Is REALbasic The Rodney Dangerfield of Software?

Wow. REAL Software does a good thing and people do nothing but give them grief over it. In their monthly newsletter, REAL said they spent a whole week in September doing bug fixes. A post in the NUG list then proceeds to give them crap about it. Is REAL Software the Rodney Dangerfield of the software industry getting, “No respect”?

Does REAL Software get the respect they should or do they deserve some of the backhanded comments they receive in both the forums and through the NUG?  Probably a little bit of both.  I’ve been critical of them in the past for not fixing as many bugs as I think they should have, but REALbasic 2007 releases 2, 3, 4 and most likely 5 (if it makes it out before the end of the year) will be roughly 95% bug fixes and enhancements to 5% new features.  I like that ratio.

You can fault them that they have that many bugs to fix or that they’ve been lax in fixing bugs in earlier releases, but I think it’s awesome that they’re focusing on bugs – now.  Some of the latest fixes have been for old, outstanding bugs that have annoyed me and other RB developers for a long time.

Perhaps enough under-the-hood improvements have been made to the new IDE so they can finally focus on bugs.  Perhaps with a sudden  departure of a few developers they’re ‘treading water’, so-to-say, until new developers can get on board.  While I have no inside information on this, it’s also possible that with the departure of a key developer the management focus has been shifted from new features to bug fixes.  Pure speculation on my part.

In any event, I believe it can only help REALbasic in the long run.  RB needs to be rock solid for developers that make a living off of it.  If the current users are satisfied (enough) with it then potential new users won’t see the plethora of “RB Sucks” posts that have occurred after previous releases.

Maybe bug fixes is the porkchop around the neck of REAL Software.  They keep fixing ’em and maybe the dogs will start to give them some respect.