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A few comments on comments

Filed under the:  department.
Posted by:Ryan on Sunday, 03 Dec, 2000 @ 2:26 PM
 
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A brief treatise in which Nutcase rants about the various bickerings and attitudes prevelant in todays community, be you a Developer, a User, an Ex-User, or just a reader. Common Sense in a can, for a community which seems to have lost it. Read on…

ARGH!!!!!!!!!!

Ok. As much as I love the comments on the news (and believe me, I do) - This negativity on both sides is driving me crazy.

The people who are saying “Shut up and buy it!”, though usually in a nicer way than that, are asking for people to buy something simply to support the community. This is more charity than it is a market. Then the people who believe they should only buy what they truly want, and not just to support a developer find it annoying. They feel persecuted and accused for not just throwing money away on things they dont want or need. They lash out by replying to the first poster they see, and soon we end up in (no offense) benews comment territory.

Both sides have a right to their opinion, but both sides handle that opinion poorly.

First off, if a user doesn’t want to spend their money on something, There Is Nothing Wrong With That. If they can get by on the free software available, and the things they do buy, thats great. I tend to agree with them.

Don’t get me wrong, I want to see developers and community members succeed financially. But i want them to succeed for the right reasons.

There are two ways to do this: One is to say “I bought this to support, now please add feature x to improve it”. The other is to say “I will buy this when you add feature x to improve it” Both are equal. Both do the same thing. Both are ok. The third option is to say “I dont need this at all, and wont be buying it.” That is also completely ok. I mean, it’s an opinion and a right.

So why do we all fight about how other people spend their money? I mean, whats the point? People who dont want to be harassed by being called “cheap”, leave the community. The people who are asking for more customers keep driving them away. The people who leave end up leaving behind a legacy of negativity towards the community, which does lots of harm even after they are gone.

Neither is wrong. neither is right. Its an opinion - not a fact. Neither point of view is wrong or right. All that we are doing is arguing beliefs/philosophy, which leads to conflict. Why do we want to split our community up like this?

Wouldnt it be better to say “I bought this app, and find it excellent. It does what I need, and is well worth the money. I hope lots of people support you” publically to the developer, and create positive buzz, rather than saying “The community needs to buy this app now, even if they dont need it, because the developer needs support. It doesnt matter if its good. Just support them.” See the difference?

If someone is considering an app, a positive testimonial will do much more than a blind order/accusation. That said, the people trying to encourage sales are not neccessarily “blind,” as they are often portrayed. They aren’t just doing what they are told; They are working the only way they can to help sustain the community.

Do with your money as you will. But please dont tell others what to do, especially in the accusatory, “you aren’t supporting the community” mode. If someone does tell you that, please dont use it as a false example of why the BeOS is dead, You left, The community sucks, and JFK was killed by aliens. I mean, people get all fired up. Dont take it so personally.

I may not be a software developer, but I put just as much effort into BeGroovy. Its a very similar experience, and I have to say, I dont get too much feedback these days. I get generic questions about things people assume i know because of BeGroovy, but email related directly to BeGroovy is very low. I dont have a problem with that. When i want feedback i seek it out.

It Is Not The Users Job To Encourage The Developer.

It Is Not The Users Job To Morally Support The Developer.

It Is Not The Users Job To Entertain The Developer.

Basically, if you are developing an application, rather than complain about all the thousands of people who tried your app and either liked it and kept using it, or disliked it and discarded it, both without telling you, Why not focus on the 30 people who did email you telling you what they thought. Those are the people with actual issues. The others are just looking for a solution, or trying out a new release to see what it looks like.

Honestly, when you try some food you dont like, do you write the food producer to tell them? What if you do like it? Do you write then? Do they yell publically about how no one offers feedback?

Apps are a product, and a 1% feedback rate on them should be considered high.

If you want feedback, ask for it properly. Go to our forums, and post a thread with a few questions. Start a mailing list, and invite the users who have emailed you. There are positive ways to do this.

Now i am not trying to accuse developers for doing this. I like developers, and believe me, i can relate to non-feedback woes. Feedback can be nice, but it shouldn’t be your only reason for coding/working. You shouldn’t need it. If you do, find another app or something that you can work on for yourself.

Now for the users who always say the same thing i say above… Rather than yell at the developer, or side with him and yell at other users, why not just reply via email, and offer support for, or an opinion of, their app? It wouldn’t take you too long to try it out, and it would probably make their day. I have a theory that developers typically think like I do above, but occasionally get bummed out and go looking for support the only way they can. They ask. So why not just send em support in return? You may make a great friend or at least have an interesting exchange with another human being. The app may even get modified to your needs. Who knows? But isn’t it better to take the time to brighten the obviously bummed developer’s day then to attack them for asking for support/help?

Please dont take this as an attack on either sides’ opinions. It was forcefully worded to drive the point home. Both sides are entitled to their opinions, but neither side seems to know how to handle them.

BeGroovy was founded to generate a positive community. Historically for us, this has meant leaving the comments alone. People tend to stay positive here, because it’s encouraged via the tone of the site. I hope that I can continue to leave the comments alone.

Look at it from my point of view. Myself, and several others, have spent a lot of time working on this site, and continue doing so. We pour our free time into it. If it is going to be used to create negativity and to undermine the community, it will simply not be used. That is not the pupose of this tool, and i find it personally offensive that it is starting to be used that way.

This is a call to arms for the community. Recognize your differences in opinion and accept them. Support your fellow users. Support your developers when they need help. And Developers - don’t be insulted when you dont get much email. People arent being rude… they are just doing other things. Support each other. Its totally fine to discuss problems. Discuss anything. But do it in a less acusatory and more conversational manner.

Please.



78 Responses to “A few comments on comments”

  1. NorseLord Says:

    being positive leads to good harvest

    Back in June 1999, I was one of the many doubters and bitchers, impatient with Be, Inc., and I could smell focus shift long before the writing was on the wall. But I soon became upset with myself for becoming so negative and so instead I invested a lot of time into positively promoting the BeOS.

    I have heaped huge rewards for my efforts. Sure, I’ve had a misstep or two along the way, which I regret, but for the most part I am very pleased with the way people respond when I am positive and continue to contribute.

    Giving is a very rewarding way to participate.

    Thanks, Nutcase, for all of the time you put into your Web site.

  2. Moe Says:

    well said NutCase

    I been feeling just the same lately and the article was really to the point, couldn’t have said it better :o ), thanx NutCase and I hope the community develops to be the one it was (or a much better one!!!)

  3. Chuck Says:

    In Response To NorseLord @ 12/03/2000 3:27:34 PM

    Re: being positive leads to good harvest

    Hear hear!!! I’m a relatively new BeOS user. I got interested in BeOS in late ‘99 and started following the community at that time. The positive and professional nature of the community attracted me initially. After a long, difficult and hot summer it appeared that the community was regaining a positive attitude (if you exclude some of the crowd over at BeNews ;) ) and the BeOS itself would continue to be updated, albeit not so often. This ultimately convinced me to reinstall and begin using it about a month ago.

    I can understand constructive criticism of Be, BeIA, BeOS and applications. This ultimately leads to better products. I don’t understand those who simply complain. That’s a waste of time and benefits no one.

    I do want to thank Nutcase, H-Kon, Deej, Eugenia and so many others who have contributed to the community. It is their support and involvement that encourages others like myself to get involved.

  4. Kelwyn Says:

    Editor’s note.

    I agree wholeheartedly. Thanks for posting the note.

  5. jeff Says:

    whinnnnnner

    your right

  6. Digger Says:

    We-

    BeOS users are in a tight spot.

    We all want kick-ass apps. Like PhotoShop, and Pagemaker, and AutoCAD, and Counter Strike.

    But how many people, and how long, did it take to make those apps? In some cases..decades (AutoCAD is worked on by 100 programmers and STILL needs fixing, 20 years AFTER the introduction of it.)

    How many hard-core programmers does BeOS have? 5? 10? Maybe not even that many? By hard-core I mean those that do it either 100% of the time, or those that make a living doing it.

    Supports BeOS programmers is a Good Thing, but we as the community need to realize we are NOT going to get PhotoShop, or Pagemaker, or AutoCAD or Counter Strike, from the small core of BeOS programmers.

    IMO, we need to tell them what we BeOS users want, and are willing to pay for, right now. Bug the heck out of Adobe for PS, or PM, bug the game makers for Counter Strike and Diablo.

    But tell our hard working BeOS programmers what you want, and do it soon.

    A prime example would be Hern Labs. They so much as told us they need to hear from us before they will commit to Opera 4.0. If everyone who loves BeOS bought a copy of Opera 3.62, Hern labs would have said something by now….I’m willing to bet they’ve sold less than 50 copies.

    Why? Go look into the mirror and ask why. We need every single professional app made for BeOS, but we (the users) need to direct the programmers to what apps we WILL buy.

    Communication, and patience will make or break BeOS.

    Digger

  7. Big Al Says:

    In Response To Digger @ 12/03/2000 4:37:36 PM

    Re: We-

    And adding on to your comment about supporting Opera…

    Like it or not how we treat Opera will weigh on other company’s decisions to port to BeOS. If they see great support, they’ll be more tempted to make the jump than not. Now I understand that a lot of you are students or can’t afford to buy licenses. And like Nutcase spake (or ranted ;) I don’t blame you for whatever reason you choose not to support it. But for people like me (who have the cashola) I implore all of you to think twice about supporting or not supporting software.

    And as Nutcase said, for goodness sakes, let’s be pleasant when we agree to disagree!!!!

    Peace and Merry Christmas, all. :)

  8. Helmar Says:

    About low feedback

    A couple of things…

    1) In a situation where there is a low user base, I believe it is counter-productive to have various news sites (other than that there is an alternative when BN is down again ;) )

    It would be much more useful for new BeOS users to go to a site and be comprehensively informed about BeOS and its applications and community. IOW, the time you spent on the new site, you could have spent writing comprehensive reviews about BeOS apps.
    Interestingly, at the same time this could have served the developers as a feedback platform, too.

    2) When it comes to feedback from users to developers, my experience has been so-so. I have provided the authors of email apps with a lot of feedback about the general use and “strategy” of email clients - which I believe all fail to do what they are meant to do, and that is provide an effective and efficient interface for people communicating rather than just sorting mails into folders.

    The problem is that only a tiny part of BeOS developers seem to have real vision. Most of them are copying Windows applications. (That’s a big problem itself because Windows apps are usually more mature than their BeOS counterparts.) They are not sitting down and ask themselves questions like: “This is what this Windows app can do. How can I do something better in BeOS, leveraging the possibilities BeOS is providing?”

    Also, there are too many cute apps that one would expect as freeware, but not enough power apps that one would expect to pay for. The graphics side is a good example. Lots of little apps, but not one comprehensive image management and manipulation tool.

    The other issue I constantly complain about is that there is no visual consistency in BeOS and that makes most applications look as if they were written and designed in the backyard.

    It is absolutely paramount that BeOS applications share the same look and feel, because after all, the market we all want BeOS to appeal to is demanding easy to use yet powerful applications. And if you have to learn new icons with each application, what’s the point of using a computer if it just wastes time rather than saving it?

    So… in short: I believe BeOS developers and supporters (news sites) need to pool their limited resources rather than fragment them. The result should be fewer but higher quality applications and sites. As this effort results in a larger audience, there will be a need for diversification. Right now, be it on the development or news side, fragmentation does more damage than good. And so do inflated egos. ;-)

    Helmar

  9. Anonymous Says:

    In Response To Helmar @ 12/03/2000 5:15:40 PM

    Re: About low feedback

    1) Not at all. Begroovy and Be News have very different looks, feels, content and editorial policy. I think having different sites is as important as having different newspapers.

    2)Not true. I think developers do think about how they can leverage the power of BeOS. Take GrooveMaker for example. The BeOS version is way more capable than the other versions precisely because the developer did just that. He sat down and leveraged the power of BeOS all the way. Still less than 30 copies were sold.

    3) “It is absolutely paramount that BeOS applications share the same look and feel”

    God forbid! I would much rather that the look and feel of an app was dictated by its function. I also like it when developers take the time and trouble to make their apps look and feel different. That’s the way great ideas are born. As for thinking that different icons are somehow time-wasting I really think you’re getting quite silly here. I cannot for the life of me see how it wastes time to have different icons for different apps. Your vision is quite frightening in the way it wants to straightjacket developers, rather than allowing for differences of approach. The flexibility of the BeOS is one of its finest points. Your vision would negate it.

    Vive la difference.

  10. Lorixnt2 Says:

    [No Subject]

    I am an ex-BeOS user today. I am an ex-BeOS user
    since I found myself unable to install BeOS properly on 7 of my 9 machines (all x86 platforms)
    while I could do it on all either with Win or with Linux
    Mandrake 7.1. During 2 years since the end of 1997
    I advertised BeOS and I spoke of it with all my
    patients (I am an italian doctor) that could be up to the task of installing it besides Win and to understand the need
    of an alternative OS. Some of them temporarily
    adopted it especially since the release of R5PE.
    If my experience of common dumb and mainstream user
    is worth something, remember I’ve never seen
    anyone giving up with BeOS for lack of apps or software. The usual reason was “Doc this stuff
    doesn’t support this piece of hardware of mine
    while Windows does”.
    I have made the opinion (that could eventually be wrong) a mainstream user as me doesn’t need
    sophisticated apps.
    If I want an office suite I have Gobe, if I want
    a personal manager I have PA of John Tegen, if
    I wanna burn I have BeOS itself, personally I have
    always found BeMail enough for me but many ppl has spoken well of Postmaster… and so on with all the thousand and more apps you can find often for free at BeBits. The problem is now and has always been the hardware compatibility. You cannot ask
    a kid:”buy another box or another piece of
    hardware since BeOS doesn’t support yours”.
    She will stay with Win.
    You cannot ask a high end user.”Look for another
    SCSI controller since BeOS doesn’t support the
    160 family”.
    She will laugh at you.
    The BeOS community should find the way or
    the force to keep up with all the new hardware
    coming out every day and not for free but for
    a reasonable price.
    Remember also that often for a common user time is an issue and if I will not come back to BeOS again
    is because I’ve not time for win2k, Mandrake and
    BeOS together.
    Bye Nutcase. I like the way you think and, as you can see, I still read you sometimes. You know I will help you anyway.

  11. Nutcase Says:

    In Response To Lorixnt2 @ 12/03/2000 6:17:49 PM

    Re: [No Subject]

    Hey Lorixnt2…

    Thanks for the compliment on my thinking. Sorry to hear that you have left BeOS for good no matter what. I personally find the other OS’s you listed to be lacking, but thats why I use BeOS I suppose. I hope you find them better than I did.

    As far as the driver issue, I have to say, I think BeOS is doing pretty good on the driver issue. Pretty much all modern graphics cards are supported in 2d (the Radeon will be w/ OpenGL) and the Soundcard market (which is pretty much owned by Creative these days) is covered, at least partially. So people get sound.

    Printing, while still lacking in many many ways, seems to have pretty good support… both Epson and HP printers are supported well. That isnt everyone, but its a good range.

    That leaves us with other things such as scanners, scsi cards, and network cards. Network cards seem to be covered pretty well by a few drivers which work with the large majority of cards. Scanner support is lacking, but BeSane could help solve that. I don’t know enough about SCSI to say if its supported well or not. Mine works perfectly, and its on my motherboard (purchased before the driver was available). I however, find that something like a SCSI card will likely be replaced by someone who is willing to go to the trouble to replace all the software too. It is not the most expensive hardware ever. Apparently in your case, it was the final straw. Sorry to hear it. :-(

    The final driver issue is custom hardware (like quickcam express, and rio, etc) - These kind of drivers take special effort, because they are limited in scope. Most of the time they don’t happen, but when they do it is nice. We seen to have digital cameras covered, and OmicronSoft will probably end up doing USB drivers for the Visor (there is certainly enough demand). :)

    I think driver issues on BeOS have reduced dramatically since 4.5 was released, but its just my opinion. I like to think most people will agree with me, but hey, people do have things they miss from windows, and not everyone can afford to build to BeOS specifications rather than the other way around.

    Again.. sorry to see you go. Have a nice time in windows. We will be here if you ever decide to come back.

  12. Nutcase Says:

    In Response To Helmar @ 12/03/2000 5:15:40 PM

    Re: About low feedback

    Helmar,

    I am not sure I agree with some of the statments you make below, but i will go through them one at a time and see if i can offer another point of view.

    1) In a situation where there is a low user base, I believe it is counter-productive to have various news sites (other than that there is an
    alternative when BN is down again ;) )

    You hit the nail on the head. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. If we all made one large site, wouldnt that actually limit the scope of the community?

    It would be much more useful for new BeOS users to go to a site and be comprehensively informed about BeOS and its applications and community. IOW, the time you spent on the new site, you could have spent writing comprehensive reviews about BeOS apps. Interestingly, at the same time this could have served the developers as a feedback platform, too.

    Fair enough. But that isnt what we do. What you are arguing is equivilent to saying “the time you spent coding that new game could have been spent coding a financial program.” - It doesn’t take into account what the developer wanted to do or was aiming to accomplish.

    That said, I think of BeGroovy as more than just a news site. We have forums, a comic strip, and several new features in the work. We work more to grow the community, rather than just report on it.

    My objections to consolidation of all sites aside, if BeNews agrees with you and wants to just focus their effort on growing BeGroovy as the one true beos news site, I wouldnt argue much. :P

    2) When it comes to feedback from users to developers, my experience has been so-so. I have provided the authors of email apps with a lot of feedback about the general use and “strategy” of email clients - which I believe all fail to do what they are meant to do, and that is provide an effective and efficient interface for people communicating rather than just sorting mails into folders.

    You seem to once again miss the point though. You sound like you are asking for a different type of app. While i think this is a great idea, it may not be what the developer is trying to do. For example, Postmaster is clearly created to respond to the lack of a standard, simple email client on BeOS (such as Outlook Express on windows) - I think it fufills that goal admirably.

    The problem is that only a tiny part of BeOS developers seem to have real vision. Most of them are copying Windows applications. (That’s a big problem itself because Windows apps are usually more mature than their BeOS counterparts.) They are not sitting down and ask themselves questions like: “This is what this Windows app can do. How can I do something better in BeOS, leveraging the possibilities BeOS is providing?”

    Again, I disagree. Many BeOS developers have vision, but are working to fill needs. SoundPlay is quite possibly the most visionary app I have seen on the platform. I have never seen another app handle audio quite the way it does, and it is probably my favourite app on any platform ever. Productive is also very visionary. Its a new kind of OfficeSuite. PersonalStudio leverages the BeOS to completely redefine home video editing (no preview rendering) That innovation is now being copied back to windows, because they don’t have it.

    Inferno is going to redefine imaging applications. It’s completely modular approach is going to let you customize the interface to your working style, while providing a standard pallate for people who just want to load it and go.

    Other apps such as BeShare leverage BeOS’s messaging to great effect. Even Postmaster leverages Be’s open People and Mail file formats, and interfaces on a base level with the OS.

    I agree that the interfaces aren’t as revolutionary as one could hope, but the developers are being practical. They are developing apps to be used, not to be revolutionary. And in this case, copying windows works. And while their copies are probably not as mature, they seem to age faster than their windows counterparts, so they are bound to catch up.

    Also, there are too many cute apps that one would expect as freeware, but not enough power apps that one would expect to pay for. The graphics side is a good example. Lots of little apps, but not one comprehensive image management and manipulation tool.

    I find several of the free apps on the platform qualify as power apps, while several of the pay apps don’t. It is all in what you need/want. If the small app is something you want, pay. If not, don’t. I don’t believe its fair to expect freeware vs. commercial. That is the developers decision.

    The other issue I constantly complain about is that there is no visual consistency in BeOS and that makes most applications look as if they were written and designed in the backyard.

    Most applications? really? I find the beos applications to look relatively similar to each other. There is a “look” to BeOS apps which is gained by the icon style and the standard widgets. There is not set guidelines for menu design, button placement, etc. I think it would be a good idea to have.

    But this said, I personally feel that windows applications (excluding Microsofts) are much worse in this regard. AOL completely abandons the interface. ICQ has ad’s and several ugly custom widgets. Small shareware apps are covered in custom images and ugly bitmaps. Amont the Microsoft Stable, things are HIGHLY integrated, and very impressive. But move away from that, and you get into skins (real jukebox, musicmatch, winamp, microsoft media player) and ugly/nonstandard interfaces (icq, metacreations, aol) - It is not exactly a testimonial to great system wide interface design.

    It is absolutely paramount that BeOS applications share the same look and feel, because after all, the market we all want BeOS to appeal to is demanding easy to use yet powerful applications. And if you have to learn new icons with each application, what’s the point of using a
    computer if it just wastes time rather than saving it?
    Do you mean the same look and feel, or the same interface conventions? Because I think having menu placement/hotkey guidelines is much more important than the look of the app.

    This is really a different discussion though. Perhaps you should start a thread in our beos discussion forum.

    So… in short: I believe BeOS developers and supporters (news sites) need to pool their limited resources rather than fragment them. The result should be fewer but higher quality applications and sites. As this effort results in a larger audience, there will be a need for diversification. Right now, be it on the development or news side, fragmentation does more damage than good.And so do inflated egos. ;-)

    What? Is this aimed at anyone in particular? Since it is a reply to a story by me, I am tempted to take it as aimed at me, which is rather confusing, and irritating. But you have put a ;-) which just clouds the issue. If this is about me, please email me at nutcase@begroovy.com and elaborate. I would be interested in hearing what you mean.

  13. Oliver Says:

    In Response To Helmar @ 12/03/2000 5:15:40 PM

    Re: About low feedback

    I have to say that I like BeGroovy and I think it is good that we have BeNews and BeGroovy. And I am the first person to say that we need to merge all of this. I said so many times but by now I think it is really good. As long as everybody has some fun, then things are great. :)

    Oliver - from the down benews :)

  14. Oliver Says:

    Thank you

    Thanks for your wonderful article Nutcase. I will link to it once BeNews is back up ;)

    Oliver

  15. Hadacar Says:

    In Response To Oliver @ 12/03/2000 7:28:44 PM

    Re: Thank you

    BTW, what is wrong with BeNews? How about a story here on BeGroovy or something?

  16. moooooooo Says:

    [No Subject]

    nutcase, i agree with a lot of what you said.
    i think the yardstick on whether or not a product is good is the number of downloads it gets and bug reports people send back to you. i think the way that OmicronSoft released Personal Assistant is a good model for developers:
    Release a version for free that has less features than the commercial version and that way people can get a taste of what it is like and if they like it then buy the version with more features….or something like that :)
    cheers
    peter

  17. F. Robert Falbo Says:

    In Response To Digger @ 12/03/2000 4:37:36 PM

    BeOS & Buying Software

    >Communication, and patience will make or break BeOS.

    Tell you what… it didn’t do squat for OS/2, and BeOS won’t get by on it either. While lots of smalltime programmers can get by doing BeOS apps as a whim, eventually it comes down to a choice… what pays the bills? You can’t pay a bill with an email or an “atta-boy.” And while communication with BeOS Programmers is important, having an income from BeOS Programming is the BEST incentive a part-time programmer can have.

    We can sit around all day long writing wonderful editorials on how people have don’t have to do this, or don’t have to do that, and don’t feel bad that you’re waiting forever for that application to mature, but when that Developer decides to write Windows apps instead - to make a living, the person responsible will be that person in the mirror.

    If we like BeOS, and want it to survive, then unlike Windows, where 90% of users may not ever pay for a shareware app and the Developer can still make money, we need to make an extra effort to support them.

    (I think a good yardstick would be “ColdCut,” which lists 1741 downloads and doesn’t require a payment to be fully functional. I’d be surprized if the Author gets more than 10 purchases.)

    If anyone wonders what my opinion of Nutcase’s editorial is,… I think it’s the wrong idea. Instead of Editorials on junk like that, I think we need a different direction… Maybe a site dedicated to reviews of new shareware & commercial apps as they appear, including updates… What’s this application do?… Where’s it going?… How far along is it?… Where’s it fall flat?… What needs fixing?… and… Whould you buy this app &
    why or why not (what’s it have/need?) BeBits is loaded with new apps that really could use explaining or reviewing.

    So that’s my 2 cents. Like the guy in Karate Kid said… Walk in middle of the road, get squashed.

    -bob-

  18. gmlongo Says:

    Valid editorial but…

    I agree with many of your points, but I do think that you are being a little extreme. I didn’t see any posts telling people to buy software that you don’t need just to support the developer. All that was meant was that if you use an application, you may want to consider registering it to help ensure that it’s development will be continued. Or just to let the developer know that his work is appreciated. This really makes a difference. If you don’t want to buy it then there is no problem with that. If you don’t want to send comments/requests, then that is OK too. You are correct that it is not the user’s responsibility to do these things, just as it is not the developer’s responsibility to keep updating software that doesn’t seem to be wanted. We need to stop trying to assign responsibilities.

    The important thing to remember is that we need to keep this in perspective. We are all users of the BeOS, so we all are striving for the same goal. Many times our emotions get in the way of making our thoughts clear. We need to keep this positive, and work together. Everybody has different views, and everybody has a right to do what they would like.

    -G

  19. Pablo Says:

    In Response To Lorixnt2 @ 12/03/2000 6:17:49 PM

    Re: [No Subject]

    7 out of 9? Sounds to me like you bought a lot of one product for most machines. This means nothing in terms of real driver support.

  20. chasan Says:

    In Response To F. Robert Falbo @ 12/03/2000 8:28:24 PM

    Re: BeOS & Buying Software

    > (I think a good yardstick would be “ColdCut,” which lists 1741 downloads and doesn’t require a payment to be fully functional. I’d be surprized if the Author gets more than 10 purchases.)

    I’m the author of the SB16 driver, which lists 63,990 dowloads. It neithers require a payment to be functional, and I have got ~20 purchases in 14 months. Just some statistics :-)

    Carlos

  21. LeftTurn Says:

    Good commentary Nutcase!

    Good overall commentary and I pretty much agree with what you said. Thank you for starting a new thread for this issue.

  22. Dane Says:

    Does anyone really think that way?

    Nutcase, I understand and agree with much of what you said, though I wonder if there are all that many people saying we should buy/register stuff just to be charitable. Isn’t the larger point that those who like a program enough to keep it and use it regularly should do the right thing and register it? Isn’t that the whole theory behind shareware? Backing freelance programmers who have created what we need is important in any circumstance, but it goes beyond important in a small pond like the BeOS community, where we will see a continued erosion of resources otherwise.

    BeOSRADIO is actually doing a whole month on this, encouraging BeOS users to support those who have created programs they need and want. We’re not saying anyone should be paying for what they don’t need. But it is to absolutely everyone’s benefit to register the good stuff we like.

  23. Aeris the wired Says:

    Thank you.

    >Now i am not trying to accuse developers for doing this.
    >I like developers, and believe me, i can relate to non-
    >feedback woes. Feedback can be nice, but it shouldn’t be
    >your only reason for coding/working. You shouldn’t need
    >it. If you do, find another app or something that you can
    >work on for yourself.

    Thank you. This summed up nicely how I’ve felt about developing software. Feedback can be very, _very_, VERY, nice! But honestly, I like writing software because I love to code. That is my primary reason.

    Sadly, comments like “I can’t wait to get my hands on this” can be almost just as frustrating as encouraging. Then again, I’m a moody person. ;-)

    -Aeris (the wired)
    aeris@deninet.com

  24. Aeris the wired Says:

    In Response To Nutcase @ 12/03/2000 7:07:23 PM

    Re: About low feedback

    >But move away from that, and you get into skins (real
    >jukebox, musicmatch, winamp, microsoft media player) and
    >ugly/nonstandard interfaces (icq, metacreations, aol) -
    >It is not exactly a testimonial to great system wide
    >interface design.

    In defence of Meta I would like to offer this:

    Have you ever used RayDream Studio? It uses what could be called a “Standard” interface, pallets, menus, icons… And yet ever professional — and quite a few hobbyists — HATE RDS’s interface. Those same people love the so-called “ugly/non-standard” interface of Bryce.

    I personally find Bryce’s non-standard interface far easier than RDS’s “standard”, despite both apps do the same thing.

    Granted, a 3D editing app is a special case for interfaces IMHO — I couldn’t imagine writing a text document under a MetaEsque look! — but still, there’s a lot to be said about nonstandard interfaces. I personally, would like to see more.

    -Aeris (the wired)
    aeris@deninet.com

  25. Aeris the wired Says:

    In Response To Lorixnt2 @ 12/03/2000 6:17:49 PM

    Re: [No Subject]

    Sorry to see you go.

    It’s been my experience that the reason most times you hear of hardware troubles it’s because of what they have. When was the last time one of us went to the local computer store and tried to put together a BeOS x86 machine for the least amount possible?

    I did this a year ago. The prime example for me was a ethernet card. “Hmmm, I think I’ll take that $16 card,” BIG mistake. I ended up putting down another $50 for the newest 3Com card because I had no other options.

    In my experience, the cheaper the hardware — and let’s face it, most don’t want to put down enough for a VooDoo III when you can get a card for <$50 for windows, I know I didn’t — the more the divers rely on software emulation of vital hardware. This is why WinModems didn’t work before R5 (at least, I think they work now).

    Most supported hardware on the BeOS is mid-range. Names like VooDoo, Creative, 3Com….all which rely more on hardware then the drivers. I don’t blame Be Inc. for this; they couldn’t possibly support everything.

    -Aeris (the wired)
    aeris@deninet.com

  26. Nimdok Says:

    great editorial

    One of the best I’ve seen in a very long time. I would really like to add something but I think you’ve stated pretty much exactly what everyone is feeling :)

    As for those who hadn’t seen the problem, trust us when we say it is there. Go read through the old message boards.

  27. Nutcase Says:

    In Response To Aeris the wired @ 12/03/2000 11:02:45 PM

    Re: About low feedback

    I quite like metacreations interfaces. I was just giving examples of non-standard interfaces on windows. But yeah, their interfaces are cool. :)

  28. NorseLord Says:

    In Response To Helmar @ 12/03/2000 5:15:40 PM

    Re: About low feedback

    Actually, I find it imperative we have several news sites. Look at BeNews! It has been down quite often these past few months. And BeOSCentral has been down. And BeGroovy?…. Multiple news sites are great. The main thing they need to do is point to one another so that the reader realizes there are different gateways to the BeOS community. I think I do this quite well with my links at The BeOS Journal. What do you think?

  29. Pieter Says:

    Well said (+ a new idea on acquiring feedback)

    Bravo Nutcase.

    I agree with most of what you said.

    I still think that people who use free software are perhaps “morally obliged” to drop the developer a line or two. Not everyone will do it, and that’s perfectly fine.
    People who download the program and say “Heck no, that’s not what I needed” do not have to send feedback if they don’t want to.
    People who download the program and say “Hmm, neat, I will keep it for a while and maybe use it sometime” might just drop a quick line to let the developer know of any particular issue they noticed, or just to say they appreciate your program.
    People who download the program and say “Wow, that’s a cool application, I can’t live without it!” do sort of owe the developer one thing. Since it is a free application, how hard is it to just write a quick feedback, a thank you or suggestion.

    I realize this is the “utopia” situation. But the more people that read these kind of articles sort of start feeling obliged to send feedback to a program they use often.

    So the point of my endless rant, Nutcase, is that a developer actively has to ask for feedback.
    I came up with a neat idea:

    How about having a textbox in your program that users can write one or two lines in and hit the “Send” button, ALL IN THE APPLICATION.
    The application will then send the feedback to a fixed server, say a new section on BeGroovy that holds feedback for developers.

    So a developer can “Subscribe” for a feedback account at BeGroovy and include the code in their about box.

    This will make the step to feedback even lower, it’s really asking more directly for feedback.

    This is just an idea of mine I had, but I think it might have potential.

    Write me a note if you like this idea.

    Pieter

    P.S. About BeGroovy, could you make the “Recent BeBits” section bulleted? right now for long entries you can’t easily see where one ends and the next one starts. :) Keep up the good work!

    P.S.S. Hmm, forgive my rantyness, I just woke up ;)

  30. chuck Says:

    In Response To Digger @ 12/03/2000 4:37:36 PM

    Re: We-

    Perhaps encouraging the BeWine project is the best way to get the applications we want/need most quickly. I believe if BeWine were capable of running most Windows apps well, we would have some leverage to increase the user base. You mention AutoCAD. Good cadd apps on Windows sell relatively few seats, which is one of the main reasons prices are so high (around $3500/seat I think.) Since the BeOS market is miniscule by comparison, a port of this or similar apps is highly unlikely. Probably the only way we will be able to use this sort of app in BeOS is via BeWine.

    I agree we need to support the developers of commercial/shareware products we use by paying the license fee - whatever the platform. Words of encouragement or even constructive criticism would no doubt be appreciated by most of the BeOS developers.

  31. Zaranthos Says:

    In Response To Helmar @ 12/03/2000 5:15:40 PM

    Re: About low feedback

    I like the fact that there are lots of choices for sites. It adds personality and spice to the community. I don’t like just salt on my food, I like some other flavors as well. I think it’s fine to have many different sites.

  32. Zaranthos Says:

    Rock on!

    Some very good points Nutcase. You might not be as dumb as you look after all… :p

  33. Nutcase Says:

    In Response To Pieter @ 12/04/2000 12:10:13 AM

    Re: Well said (+ a new idea on acquiring feedback)

    Hey… i will develop that section if there is an interest for it. Hell, if dev’s want, i could create (or ask someone else to create) a nice little class for submitting the feedback too. People interested in this, let me know.

    p.s.- i will have a look at the recent bebits w/ bullets.

  34. Arc Wave Says:

    In Response To chasan @ 12/03/2000 9:06:40 PM

    Re: BeOS & Buying Software

    >I’m the author of the SB16 driver, which lists 63,990 dowloads. It neithers require a payment to be functional, and I have got ~20 purchases in 14 months. Just some statistics :-)

    Ouch, that sucks dude, well the “~20 purchases” part out of “63,990″ downloads. It’s cool to know thousands are using/tried it.

    I hope to sell my stuff soon, but wow.

  35. Nutcase Says:

    In Response To Zaranthos @ 12/04/2000 12:37:06 AM

    Re: Rock on!

    monkey

  36. Pieter Says:

    In Response To Nutcase @ 12/04/2000 12:42:33 AM

    Re: Well said (+ a new idea on acquiring feedback)

    I happen to be a developer… but a new one with exams coming up :(
    I might have a look at how networking works… it shouldn’t be too hard… right?

    After the 18th (Discrete Math final) I might have more time :)

    Pieter

  37. WattsM Says:

    Just be pragmatic…

    …in other words, the question you should ask when you buy software is not, “Will the software developer go out of business or abandon this platform if I do not buy this?” or its corollary, “Will the software developer go out of business or abandon this platform even if I *do* buy this?”, and it certainly isn’t “Is there another piece of software that’s not available for this platform that does this task better?” The question is, simply, “Will I use this?”

    In my case, Mail-It *is* my primary mail client. Period. If I want to have access to my saved messages, I’m in BeOS. So any application’s utility is weighed against the inconvenience of rebooting or switching computers. (My PC’s only other OS is FreeBSD 4.2, but I also have an iBook with MacOS 9.0.4 on it.)

    I bought Opera 3.62 because I know I’ll use it. The fact that there are better things on other platforms isn’t relevant. Opera 3.62 is stable, all the features that it *does* have seem to be working, and most web sites that I couldn’t get to with NetPositive are accessible now.

    This is a comparable reason to why I bought SoundPlay, eventually. I don’t listen to MP3s and other sound files too often, so I kept telling myself that I didn’t need to register it–but I don’t like CL-Amp’s busy WinAmp-inspired interface. SoundPlay “feels” like a BeOS app. When I *do* listen to sound files, that’s what I want to be listening to them in. So I registered it.

    As for the rising negative comments–in a general sense, I’d simply say that the natives are getting restless. There were some welcome tweaks in BeOS 5, but on the whole, the year 2000 has been one to try the patience of BeOS oldtimers. This time last year there was a sense that–finally–things were starting to turn a corner, that there was momentum building in commercial multimedia markets, that Be was making greater and greater showings at trade shows and showcasing new BeOS apps and partners, and that user, press and even OEM interest in alternative operating systems was at an all-time high. And Be parlayed this building momentum into… well, an utter PR fiasco.

    In other words, there’s a lot of hurt here. Be’s financial situation may well have dictated drastic measures, but the line some spout that Be had already failed on the desktop is simply wrongheaded. They’d finally gotten it to a point where it was starting to take off.

    In a situation like this, people tend to get very polarized. There’s a lot of finger-pointing. I’m doing finger-pointing myself; I think that as good as Be has been with strategy, they’ve been indefensibly disastrous with tactics. But if it’s not Be’s fault, many people will think, it has to be someone’s: the fault of users for preferring free software or for being cheap, the fault of developers for being short on vision or too greedy.

    There really isn’t a solution to this, not long-term. Things will get better after the next BeOS release. Things would get better if Be lost the “roadmaps only get us into trouble” attitude, as much of the hostility directed to Be comes from a perception of poor communication from them to both users and developers. And, ultimately, things would get better if the BeOS userbase increased by at least an order of magnitude.

  38. Technix : Chris Simmons Says:

    In Response To Oliver @ 12/03/2000 7:27:23 PM

    Re: About low feedback

    …that we need to merge all of this…

    Are you saying that you’d like to see BeGroovy.com and BeNews.com merged?

    I’m a little confused.

  39. Nutcase Says:

    In Response To Technix : Chris Simmons @ 12/04/2000 01:27:25 AM

    Re: About low feedback

    I’m betting it was a typo. :P

    Otherwise, he probably means “work together” by merge. I doubt he actually means we need to create begroovynews.com.. or (shudder) begronew.com.

    As far as working together, i am all for it. :)

  40. k-zim Says:

    In Response To Aeris the wired @ 12/03/2000 10:42:27 PM

    Re: Thank you.

    I see your point but even if :
    It Is Not The Users Job To Encourage The Developer.
    It Is Not The Users Job To Morally Support The Developer.
    It Is Not The Users Job To Entertain The Developer.

    It is also counter productive to only hear people say your software is missing a feature (it is even worse , when you hear that your software is a waste of time ).
    That is why i think that feedback is important to make the developer aware that is apps is not a waste of time.

    you said “because I love to code”, I am happy to hear that bu t in my opinion there is far more interesting to code than a simple apps.
    For my part (reagarding code) i prefer spending my time coding exciting things like meta-interpreter, javacard and JINI softwares. Indeed coding a BeOS software is not really a challenge and when I write an application it is because I think it could be useful to users.
    So why go on coding such apps when there is no feedback, only people saying it is a waste of time ? (there is always people to say there is no need of your apps ).

    That is why I thing feedback is important for developers

    k-zim

  41. k-zim Says:

    In Response To Aeris the wired @ 12/03/2000 10:42:27 PM

    Re: Thank you.

    I see your point but even if :
    It Is Not The Users Job To Encourage The Developer.
    It Is Not The Users Job To Morally Support The Developer.
    It Is Not The Users Job To Entertain The Developer.

    It is also counter productive to only hear people say your software is missing a feature (it is even worse , when you hear that your software is a waste of time ).
    That is why i think that feedback is important to make the developer aware that is apps is not a waste of time.

    you said “because I love to code”, I am happy to hear that bu t in my opinion there is far more interesting to code than a simple apps.
    For my part (reagarding code) i prefer spending my time coding exciting things like meta-interpreter, javacard and JINI softwares. Indeed coding a BeOS software is not really a challenge and when I write an application it is because I think it could be useful to users.
    So why go on coding such apps when there is no feedback, only people saying it is a waste of time ? (there is always people to say there is no need of your apps ).

    That is why I thing feedback is important for developers

    k-zim

  42. anon Says:

    In Response To Lorixnt2 @ 12/03/2000 6:17:49 PM

    Re: [No Subject]

    “since I found myself unable to install BeOS properly on 7 of my 9 machines”

    You should have bought mashines with BeOS preinstalled then..

  43. mlk Says:

    [No Subject]

    While I agree with some of your article, they is just a few things I want to bring up…

    [quote]
    I may not be a software developer, but I put just as much effort into
    BeGroovy. Its a very similar experience,
    [/quote]
    While I’m sure you put a hell of a lot of work into BeGroovy, it’s not quite the same.
    The reason is simple, you KNOW that people use it. Developers don’t. You know I’ve been
    here, I’ve obvoiusly enjoyed it (i came back 70 times :) ). The only way developers know is
    by feedback. Now while realsing a next version, and seeing if the downloads match half works
    you still don’t know if anyone USES your software.

    [quote]
    When i want feedback i seek it out.
    [/quote]
    Thats what i’ve been doing, asking for feed back, as it’s been low…

    [quote] It Is Not The Users Job To Encourage The Developer.[/quote]
    if they want the next version, and the coder is not doing it for love alone (i.e. comeral)
    then in a way it is.

    Anyway, while I agree that beeting people into paying for un-needed software, and sending
    emails to everything they try is wrong, trying to to get a few people more people to send
    feedback would be nice.

    Mlk

  44. Oliver Says:

    In Response To Technix : Chris Simmons @ 12/04/2000 01:27:25 AM

    Re: About low feedback

    I ment that I once thought this would be good. One site would create a big one with more focussed people and as we are doing this on our free time, this would help.

    But I no longer think this is needed.

    Oliver

  45. Oliver Says:

    In Response To Hadacar @ 12/03/2000 7:33:31 PM

    Re: Thank you

    If I knew, I would tell you. We are down. That is all I can tell you now. The server is still there though and not stolen :)

    Oliver

  46. peter Says:

    In Response To WattsM @ 12/04/2000 01:11:14 AM

    Re: Just be pragmatic…

    ‘Things will get better after the next BeOS release’ Get real. Be has pronounced BeOS dead or haven’t you been listening to what JLG has been saying.

  47. David Bruce Says:

    In Response To Lorixnt2 @ 12/03/2000 6:17:49 PM

    drivers and hardware support

    If you’re waiting for BeOS to support every piece of hardware on the market, dream on. It will never happen unless/until BeOS has a major share of the market and hardware manufacturers feel it necessary to write drivers *themselves*, like they do for Windows. Microsoft doesn’t write the device drivers, hardware manufacturers do.

    For now, Be can only try to write enough drivers to try to keep the major bases covered.

    As far as “BeOS not working properly on 7 of 9 machines” is concerned, I assume you mean that some component didn’t support BeOS, such as the sound card or modem. If you buy a stock computer off the shelf, the chances are very good that some of these components will be the cheapest possible cards that the manufactur could find, not a well-recognized “brand name” card. You won’t find BeOS drivers for obscure, bargain-basement hardware. However, if you consider BeOS compatibility before you buy a machine, it is very easy and not too expensive to put together a machine where everything works perfectly right out of the box. In fact, it is a lot easier to do this with BeOS than Windows if you’re the one who has to install Windows and get everything working correctly.

    OTOH, none of the above helps with support for scanners, DVD playback, etc. where the relevant drivers simply do not (yet) exist. Until then, we’re stuck with dual-booting alongside Windows if we want to do such things. The great thing about BeOS is that you can use it without burning any bridges - you don’t have to make a big jump to an entirely different hardware platform (like buying a Mac).

  48. Anonymouse Says:

    How to help BeOS flourish

    Good article Nutcase!

    We are all using BeOS for our own reasons and they are probably quite diverse. However, we all benefit from a vibrant and growing community of both developers and users (consumers) striving to reach the mythical “critical mass” where the traction from the next “killer app” will pull us into the lead as we move into the the media-based future.

    Along the way we all pay a price. User/consumer don’t always get professional products and developers frequently don’t get nearly the revenue they hope for. All this changes in a good way when the platform grows.

    The very best thing we can do is to be enthusiastically helpful and this applies to everyone. Just be nice folks and see how it helps. This does not mean to be naive or uncritical but it does mean to be civil and polite when offering helpful criticism. Simple really, but difficult to do at times.

    There actually are people who have a vested interest in seeing BeOS fail. There are stock manipulator and there are competing platforms that really do spend money (significant sums) and considerable effort to bring about this end. And there are some folks who are just slightly negative by nature with no hidden intent.

    We are trying to do a very difficult task in trying to bring a new platform greater recognition and we really cannot do by ourselves. Be is now unable to help with much support (for BeOS) but the task they are pursuing (BeIA) is vitally important to their survival. They will be back to help but we have some tough months ahead IMO.

    For my part I consider the best goal we can reach for is to make developers successful. Some people will find it very difficult to see someone else get rich and will agitate negativity and criticism at every turn. I would very much like to see a developer driving a new red Ferrari to a BUG meeting. This is proof positive that a platform is lucrative and that helps a lot.

    As a user/consumer we are part of a partnership with Be and with Be developers whose goal is to expand the community. We need to bring people in and support them as they learn to love and live with BeOS. We need to build the numbers. We can actually build numbers with the _value_ of the community.

    We really have all the difficult things required to make this happen. We have a good community framework and a youthful enthusiastic community that has plenty of raw FUN. Having several news/discussion sites that are active is wonderful. Sites like BeDope and LeBuzz are jewels in the best sense of the word.

    I am dying to see some new apps come out for the holidays but it may not happen. What I can really expect however is to see the existing sites remain active and decorate for the season. I hope to see some good articles and perhaps some good reviews come out. I also will probably spend some extra money on BeOS apps as well.

    *** Ben

  49. Billy Kakes Says:

    In Response To Dane @ 12/03/2000 9:36:49 PM

    Re: Does anyone really think that way?

    Dane, I completely agree with your opinions on registering software, but yes, we do see many of those opinions. Many people, for example, lament the lack of registrations for Groovemaker, T-Racks, and Civilization: Call to Power. But when you realize that the BeOS community is largely made of hobbyists, you have to see that there really isn’t going to be much of a market for, say, a fun drum machine; at least, not if it costs more than $30 or so. When/if more professionals start using the system, this will change, but until then, lamenting on low sales is basically asking for charity. The same will happen with Peak and Deck unless professional markets are saturated. Unless a program is the right combination of inexpensive and indispensable, you can’t expect to see too many sales. A program like SoundPlay, for example, is cheap and rather fun; therefore, it may get a lot of registrations. But no matter how much I, as a college student, like Peak, there’s simply no way I can pay out more than, say, $50 for it. At most, I’d use it twice, and get no more benefit out of it than ColdCut (my needs are very basic).

    Opera is the most interesting case here, in my opinion. The final version is *much* improved over the betas; it renders pages pretty fast and renders most sites much better than NetPositive. With about ten minutes or so of tweaking, I got the interface and fonts working rather to my liking, and my favorite part, lame as it maybe, is the fast and fluid text selection. Nevertheless, it still crashes on me quite often and for at least a quarter of the sites I visit, it tries to load the page forever (hitting stop will usually render the page). Above all, it’s clear it will not be sufficient to satisfy my browsing needs for very long (Mozilla or Opera 4 will be required). So I have a hard question to answer: do I pay $40, a rather non-trivial amount of money, in the hopes that they will release version 4 (and that it will satisfy my needs)? I can certainly understand what must be Hern Labs’ point of view, but from a buyer’s standpoint, there are many other products I could buy (computer and otherwise) instead that would be more useful to me. Without the guarantee of a future version, I can see it as little more than charity. It’s a very tough situation. Essentially, Hern Labs needs us to buy a product that wouldn’t survive in a competitive market, and we’re tempted because we might need it. There are no easy answers, except that I don’t think lack of supporting Opera would be equivalent to “BeOS users don’t buy commercial software”.

    For Pixel32, on the other hand, I tried the Windows version and knew if the BeOS version was even exactly the same (Windoze interface and all), my money would be well-spent.

  50. Big Al Says:

    In Response To peter @ 12/04/2000 08:19:46 AM

    Re: Just be pragmatic…

    Okay, just where (please point to a specific) did JLG or anyone speaking on behalf of Be, Inc. announce BeOS was dead?

    Your message smells of a troll-like substance…

  51. Cedric Neve Says:

    In Response To Anonymouse @ 12/04/2000 08:55:54 AM

    Re: How to help BeOS flourish

    Great comment on Nutcase’s comment about the comments, Ben.

    I’m a developer and I have no interest in having a Ferrari, when I see the bastard that drives the F1 version, but that is just my personal opinion. But I suppose that a Blue Corvette and a Red Ferrari, side by side, would make a very good BeOS promotion ;-)

    About the fact that we should be grateful to all the providers of web content and BeOS coverage, I must say that they are excellent contributors standing at the center of our community. What would be the BeOS community without them ? I don’t think there would even be one ! Let us all thank them for the great work they are doing day after day to make this community live.

    And as it is stated on BeOS Central, don’t forget to buy your Christmas presents for BeOS (if you were waiting to do so, now seems the right time ;-) ).

    One final word about the absence of talk of a BeOS 6.0. I feel confident. BeIA seems great and MAP will run on BeOS… The BeOS is and will remain the OS behind the scene for the BeIA powered (exact expression !) internet appliances. No need to worry, we will get them both as none has a future without the other. Now this doesn’t mean that we should stop promoting BeOS… its just intended to cheer up the day of the ones that would have some doubts about what the future may hold…

  52. justin Says:

    In Response To Lorixnt2 @ 12/03/2000 6:17:49 PM

    Re: [No Subject]

    “I found myself unable to install BeOS properly on 7 of my 9 machines (all x86 platforms”

    This is exactly my experience with QNX !

    Well, actually it failed on all 8 machines attempted.

    BeOS on the other hand has yet to fail to install and function on all the same machines. The worst I encountered was lack of support for old vid chips and a grey scale boot.

  53. Cedric Neve Says:

    In Response To Anonymouse @ 12/04/2000 08:55:54 AM

    Re: How to help BeOS flourish

    Great comment on Nutcase’s comment about the comments, Ben.

    I’m a developer and I have no interest in having a Ferrari, when I see the bastard that drives the F1 version, but that is just my personal opinion. But I suppose that a Blue Corvette and a Red Ferrari, side by side, would make a very good BeOS promotion ;-)

    About the fact that we should be grateful to all the providers of web content and BeOS coverage, I must say that they are excellent contributors standing at the center of our community. What would be the BeOS community without them ? I don’t think there would even be one ! Let us all thank them for the great work they are doing day after day to make this community live.

    And as it is stated on BeOS Central, don’t forget to buy your Christmas presents for BeOS (if you were waiting to do so, now seems the right time ;-) ).

    One final word about the absence of talk of a BeOS 6.0. I feel confident. BeIA seems great and MAP will run on BeOS… The BeOS is and will remain the OS behind the scene for the BeIA powered (exact expression !) internet appliances. No need to worry, we will get them both as none has a future without the other. Now this doesn’t mean that we should stop promoting BeOS… its just intended to cheer up the day of the ones that would have some doubts about what the future may hold…

  54. Nutcase Says:

    In Response To Billy Kakes @ 12/04/2000 08:59:45 AM

    Re: Does anyone really think that way?

    Hehe. Just wanted to say, that I am a poor college student, and I plan on selling whatever i have to in order to buy Peak AND Deck. I mean, these are apps that I am gonna LOVE. Course, i am into audio big time, and am dying for a professional tool.

  55. Geoff Clements Says:

    There is a reason…

    There is a reason for this negativity. In case you have forgotten,
    or just haven’t seen it, go and read this:

    http://www.wcdesign.com/openletter.html

    This is what it’s like to be a BeOS developer. We all have
    invested HUGE amounts of money into developing BeOS software.
    Some of us have literally invested everything we own. And in every
    case we’ve lost our shirts.

    My own situation is similar to WildCard’s. My application became
    unavailable anywhere when BeDepot closed. Since then I’ve had two
    support mails, (one of which didn’t have a return adress so I can’t
    reply), and zero requests for information on how to buy it. The BeOS
    community is a small tightly knit community of loyal fans. The key
    word being small. A million people may have downloaded the BeOS PE, but
    I’d wadger that less than 1000 people are actively using it. And it
    may even be as low as 200. That’s not a market that a commercial
    developer can sell into and survive.

    geoff

  56. Cedric Neve Says:

    In Response To Nutcase @ 12/04/2000 12:42:33 AM

    Re: Well said (+ a new idea on acquiring feedback)

    OK, I can carry this one out. If someone comes out with a way to do this before the end of the month, I will use it in my apps (please post the classes on BeBits). Otherwise, I will develop it (it realy is very simple). But there needs to be a way to submit something in an appropriate forum on a BeOS website. The website should also send the comments through e-mail to the developer. I suppose all this could be done in a rather simple PHP. Maybe this should find it’s place in the BeBits/BoostSignal commenting sections (hoping BeNews comes back to life ;-) )

    It’s a great idea and it certainly adds some value to the About box…

  57. JohnB Says:

    In Response To Aeris the wired @ 12/03/2000 10:42:27 PM

    Re: Thank you.

    “Now i am not trying to accuse developers for doing this. I like developers, and believe me, i can relate to non-feedback woes. Feedback can be nice, but it shouldn’t be your only reason for coding/working. You shouldn’t need it. If you do, find another app or something that you can work on for yourself”

    This statement is way off base. Again, nobody said that they *need* feedback. You are making this out to be much more than it is. But I can tell you from my own experience and those of some of my developer friends that it is nice to see that people are using your app. That’s all.

    Nutcase, I think that your article was more negative than any of the posts that initiated this discussion. There are no hard feelings that I can see and a few of your points were nothing more than exaggerations of the original discussion.

  58. Pedro Eloy Says:

    In Response To Cedric Neve @ 12/04/2000 11:44:26 AM

    Re: How to help BeOS flourish

    >BeIA seems great and MAP will run on BeOS…

    Are you sure about this? From all the press releases and news I’ve heard there wasn’t any information on where MAP will run…I was supposing it’ll be working in Windows!! :(

    If its running in BeOS then its really good news!!
    :)

  59. PieterPan Says:

    In Response To Cedric Neve @ 12/04/2000 1:06:35 PM

    Re: Well said (+ a new idea on acquiring feedback)

    You got exactly what I intended to say :)

    I guess I could give the developer an option.. say POST_TO_BEBITS or POST_TO_BOOSTSIGNAL

    I am looking into networking right now… (printing 19 pages of sockets :)

    And yes, I will definately publish it in BeBits, cause I think this will be a new rage in developer feedback :)

    Pieter

    P.S. I think BeNews should email the developer of a program if they get a comment on their program!!! Anyone care to comment on this? :) Oliver?

  60. Big Al Says:

    In Response To Geoff Clements @ 12/04/2000 1:05:06 PM

    Re: There is a reason…

    Umm… from a user perspective, I usually see it like this:

    - Here’s an app that would work. Let’s download it.

    - Yeah, it works as advertised. Might as well order it.

    - Well, I can’t order it where they said I could order it. Maybe I’ll look here.

    - Not there. Well, I guess I didn’t need it that much anyway.

    Not to say that you’re not right, Geoff. Just that people are very lazy and want everything to be as simple (and idiot-proof) as possible. If they can’t get something done right now, they’re gonna drop it before going to any great (or small) effort.

    Any reason why you didn’t put it up for sale on BeBits when the BeDepot announcement was made?

  61. Cedric Neve Says:

    In Response To Geoff Clements @ 12/04/2000 1:05:06 PM

    Re: There is a reason…

    I’m sorry to hear about your lost shirt… I hope it wasn’t a BeOS one… I suppose the time was not right for you to bet it on BeOS. I agree the BeOS community is very small but we should take advantage of its unlimited (and sometimes blind) devotion.

    I’m not ready to give away the job that pays my bills (I’m 22 and haven’t even left my parent’s home, so my bills are not even a real issue, anyway). I agree that there have been delusions amongst us. Let’s face it, the user base is small. But I know we can have faith in the OS. We know it because all of us have tried the competitors that BeOS rulez on many aspects (not all, but many). It sucks on certain others but it has a solid base which is the most important. You can always make a good software if you start it well. If you had initial design flaws, you are doomed… so BeOS is clearly not doomed.

    We can do alot by continuing to support it, to develop for it, to use it… and by passing the word.

    BTW, if you are a good developer, you surely are, I’m sure your shirt should be easily replaced by a new Blue&Red one offered by your newly joined company. Your shirt was not lost, every effort to make BeOS a better place to compute is worth it. Some people like you are more brave than people like me… who never cross the line (yet) to devote entirely to BeOS development. Be proud.

  62. niceboy Says:

    Well…

    The biggest reason I boot in BeOS at home is to watch TV.

    Yes, TV. StampTV is one hell of an app. Simple, fast and it does not get in my way at all.

    Can you imagine that I have convinced two of my friends to boot into BeOS because of this sweet app? They had major problems with their TV card and Win2K so I showed them the right way of doing things. Simle and fast. Their winmodem works fine, they can watch TV, rip of MP3’s and they are unable to browse Greek javascript web sites. Heh, Opera 3.62 is just as good as all the other betas for the one and only reason I didn’t use Opera 3x in Windows. No non-English language support.

    Now for me BeOS should be the absolute king in the alternative OS arena but until in gets BONE nothing will happen.

    Let me explain.

    I am an admin at a company that hosts and develops web sites. You can imagine that it is imperative for me to share files with other computers be it windows or unix. Samba is great, but it is not “Be” and anyway it is fairly un-userfriendly and cumbersome. As for ftp….no comment.

    Also, since I use VNC most of my time, I have seen that the network stack that BeOS has is not up the job.

    When BONE comes, I will be able to do everything I need in BeOS because after that Mozilla will come, Opera 4 will come (and believe me it will as soon as they see the dowloads of Mozilla), NWN will come etc.
    When you are working what kind of apps do you mostly use?
    Mail, browser, file sharing utilities, audio players, text manipulators, contact organizing apps, some soltaire stuff, video playback. Now if you are a developer you already know what to use and I am sure that all platforms have their own unique deveoping “suites”. The common user on the other hand wants to do his/her job and that’s all.

    Every single one of these kind of apps exists. The only missing link is BONE.

    Fast, reliable network stack.

    As for the home user I am pretty positive that OGL will come along with BONE as a single big update. Or maybe R6.0 will come in a couple of months
    and it will contain both of the updates.

    I am pretty much convinced that the most basic reason for an OS to sucseed is the OS itslf and what it can do. All the hype in the world will do nothing if the OS I want to use does not have the gutts to do what I want. If the OS has the underlying technology to do stuff then there is always someone who will code the app I need.

    The most bright example is Personal Studio.
    It is a fine app and it was coded first on the platform that could do it. Why do you think there is no Linux version and on the other hand there is a windows version? Why because windows has a HUGE user base. Linux can’t possibly do what Personal Studio asks it to do.
    On the other hand the windows version exsists only for the money. Everybody knows that Win9x is ot up to the task and that usng Win2K just for personal video editing is a bit of an overkill.
    BeOS IS the platform for this stuff…well it will be as soon as it can talk to the other animals around it, that is.

    Another app is BeShare of course. I showed it to some napster lovers at work and they almost wet their pants.

    - You mean it has LIVE queries??? LIVE, LIVE?? And I can chat online? And I can a REAL SERVER on my machine just like THAT?? All this in one app?? WHOOOAAOOAOAOAOAOO

    So just be patient. Heh. Use what you have and enjoy it.

    P.S.

    As for StampTV I must say that the last build is buggy. The first time I launch it I have to go to the hardware settings tab to change the sound channel because of a bug in the Live driver I think. Well I had to do this with all the TV apps I have used anyway but this build of StampTV crashed at this point. Then I relaunch and all is OK.

    As for Opera…bugssss. It seems to me that 3.62 final is as buggy as the gold one.

  63. rusty Says:

    In Response To gmlongo @ 12/03/2000 8:56:55 PM

    Re: Valid editorial but…

    I think part of what Nutcase is writing about is the fallout around the statement that Hern Labs put out that they were not going to develop Opera 4.0 for the BeOS unless they saw sufficient demand, without defining what they ment by sufficient demand.

    Following this has been a number of articles or messages that sound like the writers think that everyone comenting that Opera doesn’t support feature x, or y, and so they are not interested in buying it, are penalizing the entire BeOS community.

    My own take on this is quite simmilar to the reaction I have for people who are not interested in buying Palm OS devices, or WinCE devices (or whatever MS wants to call them these days) because they don’t support true hand writing recognition. I think that the assesment is valid in as far as it goes. They don’t, and some day they may. However for those of us that use the devices, it was not an issue. Sure there is a learning curve to use the current workarounds. That’s even going to be true when true handwriting recognition becomes available. Everyone’s handwriting is different, and you are going to have to spend some time teaching your device your own handwriting style.

    I don’t have sufficient need for the features that are included in Opera 3.62 to support the purchase of the product. This does not mean that I think it is a bad product, just that it doesn’t fit the needs I have at the moment. Perhaps in the future there will be sufficient demand on my part to make it of interest to me to buy the product. If that happens I will gladly purchass the product.

    A bit of a historical perspective might be in order here. I, and a few other BeOS users, come from the old OS/2 community. I started using OS/2 back in the days when TeamOS/2 would run around at Comdex in salmon collered t-shirts or polo shirts, and help vendors get OS/2 running on their display systems, and do other activities to get positive recongition for OS/2. This group had no direction or ties with IBM other than the fact that some of the members, including the leader of the group, worked for IBM.

    If however you ask some of the more widly recognized editorial writers, such as John C. Dvorak, and Mary Jo Foley for their opinion of TeamOS/2, they will relate hate mail they recieved, including death threats, in response to negative stories they did about OS/2.

    I have been a fairly quiet member of both the OS/2 and BeOS user community. I see a lot of similarities between the two. One of those similarities is the fact that there is more than one person in each community who thinks that this is an ‘us against them’ situation, where them is Microsoft, or Linux, or Apple, or QNX. Or for that matter any other platform. If Amiga got off the ground and started swinging with a really good product, it would be considered a threat as well to these people. Likewise for Atari, or Texas Instruments. For these people I suspect that BeIA is going to be a threat because it provides an alternative to their prefered platform that would keep someone who otherwise has no use for BeOS from running it.

    I don’t see things the same way. I tend to build systems to fit my own requirements. If I need a file server, or DNS server I am more than happy to build it using Linux. I am not saying that there are not other solutions equally good, simply that that system will work for me. I use a Palm Vx, because it provides me with a way to achieve what I desire out of it at the moment. I still have a system running OS/2, as well as a system running Windows. The mix provides me with the best of all of the operating systems, and does not prevent me from accomplishing what I need to do. I even have a couple of low end macintosh computers I can use at any time I need to.

    A side benifit of having used all these platforms is that I can speak comfortably with almost anyone about the advantages of each of the systems. I can support people running into problems with any of them as well. (Though my OS/2 skills are falling by the wayside these days. The system is so rock solid that most of the time I really do forget that it is running.

    I do program as a hobbie, and know a bit about what it takes to develop small and large applications. I don’t have an interest in developing a really large app, and am in awe of some of the people who do. This doesn’t mean that I am going to go out and buy what they develop any more than I would recomend that they go out and purchass an OC-12 connection to the Internet because I work with such connections.

    Most people who are going to be sensible about providing recomendations for other people realize that there is no one solution that fits everyone. I know musicians who have never made a statement one way or the other about BeOS. I personally think that for a musician debating the merits of using BeOS is akin to using a rocket scientist what sort of computer he uses. It’s important as a vehicle for getting their work done, but is peripheral to what they are trying to do.

    Though I have all the operating systems mentioned above in use, the system I use the most these days is BeOS. Why? Because it provides me with a comfortable way of doing the things I like to do, and has an active developer community. This means that as I find other things that are possible for me to do in BeOS, and that interest me, I can try my hand at them. Probably the one thing that I like the most about BeOS is the way it handles multiple programs running.

    I regularly have over 10 applications running, and my experience with Windows on a similar machine to this one is that half that many programs has a serious impact on performance. I don’t have that kind of an experience with BeOS. I am comfortable with the suggestion that Linux will not be seriously impacted either, however I do not have an interest in testing that assesment.

    Hey, your millage may vary. For some people missing the functionality of Netscape 6, or their TV-Tuner card that does not have BeOS drivers, it may be too much to ask them to use BeOS. If on the other hand they need nothing more than the recording tools that are available now, or the ability to burn MP3’s directly to their supported CD-R drive, give them a CD with a copy of Free Be on it and see if they are happy.

    -Rusty

  64. otomo Says:

    In Response To Zaranthos @ 12/04/2000 12:37:06 AM

    lol %nt%

    %nt% == NO TEXT

  65. rusty Says:

    In Response To mlk @ 12/04/2000 07:48:18 AM

    Re: [No Subject]

    /”[quote] It Is Not The Users Job To Encourage The Developer.[/quote]
    if they want the next version, and the coder is not doing it for love alone (i.e. comeral)
    then in a way it is. /”

    I will agree with you that if a user wants something added to the feature list of a program, it is their own fault if they never see it added and they have not let the developer know that is what they need.

    I will disagree however that this is “encouragement” this is feedback. Many users are simply looking for tools that work. Most people who are in this group probably will not provide “feedback” simply because they need nothing more than the tool currently provides. If I write a tool that converts a text file from one format to another, and does it effectively perfectly, there is no reason for me to expect “feedback” or “encouragement”. Those who need the tool will use it. After using it a while, they may even believe that it is just part of the operating system.

    This is especially true of any really small tool (under 2000 lines of code) as people will be more likely to kick themselves for not thinking of it first, than to thank someone who wrote it out of their own need then shared it.

    The other side of this is that I think that if you as a user find something missing, such as useful documentation, or a tutorial, letting the author know, and possibly even offering to write such a beast is going to provide even better results for all involved. You will probably learn tricks that you never knew were possible with the application. You can provide others with a better experience overall, and you are providing positive feedback to the application author.

    -Rusty

  66. Nutcase Says:

    In Response To JohnB @ 12/04/2000 1:11:59 PM

    Re: Thank you.

    You are entitled to think that. But if you honestly believe that, i don’t think you are aware of the issues i was responding to. there have been MANY heated threads on BeNews about these topics, and they were starting to appear in recent news items on begroovy. The reason i wrote this article was to hopefully stop them from becoming a regular occurance here.

    Lots of developers have said they *need* feedback or they are going to stop developing. Maybe not your particular developer friends, but i wasn’t aiming at anyone specific.

    As i said above, you are entitled to think this article was much more negative than any of the posts that initiated this discussion. But the catch is, you don’t actually know what posts initiated this discussion. So your judgement is being made without all the facts.

  67. Nutcase Says:

    In Response To PieterPan @ 12/04/2000 1:14:48 PM

    Re: Well said (+ a new idea on acquiring feedback)

    I have created a thread in the developers forum to discuss this. Head over there if you want to be involved.

  68. Helmar Says:

    In Response To Nutcase @ 12/03/2000 7:07:23 PM

    Re: About low feedback

    In reply to most of the mails:

    1) I acknowledge that various sites add spice, but at present we would - as one other poster stated - need a site that has comprehensive product reviews, including feedback forms that also go straight to the developer.

    Now we have various news sites, all -maybe except BN - pretty much starved for news anyway, but a crucial area remains unaddressed.
    The idea was to pool resource and diversify again as the community grows, nothing else.

    The scope of the community would not be limited at all. It would just be a reallocation of resources to server a higher goal - in this case comprehensive product reviews. If you have the time and desire, people can still run their sites with additional commentary, but at the present moment I see it more as counterproductive than anything else.

    2) Developers: this is the real problem. Sure, they want to write what they like, but if they wrote what is really needed, maybe more people (also from other camps) would buy their apps. There are too many mediocre email clients out there, but none that is really mind-blowing. Mail-It comes close, but still no cigar. PA should have a mail client integrated. That would be the closest to what I am talking about.

    WRT Productive… the idea is visionary, but the implemenation is not. This concept leans itself to stuff like document-sharing and workgroup collaboration. But for that, additional modules would need to be added. Stuff like instant messaging, whiteboarding, etc. Then it would have to be marketed at the right target market still. See… nice concept, but wrong implementation.

    WRT Soundplay, can you tell me the sense of being able to play anything backwards?

    3) WRT visual similarity… I am solely talking about icon sets. The File, View, and Edit “functions” should look the same across all BeOS applications. Gaining market share means acquiring new users, and one of the things that make them “stick” is ease-of-use. But if you have to learn new icons for every single application, that’s hardly ease-of-use.

    That’s all I said. I am not getting silly (as the previous poster suggested), but am very serious, because one of the reasons Windows (3.1) became so successful was that all apps pretty much looked the same, so the learning curve was really low. This has obviously deteriorated with time, but still, properly designed OS and apps share the same basic icon sets.

    Remember, the “mass market” are beginners and simple PC users, not geeks. (On that note, if you run GEOS, the icons are actually part of the OS, so if you add New,Open, Save, Copy, Zoom, etc. icons to your app, they will look exactly the same as in all other apps, because they come from one central source - and that’s the best way to go about it. Remember GEOS was very popular among newbies, because it was easy to use and learn.

    4) WRT inflated egos…. this always gets in the way when people and sites are involved. People insist on doing their own thing, but lose sight of the bigger picture. Right now, BeOS needs less news and commentary sites and more content, ie product reviews and developer and new user help. My ;-) was put there because I didn’t want to offend anyone.

    Helmar

  69. mlk Says:

    In Response To rusty @ 12/04/2000 4:21:15 PM

    Re: [No Subject]

    I’d have to agree

    Dam I’m not getting exrta posts for this…

    :)

    mlk

  70. mlk Says:

    In Response To Pieter @ 12/04/2000 12:54:25 AM

    Re: Well said (+ a new idea on acquiring feedback)

    > Discrete Math

    Ohh, poor you… I hate Discrete Maths.

    as to a feedback button linked to BeGroovy, nice idea I might give it a go if one exisited.

    Though I do currently have a ‘email dev’ button.

  71. mlk Says:

    In Response To otomo @ 12/04/2000 4:18:35 PM

    Re: lol %nt%

    there is text though.

    Mlk, confused.

  72. Nimdok Says:

    In Response To Digger @ 12/03/2000 4:37:36 PM

    Re: We-

    As for them selling copies, I think perhaps not. I seem to remember them polling the community for interest. If the people who voted buy as they said they would, then Opera will be OK.

  73. WattsM Says:

    In Response To Geoff Clements @ 12/04/2000 1:05:06 PM

    Re: There is a reason…

    I don’t know what the figures are like now, but I remember doing rough calculations of the existing Be userbase by using the financial figures Be released when they went public. In the R4.5 time frame, a good estimate would have been somewhere around 100,000 users–it’s hard to say how many of them were active users, of course, but at that point all of the people who had copies were developers or paying users, so they’d all shown more than casual interest. (That estimate didn’t take into account the free copies distributed in the pre-R3 days other than to registered developers.)

    I’d be surprised if the userbase has increased significantly beyond that, but I’m not sure that it’s declining, either–the balance of people who’ve been brought in by R5 probably offsets the attrition. All indications are that the userbase was growing *faster* before the free release, though. (If growth had continued at an equivalent rate to that shown between Q2 1998 and Q3 1999, the userbase would have crossed the million mark sometime in late 2001, if I remember the spreadsheet I did correctly.)

    So how do we explain low BeOS software sales? Well, it depends on the program. Beatware reported sales of 3,000 copies or so of Mail-It *before* BeOS appeared on the Intel platform. Marteen Hekkelman reported that Intel users weren’t nearly as interested in buying Pe as the PowerPC folks were; while I that’s partially because he did poor documentation and even poorer advertising, I’m not sure that’s enough of an explanation.

    Have the Intel users been, by and large, “cheaper” than the PPC users? Being an Intel user I’d like to say no, but I’m not sure; Mac users don’t blink at paying $200 for a graphic program, $50 for a text editor and even $15 for a simple utility. Most of the Intel users seem to be the same sorts who’d try out Linux, though, and this may well be a double-edged sword

  74. Epiphyte Says:

    Agreeing and Disagreeing

    I agree with the opinions expressed in this piece insofar as they touch on :

    1) Not buying something you don’t need / not throwing away your money for the sake of charity.

    2) Not buying something because it is missing a feature that is critical to your usage.

    3) Not buying something because you haven’t got the money.

    4) Not buying something because you feel it isn’t worth what’s being charged.

    etc. All of these are very valid.

    My only major frustration has been people who openly admit that a program has value and that the asking price would normally be reasonable, but who refuse to pay because either a similar program is available for free for Windows, because a newer revision of the program is available for Windows than is available for BeOS (given that the current revision satisifed all of their needs except for their need for a really high rev number), or because the Windows version is cheaper (or is now cheaper because it’s been out longer or has been superceded).

    The reality is that this is a much smaller market. Developers who want to make money often have to either charge more, or even charge where developers for other platforms might not have. A good example of this is Flash. Macromedia is not about to port Flash. General Coffee stepped to the plate and ported it. It’s fee is small, and many people find it useful — useful enough to want to make and distribute a crack for it. However, the reality of the market is that General Coffee cannot reasonably give it away for free, whereas Macromedia can. The BeOS community at this time would not sufficiently support the porting of Macromedia’s large and expensive flash development tools. Without such support, then giving away the flash player for free would bring General Coffee no revenue of any kind. The flash player for Windows can be free because by driving a popular format with a free browser, Macromedia can charge large sums of money for the development tools.

    Another good example is Opera. As I posted on BeNews, I fully support anybody who feels that: (a) Opera is not worth the money being asked, (b) they cannot afford Opera, (c) Opera is a shoddy product, (d) NetPositive covers their needs fully and thus they see no need to buy another browser. What I find frustrating is the people who say that the current Opera 3.62 release is a great product that suits their needs perfectly, and that they have the money to register, but they will not SOLELY because it does not carry a “4″ after the word “Opera,” whereas the Windows version does. If version 4 contains a vital feature that 3.62 does not which is important to your use, fine. However, if 3.62 is useful and valuable to you, and you can afford it, then buy it. Don’t refuse just because it’s not version 4. That’s not only pointless, but detrimental to the effort.

    Lastly, this letter mentions that it is not the responsibility of the users to support, encourage, or entertain developers. This is true. HOWEVER, there are some realities here that we must not be entirely naive to. Developers who write or port software that does not sell are not going to port more software. This is a simple concept. It is not the job of the developers to support the community. This needs to be a symbiotic thing. If people don’t buy software, then the platform will die. I am not telling you that you should buy software. I am not saying that it’s your responsibility to buy software. I’m not even saying that you should feel bad if you don’t buy software. I am saying that it would be entirely naive to assume that a developer who makes no sales and takes a huge loss will continue to develop, and that we’ll see a flurry of great BeOS applications despite the fact that it’s a huge sinkhole of time and money to develop for BeOS.

    In the end, you make up your own mind, and you should do what you feel is right. I do believe that this article was both unrealistic and glib about dismissing the pro-purchasing side of the argument. On the other hand, I agree that you should buy where you see value. How you see value, however, is up to you. Some people will stretch their budget and buy tools where they thing the tools show promise or where they think that developer will be key. You should not decry these people for their efforts, or imply that this strategy is unsound.

  75. Jason Stiles Says:

    Well stated.

    I completely agree with nutcase. Also I don’t think that most developers are out there right now thinking they are going to pay the rent next month with their app.

    I think most developers want to write an app that people use, and their true reward (beyond whatever small amount they recieve from registration) is seeing the download numbers go up, or recieving email, or better yet having people take their app for granted. Yes! That is a good thing! Its like WinZip for windows. It becomes an integral part of your system and you really don’t imagine *YOUR* computer without having WinZip on it. What notoriety. You created something that many people find indispensable.

    The problem is that with a community this size, a few months after you release a version the downloads slow to crawl. Everyone interested has tried your app and is using it or decided it wasn’t for them. Now the developer really just relies on feedback to know who is using something.

    The problem really stems from BeOS itself. First we don’t get thousands of new users today. And second: Our existing users don’t have to reformat their computer every 2 months and re-download all their software just to keep things running nice.

    Now lets look at BeShare. You don’t see that developer starving for feedback. All he has to do is launch the app and see everyone else who is using it. He can even talk with them right there because he made an IRC style chat room. Wouldn’t it be nice if every program had a chat window? It feels good to create something that people love.

    I’m not saying every program needs a chat window… Maybe if someone wrote a feedback program that people could run in their tray. Then developers could send a BMessage to that program and it would track how many times a program was run. And when ever you connected to the internet, it would send the stats to a server. Then all the programs that participated could see how often their programs are being used. It would have to be completely anonymous, and voluntary, but it would be a great way for people who wanted to show their support, to do so easily.

    Anyway.. Thats my idea… It would be cool to see someone do it.

    -Jason

  76. blanchard Says:

    Support the community

    I told my Wife tonight that BeOS has changed me. Changed me in a positive way.
    Before BeOS I had no problem downloading Windows Warez or cracking programs.
    Now that I run BeOS I feel the need to download a program that will do what I want it to. Then if I like it, I will purchase the full version.
    She looked at me in shock. Wondering why the change. I told her because BeOS is such a good OS and the community is great. I told her I need to support it as much as I can.
    I know it sounds corny, but it’s just how I feel.
    Bill

  77. armorking Says:

    In Response To blanchard @ 12/05/2000 11:34:08 PM

    Re: Support the community

    yes ! it really have changed me to …in somthing like
    same direction as you discribe..

    /The ArmorKing

  78. Frans van Nispen Says:

    In Response To Digger @ 12/03/2000 4:37:36 PM

    Re: We-

    Hi,

    I am a developer on the Inferno-Team. I do not code 100% of my time, but I do concider myself as a hardcore BeOS coder !
    Also my co-developers are ! YNOP is one of the most productive coders on BeOS. Just check out his list of apps on BeBist. Did anyone hear him complain about money or feedback ?

    I do not code for the money either. When I need somthing for BeOS, my beloved OS, I try to code it myself. This is also the reason why a started working on a PhotoPaint program.

    And believe me, there will be one soon !

    We are currently planning the beta-version. Check our homepage at www.ynop.net/inferno in a week (maybe two) to get more info on it, see some new screenshots and maybe sign-up for our beta-testing project.

    People do not buy expensive software packages for an OS what they only partialy can use, so developers who think they can make much money on short notice by coding for BeOS made the wrong bet.

    My personal motivation for using and coding for the BeOS: I love it’s stability, API’s, interface, speed and interface. It is to my opinion the best alternative OS I found beside Windows (which I hate).
    If more people are doing the same as we ( and I know a few people who do), the BeOS gets competitive more and more each day.
    When it is, and becomes a realy alternative for Windows, we developers will make money eventualy anyway.

    There are lots of examples of developers who did not get payed to do their work and are now rich !
    (Apple, Linux, Yahoo, …)

    I personaly like BeOS more and more each day, so Inferno will be there within a few weeks in beta. Also a few other programs are on the line.

    I agree on the fact that we would like to know what people want on BeOS. People can alway contact us through our homepages: www.ynop.net/inferno (YNOP), leden.tref.nl/~xlr00000 (me)

    - Frans van Nispen,
    The Inferno Developer Team.

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