Brace for Controversy


By Jerry Coffey


Talk about starting with a bang. It's my first month as the new editor-in-chief of asp.netPRO magazine, and I noticed that subscriber e-mail was trending pretty heavily in one direction. So I thought I'd follow up in the biweekly e-newsletter, asp.netNOW, to verify what looked like a trend.


The complaint I was receiving was that too many articles featured C# instead of VB .NET. I put tongue in cheek and paraphrased it like this: "Yo! Back off on the C#. There's a lot of us VB developers out here. We happen to like VB and have no plans to change." Then I said "This is just the opposite of what we were hearing just a few months ago [the mail had been leaning toward C#], so let me know where you stand at mailto:[email protected]."


And you did.


There have been 113 replies so far, and this is how they break out: 43 of you would like to see more VB, and 30 would like to see more C#. 28 like the current mix or feel comfortable with either language. Four want to see both in all articles (which I'm afraid is impractical from a space and writer standpoint). Two voted for Delphi, but it has its own magazine, so I don't foresee many Delphi-centric articles in this magazine's future. Then there were a few replies that - no matter how many times I read them - were perfectly inscrutable. One guy gave me a hard time for even asking the question, and hoped the magazine could survive the scandal. I hope so too.


So what do I take from this? First, that you're an engaged, articulate (well, most of you anyway), often passionate group who cares deeply about the technologies you use and the fashion in which this magazine addresses them. In short, as a subscriber base, you're smart and fun.


On the topic of language, it looks like the current mix is tilted slightly more toward C# than it should be, and I'll tweak the balance a bit back toward VB .NET. (It also appears that some of you C# aficionados are major language snobs, but I'll leave that to another editorial, perhaps.)


I suppose I should introduce myself a bit. I started as a developer in the early 80s and have continued to work as a consultant, primarily on database projects, ever since. I started writing and then editing in 1991 for a magazine named Paradox Informant. That was followed by Delphi Informant in 1995, which I still edit. There were a few others along the way, including Oracle Informant, Web Publisher, and Microsoft Office & VBA Developer.


So I'm not new to controversy. I remember getting flamed when we first started running Paradox for Windows articles. We were part of a vast Microsoft conspiracy to take over the world, etc. How this squared with the fact that we published magazines based on Borland products, I couldn't quite figure out.


But I am new to this magazine. In fact, this is the first time I've ever "taken the reins" from another editor-in-chief. However, Elden did such a great job of transitioning asp.netPRO that it was almost easy. In case you missed it last month, my predecessor, Elden Nelson, now works for Microsoft as a Product Manager in their Learning Division. By the way, Elden is still in touch, and he thinks the magazine lists a tad to the C# side as well.


Thanks for reading.


Jerry Coffey is editor-in-chief of asp.netPRO and its companion e-newsletter, asp.netNOW. Reach him at mailto:[email protected].




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