Even though I know that Dr. Dobb was never a real person, it seems like he needs to work on his magazine. For as long as I can remember Dr. Dobb’s journal has been considered to be the premier programming magazine. As a kid, learning to program, I wished that I could understand what was in the magazine. As a college student, I wished that I could afford to buy it. As a professional software engineer now, I am eligible for a free subscription to the magazine, which I have been receiving for a little over a year now. [img_assist nid=348 title=Dr. Dobb’s #416 link=popup align=right width=120]

In the past year I have watched it degrade from a respected magazine to a pamphlet with a staple binding. The most recent issue, shown here in this article, has an egregious grammatical error right on the front cover. (For those of you not paying attention the cover says, “Functional Programming: Has It Is Ship Come In?”) The issue is all of 48 pages and fully 9 of those are full page ads, with the average page being 1/3 ads (three columns, 2 of article text, 1 of ad space). How could this magazine which was responsible for publishing Richard Stallman’s “GNU Manifesto” in the March 1985 issue “10(3)” have fallen so far?

The article “The DOORS OS, A multitasking operating system for the HC11” contains the pre-introduction to CS gem, “A single HC11 processor is incapable of actually executing two or more programs at the same exact time.” It seems that my mostly life-long fascination with Dr. Dobb’s journal has come to an end, and it, along with the magazine itself, is being supplanted by newer journals such as ACM Queue and online resources such as blogs like this one. On the upside, if you’ve ever considered purchasing the Dr. Dobb’s Library on DVD, now is the time. It seems unlikely that there will be any more articles of note added to the collection.