RE: The opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference.

Fellow REALbasic developer, Christian Miller penned an interesting blog post at http://www.pariahware.com/blog/?p=248&utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=real-software-the-opposite-of-love-is-not-hate-it-is-indifference.  I suggest you read it.

The stage that Christian didn’t add was what happens after acceptance.  This is the point where you ask yourself, “So what am I going to do about it?”  As I see it, there are only three options that are worth talking about.

Deal with it.  Accept the fact that RB is a flawed product and learn to work around its many deficiencies.  We all know that RS is a small company and can’t devote as much resources to it as say an Apple or Microsoft can to their respective development environments.

Leave.  Move on and use the tool(s) that work for you.  I’ve said this to many people:  If you expect RB to make a great Mac OS X only, Windows only, or Linux only application you might be very disappointed.  If you’re looking for a good cross-platform application using one code base it’s one of the few tools available.  The other dev tools available wouldn’t be considered Rapid Application Development tools in my opinion.

Try to change the situation.  This is the approach that I took.  One of my goals with the Association of REALbasic Professionals was to bring the conversation out and be more vocal with what we, the professional developers, need and want.  I found the training materials wanting so I started my own video series available on my website.  I blog regularly about RB here and on the ARBP website.  I’ve written tutorials, answered questions in the RB forums, talked at RB conferences and, written articles.

Without patting myself too hard on the back and injuring myself, I have been a pretty vocal supporter of REAL Software.  Hopefully you all have read the posts where I’ve been just as critical of REAL Software.  I’ve hitched my wagon, so to say, to the REAL Software bandwagon because I like the product, like the people that work there and, it has satisfied the requirements of my company and my clients for a decade.  I’ve been called a shill for the company and I’ve received hate mail for my anti-REAL Software stances.  My point is that I’m not a mindless cheerleader for the product because that does no one any good.  My family and my employees families fates are intertwined with the fate of REALbasic so I need it to be a viable product.

From my perspective the constant focus on new hobbyist users does absolutely no good for my business.  Too often new features are implemented that are ‘good enough’ for the hobbyist but suck for me (think toolbars, the report generator, htmlviewer and Windows flickering to name a few).  The hobbyists can’t pay for advanced features.  Businesses can, and will, if it makes sense for them.

RS is right to be proud that they ‘eat their own dogfood’ and that the RB IDE is made in RB.  That’s great, but making an IDE/compiler isn’t what I make.  Its obvious, at times, that there is a disconnect between what RS perceives we need and what we really need.  I’ve been using RB since the 3.5 days and yet there’s only one Date control, one Calendar control and one alternative to the listbox (i.e. grid).  In the corporate environments I used to work in that’s unacceptable.

I’ve long advocated that REAL Software create an internal consulting group.  Start with one person.  That group bids on potential projects like all the other developers in the network (to make it fair to existing developers, their rate must be HIGH).  When they’re not bidding or working on projects they do two things:  1)  they create real world examples and check each one for each release to make sure they still work; 2) They create training videos and tutorials, and answer tech support issues.

Having an internal consulting group does a couple of things:  1)  they quickly learn the pain of making real world applications in REALbasic; 2) provide valuable feedback to the powers-that-be in RS on what needs to be fixed and in what priority; 3)  it’s a (potential) revenue stream; 4) Makes sure that the documentation and examples really work; 5) Makes corporate users feel better knowing that if their own development team gets into trouble RS can back them up.

The truest definition of insanity is doing the same things over and over again and expecting a different result.  As we’ve seen with some very vocal criticisms (like Christian’s) and others, the perspective is that RS is doing the same thing over and over again and failing.  Unfortunately, so are we, the users.

5 thoughts on “RE: The opposite of love is not hate, it is indifference.

  1. I agree with your idea for RS to have a consulting arm. This would hopefully let them get some feedback on what problems need fixed and they could also provide some work a rounds. It would be nice if the ARBP joined together more to communicate with RS to let them know what our concerns are. And we could use our power as a voting block in the feedback system.

  2. I appreciate it when you plug my posts, thank you! In my example, what happens after acceptance is the leaving of the platform, which is my fear… and the point of my post.

    The final straw that made me do a public post was lashing MBS was getting due to the cost of his new updater plugin.

  3. @npalardy
    It has to do with the climate of the community, who is being attracted to REAL Studio. Nearly every time someone tries to make a living selling a 3rd party product for REAL Studio, they get berated. Every time someone mentions a solution that is a plugin or not free, they get berated. People should be willing to accept the solution, not only if they don’t have to shell out any money and can have the source code. I also believe that REAL has not been focusing on issues Pros need in their daily lives. It’s death by a 1000 paper cuts.

  4. I think the idea of an internal consulting group is excellent for all the reasons you cite plus the impression given of company solidity, being “big enough” to have an internal consulting group. This could be also something partially outsourced as a way of ramping up capacity to respond (pity I’ve effectively left the RB consulting arena!).

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