Saturday, 23 February 2008

How do I feel about RB?

I'm really confused about how I feel about REALbasic.

I like the engineers. Aaron, Mars, Mike and William are my friends. This is in much the same way that the soap stars are my cousin's friends.

I like the build engineer, Nathan. And who could fail to like Marco.

But I don't like the company much. Its public utterances, though mostly truthful, are often misleading and the company is far too secretive for my liking. I do not mean the utterances by my friends (see above) are misleading.

I like what REALbasic wants to be. I quite like a lot of what it is. But it is the most buggy development environment with which I work by a long way.

It has far too many features which have been included to add to the feature list and have never worked properly or have been left in an unreasonably basic state. Far too many bugs are fixed (or half fixed) and then come back later without anyone seeming to notice.
If your testing doesn't pick up recurrences of old bugs, what can you hope it will pick up?

Now because criticism of the product implies criticism of my friends, I become very defensive when the number one whiner starts again.

But then people tell him he should cut RS some slack because my friends are the only engineers. And then I get really irritable because the company refused to tell me how many engineers there are, even when I offered to sign a non-disclosure agreement and so my best customer won't let me write any of his stuff in RB.

So I join in with the whining. Then I feel guilty because I'm criticising the product that should be so wonderful because it has the right aspirations and is pretty good just as it is now.

So for now I just keep swapping sides and therefore disagreeing with nearly every post I see about the quality, usefulness and future of REALbasic

But for all that, most of the programming I do for myself or for fun I do in REALbasic and will continue to do so.


Norman Palardy said...

Lets be clear

I'm one of the "some people"

I never said I like the way REAL as a company does things. They are very secretive with no apparent benefit that I can tell. I suspect this is part of an effort to appear bigger than they are.

I do take issue with the rampant speculation that Starbuck engages in and I take great pleasure in taunting HIM (much like Aaron used to)

Seriously there are lots of things about the rapid release model and the company I would change IF I COULD. But I'm just a customer so I try to influence and persuade in the ways that are available to me. Those are limited. Emails to Geoff, Dana, etc. Phone calls and other contacts. face to face at REAL world.

And with my wallet.

But it is THEIR company and they run it the way they see fit.

And yes, it drives me nuts too


PS - I dont have any of the ID's this support hence why it's posted as anonymous

Thomas Tempelmann said...

I had this same feeling for years.

And I was probably the first to complain about this publically, many years ago, on my website. This caused a lot of uproar and I eventually took it down again.

I was speaking out my frustration in a more offensive way, though: I directly accused RS to make the wrong decisions. And I learned in all these years that none of these criticisms ever changed how the company behaves in these regards.

I also tried a lot to support them, in the hopes that I/we would get something back in exchange. Didn't happen.

I am still learning to express my feelings the way Steve here did. Wouldn't change much for what I am unhappy about, but at least would get me less backfire :)
So, Steve, well said, thanks.

norman palardy said...

I have a love hate relationship with them as well.

I don't agree with how they do a fair amount of things. But just complaining isn't helping to make things better for any of us.

Working with them, and trying to assist in moving things forward seems to be more productive.

They still do things their way, set their own priorities and always will.

But working with them to convince them that there are things they are missing or should be doing seems much more fruitful than anything else I've done so far.

Bob Keeney said...

I too, have that love-hate relationship sometimes with Real. However, after I did the research to find the cross-platform alternatives, I quickly found out why they haven't responded to us (the customers). They don't have to - they honestly don't have much competition. Apple and Microsoft have their respective platforms bottled up and Java doesn't really compare either. Yes, there are alternatives, but none of them are like RB.

So, to change RS, you'll first have to convince them that doing some action will result in more sales of REALbasic and their DB server. Coming up with a win-win for RS and the customers isn't so hard, it's coming up with the win-win that doesn't cost RS a lot of money that's hard.

Anonymous said...

I feel quite the same way. I think Geoff is mismanaging REAL something awful.