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The end of an era - Dr Dobb's last issue

I just received the last issue of Dr Dobbs Journal. Effective in January 2009, Dr Dobbs will stop as an independent magazine. Instead, a Dr Dobbs report will be added to the Information Week magazine. This is the last of the great IT magazines to close. Magazines like the Journal of Object Oriented Programming, the C/C++ Users Journal, the Windows Developer Magazine and Software Development magazine. One by one those great magazines either closed or merged - into Dr Dobbs itself. It was a sad process to see those magazines diminish - literally get thinner and include more and more ads as they tried to reduce costs and improve revenues. Unfortunatelly, the reduction in content drove readers away and one by one the magazines closed. At merely 48 pages, the last issue of Dr Dobbs is painfully thin compared to the 100 pages of previous years.

I trully believe that I've learned more from those magazines than any book or course I ever took. They both taught and broadened my horizons. It is really sad that people prefer blogs and sites instead of magazines. The quality of the articles of the magazines was vastly superior to the quality of most blogs. With columnists like Scott Ambler, Martin Fowler, Herb Sutter, Grady Booch and many others, in-depth articles on subjects raining from driver developoment to patterns and from CMM to agile development, those magazines provided both breadth and depth of coverage. Their Book Review columns were invaluable for separating good from bad books and selecting the best - a far cry from other magazines' "summary of the publisher's summary" reviews. I first read about patterns in those magazines, I heard about the GoF book and several others by Fowler, Martin, Booch and Jacobson on their reviews. Those magazines showed me what the state of the art in IT was.

At least, the last of the great magazines can't close. IEEE Software is published by the IEEE Computer Society so it will stay in print as long as the Computer Society exists (I hope).

Έχουν δημοσιευτεί Δευτέρα, 12 Ιανουαρίου 2009 2:38 πμ από το μέλος Παναγιώτης Καναβός

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# re: The end of an era - Dr Dobb's last issue

The demise of IT magazines is indeed a sad process.  You forgot to mention the Byte magazine.  I still remember two special issues of it in the 1980s: one on the C programming language and one on Unix.

Regarding IEEE Software let me remark that its lifetime is not guaranteed.  IEEE is a volunteer organization, but its operations depend on member dues, and they are judged partly using financial criteria.  If a magazine's circulation falls too low, then it can be converted into an electronic edition, merged or abolished.  For instance, ACM Queue (another excellent technical magazine published by the Association for Computing Machinery) has been merged with the Communications of the ACM magazine.  Fortunately, IEEE Software is one of the most vibrant IEEE Computer Society publications, so its end doesn't look near.

Κυριακή, 18 Ιανουαρίου 2009 10:18 πμ by Diomidis Spinellis

# re: The end of an era - Dr Dobb's last issue

Let me also remark that Dr. Dobb's was possibly the only trade magazine for which the Institute of Scientific Information was publishing an impact factor (a rather low 0.048 in 2007).  The publication of an impact factor by ISI is an honor typically reserved for respected academic journals.

Κυριακή, 18 Ιανουαρίου 2009 12:08 μμ by Diomidis Spinellis

Ποιά είναι η άποψή σας για την παραπάνω δημοσίευση;

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