specific will now be welcomed (as long as it doesn't read like a sales pitch).
-- GC Professor of Computer Science
Editor-in-Chief Michael McCarthy replies: Don't panic yet. SunWorld Online is an independent magazine supporting Sun users, and Sun has agreed not to dictate the content even though they have been kind enough to host us on their popular Web site. People at Sun have been fans of Advanced Systems since it was SunWorld Magazine, and they tell us they value the credibility that SunWorld Online's visible independence will give it.
Now having said that, there are two impacts that our name and location will necessarily have on us. Because of our name and location, our readership is predominantly Sun-centric, so our editorial perspective is that of the Sun user specifically, rather than the Unix user generically, and that's whose information needs we plan to focus on.
And because we're sitting on Sun's server, we can't credibly publish things like reviews of Sun products and critical profiles of its rivals -- so we won't. We're not worried -- we've got tons of articles coming that you'll find valuable, informative, timely, and interesting.
But don't take my word for it -- read this, our first issue, and you tell me what you think. The proof is in the pudding. Whether you've got Sun systems or not, I think you'll find lots to read this month, and every month from now on. We've got five years' experience meeting the information needs of Unix professionals, and you can see from some of the letters above that we've won a lot of reader loyalty with the quality of our stuff, which is due in no small part to an obsession with interacting with our readers.
But like I say, you tell me. Have we got a magazine here you want to read? I look forward to hearing from you.--Michael McCarthy
I'd like to see vendor advertising that includes demos of vendor software.
Good luck in your on-line venture.
-- TL Systems Analyst
There are no adverts ... that was part of the value of the paper magazine.
-- DT Systems Engineer
What about the ads for WordPerfect Unix, workstation rentals,
memory, PV~Wave, and all the other ads for useless crap that we as sys
admins have to deal with and use each day?
-- KH CAE Systems Specialist
AS mag was invaluable source of ads for special-purpose stuff -- hope this continues but I don't want to see more than like 2 square inches of an ad unless I ask for it. A 'classifieds' subsection would be nice.
-- LH Vice President, Trading Technology
Ads are important sources of info. Need more of them. To make them full text searchable would be even better.
-- RP Physical Scientist
Your questions hit two of my three big concerns: Notification of new issues (that's why SnailMail succeeds), and graphics and choices of graphics. My third is ADZ! I really DO read mags to find the ads of products I am unfamiliar with. Find a way to include some.
-- DM Staff Engineer
It's a good idea. I like it also for the ads, and I use advertisers' indexes often in doing product searches, etc., so putting some ads in is fine by me.
-- A Sales and Marketing
Where are the ads? That is one important reason for spending time with the "rags"! It allows one to (1) find products to purchase, and (2) find out who is "real," who is not, how they are doing.
-- BL VP Development
(Our publisher is going into endorphin overload.) Yes, we will sell advertising, and we have some ideas for making the ads useful to readers and advertisers alike -- stay tuned! -- Editors
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Last updated: 1 July 1995.
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