Thursday, 24 September 2009

On the Demise of Visual Systems Journal

I was disappointed to receive the latest edition of Visual Systems Journal last week. Not because of anything in the content but because it's the last (print) issue. I've been reading VSJ for over a decade (I think - it's been going 12 years, and I'm reasonably sure I received a copy of the first issue) and it's always been quite rewarding - there's always been at least one article in it that I've got something out of, and usually several. Their book reviews have also always been insightful.
They are moving to being an entirely online publication, which means I probably won't see anything more from them - not only do I get prompted to actually read it when the physical magazine turns up on my desk, but I think things sink in deeper when I read them from a tangible page than a virtual one. And I won't get either of those benefits from looking at their website, assuming I remember to hit it at all. I see their website, ironically, still has the link offering free subscriptions.
They also run the DevWeek (where I had my first real objects epiphany) and Software Architect conferences, although I always felt they never really made the most of these assets - they had high-quality people like John Robbins, Jeff Prosise and Don Box around and never got them to produce any articles.