D-Lib Magazine
September 2002

Volume 8 Number 9

ISSN 1082-9873



Since 1996, the second year of production, D-Lib Magazine's July and August issues have been combined and released as one issue in July. Being free from production tasks in August gives the D-Lib staff an opportunity to plan and design changes to the magazine in an effort to make it more attractive and easier to navigate. We have frequently introduced such changes in the month of September, and we are doing so again this year. Of the changes we are introducing this time, the one you might notice first is the newly redesigned magazine home page.

As the final touches were being put on the September 2002 issue, it seemed as if the process was more difficult than usual. Perhaps it felt that way because there are more choices available than ever before. More choices mean more decisions and more decisions bring concerns about whether those decisions are the right ones.

The current HTML 4 specification offers many more elements than did HTML 2 (D-Lib's first HTML specification). There are increasing numbers of format considerations, such as: Which Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) style rules would enhance the presentation of an article? Which rules are well supported, and which are not? Should D-Lib use CSS2 yet? Then there are the long-standing issues regarding when and how to use tables effectively. There are more tools to review - both for producing and presenting the magazine.

Usability is always a concern for editors of electronic publications made available on the Internet. For example, because D-Lib Magazine is mirrored at five sites on four continents, how will the choices made affect the magazine's international audience? Additionally, there are internal decisions about servers and security and storage.

Readers have more choices than before too. There are more browsers than ever from which to choose. Which browser is best -- and which version of that browser? Should the reader allow cookies? Should JavaScript be enabled? What are the ramifications of those choices?

Before we release a new issue of D-Lib, we view it using several different browsers on various platforms. Nevertheless, we worry about display. It's amazing to a relatively non-technical person such as myself—and occasionally frustrating—how differently the magazine can appear from one machine and browser to another.

As this issue of D-Lib 'goes to press', our biggest concern is whether we made the right choices regarding the magazine's design. We invite our readers to tell us what they think.

Bonita Wilson


Copyright© 2002 Corporation for National Research Initiatives

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DOI: 10.1045/september2002-editorial