All Together Now

// Editor's Comment


All Together Now


By Elden Nelson


Ten years ago, I started work at my first technical publication: WordPerfect Magazine. I was an eager technical editor and writer, and I wanted the whole world to know how great I thought WordPerfect 5.1 was. I spent hour upon hour of free time on TAPCIS, monitoring CompuServe's WordPerfect forums (remember, this was before the Internet had gone mainstream), answering questions practically before they were asked, and promoting "my" magazine whenever I could.


Then something completely unexpected happened: Someone jumped in on one of my threads, recommending everyone instead subscribe to Cobbs' Inside WordPerfect. Of course, I was outraged and embarked - with all the vigor of youth - on my very first flame war. I'm pretty sure the sysop had to step in and pull us apart a couple of times, threatening to eject us from the forum.


This went on for days - each of us doing the forum-thread equivalent of baring our teeth, thumping our chests, and throwing leaves in the air - until someone finally barged in on our hate fest with a crazy thought: Why couldn't/shouldn't someone get both publications? It was a good question. Neither subscription would break the bank, and both publications had content worth reading.


Now WordPerfect is a distant memory (I haven't used it since version 8, when I wrote my last book on the subject), but I like to think the lesson I learned way-back-when has stuck. Once again I'm an eager cheerleader for a technology I believe in, but this time I'm rooting for anybody - no, everybody - who's involved in spreading the gospel of ASP.NET. This includes some groups that might surprise you.


Other Magazines: Everyone who gets asp.netPRO should also get MSDN, CoDe, and Visual Studio Magazine. Why? Because they're good, for one thing. And because the super-tight focus we provide at asp.netPRO is worth supplementing with broad-based programming discussions. Besides, Markus Egger, publisher of CoDe, has already extended a big ol' olive branch by writing a couple of articles for this magazine, including July's cover story, Plug In .NET My Services. The more you know about .NET development in general, the better you'll be able to use asp.netPRO.


Other Web sites and Newsletters: It would be arrogant to suggest that the only place on the Web you're going to find good ASP.NET information is on, or that ours is the only e-newsletter worth subscribing to (although it also would be foolish for me not to plug them here, so: Visit to sign up for asp.netNOW, the free e-companion to this magazine). In particular, you've got to love Jonathan Goodyear's angryCoder Web site/newsletter ( and Doug Seven and Donnie Mack's dotnetjunkies Web site/newsletter ( They each have great content, and both seem to embrace the "let's work together" philosophy - Jonathan's a columnist for this magazine (see the Back Draft column in any issue of asp.netPRO), and Doug's the columnist for asp.netNOW's A Day in the Life of a Developer.


Let me go one step further on this one: I'd love to know about your ASP.NET site, whether it's a site about ASP.NET or a site using ASP.NET. If I agree it's worth sharing, I'll tell people about it in the asp.netNOW newsletter.


Microsoft: The press often treats Microsoft as a faceless, ruthless, unstoppable machine. When you start talking with individual development groups, however, a much different picture forms. Rob Howard, who often appears in these pages as the Ask Microsoft columnist, takes time from an incredibly hectic development schedule to answer questions because he likes knowing what your questions are. Nikhil Kothari, father of the Web Matrix Project, started it not because he could see lots of money in it for Microsoft, but because it was a fun little tool and an interesting experiment (read the article at for our interview of the ASP.NET development team). Scott Guthrie and Shawn Nandi champion the product with the zeal of the converted.


Why am I mentioning all these people and companies - including some competitors? Because right now I like to think we're all working together, building the momentum behind ASP.NET. The more we support each other, the better off all our development efforts will be. And we've all got interesting things to say.


Elden Nelson is editor-in-chief of asp.netPRO and its companion newsletter, asp.netNOW. E-mail him at [email protected].




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