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Up Front

It’s About You

by Michael Swaine

Generic image illustrating the article
  The magazine as coffeehouse.  

In my formative years, I used to hang out in a coffeehouse in Elkhart, Indiana, named Partly Dave. It was run as a sort of co-op, with patrons serving on the board and serving up the coffee, and its slogan was “Partly Dave is partly you.”

Corny, I know. But it was a good idea then, and it’s a good idea now. I think of PragPub as partly magazine, partly coffeehouse, and yes, partly you.

Unlike the Wizard of Oz, we do want you to pay attention to what’s going on behind the screen. We want you to jump right in and contribute to the conversation. This magazine has no Letters page. (Letters pages are so 20th century.) Our reader discussions take place live in our Forums.

You can do more than comment on articles: you can also write articles for PragPub. There is no entrance exam. All you have to do is come up with an article that our other readers would like to read.

The same goes for books. In this issue’s “Get a Life,” Daniel Steinberg describes an exciting Pragmatic Programmers project that could help you to finally write that book you’ve been contemplating. If it turns out to be a book that our other readers would like to read, you could be on your way to becoming a Pragmatic Bookshelf author.

Daniel’s piece is one of the more reader-involving elements of this issue. Our fourth opening of this Pragmatic Pub also features articles on Google Android, efficient e-mailings with Ruby, producing PDFs from TextMate, workflow modeling with state machines, and home recording tips for amateur musicians. Our columnists delve into Google Chrome Frame, the rise of DLL programming, and how we produce book-specific markup. And as always, there’s a quiz to exercise your little grey cells.

But I was arguing that PragPub is partly you, and there’s another important way in which you can be involved with the Pub. You can help us decide what to do next. You can help us create the next iteration of PragPub.

As it says on the cover, this is “The First Iteration” of PragPub. We’re actively gathering ideas about what the second iteration should be, and we really want your input. Everything is on the table: format, delivery platforms, content, you name it. These four issues have primed the pump. We have smart people with interesting ideas queueing up to produce articles for PragPub. Now we want to think creatively about how best to share their insights.

We invite your brilliant suggestions.