Great things about Rev

Bernard Devlin revolution at
Tue Nov 7 15:46:22 EST 2006

I don't know what is the cause of so much negativity on the list.   
Sometimes those things just spiral by accident.

Anyway, I just want to point out how things look to me - a long time  
lurker, and sometime user of Revolution.  I follow the list daily,  
but rarely have the time to contribute much (I'm always trying to do  
more than I'm really capable of doing!)  The people on this list are  
some of the most helpful and good-natured people on any list that I  
follow (and I get 200+ emails a day from various lists).

I first looked at Metacard a few years before Revolution existed, and  
I thought it was a toy, and an overpriced toy at that.  More fool me  
- I couldn't see passed the (beautiful) simplicity of the concept,  
and was just focusing on the simplicty of the marketing.  RunRev have  
marketed Rev more effectively, and the IDE and documentation showed  
me what I couldn't see by myself when I'd looked at Metacard.   
Furthermore, they opened up pricing options (Studio, Dreamcard,  
Media) that make it far more feasible for many people to adopt it as  
a development platform.  If things had remained as they were  
(Metacard was approx $1000), I would never have adopted it as one of  
my tools, and would not have recommended it to others.

But Runrev also  added lots of database access features (ODBC, MySql,  
Valentina, PostgreSQL, Oracle).  They added xml support.  They added  
improved look and feel on many platforms.

They responded to repeated complaints about accessibility.  They  
changed the documentation to make it more accessible; and they  
structured it as XML, making it easier for others to build different  
interfaces into the docs (as I myself have done). They added video  
and PDF tutorials.   People nagged for a forum - others said they  
preferred the list... RunRev obliged and provided both.  There are  
benefits to both - I would like to see the forum being used in a more  
structured way to keep permanent searchable records of useful code,  
tips and gotchas.   There were complaints about the externals  
interface - they had that re-written in an attempt to improve it (I  
don't believe I'm adept enough to judge if it is better or not).   
People wanted SSL, that was provided.

The scripting conferences were a great idea (and driven by Jacques).   
The RevCons are also fantastic (even though I have trouble attending  
them).  Making the videos available on DVD for so little money is  
unbelievable.  In fact, the current offer (along with a studio update  
pack) was just too good to pass by.

I don't personally see the benefit of the U3 stuff or the new zip  
features, but that's not to say that others don't find these features  

I'm sure there are loads of other things that have been added that  
I'm forgetting.  I would love it if others could add on the  
improvements they consider notable too.

Even though they might have changed the purchase/updates options in a  
way that I might think is off-putting for new users, I have always  
found (since my first purchase 4 years ago) that the options  
available to me when it comes to upgrade/renewal are very  
reasonable.  In fact, in my experience they have bent over backwards  
to offer me enticing upgrade paths, and always without me asking for  
any special concession.

I have no hesitation in recommending Rev to anyone who wants to pick  
up programming.

I don't think Rev is suitable for every programming area, but I am  
often amazed at what I see being done by users of this list.  But it  
seems that the users of this list often have quite a diversity in the  
ways in which they want to see Rev improve.  Obviously, it is going  
to be hard for the tool to be all things to all women.  But at least  
with bugzilla being open and votable, and both bugs and improvements  
going into that, Runrev are open to influence by us users in ways  
that many other tools are not open.  And finally, there is always the  
option of being an 'enterprise' user and joining the improve list.  I  
think that laying out that kind of dosh is a good indication of one's  
commitment to the product and way of weeding out noise.  If things go  
according to plan with my current development, I will be happy to  
step up and join that group if it means I can support and have some  
direction on the tool that is still in a league of its own.

In the light of all the things that they've done to enhance the tool,  
market it, provide pricing options, provide documentation and  
tutorial options, and discussion options, it doesn't surprise me that  
some bugs may have gone unresolved for longer than people might  
hope.  I still think they are doing a great job, and provide very  
good value and service.

Bernard Devlin

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