Open Letter to Rev: Quality Is Job #1

Luis luis at
Fri Oct 20 20:22:28 EDT 2006

On 20 Oct 2006, at 20:46, Andre Garzia wrote:

> I am very pleased with the 2.7.x release, my only complain is the  
> lack of a linux engine. Coming to the use-list complaining about  
> the product is on my humble opinion not the most polite and wisest  
> path. I think the only way for the RunRev team to better its  
> product is thru interaction with its userbase. I belive people here  
> that ship software understand that bug reports gets more attention  
> than user mailing lists.

Yeah, no Linux is a big 'bad' for me. I'm hoping it gets sorted out  
sooner than later.
I don't think venting his frustration on the use-list is wrong:  
Sometimes the obstacles mount so high that after harbouring them for  
a while all you can do is tell those you are surrounded by. That is  
the nature of some people.

> During the last years, I've sent many reports and requests for  
> RunRev support and they were always there to help me. There are  
> bugs in Rev, but all language have bugs, the only way to solve them  
> is to help RunRev solving them. We can do that by replicating the  
> bug and finding recipes. Advanced users might even be able to  
> isolate where the bug is happening, this would be invaluable info  
> for the RunRev team.

When I bought Rev, what, a month or so ago, I had a problem. Sure, I  
was getting to grips with it, but I couldn't understand why it was  
behaving that way. As my first port of call, as a new user, I emailed  
Rev support: What I got back was a possible indicator as to the  
cause, but was recommended that I address the use-list to solve the  
problem. I did not feel that was appropriate. You wouldn't expect  
grandma to say 'Go ask a stranger' when you ask her what to do about  
the nappy rash. I expected a more positive response and it did not  
feel like it.

If you have sent many requests to support and they have always  
helped, I wonder why I was so quickly redirected. Unless you're  
paying for those support incidents.
In any case, I expected better, at least for the first few months.

> One thing we trylu need is a Suite of Tests that test a rev  
> distribution for obvious bugs. This little stack could be executed  
> and it would test things. Many languages have this kind of suite,  
> Ruby has it and so does scheme. This would help finding bugs in new  
> releases.

You'd assume they'd have something like this already. It would be  
good to know what they answer to that.

> I think that going into a flamefest with RunRev on the use-list is  
> not useful. For example, in this thread someone said wrongly about  
> the file format change, as if the new format serves no purpose.  
> This is said out of thin air, with the new additions of ink and  
> blendmodes, they had to change the file format to acomodate this  
> new technologies. I think that before saying something people  
> should get more info.

This I understand.

> I am no QA person. I am a 26 years old developer with no formal  
> education. I've shipped some cool software using the 2.7 release.  
> As for the struggle between dreamcard and the new rev media. They  
> are different products, its like saying Rev Studio is awful because  
> Enterprize is so much better. If the 2.6 release is working for  
> you, if you feel no need for the new features of 2.7, why upgrading  
> to a new codebase? Keep using 2.6 till 2.7 release is tested,  
> debugged, re-tested... I have Rev installed on my machine from 2.1  
> till 2.7.4, depending on my needs I develop in other versions. My  
> cgis are developed in Rev 2.6 and my desktop apps in 2.7...

For me, if the latest release doesn't improve on the old (whether in  
bug fixes or features) then I wouldn't call it an upgrade. If you buy  
an upgraded model of your old car you wouldn't expect it to go slower  
or have to keep the windscreen wipers on in order for it to work.
Personally I feel it's an indicator that something is wrong.

Fortunately I came in just before the 2.7.4 upgrade, and I have as  
yet to become proficient in Transcript, so I cannot comment on the  
specific issues raised, although it appears from the comments he  
placed that 2.7.4 seems to have taken too many steps back. In the  
same position I would have done the same.

I do not believe he has a  hidden agenda, or some sort of vendetta,  
as has been mentioned. Quite frankly I am disgusted that someone  
would have stated so after his detailed comments. Why hasn't the  
current thread on Multimedia Authoring, which has mentioned some  
shortcomings, received such a comment? We all know why.



> andre
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