There is a thoughtful blog post from Mattias Sandström on the Association of REALbasic Professionals site. (Direct Link)
I think it fits in rather well with my post back in May about the REAL Software beta process. Mattias’ standpoint as a user of a lot of other IDE’s is well taken. I really like the idea of polling the beta users about the release. I wish it was possible to ask about every change but I know that’s not feasible but the number of bugs that were marked as fixed but were obviously not in the past couple of releases is insane. There has to be a better way!
I would agree with Mattias regarding the beta mailing list. I find it to be waste of time and energy. I prefer forum style discussions.
Here is my prediction though, if RS tried to switch to the forums: Instead of using the forum, the RB “old-timers” will insist upon the mailing list because they feel it’s better. How do I know this? When RS tried to kill the NUG mailing list a few years ago the “old-timers” threatened to create their own mailing list and many threatened to stop using RB altogether! In the long run RS backed down and I lost a lot of respect for RS and the RB community as a whole. They were being held hostage by a very select and vocal group of users.
For the beta program to get better, RS has to do what’s best for RS – not necessarily for us users. If the beta program isn’t doing what it’s supposed to be doing then it’s time to kill it and start over with testers that can do it right.