Cover V01, I03


Publisher's Forum

Shortly after our first issue came out, I received some email from an SCO employee complaining that we weren't covering SCO. He felt that since SCO accounts for a significant part of the market, we should devote some significant coverage to SCO. In addition to our other sins, he pointed out, we had even published some code that was just flat wrong under SCO.

I'm confused. I thought we were giving significant coverage to SCO. In fact I was concerned that I'd be accused of giving other variants short shrift. The largest piece of code in that first issue was Leor Zolman's overnight spooler, which was developed here under SCO Xenix -- the only variant we run in house. A significant portion of the machines in the network Bruce Hunter administers run under SCO -- even though in that issue he chose to write about AIX.

Thus, my unhappy correspondent is both right and wrong. Right: we should give SCO considerable coverage. Wrong: we haven't been shorting SCO. But I'm not willing to dismiss his complaint so easily. What about the larger questions: "How do we balance coverage of various variants? Must we label each article SCO, SUN, etc., for readers to recognize it's relevance?"

I intend to answer the first part by following the market, i.e., covering the systems our readers are using in a mix that reflects the relative prevalence of those systems. Right now that means greatest emphasis on SCO (both UNIX Sys V and XENIX), Sun, AIX, and HP/UX, with special emphasis on System V independent of platform.

That last part -- "independent of platform" -- underlies my answer to the second question. I don't want to label each story as specific to a certain platform because I expect the System V and Open Systems definitions to significantly reduce the variation among platforms. Besides that, like many self-taught system administrators, I only have significant experience with one platform -- how can I or authors with a similar background reliably label stories that might be applicable to other platforms?


If you attend UNIX Expo (New York, NY, Sept. 22 - 24), please stop by and say hello. I'll be in booth #1873, handing out magazines and listening to your ideas. So come by, and let us know what you think of the magazine and what you'd like to see us cover in future issues.

Sincerely yours,
Robert Ward (". . . ! uunet!rdpub!saletter")