Thank you, Michael, for your supportive comments. Since I regard
this as an important initiative, one that has been successfully
undertaken by a small number of Team-Ada subscribers, I feel
it is important to reinforce a few critical points.
1) Editors are always looking for well-written articles. It
is editorial content that keeps their publications alive.
2) Well-written does not mean grammatically correct or technically
accurate, although those are both important. It does mean that
you can craft a piece that is interesting (even entertaining)
to read and contributes to some deeper understanding of the
subject being covered.
3) A general article about Ada, unless extremely well-written,
will have less chance of being published than an article that
describes the solution to some problem that happens to use Ada.
In such an article, it is perfectly reasonable to include a
little comparison of what might have happened using an alternate
language, but the meat of the article is the solution, not the
4) If you have strong technical skills but are unsure of your
writing, enlist the help of a co-author. Not everyone is a
writer. Writing for publication is a skill that requires
practice and even some study. Examine articles that have
drawn you in and engaged your interest. Use those kinds of
articles to model the one you intend to write.
5) Be patient with the editor.
I was once the editor of a small computer journal (back in
the mid-seventies). One aspiring writer submitted the same
article six times before I would publish it. Each of the
previous five submissions were returned to him for rewrite.
Finally, he got it to the point where it was interesting and
6) We can do more for promoting Ada through our experience stories,
showing how we have used Ada to solve real-world problems, than
we can through cheerleading. If you have an example of such
a solution, in the form of a good case-history, give a shot
at organizing it into an article for publication.
7) Target your audience. Know what publication you intend to
select for your article and what kind of readership they have.
One of the certain ways to get a rejection slip is to write
a good article for the wrong audience. With an article based
on Ada, this often means taking an more ecumenical approach
regarding language issues. Sometimes this might mean
demonstrating the same solution in both Ada and C++ with no
value judgement on either language.
I hope this helps those of you who have been wondering if you
should create an article for publication.
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AdaWorks Software Engineering
6 Sepulveda Circle
Salinas, CA 93906
On Wed, 6 Sep 2000, Michael Feldman wrote:
> [said Wes]
> > > Ada being the topic of the Feature article in Embedded Systems Programming.
> > > Either Sept or Oct issue.
> > About time. Some issues of that mag seem to bend over backwards to pretend
> > that Ada doesn't exist.
> Well, as Richard Riehle has often said, a trade mag editor must have a
> few criteria for publication. One of them is that he cannot publish
> articles that don't exist. It's possible, I suppose, that they are
> trying to avoid Ada, but I rather think they just don't get any
> Ada submissions. They also don't get many Ada _ads_, and of course
> it's ad revenue that pays the bills for trade mags.
> Is there anyone out in Team-Ada land there who's submitted an Ada article
> to ESP and had it rejected? For that matter, has anyone submitted
> _any_ Ada articles to trade mags and had them rejected?
> They cannot publish what we do not write.
> Mike Feldman