while I await my password...

Ben Rubinstein benr_mc at cogapp.com
Tue Mar 11 19:33:23 EDT 2008

On 11/3/08 18:08, Colin Holgate wrote:
> While I wait for my bug reporting password (are those created 
> manually?), I'll list some of the things that seem odd to me, to give 
> you a sense of what I mean, and for you to say if it's normal oddities:
> ....
> So, are some of these things that shouldn't be the way they are?

Hi Colin,

Good to hear from you again, and very good to see you in this forum.

Yes.  Some of these are "normal oddities", an excellent phrase!

I think you are in a valuable (to Rev) moment, and I urge you to give us the 
benefit of it.  Two things can happen when someone - especially someone 
experienced - encounters Revolution.  They run across a whole bunch of strange 
behaviours, throw up their hands in exasperation, and walk away.  Or they run 
across these strange behaviours, find their way around them, and find ther way 
past them to the productivity that they can nonetheless achieve; and quickly 
cease to see the quirks.  That's better, but unfortunately it means that the 
chances of the quirks being resolved are not increased.  I hope you'll do the 
second, but before you acquire the blindness that the rest of us now enjoy, I 
hope you'll make good use of your password to report all the oddities you see.

When I first started working with Metacard and shortly thereafter Revolution, 
I generated a slew of reports just as you are doing now.  (Unfortunately at 
that time neither the Metacard nor the Revolution teams, in different ways, 
were very responsive.  It was quite a long struggle from their friends/clients 
to persuade them that an open bug database would be a good thing.  I'm 
delighted to say that RunRev is now very different in its attitude, and 
genuinely listens to its users, and is far more dedicated to balancing 
development of new features with improvement and fixing of the existing 
product; and also substantially better equipped to do so.)  But now of course, 
I no longer notice most of these issues, until I witness a new colleague 
attempting to use the product - at which point I often find myself blushing, 
sputtering, and waving my hands.  After a few months, I think we unconsciously 
swerve past the open manholes etc, without even seeing them - as a result they 
are never reported, and have no chance of being fixed.

So please make good use of your password when it finally arrives!  I think 
Revolution is the true and a worthy descendant of HyperCard*, and I hope 
you'll find it so.  There's much here to appreciate, including many thoughtful 
and excellent extensions to the language and architecture.  But Revolution 
also partly pays the price for spanning several platforms; and also its 
history, which I won't bore with you now, means that the IDE has developed 
separately from the engine.  Stick with it, it's worth it - but please do 
report the things that strike you as odd - you'll mostly be right!

- Ben

* (It occurs to me it was probably around 1988 that I ran into you in Stockley 
Park when you were wearing a "Bill Atkinson is my hero" t-shirt.  Blimey: 20 

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