Missing a chance

Richard Gaskin ambassador at fourthworld.com
Wed Aug 31 11:55:34 EDT 2016

Lagi Pittas wrote:

 > Richard
 > You totally missed my point.

It seems we missed each other's points.  Mine was about ROI.

 > First off if the website is taking 24 hours of the developers time
 > then there is a problem. I went on the main site and there was a link
 > to the documentation yesterday - and guess what page not found...

Requiring me to guess unfortunately leaves me at a disadvantage for 
helping you:  while I have submitted bug reports for broken links as I 
come across them in the past, clicking the "API" link in the footer of 
the main page takes me to the API page as I would expect.

While link-checking is important, it's also a very separate matter from 
this thread about asking the team to take time away from other things to 
add their programming tool to lists of tools in the rather different 
category of authoring tools (more on that below).

Just the same, of course we want to see good links there so if you come 
across broken links in the future please submit a bug report for those. 
If the one you referred to here is still present, please consider 
offering guidance that would allow the team to fix it and I'll happily 
forward that for you.

 > But more important is the fact that we all have "day jobs" as in I'm
 > self employed but I still scan the web for interesting stuff to do
 > with livecode or fox or PDF or Pytghon or whatever.

Many of us do.  And when I come across a listing of tools where LiveCode 
might be relevant, I find it takes me less time to suggest it to the 
site owner than it does for me to write about it here as something for 
someone else to do.

Moreover, nominations to any such list will carry more weight when they 
come from happy users, rather than from the vendor directly where 
they're often seen as just cheap attempts to get free advertising.

All SERPs can be useful, but organic SERPs are the ones worth pursuing.

 > I would suggest that instead of looking at dancing cats - i'm being
 > facetious here - just take a little time out to do what Richmond and
 > others did.

Rather than post to this list about something simple I want to see 
happen, I'll often just do it.  Saves everyone time, including me.

 > Here's a suggestion why don't RR hire one of these virtual assistants
 > that cost maybe $400 or $500 a month (it's not peanuts when a house
 > costs less than $15000 in the Philipines - so we are not using slave
 > labour) and give him the task of spreading the word full time 50 of
 > us paying $10 a month would do that and we save time arguing what
 > should be done - Im sure these last 2 postings have cost both of us
 > more than $10 in time.

The LiveCode forums are spammed daily by "mechanical turks" hired to do 
that sort of thing for other companies.

To make sure such listings are relevant requires good knowledge of what 
LiveCode is, and what it isn't, and the ability to tailor descriptions 
well for the specific target venue.

I tend to use LC for a wide range of UI-related graphics work, as well 
as for charts, user journey maps, and other basic illustration tasks. 
But if I were to submit it to every list of drawing tools I come across 
I'd only annoy the site owners and disappoint those who download 
LiveCode expecting something other than an excellent multi-platform GUI 
app dev kit.

LC is closer to authoring tools than to drawing tools, but 
out-of-the-box it's not quite the same thing.

That's a bigger discussion than I have time for this morning, but 
perhaps the best way to appreciate how authoring tools like Adobe 
Captivate distinguish themselves from development tools it may be 
helpful to look at some of those distinctive features, which often include:

- Thumbnail views
- Ways to link views
- Media import and integration
- Presentation templates
- Assessment templates
- LMS integration

All of those things can be built in LiveCode, and even in Microsoft 
Visual Studio, Delphi, XCode, and a wide range of other development tools.

But in a development tool you'll need to program them yourself, while an 
authoring tool is a software in which its programmers have already 
delivered those features in a GUI.

Some authoring tools provide a scripting language, but even when they do 
the successful ones offer it as an option, with critical-path authoring 
tasks well supported in the provided GUI.

A big part of the xTalk work I've been doing for clients over the 
decades has been crafting authoring add-ons for the development tool. 
In each case the client has an established presentation appearance and 
flow in mind, and we build combinations of templates and tools to make 
production of interactive media for those flows much easier.

With this experience I know firsthand how excellent a fit xTalks are for 
supporting authoring needs.  And LiveCode is arguably the most capable 
of all, certainly offers the broadest platform coverage.

But many of the features that distinguish authoring tools are not 
included in the out-of-the-box experience in most development tools, not 
even our favorite one.

We can change that, of course.  LiveCode is quite flexible, and offers 
an excellent foundation for building many things.

One useful step in that direction is a community project in the EDU 
Outreach forum for assembling stacks that make the experience of 
developing software with LiveCode a bit closer to an authoring experience.

 > I totally agree with you on your main point that we can all get more
 > money but we can never get back our time - $500 a month to get the
 > word out, when RR is "in the best financial position in this decade",
 > come on now something doesn't add up - I would suggest no thinking
 > outside the box in marketing. Nothing need be put further back in the
 > queue.

Being able to solidly move their development efforts forward does not 
necessarily equate to having piles of unused cash floating around.

When prioritizing any activities for any business within the practical 
confines of our finite world, any good manager will consider opportunity 

  - From which current initiatives would you recommend they pull that
    $500 to cover the cost of this proposal?

  - And to guide future prioritization, what metrics would you suggest
    for assessing ROI relative to the tasks set aside?

  Richard Gaskin
  Fourth World Systems
  Software Design and Development for the Desktop, Mobile, and the Web
  Ambassador at FourthWorld.com                http://www.FourthWorld.com

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