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by Mark Trescowthick - AVDF Editor
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Here we are again... the traditional few days late, but what can I say?

As I write this, Microsoft would appear to be on the back foot all over the World. With the DoJ case supposedly going against them, Office 2000 under pressure to ship on time and Windows 2000/NT 5 looking as if it will slip, the Microsofties are certainly feeling the pinch a bit. That may well be all to the good, we shall have to wait and see. I've made enough comment in the pages about court cases and so, until we get some firm news, I'll skip my usual tirade and get on to more interesting matters.

I just wish that there were plenty of matters of interest to discuss... as usual, the Christmas period provides somewhat lean pickings. Still, not all is lost.

SQL Server 7 is finally official, after what seemed the World's longest beta turned into a sort of weird unofficial launch, with literally hundreds, if not more, users relying on the final beta for prime time applications. I sometimes wonder about we developers - then I realise the horrible truth!

We cover a couple of aspects of SQL 7 in this issue, and you can expect much more coming down the track. It's a huge improvement on 6.5, and if you haven't considered updating yet, you really should do so. We have little but good to say about it.

Elsewhere in the development World, what are we to make of Microsoft's COOL? I have no idea what it might be (and I'll bet they're not too sure either!) but it sounds far better for all of us that they go ahead and develop something new, wonderful and open (we live in Hope!) than simply do a "clean room" version of Java. Though I'd like odds they'll do that, too, before much longer. MS have the wherewithall to make a real difference, no matter what some might think of them. We shall see...

Also in this issue, we present another couple of "drop in" ASP applications, in response to the huge interest we got in my little ASP Discussion Forum last time around. That simple app generated a heap of enquiries, so this issue we present a simple Links Manager application and a drop-in include file that enables you to do cookies server-side.
Whilst on matters ASP, any of our USA readers heading on down to San Diego for the ASP Developers conference there in mid-May should make sure to say hello... I'll be the idiot speaker rabitting on about developing Project Management Intranet sites.
Regular readers will recognise quite a bit of the code I present there <g>.


Finally, I want to take the opportunity to thank one of our longest-term GUI staffers, who has decided to go back to University, and is thus lost to us. Cathy Conte has been Office Manager at GUI since 1991 and, as well as ensuring a bunch of mad developers got things done on time, and correctly, she's also had the onerous task of minding Yours Truly. Add to that organising four Visual Basic Australia Conferences, assorted workshops and a burgeoning development tools business, and you can see what a huge loss she'll be. Anna Drummond, who's come on board to fill her shoes, certainly has a task at hand. Thanks, Cath. You're a treasure I'll be lost without. Top legs, too...

As always, see you in the Ether.

Written by: Mark Trescowthick
February '99

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