A few answers to current questions

  • I last got MDJ or MWJ on such-and-such a date. Has there been an issue published since then?

    Our status page lists the current issues of both MDJ and MWJ, including issue sizes, and when distribution began – and it’s been there (and up-to-date) for more than five years. Unless your or our Internet connection is down, this information is always instantly available to you.

    As of this summer, subscribers can also get the same information in their secure RSS feeds. We sent this information to all current subscribers in June, and it’s been part of the “Welcome to MDJ” (or ‘MWJ’) letter for all subscribers since then. See here for more information about how difficult it’s proven to be to tell people about this.

  • Have you published anything since then?

    We published over 30 pages of on-the-spot information from WWDC 2006 right here, available to all MDJ and MWJ subscribers. See here for our attempts to tell people about this and how they seem to not have worked very well. We’ve also provided a few updates on this news blog, including an article on why E-mail is broken, and why we can’t use it to tell you things the way we’d like. It’s not a standard “issue,” but it’s still a significant amount of material that some of you didn’t seem to know about.

  • Where’s the next issue of MWJ?

    We’re sorry if we haven’t made this very clear somehow, but due to problems with the ventilation in our office, working here this summer has made staff members seriously ill. We’re talking emergency rooms, chest X-rays, heavy-duty prescriptions for weeks on end, significant respiratory distress, inability to sleep due to breathing problems, extensive coughing fits, multiple doctor visits – seriously ill.

    We haven’t been trying to emphasize this because, honestly, there’s really nothing more boring than stories about how other people are sick, is there? But from the questions we’re getting, we apparently need to make clearer that the fungus in our office this summer is not like a day of a hay fever attack – it was a continuous, slow-to-build, undiscovered source of poison in the air we breathe. At this point, we’re basically just extremely lucky that more staff members didn’t get even more ill than they did.

    The most distressing thing about it is that when it was just getting started in June and July, and we had no idea what was going on or how serious it was, we kept spending more time in the office trying not to fall behind. The symptoms were of allergy attacks (not infections), and it seemed perfectly reasonable to go slow in front of a computer instead of at home on bedrest, so we kept trying to get more work done – and every moment we tried, we were getting even more seriously ill and had no idea.

    This does not heal instantly. We’ve had the ventilation fixed for nearly a week, but the staffers who work here are still having severe coughing fits and other symptoms of the toxins clearing out. (This is similar to what Matt experienced near the end of WWDC, he says – after a week away from the bad ventilation, he felt like he was getting worse, but now he realizes his lungs were just trying to expel the last of the nastiness.)

    It really has been a nasty episode, and we’re still amazed that we managed to get MDJ 2006.08.30 out the door (now available to all MWJ subscribers in their RSS feeds). We’re hoping to get on a regular schedule next week, and we’re planning to spend time away from the studio Friday and Saturday to help make sure things are on track. (That is, if being outside for a long spell and then coming back to the studio makes us feel worse, it’s a good sign something is still wrong. We have felt significantly better this week, but a sanity check seems like an excellent idea. We have follow-up doctor appointments this month as well.

    There’s really only one thing we want to do more than get back to a June-style schedule around here – we hope you miss us for the same reasons we miss providing the high-quality information and reality check you expect from MDJ and MWJ. That one thing we want more? Unobstructed, regular, oxygen-rich breathing. Once that happens, the rest should be a cinch.

  • But how come I haven’t seen any traffic on the MacJournals-Talk (or, as some still call it, MWJ-Talk) mailing list?

    The discussion list has been unavailable for months due to abuses of the honor system, and with everything else going on, we have not had the time to try to complete the work tying it to the subscription database. If you didn’t know this, please let us know how we could have communicated it better other than trying to send E-mail to everyone, which has its own set of problems (again, see here for more information on those problems – basically, even if we put important news in the very front of an issue, a lot of people just don’t see it, and then ask us months later what’s going on). We’d really like to know how to do this better.