THE title for this month’s editorialis appropriate for an issue with a review of a translation package for Access.Translated into proper English, the complete phrase is “The more things change,the more things remain the same.” Or, to put it another way, my mother-in-lawis on the Internet. She’s still my mother-in-law, but now she sends e-mail.Every day.
As i’m writing this, i’m sitting in the back of theroom of the united kingdom’s national access user group’s seminar. I wasinvited over to give the keynote address of the conference, along with twotechnical talks (“scenario-based design” and “service oriented access”). Atthis point, i’ve already given my keynote speech and one of my talks (my secondpresentation is scheduled for after lunch). To say that i was pleased to beinvited is an understatement. It would also be an understatement to say thateveryone has been unbelievably friendly. I managed to get my schedule mixed upat the start of the day, for instance, and gave my second technical talk first,but everyone seemed to roll with the change. The conference organizers (robgordon and margaret chamberlain) were unfailingly supportive. If the rest ofthe attendees end up reading this in a few months: thanks for a great time!
I can’t remember the last time I didn’t get everythingthat I wanted from a client. My wife suggests that it’s because I don’t chargeenough. I think it’s because I’m a good negotiator. Most people don’t realizehow much time they spend negotiating. Most parents think that they just telltheir kids to go to bed. Of course, what actually happens is that the parenttells the kid to go to bed, the kid says, “After this show is over,” the parentresponds with, “Just a few minutes,” and they’re negotiating. Another exampleis when I turn to my wife and say, “Let’s go out for dinner,” and she respondswith, “Where to?”—we’re in a negotiation. My guess is that in both of thesescenarios, neither party thinks of what’s happening as a “negotiation.” That’snot a bad thing: I think that one of the hallmarks of a good relationship isthat we don’t think of most of our negotiations as “negotiations.”
I read somewhere that 85 percent of the populationwill go the whole year without reading a book about their field of work.Hopefully, the collected annual issues of Smart Access will count as your bookfor this year. I do read a lot, and not all of it’s about programming. I alsotend to take a very broad view of what counts as a book about my field to makesure that I can count myself in the other 15 percent of the population.
I’m not entirely on board yet — next issue will bethe first that i’ll be doing more or less on my own. Fortunately, Paul haspromised to stick around and give me the benefit of his experience and wisdom.More importantly, Paul will continue to contribute to Smart Access, somethinghe didn’t do enough of, for my taste, when he was also the magazine’s editor.
I read my first issue of Smart Access three years ago and, asI read it, I kept saying, “I didn’t know that!” I subscribedimmediately. Several months ago when Paul asked if I’d consider following himas editor I immediately said “Sure!” Fools rush in?