You can file this one in the “Bob was bored and had a wild/random thought” category. 🙂
The Real Studio download package comes with several hundred example projects. These examples range from very useful to downright useless (in my opinion) but they’re there for people to explore and use. So in other words, the example may or may not be all that helpful depending upon your skill level.
So my question of the day is why are these part of the download package/installer and not available in a special section of the Real Software website? It would save on download sizes and it would become a centralized location for Real Studio examples. Ideally, anyone could contribute to this list.
When we started ARBP and added the Source Code Repository, this was the intention. I wanted it to be the Planet Source Code of Real Studio projects. The ARBP source code repository has over a hundred projects and gets a fair amount of traffic and downloads. The drawback is that few people contributed to it and the older projects are really showing their age. The other drawback is that it’s NOT Real Software and despite only needing an account to use it a lot of people shy away.
The leading argument against such a page on Real Software’s website are the Real Studio users themselves. There is a tendency for Real Studio users to complain (loudly) when the examples don’t work. They are justified, in my opinion, since examples in the download package should work with the version of Real Studio in the download package. To me, if it’s in the download package it implies that it works implicitly with that version of Real Studio. Unfortunately, that’s not how it works and sometimes leaves new users with a bad taste in their mouths.
A projects repository web page doesn’t have this problem as the person uploading the project sets the version of Real Studio it was created with and perhaps what operating system and adds some tags to it or something like that. How cool would it be to upload the project file(s), have an RS web app scan it, pull out the keywords and make it part of a searchable system? Of course it would allow other users to vote and leave comments.
I post a fair bit in the Real Software forums. Often times I point to the relevant information the poster needs in the Real Software wiki or to various 3rd party developer websites. I could see a projects page doing something similar and allow me to link to the project that would help the poster out.
Another thought would be to make this a Web Edition application since essentially we’re talking about a web app that’s a front end to a database. Perfect place for a WE we app in my opinion.
Could ARBP do this? Of course they could and it was discussed, in-depth, at the Atlanta conference in March. They could do it – I have no doubt since they have some pretty smart people in ARBP – I just don’t think ARBP should be the one doing it. I’m arguing that Real Software is a better and more logical entity to host this thing.
The Real Studio community isn’t as large as Visual Basic – that’s just simple math. You could argue that a mere percentage or two of users would ever contribute to the projects page and that probably true. However, assuming that Real Software sticks around for a few more decades, I would argue that one contribution a month is more than what we have now and more examples are better.
What say you?