Dr. Dobb website stopped adding new content because of declining revenue, as website ads became less effective in this era. It’s like putting an end to a series of magazines turned online columns in the field of programming.
So rather than continue with Dr. Dobb’s until it actually loses money, they’ve decided to sunset the site — a sudden end to remarkably robust and wondrous journey that began 38 years ago.
No amount of analysis and explanation can mask the deep, personal sadness I feel at writing about this decision. Like many of you, I grew up reading Dr. Dobb’s. For me, as I suspect it was for many of you, Dr. Dobb’s Journal was the lifeline to a thorough understanding of programming. I recall that when the magazine appeared in my mailbox, all other activity for the day came to a sudden stop and the remaining hours were spent blissfully poring over article after article, soaking in the information. I learned C from Allen Holub’s C Chest column, operating systems from the 18-part series on 386BSD, video programming from Michael Abrash’s Black Book, and data compression from Mark Nelson. And so on — each month brought new, enabling insights and explanations of often arcane topics.
Having this deep, passionate connection, I felt lifted in ways not often encountered in one’s career when I was approached about succeeding Jonathan Erickson, the editor who steered the magazine through its glory days in print. The honor of this position has fueled me every day, renewed by conversations in person with developers whose eyes would light up when I’d mention I worked on Dr. Dobb’s.
Putting aside my feelings, I should note that recent events fulfill the original vision of Dr. Dobb’s. The founders, Bob Albrecht and Dennis Allison, first put together a newsletter in 1976 with the specific aim of making programming information more accessible. It was an experiment in sharing.
Dr. Dobb’s subsequent popularity meant that it became a worldwide means of sharing curated, high-quality programming info. The advent of the Web, which offered a vast array of new information sources, meant that Dr. Dobb’s was no longer the central access point — a complicated transition for the team, but one wholly in keeping with the original mission. With the advent of Hacker News and Proggit and other aggregators, developers themselves began curating content from numerous sources, and in a certain way, our mission is now complete.
This should not suggest that there is no role anymore for Dr. Dobb’s. As our page views show, the need for an independent site with in-depth articles, code, algorithms, and reliable product reviews is still very much present. And I will dearly miss that content. I wish I could point you to another site that does similar work, but alas, I know of none.
Source: Farewell, Dr. Dobb’s | Dr Dobb’s