Monday, May 11, 2009

Dr. Dobb's: Dead or alive?

While chasing links for the previous post, I learned that Dr. Dobb's is no more. Sort of.

Last I'd looked, on the news stands a few months back, Dr. Dobb's was still in print and, from a quick browse, pretty much the same publication I remembered. I wasn't surprised, but given the nature of the business and the fairly large number of cool magazines (geekly and otherwise) that aren't around any more, I wouldn't have been surprised to find it had gone wherever cool magazines go when they aren't published any more.

Turns out I must have caught one of the last published issues. Dr. Dobb's is no longer in print, at least not as itself. It is now a monthly section in Information Week and an online portal.  [This portal is still up, but, sadly, Dr. Dobb's finally shut its virtual doors on 16 December 2014.  Fittingly, one of the last pieces published concluded a 10-part series on abstractions for binary search.  The site has been "sunset", not shut down, meaning that the existing content will be available indefinitely.  There just won't be anything new.  --D.H. May 2015]

Is it a death in the family, or the same soul being transferred to a different vessel? To me, that has much more to do with the quality of the content than the particular means of publishing. If Dr. Dobb's remains a useful resource for the computing professional, the change matters little. If it morphs into something less ... I'd tend to think the change in format is more a symptom, whether of declining resources, declining standards or declining whatever else, than a cause.

For whatever it's worth, I note that seems to suck up a prodigious amount of CPU, at least under Firefox. Not exactly "running light".

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