August 2007 Letters
Readers sound off on our site's Web search and more.
VSM Search Engine Is Broken
While visiting your Web site, I tried to look up an article I remembered seeing in the magazine a while ago, so I typed in the keywords SQL
into your online search engine. However, I got zero hits on the subject. So I typed in a slew of new keywords: SQL Server, Visual Basic .NET, C#, Windows. "No articles found," "no articles found," "no articles found," "no articles found." Clearly something was not right. "Patrick Meader?" "No articles found." That's right, your editor in chief has never written for the magazine.
I don't know how long this has been the case, but I find it a little mind boggling that you would allow a broken search engine to remain on your site. Your readers deserve better.
I am at your Web site, FTPOnline.com.
I searched for Vista and got zero hits for articles and zero hits for the VSLive! conference.
So, I tried to look up an e-mail address for VSM's editor, to express my frustration to him directly. No luck.
I have subscribed to Visual Studio Magazine for more than ten years.
My need now is to create an install program that registers everything correctly on Windows Vista. I could also use a discussion of the pros and cons of different forms of Windows Help files now that Microsoft is discouraging 32-bit help files in Vista.
Your magazine is not meeting my needs. I find it astonishing that you haven't covered Vista in any articles. The lack of an easy way to contact the magazine's editors on the Web site might explain why you are so out of touch.
Van Nuys, CA
John and Matt have both stumbled on an embarrassing fact: The search engine, which in the best of times, was marginally useful, broke completely recently when doing some site maintenance. Of course this is unacceptable, but the site is being redesigned and relaunched soon, so fixing the search engine—a hoary issue, it turns out—wasn't given a high priority. In the meantime, readers will now see a message indicating the search function is unavailable; the best means to search for articles on the site at the moment is with the search engine of your choice.
The truth is, we've done several articles on Windows Vista, with a couple more on the way, including the upcoming September cover story: "WPF: Beyond the Bling." That said, we haven't covered anything similar to what John is asking for, although we are looking into the possibility of covering Windows Help files (or something similar). Similarly, Windows Vista has been a major subject area for the VSLive! conferences over the past 18 months; you would be hard pressed to escape such coverage if you attended one of the shows.
An e-mail address to contact the magazines' editors appears in several places in the magazine, including the Editor's Note, the Letters department, and so on. Every feature, column, or guest opinion has a link to write the magazine or the article's author. And we love, love, love to get feedback, whether happy, sad, or somewhere in between. You can write the editor in chief directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can write the editors of the magazine in general at email@example.com.
This story was written or compiled based on feedback from the readers of Visual Studio Magazine.