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Up Front

What You Told Us

by Michael Swaine

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Our first issue was one data point, and now here’s another. Since two points determine a straight line, what do you think about our trajectory?

Welcome to the second issue of PragPub.

We’re calling these first few issues the First Iteration. As firm believers in the power of agile development, Dave Thomas and Andy Hunt built an agile publishing company, and PragPub is intended to be an agile magazine. Where we take it will in large part depend on your feedback. Last issue we invited you to tell us what you want to see in a twenty-first century publication for software developers.

And you have.

You said (some of you said) you wanted to be able to have PragPub placed directly onto your bookshelf every month. You said you’d like to subscribe via email, or in Stanza. You asked to be able to subscribe to an RSS feed, possibly one for each story. You said you’d like to subscribe to our events calendar via CalDAV.

You were enthusiastic about our publishing simultaneously in epub, mobi, and pdf formats, but you wondered if we were going to do an HTML version. Some of you had trouble downloading the epub version. You asked for a clickable table of contents in the Kindle version. You found some editing errors (my bad). You suggested color and formatting changes to improve the look of the publication when printed.

You said you enjoyed the articles on Clojure, Andy Lester’s article on keeping your job, the department in which we explain how we do some of the things we do, the quiz, and the John Shade column. You shared some ideas about what you’d like to see in future issues.

One reader wrote, “I like the magazine simply because it encouraged me to come here and get involved in the pragmatic forums. That’s great because your books are excellent and it’s great to read you want to start a dialogue with your readers. It also gives a feel for the personalities behind the names.” Yep, that’s what we had in mind.

So here’s what we’re going to do:

Color, formatting, and downloading issues: all addressed, we hope. We don’t plan to do an HTML version now, since we’re interested in going a different direction from surfing the web and reading a bunch of blogs; at least that’s the plan for this First Iteration. We’re looking into the subscribing possibilities: we’d like to make it as easy as possible for you to get PragPub. And we agree that the calendar should be a living document, so we’re mulling that over.

As for content, in this issue you’ll see, as you requested, articles on programming, as Chris Adamson shows how developing apps for iPhone requires thinking different(ly), Ian Dees explores the possibilities of using Cucumber in developing apps for the hottest platform going, and Dave gives you a peek behind the Pragmatic curtain in another “how we do some of the things we do” department. We also shine light on other facets of the programmer’s life in an interview with Andy, Johanna’s advice on personal productivity, and Daniel’s tutorial on how to become a coffee guru. Plus another quiz. And more John Shade. And other stuff. Anything else we can do for you?

Seriously. It’s not a rhetorical question. We’re eager to hear how we can make PragPub the kind of publication you want to read.

-Michael Swaine, editor