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thoughts about newsgroups


2007-03-30 07:08:24 AM
jbuilder15
One thing that I have been wondering about.
It seems that the newsgroups around here get pretty light traffic.
First of all, I think one cause is a catch22: since responses are not official and they sometimes questions are answered slowly or incompletely, I suspect that many people just don't bother asking questions here.
For example: I started asking questions in the group: borland.public.jbuilder.eclipse.projectassist and have gotten some good answers, but a number of my questions have remained unsaswered (5 or 6 have been waiting a week with no answer).
I realize I can pay support money to get some real answers, and I will do so once I purchase JBuilder 2007, but until I finish my evaluation, this seems to be my only form of support.
In the mean time, if support questions are not answered in a timely manner, then the oppportunity is lost to try the product and learn the features before the license expires.
My second thought is why does borland/codegear choose to use newsgroups for "informal support" instead of using forums? It seems to me that forums offer a number of features (such as setting auto notification, and allowing formatting or responses etc.). What I am getting at is that the easier a system is to use, the more likely it will be to get used.
Thoughts?
 
 

Re:thoughts about newsgroups

dingfelder wrote:
Quote
One thing that I have been wondering about.

It seems that the newsgroups around here get pretty light traffic.
Yes, they have been light in traffic since JBuilder was eclipsed
and it was no longer the Java IDE. Huge numbers of companies
decided they'd save money and that a free IDE offering less
productivity was better -- folks could just work longer for
the same pay.
Back in the day, these groups were a hoppin' place.
Quote

First of all, I think one cause is a catch22: since responses are
not official and they sometimes questions are answered slowly or
incompletely, I suspect that many people just don't bother asking
questions here.
That has always been the case -- questions which are difficult
do take more time. However, the wrenching change from the Primetime
to the Eclipse base has sent all of us scrambling. TeamB members
have been trying to come up to speed -- it's tough when some 8 years
of accumulated knowledge and intuition just go out the window in one
fell swoop. Then add on top of that the very complex developer stack
called Project Assist, well ... all I can say is that we all have
day jobs, families, and such.
Also, unless word of mouth and advertising bring back a lot of
former JBuilder, now Eclipse users, back to the fold, Eclipse
expertise will be thin.
Quote

For example: I started asking questions [...] have gotten some good answers
Yes, many from Bill Joy, on the JBuilder team. He's donating his
time here, in addition to working long hours on the next releases
of JBuilder 2007.
Quote
[...] but a number of my questions have remained unsaswered
(5 or 6 have been waiting a week with no answer).
Sorry. Everyone realizes that it would be best if TeamB and
other "experienced" (not too many hands are up) users could
swarm over your questions, but you have to consider yourself
an early adopter.
Quote
[...] My second thought is why does borland/codegear choose to use
newsgroups for "informal support" instead of using forums? It seems to
me that forums offer a number of features (such as setting auto
notification, and allowing formatting or responses etc.). What I am
getting at is that the easier a system is to use, the more likely it
will be to get used.
What you are forgetting is ... money. It takes a lot of money to
put that kind of forums in place, and at present, that's a luxury.
Hopefully your successes with JBuilder 2007 and Project Assist,
and you spreading the news will bring in the revenue needed for
such improvements.
Also, Web-based forums, are usually slow, and although they have
pretty faces, are by and large inefficient. Text-based NNTP newsgroups
have lasted so long because they are the most efficient way of
communicating. You don't need bold, italic, graphic smilies (in
fact, I've never had a keyboard which could make smilies -- those
key combinations have always been broken on mine, so I've never
been able to use them and don't want to start using them now).
Furthermore, there is no better and faster way to show quoting than
Quote
[...] please help!
Forget CSS or <blockquote>or any other HTML to do pretty stuff!
Give me the questions and answers in text.
--
Paul Furbacher (TeamB)
Save time, search the archives:
info.borland.com/newsgroups/ngsearch.html
Is it in Joi Ellis's Faq-O-Matic?
www.visi.com/~gyles19/fom-serve/cache/1.html
Finally, please send responses to the newsgroup only.
That means, do not send email directly to me.
Thank you.
 

Re:thoughts about newsgroups

Quote
>For example: I started asking questions [...] have gotten some good answers
Yes, many from Bill Joy, on the JBuilder team. He's donating his
time here, in addition to working long hours on the next releases
of JBuilder 2007.
Don't get me wrong, I very much appreciate the info I have gotten from You, Bill, Lori, Kevin and others... I do realize it takes time out of your otherwise busy lives and I am grateful to get any assistance I can.
Quote

>[...] but a number of my questions have remained unsaswered
>(5 or 6 have been waiting a week with no answer).

Sorry. Everyone realizes that it would be best if TeamB and
other "experienced" (not too many hands are up) users could
swarm over your questions, but you have to consider yourself
an early adopter.

Again, I hope I did not come across as being ungrateful. I am glad to get responses to questions when answers are known, but it does seem that at this point I am swimming in uncharted water and it is hard to get answers.
This is particularly tough for me in this specific situation as I do not have a support contract (as I am still trialing the software) and If I can not get the software working, I can not tell if it really works the way I need or not.
As you pointed out, until sales start coming in, resources will be limited, but yet I would ask: how can sales improve unless potential purchasers find the product easy to install and use? It is an unenviable position for Codegear for sure. (in this case I am referring to the projectAssist project) Hopefully the questions I have asked and the problems/issues I am raising get shared with the planners/decision makers so that future versions might make the product easier to use. I do think CodeGear has some great products, I just think they need a few tweaks.
Quote
What you are forgetting is ... money. It takes a lot of money to
put that kind of forums in place, and at present, that's a luxury.
I was actually thinking more of open source (free) solutions... granted they take people resources to install and upgrade etc, and need a location to run, but there are some pretty low cost options available.
Quote
Hopefully your successes with JBuilder 2007 and Project Assist,
and you spreading the news will bring in the revenue needed for
such improvements.
I definately try and contribute where I can (be it answering questions where I know answers, or discussing products I like in other forums, groups etc), as I do like all the CodeGear projects. I have been a loyal Borland user since Turbo C++, Turbo Pascal, JBuilder1 and Delphi1
Quote

Also, Web-based forums, are usually slow, and although they have
pretty faces, are by and large inefficient. Text-based NNTP newsgroups
have lasted so long because they are the most efficient way of
communicating.
I think we can agree to disagree here... Everyone has their own preferences, and mine are moe towards a graphical environment, be it under X, or Windows, and I prefer browser based communication over newsgroups myself.
Perhaps it is the fact that my last 2 ISPs have not offered newsgroup access, and I am too stingy to pay for 3rd party access... or perhaps I just like being able to add html like <code>to make my posts more readable. For sure I like added features like easy location of all posts I made recently, or automatic email notification of messages added to a particular forum or to a particular thread.
On the other hand, when I do find myself using a command line tool, then the extra stuff in messages is annoying, so I do see your point, but in most cases I like forums, and can live with slightly slower speed for their (what I percieve as) benifits.
Quote
I've never had a keyboard which could make smilies
:)
Thanks again for listening Paul.
 

{smallsort}

Re:thoughts about newsgroups

dingfelder wrote:
Quote
Again, I hope I did not come across as being ungrateful.
You didn't.
Quote
This is particularly tough for me in this specific situation as I do
not have a support contract (as I am still trialing the software) and
If I can not get the software working, I can not tell if it really
works the way I need or not.
Isn't install support still free? Of course, there's always some room
for interpretation as far as what is and isn't installation, but I would
argue that the issues you've been having with Project Assist are
installation. You might at least want to try a phone call to the
support line to see what happens.
--
Gillmer J. Derge [TeamB]
 

Re:thoughts about newsgroups

dingfelder wrote:
Quote
Perhaps it is the fact that my last 2 ISPs have not offered newsgroup
access, and I am too stingy to pay for 3rd party access... or perhaps
I just like being able to add html like <code>to make my posts more
readable. For sure I like added features like easy location of all
posts I made recently, or automatic email notification of messages
added to a particular forum or to a particular thread.

Connecting directly to the Borland/CodeGear newsgroup server works just
fine, no ISP newsgroups required - newsgroups.borland.com
As for the other stuff.... A good newsgroup reader will suffice. And/or
you can use Google Groups.
--
Regards,
Lori Olson [TeamB]
------------
Save yourself, and everyone else, some time and search the
newsgroups and the FAQ-O-Matic before posting your next
question.
Google Advanced Newsgroup Search
www.google.ca/advanced_group_search
Other Newsgroup Searches:
www.borland.com/newsgroups/ngsearch.html
Joi Ellis's FAQ-O-Matic:
www.visi.com/~gyles19/fom-serve/cache/1.html
 

Re:thoughts about newsgroups

OK, that is good to know, thanks.
I installed sea monkey (integrated firefox, email, newsgroups, composer,
etc) and am trying a reply from there.
Thanks for the tip.
Cheers,
Ding
Lori M Olson [TeamB] wrote:
Quote
dingfelder wrote:

>Perhaps it is the fact that my last 2 ISPs have not offered newsgroup
>access, and I am too stingy to pay for 3rd party access... or perhaps
>I just like being able to add html like <code>to make my posts more
>readable. For sure I like added features like easy location of all
>posts I made recently, or automatic email notification of messages
>added to a particular forum or to a particular thread.
>

Connecting directly to the Borland/CodeGear newsgroup server works just
fine, no ISP newsgroups required - newsgroups.borland.com

As for the other stuff.... A good newsgroup reader will suffice. And/or
you can use Google Groups.