Cover V02, I04


Publisher's Forum

If you are like many of our readers, one of the first things you'll turn to is our New Messages section, where your peers write about problems they've solved, problems they haven't solved, improvements they've made to source code from the magazine, corrections or amendments to other magazine materials, and, generally, items of interest to all of us. This month's edition is particularly interesting: along with a discussion of code from one of Larry Reznick's articles, you'll find a message from Chris Hare (one of our regular contributors) explaining SCO's version numbering system; a request for help from one of our readers; a correction to code published in an earlier issue; and a long message from Randy Holt with information about the USENIX System Administrators Guild (SAGE) and its mailing lists. What you won't find is the "flaming" that characterizes the letters columns of some computing magazines.

We have a theory about this: we think System Administrators may be a different breed -- more patient, less convinced that they know all the answers, more open to hearing from others about how they've done it. These qualities are also evident in the letters we don't publish -- letters that accompany subscription or information requests, email that requests Author Guidelines, and so forth. The tone is pretty much uniformly cordial and appreciative of what Sys Admin is trying to do.

All of which spurs us on to try harder: so some of you will be receiving questionnaires, asking about what we can do to become more useful to you. We'll also be developing an editorial calendar for 1994 (yes, it'll be here before you know it!). You may have noticed that one or two of our issues have presented several articles on a particular subject, the subject identified on the spine. Once we have the survey results in hand, we'll identify the subjects you're most interested in and target particular 1994 issues to those topics.

Though it may not show up on the questionnaire, we're curious about what role you think Windows NT may eventually play in your universe. The trade magazines seem to run alternate headlines -- "UNIX World Running Scared" and "UNIX Vendors Talking with Microsoft" -- but that's coming from the corporate level. We'd like to hear the view from the trenches.

So, keep writing to us -- and if you haven't written, but feel prompted to do so by this month's issue, get started. You'll have a hand in shaping the magazine.

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