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Guest artmartin

Explanation of Beta

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Please people, if someone uploads a piece of software to the file libraries here that is clearly labeled BETA, don't complain to the library managers if you find something wrong with it. I uploaded what I believed to be the 3rd and final Beta version of my new Autogen Editing software to the libraries last night and searched all day today for it to show up. When I got home today I had an email from the library manager telling me there had been complaints of a missing file and the file had been removed. I put my own email address and name inside the readme file included with the package and a plea to contact me with complaints, praise, damnation, and information about the user's experiences and recommendations. I got back some wonderful info that led to the package getting more and more stable each release. Now, if those people had instead sent me an email telling me what file was missing, I'd have a clue as to how to fix the problem.Obviously that path wasn't good enough for a couple of the 1000 or so people that downloaded the program, bypassed the desired communication, and complained to the staff here. I can't blame them for being upset if a file causes them problems. What a wonderful service they're providing for people like me that have no website to distribute a program like this. I'm providing this utility free and experiences like this make me feel like it's simply not worth the effort. Only thing that keeps me going are the wonderful letters coming back from responsible users thanking me for my efforts and helping me through the confusion of distributing a piece of software worldwide.Art Martin

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Art,First and foremost - thank you for your efforts. The vast majority of people who downloaded your annotator had no issues (from what I've read on the scenery design forum) and it's unfortunate that because of a few others who couldn't get it to run, the rest of us will have to wait...Stick with it. Hopefully you'll be able to figure out what the problem was without the benefit of further feedback from users, so that the next version will be a very useful utility.thanks again - and as I said in the other forum, if you need a tester, just drop me a line. I'm happy to download and try your BETA software...Best,sg

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>I'm providing this utility free and experiences like this make>me feel like it's simply not worth the effort. Only thing>that keeps me going are the wonderful letters coming back from>responsible users thanking me for my efforts and helping me>through the confusion of distributing a piece of software>worldwide.>>Art MartinWelcome to the world of FS where a tiny fraction of people try as hard as they can to drive developers crazy. Freeware developers get it bad, payware developers get it worse.My suggestion...ignore them and realize that the other 99.99 percent of people out there are greatful.... and for every email you get praising your work, there are 1,000 other people that are also happy but didn't take the time to email you.Matt

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This type of response to a problem is an excellent example of the underlying rage in today's fast-paced, high-pressure, society. Here in the USA salaries are going down as we change to a closer-to-parity income level with competing third world countries. The double whammy of inflation is taking hold at the same time. Both the wife and husband are now working full time. There is little more left to do to to maintain a standard of living that some believed to be sacrocant.Take this underlying atmosphere and overlay it on a hobby that people use as an escape for the pressures and they are suspectable to bursts of odd behavior. A strange event occurs. Downloading a program, out of mild curiosty, that does not work simply activates the Delete key. However, downloading a program that carries a strong anticipation of increased pleasure creates a problem. Failure of that type of program can really send off some people who lash out in anger. Ironically, a badly needed program that has problems promotes more anger than a mediocore one that fails. Disappointment is a bitter pill to swallow.Art, take heart. If the program was not highly desired the repoonse would have been different!Dick Boley @KLBE

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One thing wrong with that point of view (well, more than one but one relevant thing): the majority of the idiots who abuse developers are underage schoolkids who don't have to work a minute.In fact they don't do much of anything. They get the answers to their assignments from the internet, sue teachers for failing grades (or threaten to), and are generally spoiled brats.

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Undoubtedly true as well. Who knows what motivates people to be either mean or "un-thinking" when using the Internet. Regardless - I hope that Art can repair the problem and reload.Dick Boley @KLBE

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Well, I'd be fixing the problem if only one of those people had actually emailed me telling me of what it was. The library managers only message to me was that a file was missing. Since I can't access what they posted I have no clue if I neglected to include a file in the zip or the actual package was missing a control or dll or the 4 users that complained just like to whine. Exhaustive testing on multiple machines gave me no indication of missing install files. So now I'm in Catch 22. I can upload the same thing to Avsim again with my credibility gone so that they're on hair-trigger readiness to delete it again or simply look for another host. I've recommended to Avsim that they provide a new area in their library, one devoted to beta testing. They could put strong language on the files explaining the risks and responsibilities of beta downloads and implicit instructions that they never be contacted directly about results. With an upload to Avsim and their huge roster, it's all or nothing. You're guaranteed 1000 downloads in a day just out of curiosity when you're really only looking for a handful of responsible testers. Thanks for all the support,Art Martin

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Sorry if this is a duplicate since the original has not appeared..Why not email the program to requesting users asking that they report both success and failure and a description of their system. That way you will develop an idea of which systems may have problems - some or all.Dick Boley @KLBE

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Dick, I'd love to be able to do that but my network connection at home is over a modem and the program in its present form, even zipped, is over 5 mb. That's why the idea of hosting it in a central location is appealing to me. That way I only upload it once per version. I just never imagined it'd cause this kind of grief. Art

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I am with you Art--I did something similar with Landclass Assistant--although I didn't call it a beta there were certainly errors in it. The users who downloaded it and communicated the errors, as well as suggestions for improvement, were the ones who really made the program. Had someone whined and complained and gotten the project pulled, likely my program would have ceased to exist and those fellow programmers who followed with projects of their own would have been discouraged from developing newer and better landclass editors.-John

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I just posted in the Library Forum a recommendation to create an entirely separate beta program area with real restrictions to the users downloading from there. I think it's the ultimate solution to this problem. I certainly sympathize with the library managers about the complaints but it's the limitations of how we have to upload to the library, the all or nothing format, that leads to so many people downloading stuff they really have no business in. Hopefully Avsim will agree and add an area. It would be a tremendous service.It wouldn't only have to be for beta programs. Recently I saw a scenery designer getting very frustrated after putting out the airport environmental upgrade. I'm sure he put huge hours into it and was extremely satisfied with the work and proud of his accomplishment. Almost immediately people started whining about the stutters they got in their overtaxed systems and were demanding changes. A test area with some severe restrictions for feedback would've created a much less hostile environment.Art

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