About The Diplomatic Pouch

Manus Hand, Publisher

Here is where, according to my partners in crime, I am to "write something so witty we'll wish we were never born...." Far be it from me to make anyone wish such a thing -- we all saw the grief which this caused James Stewart in "It's a Wonderful Life" -- so I'll do my level best to avoid the dangerous trait.

In fact, there's not much at all to report in this issue regarding the recent history of your favorite Webrag. Simon, Stephen, Matt, and I (collectively known as the DP Council) all took a long and well-deserved rest after the completion of the herculean effort which resulted in the remodeling of the Pouch, and only recently have we come back to life other than to routinely maintain the site. A new issue of the Zine will do that to you.

Since I mentioned it, I will note that the various sections of The Pouch have indeed been maintained and upgraded. Since the last issue, a player registry, a maps page, a welcome page, and an accolades page have been added, as has much new content in the Face to Face and Postal sections. Sadly, some of the grander goals for the outlying sections of the site are no closer to completion than they were when you first read the W1995A issue of the Zine, but we'll get to the promised land sooner or later. The delay is mostly due to my own overwhelming need to rest, and so I have not followed up on the many offers I've had for help, including everything from offers to assume the leadership of the Postal Diplomacy section to actually physically moving the Pouch to donated space (a must so that fancy things like the registry -- the way the registry should work -- will be possible). To those awaiting my attention, I offer my continued apologies.

This is not to say that I haven't been busy. I have decided that The Pouch will someday (soon?) contain a play-by-Web section, and I've begun in earnest to code a Web-based judge. I've gotten pretty far, but have had to put this effort on hold to publish this issue. Stephen Beaulieu is also hard at work on a companion effort, the goal being to provide some good presence at World DipCon VI (in Columbus, Ohio this July -- I hope to see you there!) In fact, Stephen has provided an article for this issue on this very subject.

The next issue of the Zine, in fact, is shaping up to be thematic -- it will contain a lot of articles on judge coding. In addition to my own efforts, which I hope to complete in time for the Spring 1996 Retreat issue, Danny Loeb's installment of his regular column for the Retreat issue will also be on computer adjudication of moves, and Stephen will surely be back with an update.

But enough about the future -- you're wondering what you're in for in this issue of the Zine. Well, okay, I'll tell you. This issue is also a bit thematic. Since the Spring Movement issue is published on or around April Fools' Day, we thought we'd have a little fun this time around, and I trust that you'll find a few laughs scattered here and there among the more serious efforts. Enjoy!

Before I let you go, there is one request in particular which I would like to make of you -- please do read the Pouch Deposits column.

Manus Hand, Publisher

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