is CB a car without wheels?

14 years 8 months ago #5354 by mikko
>It concerns me that you say "your community is a lot diferent >and not connected to this one, so it is natura that there is >little value that it would add here." because my community >ARE those people who have to use the results of all the >programming. Without them, what is the point? Surely the >programmers are SERVING my community of users by giving them >what they want, not want the programmers want?

You are wrong here. Software is not always and neither it should be customer oriented effert - it can be an artistic effort as well. Some times the art pleases and sometimes not, still it is the result of the creativity of a person. And if that person is not paid, he most likely paints what he sees most pleasing to him. Get that?

Consider this a community (i.e.) the active users on this site. A lot of people just want to make nice creative plugins and enhancements - not a huge and borign task of impkementing search.

>To go back to the car analogy, it would be like a lot of >factory workers in a car factory building a car for just >themselves and not caring whether actual drivers could really >use it on the roads they drive up and down every day?

There are a lot of places like this. They are called car customizers who make cars for shows as a hobby. The cars might be usefull for driving or not, but that is not the motivation that drives these guys to build nice concepts.

>What I am saying is that 'my community' of users, which must >be similar to many Mambo/Joomla communities, need to find >other registered users by searching for them on all the >fields that the software provides them to fill in.


>What is the point of allowing 400 people to say what town >they work in, and not provide a means for finding out who >works in certain towns? That is totally illogical design.

It is not illogical, it is partial. You first build the foundations. Given that search would add 10% more work for the programmers, what would you leave out?

>You ask me a little pertinently if everything is clear so >far, and I have to ask you the same thing because I am not >sure it is clear to you what I am saying?

It is perfectly clear to me. I have been doing web design and joomla sites. The problem that you are facing is that this is something that people do as a hobby. Like building cars for shows - they migth be also good for driving, or even racing, but it is not the racers who motivate the people to build these cars.

>Can you tell me your understanding of what I have just said, >in your own words Mikko?

I think I just did. The problem that you are facing is that this is an artistic result of people practicing their hobby, not a customer driven product.

-mikko

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14 years 8 months ago #5360 by mikko
One thing to add:

"It concerns me that you say "your community is a lot diferent and not connected to this one, so it is natura that there is little value that it would add here." because my community ARE those people who have to use the results of all the programming. Without them, what is the point? Surely the programmers are SERVING my community of users by giving them what they want, not want the programmers want?"

Community is, by definition, "in biology, an interacting group of various species in a common location" (encyclopeadia britannica). Since your users hardly interact (interact is two way) with the community that develops and maintains CB, it is a distinct community.

You all are just free riders of the results of someone elses hobby. The freerider here is by no means offensive.

And basically, this community is not SERVING anyone, you are merely exploiting the things that are published here. Why would anyone serve someone for free? The point is that programming is considered fun by some people because of it's creative and problem solving nature. As I stated earlier, what matters for programmers is 1) own needs 2) creative fulfilment 3) appreciation 4) money. I doubt that your users give any of those to any developer here? You could act as a proxy to mediate the things number 3&4 from your community to here, but this far I lack the evidence to see that you have done that.

Before starting my PhD in software business, I used to work as sofware developer. At that time the sales guys were the worst nightmare, since they always came up with these requirements that had to be done right away. This results often in workarounds and hacks to get things done. As a by product the maintainability of the odce dedcreses and programming becomes more frustrating.

So, it all comes down to this: when you program as a hobby, you do not want to do customer drivven development because from the programmer point of view, that sucks. And when there is no authority - in most cases the firm that pays your salary - to tell you what to do, you are more free to make solid design. And the solid design is something that professionals (I bet there are a lot of them here) appreciate, and this is one part of the reasons for the success of open source.

-Mikko

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14 years 8 months ago #5384 by beat
achintya wrote:

Well that's very nice of you... I think we are coming from two different directions here... there is the software development area and there is the website designer/agency area.

As a website designer/agency I am 'serving' my clients , the end users, they are not doing me a favour. To use a well worn phrase, I am 'delighting' them as much as I can. This means meeting their need .

So there is no question about not caring, I have to care very much for them, or I lose their custom and the business .

If many of my clients are saying 'why can't we search the CB fields except for name' I have to try and explain . And I find it quite hard to do this as there seems no logical explanation I can think of. It seems such an obvious function, an such an obvious ommission from the software.

Anyway, I will wait and see what CB come up with next, and hopefully it will include this much needed search utility. Then it will be a truly very good piece of software.


achintya


@ All:

Thanks for your support, patience and courtesy shown in this thread. We are also very pleased that our roadmap and priorities are well understood and supported, and main missing features also well understood. Has been a real pleasure reading all the good posts made here. Sincerely.

@Achintya:

All of the above I highlighted is really good news for you indeed. :) and hopefully also for us ;)

I'm very happy for you, that you have real customers which bring you business and income, and for which you care.

Most of us (including all of the CB core team) are in the same situation and understand perfectly your concerns. ;)

I'm very happy that our component brings value to your customers and allows you to offer them paid services around it. Please feel free to share the wealth using the small button on the home page. It will help speed up developments here.

Next time your customer asks why ?, you could simply reply sincerely: ;)

"- Because I'm using an open-source component (for which me and you didn't pay anything) where no contributor or other customer needed the feature as badly yet to give it a priority higher than other high-priority items, to be implemented during their free time. But they also have a job for their living, and I can ask them for a quotation, if you need to have this feature built-in sooner. Then they can spend more time on this component daytime as well. It will cost you professional services fees, but anyway way less than any component for a commercial CMS, if you have the corresponding budget."

You could add to your customer:

"As it is open-source, the result would very probably be integrated into the mainstream release quicker and made available to everybody.

This has 3 main advantages:
A. it will be maintained at no cost to you,
B. Other users can improve it for your benefit,
C. In case something goes wrong, any PHP programmer can help".

and

"alternatively, I can ask a 3PD programmer to do it quickly and even less expensive for you, but you would have to care about the mainteanance, and it would not be 'giving back to the community a small new part for the big thing we got for free'".

finally: "another possiblity is to wait for the next release, which should have it integrated (but there will be no date set, as their free time varies).".

Hope these response proposals will help you manage openly your customer-relationship.

Sincerely,
Best Regards to all here, and to your customers :)

OK, enough read and written :D , back to day-job, customers waiting in line. :woohoo:

Beat - Community Builder Team Member

Before posting on forums: Read FAQ thoroughly -- Help us spend more time coding by helping others in this forum, many thanks :)
CB links: Our membership - CBSubs - Templates - Hosting - Forge - Send me a Private Message (PM) only for private/confidential info

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14 years 8 months ago #6096 by Oceanwatcher
Replied by Oceanwatcher on topic Re:What use is a user database no-one can search?
mikko wrote:

Before starting my PhD in software business, I used to work as sofware developer. At that time the sales guys were the worst nightmare, since they always came up with these requirements that had to be done right away. This results often in workarounds and hacks to get things done. As a by product the maintainability of the odce dedcreses and programming becomes more frustrating.
-Mikko


Mikko - I have been working in the sales area of a software company, but at the same time kept a good dialog with programmers. All commercial software development is really customer driven. So is all Open Source. You forget to mention that if someone just develop code without releasing it, he is his own customer.. This is just an old myth that it is better not to have customer driven software development.

A business need the customer

The customer pay the salary of everyone working there (not the employer)

The customer is using this software because it fits better than the competition (unless there are no competitors..)

There are probably other reasons, but that is actually beside the point. My point is simply, like it or not - All software development is customer driven. And by customer driven I mean wanted by someone. And that someone can very well be the programmer him/herself.

BUT - it is a BAD company if it let its programming development be driven by random wishes, not long term planning. All feature requests need to be taken into consideration and adapted to the overall planning of the development of the software.

Achintya: There is one thing that I am amazed nobody has mentioned yet. This software is not yet in version 1.0! So how can you expect it to be finished?

I think that for a piece of software to be this good already at this stage is very good. And the rest of the functionality will come.

With that said, I actually agree with you that search is vital. And that I would not even go near the term Advanced search before the search that exist can be called sufficiently basic.

If the search is only allowing search on more fields, it should not be called advanced. But if you can use operators in your search to include more, exlude some etc. I would definitely call it advanced.

Is the software usable as it is? Yes, it is. Maybe not for your use, but definitely for a lot of other people. Can it be better? Yes. But we are at the mercy of the very generous people that program it.

And this is where non-paid Open Source differs from paid software development. We, the users, are in no position to demand anything. That would be like demanding that someone push your car 2 miles instead of the 100 yards that they offered to push it just out of their good will. It is also not too polite to complain about the quality of their service if someone offer their help to you for free. You are free to decline. Nobody force you to accept. Sorry, this is the reality. Nothing we can do about it.

I sometimes get frustrated too with some of the things I experience. CB is still a very rough component. But I can see the direction it is taking, and I just have to be patient enough to wait for the things I would like to see there.

And in the mean time I can try som gentle advocacy with well documented arguments instead of using analogies that heat a debate. :-)

Regards,

Oceanwatcher

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14 years 8 months ago #6097 by mikko
Oceanwatcher wrote:

"Mikko - I have been working in the sales area of a software company, but at the same time kept a good dialog with programmers. All commercial software development is really customer driven. So is all Open Source. You forget to mention that if someone just develop code without releasing it, he is his own customer.. This is just an old myth that it is better not to have customer driven software development."

The example I stated was merely to illustrate that the pressure from sales often forces programmers to do rather shortsighted technical decisions. This is one of the factors that contribute to the worse quality of closed source code that is developed commercially.

"A business need the customer"

That is certainly true. Business is also about generating profits. Do you think that this project thus qualifies as a business?

"The customer pay the salary of everyone working there (not the employer)"

I am almost too aware of that, since I have worked also as a CEO for a small start-up.

"The customer is using this software because it fits better than the competition (unless there are no competitors..)"

Makes sense.

"There are probably other reasons, but that is actually beside the point. My point is simply, like it or not - All software development is customer driven. And by customer driven I mean wanted by someone. And that someone can very well be the programmer him/herself."

You are wrong here. Programming is done for various other reasons as well. Some people consider it as a hobby. For examle the initial version of the Linux kernel was developed just for fun. (See for example biography of Linus Torvalds, the developer)

"BUT - it is a BAD company if it let its programming development be driven by random wishes, not long term planning. All feature requests need to be taken into consideration and adapted to the overall planning of the development of the software."

This is a big problem in some companies. If your next months salary depends on a customer delivery, then you make it work and making it in the perfect way comes as a secondary thing.

Luckily the power of the end user is rather low in most of the OS software projects.

I agree with the rest of your post ;)

-Mikko

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14 years 8 months ago #6118 by Oceanwatcher
Replied by Oceanwatcher on topic Re:What use is a user database no-one can search?
mikko wrote:

Oceanwatcher wrote:

"There are probably other reasons, but that is actually beside the point. My point is simply, like it or not - All software development is customer driven. And by customer driven I mean wanted by someone. And that someone can very well be the programmer him/herself."

You are wrong here. Programming is done for various other reasons as well. Some people consider it as a hobby. For examle the initial version of the Linux kernel was developed just for fun. (See for example biography of Linus Torvalds, the developer)


In this case Linus was programming for one customer - Linus. No matter how you look at it, it is always customer driven. And it actually helps sometimes to realise that even if it is a hobby, you at least have one customer - yourself. Linus made the Linux kernel because HE wanted it. :-)

Regards,

Oceanwatcher

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