The disk-only program
My first contact with ST-LOG occurred this past Christmas. My children offered me two issues as a Christmas gift, and I was so pleased by the November and December issues that I now eagerly await for the new ones to appear on the newsstand.
I like the mixed contents of your magazine. Were I your only reader, I would insist on more technically advanced material, but thinking of the variety of ST users you must cater to, I find that you manage, in every issue, to maintain a harmonious balance in topics and computer "literacy." Overall, I find your magazine interesting and appropriate enough for my needs and interests. I particularly appreciate the type-in programs, with the variety of computer languages they represent and the programming ideas, projects and techniques they suggest.
Those were the flowers; but my view of ST-LOG is not all roses.
The sixth item on your reader survey directly addresses a frustration that is renewed with every issue. Yes, I strongly urge you to publish, in their entirety, all quality programs, no matter how long they are. A case in point is Ultra-Graph in the very first issue of ST-LOG I received. Not everybody can afford to buy the disk or log onto DELPHI; I compensate for that with elbow grease (or is that finger grease?). Indeed, I now choose your magazine over the others because I know that, with a little effort on my part, I will get to see and try some of the programs I read about, even though I can't afford them in their ready-made form.
However, if you don't publish the more elaborate (and possibly best) of them, I feel let down and left out—even more so because the magazine cover leads the buyer to believe that all the programs are within the magazine. If you are not going to publish a specific listing, at least have the honesty to say so on the cover.
I commend you for offering readers an opportunity to have their say in their favorite ST magazine and encourage you to keep up the quality work.
—Guy Le Bleu
The problem of how to present long ST programs has always been a controversial one. We really have only two choices: either supply those programs on disk or DELPHI—or don't supply them at all. We feel that not to offer these programs would be a great disservice to both our readers and the authors.
When readers ask us to print an entire listing, no matter what its size, we doubt they really know what they're asking. Listings for programs like Ultra-Graph and Opus would fill the entire magazine, leaving room for nothing else. Can you imagine typing something of that length? It would be akin to sitting down with your favorite novel and typing it into a word processor. Even if you had the motivation to take on such a task, the chances of your typing all that code correctly are slim indeed. After spending weeks of typing, you'd almost certainly have a program that, if it ran at all, would be riddled with bugs.
You do have a point, however, about it being difficult for readers to tell at a glance what programs are actually included in the issue. For that reason, starting with this issue, we will always state in the Table of Contents when a program listing is not included in the magazine. If you are buying the magazine for a particular program, first check that program's description to make sure you're getting what you want. We hope that you'll buy the magazine, whether or not a program is "disk only," but we certainly don't want you to think that we're being dishonest.