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== Soft-Logik Conference on GEnie ==
(C) 1994 by GEnie and the Soft-Logik Roundtable. May be reprinted only
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OCTOBER 30, 1994
The following is a transcript of the real-time conference with Deron
Kazmaier, president of Soft-Logik Publishing Corporation, on GEnie. This
transcript has been edited only for spelling and clarity.
<[Michael] SL-DEV> Welcome! In conference with us tonight is SoftLogik
President Deron Kazmaier. This conference will have two parts. The
formal part of the conference will begin now and will be in listen-only
mode. When you want to ask a question, you will have to 'raise your hand'
by typing /RAI and then pressing Return to get my attention. Please
prepare your questions before your turn or keep them short. After the
formal part of the conference there will be an informal segment where
everybody can talk freely.
<[Michael] SL-DEV> Remember that Deron isn't here in conference with us
very often. Use this opportunity to ask him questions about the future of
Soft-Logik and PageStream, not when bug X will be fixed or what the
technical support phone number is. I can answer those questions for you
at any time.
<[Michael] SL-DEV> I'm going to post a few words from Deron before we get
"Thank you for coming to tonight's conference. I'm glad to have this
opportunity to speak with you in person. Tonight is my chance to share
with you our plans. I know you all have a lot of questions, and I'll
answer them all in a minute. First I would like to outline our directions
for the future.
"Our main priority at this time is PageStream3 for the Amiga. We are
committed to finishing the unimplemented features, and fixing any problems
in the program. We want to make it the best desktop publisher possible.
I don't have anything new to announce for the Amiga at this time, and I
think most of our customers would be happiest if we'd concentrate on
finishing version 3.
"The answer to whether or not there will be a PageStream 3.0 for the Atari
is no. I know that there are many people out there who love PageStream
and who would love to upgrade to 3.0; however, we have come to the
conclusion that it would not be profitable to do a new version.
"We don't think we could sell enough copies of a new Atari version to
justify the development expense. We have analyzed it every possible
way---not writing an Atari specific manual, contracting the programming to
somebody else, etc---and it just doesn't make sense. If it was at all
financially possible, we would do it. We had hoped that Atari's success
with the Jaguar would lead to revitalized sales of their computers, but
that has not happened unfortunately.
"I hope that the Atari and Amiga users here who are thinking about
changing computers will continue to use PageStream into the future. If
you've been wanting to buy a Macintosh or Windows computer but shudder at
the thought of leaving PageStream, I have good news for you. There will
be PageStream for Macintosh and PageStream for Windows.
"I can't tell you when they will be available, but we have already begun
work on them. The first version for each platform will be very similar to
the finished version of PageStream3 for the Amiga with just a few features
specific to each platform. We will have a very affordable upgrade path
from the Amiga and Atari versions. Subsequent versions will add support
for other machine specific features. There will also be a Windows version
of TypeSmith, our font editor."
<[Michael] SL-DEV> That's the end of Deron's prepared words. The floor is
now open to questions. Remember to type /RAI to raise your hand to ask a
<[Michael] SL-DEV> I'm going to cheat and put the room in talk mode, but
please, still type /RAI to raise your hand to talk. It's just easier for
me to work this way. I'll tell you when to speak.
Room is now in the talk mode.
<[ScottJ] S.CORLEY1> Deron, given the situation concerning Commodore, how
much longer will you be able to support the Amiga? A related question,
what platform and OS is PageStream 3.0 being ported to? PowerMac,
Windows, Windows NT, OS/2?
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> Well, I won't lie and say forever. I think it will be
for several more years to come. The Atari basically stopped being
financially viable years ago. The mac will require system 7 or above, and
the PC will be windows 3.1 or later, using win32s for 3.1, or native on NT
<[ScottJ] S.CORLEY1> Thanks, Deron.
<W.NEAR> Will there be a feature similar to the Art Board on PPage in PS3?
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> Artboard in PageStream3? We hope to make the white
area around the page a pasteboard where objects in that area will show on
any page. GA
<R.LEVETIN> Even though there are many more IBM's and Mac's out there
there are also some heavey hitters already in the market. Do you really
feel you can get enough of that market to make that financial viable when
you have abondoned the Atari market for financial reasons?
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> Well, 1/10 of 1% of the windows market would do us
better than the Atari. We have had more requests from x-atari users
asking for a windows version, than from atari users asking for an atari
version. We may not become #1 or #2, or even #5, but we are used to
selling much less than they are ;-) GA
<R.LEVETIN> As of 6 months ago, Pacific seemed to still be selling the
Atari version at a steady clip. And how many of those 1/10 of 1 % can you
actually guarantee will actually buy verses pirating?
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> I'm sorry. I know bad news is hard to believe, but I
still have to put food on the table, and Atari is not doing that. It has
been less than 3% or our sales for over 3 years (since before the last
release on the atari).
<[greenboy] D.GREEN25> When is an upgraded Art Expression going to be
available? Oh, for a heavyweight-class EPS solution...Again, FOR THE
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> BAD NEWS: we are not going to do a new version of AE.
GOOD NEWS: We will be doing a structured drawing extension that provides
similar functionality. PGS3 already has arexx, fountain fills, etc.
Selling you a new program would be cruel (but I can take your money twice
if you like :-) GA
<W.NEAR> Will PS3 have the ability to bend text on an arc and will it be
able to do a fit text to box like PPage4?
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> Yes and Yes (not exactly the same but close). In the
drawing extension only. GA
<R.BROWN30> My question: will we see cross platform file compatibility,
and will we see drivers for the 560C and Stylus for new versions (plus
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> PageStream3 uses a very nice (IMHO) file format we
developed called IFF DOC. It is very extensible, and will be used on all
of our future programs. 560C is 550C compatible (the 600x300 only works
in text mode, not graphics mode). Stylus, yes we plan to add it. GA
<[ScottJ] S.CORLEY1> Deron what about a version of PGS 3.0 for Unix?
Especially the free/PD Unixes? I've heard that FrameMaker is coming out
for Linux. GA. For the latecomers, here's a recap....
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> Unix? Not anytime soon. GA
<[ScottJ] S.CORLEY1> Thanks.
<[Michael] SL-DEV> For those who arrived late, here's a news summary: 1st
priority is to finish the unimplemented features of PageStream3 Amiga and
to fix any bugs. There will not be a new version of PageStream for Atari.
There will be versions of PageStream for Macintosh and Windows, and
TypeSmith for Windows.
<[Buzz] B.STRATTON> Will the drawing extension be a seperate program
included in the PgS package or part of the PgS program?
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> It's just a figment of our imagination right now :) We
plan to make it a seperate program that gets loaded just like a filter,
but will integrate itself seamlessly into the program. GA
<[Buzz] B.STRATTON> Thanx
<[greenboy] D.GREEN25> Acrobat is a big deal in the world at large. Can
we get it too?
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> One of the nice things about our new filter system is
that we can write doc loaders for just about anything, given time (which
we don't have much of these days :) We believe that acrobat will be a big
deal on the Mac and PC, and since the code is the same you'll get it on
the amiga. GA
<C.PIPER2> I support SL's continued efforts with my checkbook. I hate the
thought of switch platforms but I need a hassle free environment. What
can we expect your efforts to produce in the end?
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> Could you clarify? GA
<C.PIPER2> I mean what is it you are attempting to accomplish for the
Amiga in terms of DTP?
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> With app.library on each of the 3 platforms mentioned,
the core code will be shared, so as we develop new features to stay
competive on the mac and pc, you'll get them as well (for a fee ;) GA
<G.FUHRMAN> Gotta go now - Deron and Michael, I just wanted to say thanks
for your contributions to the Atari (& Amiga) world over the years - it
was fun while it lasted - and good luck in the Big Pond of MacWindows.
<W.NEAR> If Amiga survives will you stay with us or go like Gold Disk?
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> As long as the Amiga makes us enough money to cover
our expenses, we will support it. Like I said before, I won't lie and say
forever. I don't know what the future holds for Amiga or Soft-Logik (my
crystal ball is on backorder). Like I said, it should be easy to develop
for the Amiga now that the OS specific stuff has been written, and I'm not
expecting to many new OS releases :(...
<[ScottJ] S.CORLEY1> Why was HotLinks dropped from PageStream 3.0? GA
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> Scott: HotLinks was dropped in favor of a better
<[ScottJ] S.CORLEY1> In what way is it better?
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> The file system notification allows us to do the same
things as hotlinks, and allow non-hotlinks applications to offer partial
support. For example, if you take a picture in PGS and make it external,
if you take and load that picture in AdPro, modify it, and save it back
out, PGS will automatically update the document just like "hotlinks". The
concept works the same, just with a different program. Instead of a
program called "hotlinks", its the OS doing some of the work. We have to
do more work in pagestream, but it's better. GA
<KEVIN.D> What's the status of documentation of the IFF DOC format and
information for developers that might want to do extensions for PageStream
3.0? Could you talk about its extensibility? 3rd party Printer drivers?
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> IFF DOC has been documented for a very long time. We
used it inhouse so that Dan could write a program we call xray that
examines the contents of a document file to ensure everything is OK.
However, I'm not anxious to release it since more than 1 person has asked
for it, and the reason was always something like "I want to import
pictures in pgs, so can I create a document that you can load". However,
when we get the extensions documented (which requires a _lot_ since you
must use app.library) I'll release them so that if the extensions doesn't
cut it, you can use the doc. GA
<R.RATCLIFFE> When do you think the full upgrade (the one you mail to
users) will be available?
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> Do you really want a time from the man who said PGS
would ship in August of 93? Our problem is that we have never done a
project so large (and the amiga has never seen one so large either). We
are all working long hours to get it done, and it will be done asap. GA
<[greenboy] D.GREEN25> Why not have Pageliner show the styles like
GoldDisk's AE? That couldn't have that much overhead if they could do it.
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> it does in 3.0c. Look at appendix B in your manual.
That is them. GA
<[Buzz] B.STRATTON> Uh, what's acrobat? Short answer would be just fine.
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> Its kind of like EPS for documents, + the ability to
parse and edit them like adobe illustrator. GA
<[STEVE] S.MARKOW> In regards to PgS 3.0 Atari, you mentioned for Amiga
"as long as you cover your expenses". How much would it take to cover
expenses for an Atari 3.0, in terms of commitments from present users, and
if you won't, would you be willing to allow a third party to take it over
and get a 3.0 version out?
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> A year ago I contacted some people I thought might be
interested. No one even nibbled. It's even worse now. GA
<R.BROWN30> To get a little more specific, will ATARI PgS file formats be
importable in the new Mac/Win PgS versions. There's two Atari PgS pro
users here with 600 megs of files to consider! Actually, _more_ than 600
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> Well, pgs3 amiga loads pgs2 files, and the filters
will compile on any of the machines, so I expect that we will offer those
filters to those who are upgrading. No extra effort on our part :-) GA
<[Bill] W.NEAR> About that fit text to box thing. Will there be a button
that will just recalculate the point size until the text fits?
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> You can do it now with text objects and arexx in just
a few lines of code. How about it mike? GA
<[Michael] SL-DEV> Sure. :) How much is it worth to you? :)
<[Bill] W.NEAR> It should be included like it was with PPage. :-)
<[Michael] SL-DEV> W.NEAR: send me email with more detail on what you want
it to do. I'll write it when I have a chance and upload it to the library
<[Bill] W.NEAR> Thanks
<[ScottJ] S.CORLEY1> SL-Prez, any chance of SL releasing a word processor
based on PGS 3.0. Or even releasing the filters PGS 3.0 uses to handle PC
& Mac wordprocessor file formats? GA.
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> Scott: I don't see a word processor coming from pgs3
code. Just too different. What about the filters? I don't understand.
<[ScottJ] S.CORLEY1> No Amiga wordprocessos hcan handle PC/MAC file
formats, I was hoping you'd release the code to do that.
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> Yes, again, on the PC and Mac, we will have to support
the native file formats, and when we write those filters, you'll get them
on the Amiga. Going to those platforms really will breath life in the
Amiga version for years to come. GA
<[Bruce] B.MAUGER1> I am a atari user and I'm sorry that you will not be
suporrting it! however....just bout a PC and wondered it upgrade possible
from platform to platform
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> Yes! Basically, we will offer an upgrade from Atari
(and amiga) to either mac or pc (just as we do now from Atari to Amiga and
Amiga to Atari). Our biggest hope to keep the pagestream family of users
as our customers for years to come. GA
<KEVIN.D> Just a comment: one of the most frequent PageStream extensions
mentioned on the Internet is an article editor. oops. I mean equation
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> The way objects are support in pgs3, it should be easy
to make tables, graphs, crossword puzzles and yes, even equation editors.
We will probably do a simple one and let others do it one better. GA
<[greenboy] D.GREEN25> RIGHT-AMIGA-u is Undo everywhere else. Why not
TypeSmith? Is this a German thang?... And what about that there
TypeSmith upgrade that has been mentioned? I love this program---but I
would like to see a MONSTER...On the AMIGA! If there were leading edge
programs on a platform earlier on, we wouldn't face the question of
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> RIGHT-AMIGA-Z is _the_ standard for undo. See made
147 of the Amiga style guide (published by commodore) as proof :) What was
your question about typesmith? We have not annouced any major update to
it, unless your just talking about 2.5a. GA
<[greenboy] D.GREEN25> right
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> 2.5a should be next week. No comments have come back
from the beta to prevent it from being released, and shipping is getting
<KEVIN.D> 2.5a looks fine here
<[STEVE] S.MARKOW> Deron, you still did not answer my entire question.
#1) with enough $$ committed from users, would you do Atari 3.0 #2) If
yes, how much and #3) If a third party would "nibble", would you let them
do it? (a 3.0 version)..GA
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> Well, we once figured that an Atari version would cost
around 80k. That doesn't count lost dev time, nor profit potential vs
other projects. We have received less than 150 letter/faxes/ email. That
works out to an upgrade price of $533 :) I know you don't like the news, I
don't either. I've spent many years programming for the atari, and don't
like the idea of loosing that investment. But sales for the Atari in the
last 3 years wouldn't pay the bills for a month. GA
<[Bruce] B.MAUGER1> (as you see I need the spellchecker part hehe)
anyway..with all the Atari people here perhaps you will reconcider your
position. I DO love your product. I am not a programmer but... I am
willing to find some who could do it!??? GA
<[ScottJ] S.CORLEY1> Soft-Logik, any thoughts on distributing PGS 3.0 on a
CD-ROM with lots of clipart? GA
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> We did (heck, it would save us about 20% in COG), but
the 40 users would not be enough. I'll keep it in mind. Maybe CDROM is
more prevelant on the Amiga than I think it is. GA
<[Dave] D.KNOELL1> Any ideas on scripting language support in Windows
version ala REXX? The implementation in PgS3 is one of the unique things
seperating PgS from the "bunch". :-)
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> Well, we _have_ to support visual basic. If we do an
OS2 version, we would definately support rexx there. If IBMs version of
windows takes off we would support it as well. The macro functionality
will _not_ go away!!! GA
<[Buzz] B.STRATTON> From your point of view. If the Amiga goes bye bye.
Which platform do you like to work with the most as a user? I'm talking
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> I'm on a mac write now ;) (my fears are that windows
will win). Everyone in the office has a mac for database work. Only 3
people have PCs :-) GA
<[Bill] W.NEAR> When using a text frame with more than one column is it
possible to resize one individual column within that frame?
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> no. Its one object divided internally. We might
allow different divisions in the future, but not short term. However, you
will _never_ be able to flow 2 different articles into it. Its main
purpose is to allow easy change for column format. GA
<R.BROWN30> Well, now that it's posed, we'd like to place an order for PgS
Windows. How soon can you deliver? By the by, it looks like my new
Atari/Mac/DOS software concern will be pressing CD-ROMs ;) [We're frankly
concerned the Mac is dying, though]
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> Good god. You don't expect me to pin a date on
something like that? We can't predict the mac and pc versions since it is
so new for us. While some people here have "prior history", most don't.
<KEVIN.D> Another comment: OS/2 is approaching 10 million copies and OS/2
users really want native OS/2 apps. That MAY be where the Amiga users
head if Amiga manufacturing never resumes. I'm going OS/2 on my PC as
soon as Warp ships.
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> I must admit, OS/2 is #3 on our future list. But we
don't have a single copy here, so don't hold your breath. GA
<KEVIN.D> [turning blue]
<[Bruce] B.MAUGER1> Mike and Deron I would like to thank you for a great
product. I understand your point and if you ever reconceder I will BUY
it! thanks again. GA
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> Thank you. Perhaps someday we will cross paths on the
Mac or PC. See ya there! GA
<[greenboy] D.GREEN25> Back to AE---we dealers have been calling in at
SoftLogik and told "out-of-stock but soon available" for months now on AE.
Be nice to see superb On-All-Fronts DTP Amiga. Most developers stop at
Less-Than-Optimum for the auxillary programs (TypeSmith, AE?). PgS3 might
be the giant it was touted as, but we need the whole ball of wax. That is
what makes the main program work, Fonts and Art (well, text too).
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> Well, "available soon" is a relative term :) However,
that "availability" is in the form of an extension. We will probably sell
a PageStream3 bundle with the drawing extension, but I don't see a stand
alone ArtExpression in our near future. GA
<AEO.MAG> As a buyer of the original Publishing Partner, I have to say
that I am dissapointed that there will not be a future version of your
terrific software for the Atari. :-/ My question is, will tech support
for Ataris continue? GA
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> As you know, tech support goes paid 90 days after your
first call after August 15(?) so we don't stand to loose much money.
However, it won't be forever. No final decision has been made, but no new
versions/updates will be released. GA
<[Travis] AEO.MAG> I understand your decision, even though I am
dissapointed you had to make it.
<KEVIN.D> Once PageStream 3 is "finished", what's a reasonable amount of
RAM to run it in? Has PageStream been tried with any of the virtual
memory programs like Gigamem?
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> I think we should bump min requirements to 4 meg.
BTW, 3.0c has gone down 50k :-) However, even if we add another 200k of
code, that won't make much difference. Gigamem has been reported to work,
and others as well. GA
<KEVIN.D> Will we be able to print in less ram than with the current
version? I mean print quickly
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> yes, some day. We hear the same cries in the night as
you do. GA
<[Bill] W.NEAR> Will AE be avail. to registered users of PS3 and for how
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> Bill, I don't understand your question. AE is out of
stock (no manuals!) and we don't plan on reprinting. If you mean the
extension, yes, and we don't have a price (cheap for those who already own
AE v1). GA
<[Dave] D.KNOELL1> Deron, are you going to develop on a NT workstation?
I'm currently using DEC Alpha's (150MHz) and love 'em. Windows NT (3.5
Daytona) ain't too bad either.
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> Dave, we are using NT (now 3.5) on an Intel platform.
Let me know in email about your system. We are spoiled around here when
it comes to hardware ;) GA
<[Bill] W.NEAR> OK thanks guys and keep supporting the Amiga!!!
<[Rick B.] R.BILONICK> Is the problem with moving objects fixed in 3.0c?
they resize when moved
<[Michael] SL-DEV> Rick: I'm not sure what you mean. Do you mean the grid
<[Rick B.] R.BILONICK> If I make an object exactly 3" by 3" and then move
it interactively. It resizes to 3.01" by 3.01" (something like this). I
have to use nudge to move objects so they don't resize (like when making a
<[Michael] SL-DEV> Rick: I can't duplicate that right now (I just tried).
I'll look into it tomorrow.
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> This is news to us. However, mike will check it out
and get back to you on that. There is a problem in 3.0b or earlier where
objects get snapped wrong that is fixed in 3.0c. But the size of the
object is not effected (unless your resizing :)
<[Rick B.] R.BILONICK> Also, I need to printout math symbols (like square
root, +/-, etc.) in Postscript. Where can I get the fonts? Unless there
is some option that I have set incorrectly.
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> You have it already. its called symbols. GA
<[Bill] W.NEAR> Will 3.0c be out Nov 1st as stated?
<[Michael] SL-DEV> 3.0c: probably, Deron's leaving for Germany. :)
(Skipping out of the country... :)
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> I'm done, just working on little things until I leave
while the rest finish there jobs.
<[Dave] D.KNOELL1> Deron.... have a cold one over there for me!!
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> I was going to drink my Framboise lambic, but it has a
cork in it!!! I only have a bottle opener. I had a Anchor porter
instead. I brew my own, so beer is near and dear to my heart. I just
wish I had more time for such hobbies...
<[Bill] W.NEAR> Thanks for PS3 guys, I look forward to bragging to my Mac
and IBM buddies! :-)
<[Rick B.] R.BILONICK> Have you looked at the S-Plus eps clip I uploaded?
Can't get PgS3.0b to print them.
<[Michael] SL-DEV> Rick: no, but I have the file in my test directory to
look at when I have a chance. I have lots of files to test out. (I have
to finish the TypeSmith 2.5a master disk first.)
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> Well, I think we are about done. Lets talk about the
big stuff (just kidding).
<[Rick B.] R.BILONICK> Where can I get fonts with square root, +/- and
other math symbols that will print in Postscript? I have tried Symbol
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> symbol font has those things. I just checked the
sample sheet for it.
<[Rick B.] R.BILONICK> But they will not print!
<[Michael] SL-DEV> They won't print: from 2.2 or 3.0? PostScript or
<[Rick B.] R.BILONICK> They do not print in PgS3.0b in Postscript. I have
tried numerous times.
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> You'll be happy with the 3.0c driver then. I just
finished font reencoding, so that you get all kinds of goodies in the
normal fonts even (like TM and (R) from helvetica). Something I've been
wanting to do for years...
<[Rick B.] R.BILONICK> You mean that the square root in Times will now
actually print in Postscript?
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> O_postscript times doesn't have such a character. You
have to use symbol. Reencoding just reveals characters found in the font,
doesn't make new ones!
<[ScottJ] S.CORLEY1> Thanks for holding the conference, Deron.
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> No problem. Disappointed in attendance, but it did
last long. I think we lost about half when we said no Atari. Glad to be
here. I get the messages through my mail, but don't get much a chance to
get online. can you say ball and chain? I knew you could.
<[ScottJ] S.CORLEY1> I noticed the dropoff in attendance when the dropping
of Atari support was announced. I guess the big surprise that Mike Loader
mentioned in his post wasn't a good one for Atari owners.
<[Michael] SL-DEV> Scott: the big surprise was the announcement that we
were going to work on win and mac versions. I can't believe the no atari
3.0 came as much of a surprise.
<[SL-PREZ] DERON.K> Mike beat me to the punch :)
<FRED.M> what will come first...mac or windows?
<[Michael] SL-DEV> Depends on which horse you're betting on. :) We
started the windows version before the mac version, but the mac version is
going easier so you never know...