Bill's Boycott - was Open Letter to Rev: Quality Is Job #1 (Vista Install)

Bill Marriott wjm at
Sat Oct 21 01:51:17 EDT 2006

Stephen Barncard wrote
> so, you're not even an Enterprise user....and yet complaining about update 
> costs...sheeesh.
> Sorry, this is not a hobby for me, I'm serious about this thing.

Hey, nice job insulting me and every other Studio user on the list. FYI, I 
don't need Enterprise; I develop on Windows. Importantly, this goes beyond 
cost. It's about quality and confidence. I guess us Studio users should just 
zip it up and be grateful for what we got.

Some of the people you mentioned (or could be included in the "top 
developers" list)have acknowledged serious issues in the 2.7.x product, if 
not in this thread than off-list to me privately. [Several of them use an 
alternate IDE with the 2.7 engine or stick with 2.6.1. Why?] Not to mention 
the several "atta-boy" emails I've received from people who strongly agree 
and are just a bit smarter than I am to "say it like it is" publicly.

> Isn't the fact that many of us are paying even more for Enterprise, 
> stepping up to the plate, and getting involved mean something? Or do you 
> think we are fools for doing so?

No; I think as a group you're basing a lot more of your business/work on Rev 
than I am, either because you have been at it longer, have found a niche, 
come up with the right product, are better at it, etc. Only occasionally 
does someone give me the impression they're drinking some kind of Kool-Aid 
not sold in stores.

> They don't get paid for the bug reports they send in or the advice on this 
> why do they do it? I'll tell you. It's called community. Perhaps 
> you need to come to a Revcon someday to see how that works.

Chicken and egg situation again. The more you use Rev, the more you profit 
from it, the more you're invested in it, the more important it is for you to 
have the access afforded by the improve list & conferences, the more money 
you can justify in maintenance and travel, the better Rev developer you are, 
the more you can profit from it, and so on.

I understand the concept of contributing to a community. Most of my work is 
in FileMaker Pro. Check out comp.databases.filemaker; you'll see I post 
several messages there almost daily. It helps that FileMaker is a 
significantly more polished and respected product. But I also call a spade a 
spade. When someone points out a valid problem in FileMaker I don't jump all 
over them.

> You're probably 'certified' too, whatever that means...
> And yet you don't file bug reports for Rev.....isn't that disingenuous?
> Tell me this -- do you ever get direct communication back from a human 
> from Microsoft regarding your specific problems?

FYI, Microsoft has several active, public newsgroups. Not only do they have 
a cadre of "MVPs" who answer *every* question, but depending on the product, 
Microsoft employees and managers DO respond. The line of products for 
Microsoft Expression comes to mind as one forum that is very actively 
read/posted-to by the product managers and dev leads. Have I ever heard back 
from a human being from Microsoft about a problem I was having? YES, many 
times. Microsoft also maintains countless development blogs by employees 
(who provide insight on product direction and future capabilities without 
requiring NDAs) and frankly goes overboard in providing documentation and 
resources. I can hardly consume even 10% of the information in the CDs they 
send me every month as part of my MSDN subscription. I get phone calls 
inviting me to free, local seminars and emails about services to help me 
sell my products. The price of my MSDN subscription is less than the cost of 
Rev Enterprise and annual updates. Of course your counter to all this is 
"Micro$oft is a much bigger company with more resources, etc." so I don't 
know why you even bring them up. Just remember they started out small, too.

Disingenuous? I have filed a couple reports on Rev bugs and I promised I 
would file a couple more about the more easily described problems I 
outlined. However, what I put into a product has a lot to do with how well I 
think the feedback will be received and acted upon. People don't talk to 
brick walls, unless they're insane. FileMaker, Microsoft, and other 
companies are very professional about that, and that is why they get the 

I've been at this stuff a long time, Stephen. I've been on all sides of the 
beta testing, sales, and product quality chestnuts for companies large and 
small. One thing I've learned is that users with complaints are the ones you 
want to listen to the most. You take them seriously, you establish avenues 
for them to communicate with you, and most of all you do NOT dismiss or 
belittle them.

I am finding the tone of your responses to be increasingly personal. Tell 
you what... if you can't refrain from name-calling, how about we "step 
outside?" Email me and we'll have some fun there. I'd like the public 
discussion to be focused on the assessment of quality in 2.7.x and what can 
be done about it.

wjm at 

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