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New Year, New Look

What's coming from MXDJ in 2005

It is the New Year, a time when we make resolutions and change (alright, I promise I won't talk about diets). It is also a time when we look back on the previous year. Publishing this journal is certainly no different.

It is hard to believe that my first quarter as editor-in-chief is now completed. I was overwhelmed by the number of very positive emails I received when the September issue came out. Most were in agreement about Flash being the technology of the future. However, with that agreement came many questions. We will be treating those many questions this year.

In the plans are four themed issues, one for each quarter, that will address many of the questions that were asked. Here is what I am projecting:

I received many letters asking how the pieces fit together. So the first theme issue, in March, will deal with coordinating the various Macromedia MX components. We will address issues such as how Fireworks works with Flash, using Dreamweaver with Contribute, Flash, and Captivate, etc.

The second theme, in June, will address an important new topic: the third-party market that has grown around MX products. We have started to devote more space to product reviews. This issue will examine how to incorporate these products into the workflow.

Next, we'll talk about training and education. We will examine the options for receiving and delivering the skills necessary in this profession. We will also examine the Macromedia certification process.

Finally, our year-end issue will offer greater coverage of the annual MAX conference. This symposium sets the theme and direction of this industry for the following year. The information coming from it is always exciting.

Another feature that will be appearing in 2005 will be case studies. Currently, I am talking to the developers and designers of several major Web sites and they have agreed to write about their experiences in this journal. Unfortunately, I cannot get into specific details now, but trust me, they will be exciting. Expect a wealth of information to come from these articles.

Increasingly, as topics become more complex and feature rich, we are finding it difficult to contain all the necessary information in a single article. We will be seeing an increase in multipart articles. This trend began with Art Phillips and his series on RAD. I am continuing it with an ongoing, and open-ended, series on AS 2.0.

Since I took over in September, I have had a tough time fitting many articles into nice, neat little categories. For instance, should an article about using Dreamweaver with ColdFusion be classified as a Dreamweaver article or a ColdFusion article? What about Flash Video? Is that a Flash article or should it have its own classification? In light of that, we will discontinue the strict categories in this journal. I think this will give us a more fluid and flexible format to work with. Of course, I will be anxious to hear your feedback regarding this change.

I am also planning to promote greater interaction between the printed magazine and the Web site. It is tough to talk about multimedia and not be able to show it. It is my hop e that we will have downloadable files to work through some of the tutorials and examples.

Like a Web site, this magazine is a developing work in progress. Next January it will be interesting to see how all of these plans went and where the roads led us.

In conclusion, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone for your support and to wish you every success and happiness for the new year of 2005.

More Stories By Charles E. Brown

Charles E. Brown is the former editor-in-chief of MX Developer's Journal. He is the author of Fireworks MX from Zero to Hero and Beginning Dreamweaver MX. He also contributed to The Macromedia Studio MX Bible. Charles is a senior trainer for FMC on the MX product family.

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