So you think you can?

Zarcon posted 3rd of November 2009 in Community Voice. 15 comments.

I have been extremely surprised with the negative responses I have seen regarding the release of an RC version of Dolphin 7. At times, I myself have made a few disgruntled remarks, but not the point others have here (not quoting anyone in particular). Sure it's frustrating, but we all want RC to be as stable as possible and released as soon as possible. But it takes time.

Speaking from experience, I work for the largest payment solutions company in the world. My job is to manage a team of engineers who support our Online Bill Pay application for Banks and Credit Unions. We recently did a facelift on our application that took a year to complete. We are not talking a whole new product, we are talking a facelift with a handful of added features. We have a "nicely paid" department devoted to nothing but developing/coding. We also have a department specifically for QA.. Yep, when you go online to pay your bills, you may be relying on use to make sure they get paid :)

Just a hunch here, I'm sure Boonex is no where near the size of company that I work for and I can almost bet that they do not have the developers we do either. Who knows, some of the people developing Dolphin may even have actual full-time jobs other than coding for Dolphin. Heck, Boonex's QA department is US, the members. That's why we DO need to install the betas and test.

With that being said, Do you have any idea the catastrophe we would cause if we told our clients a "specific" date for a release. We tell our clients release dates by season such as , "Coming this Fall". If anyone is telling their clients (members) a specific time frame, then shame on you. Things come up, things break, new decisions are made. There are so many things that can delay a release. It's not like we don't have a working version of Dolphin at all.

** Breaking News- Actual Release Date of Dolphin 7 RC1 ***

I guarantee that Dolphin 7 RC1 will be release on the same exact day that Andrew on Victor posts the blog labeled " Dolphin 7 RC1 - Now Available with Online Demo". There, now you know.

I do not consider myself a butt kisser or a suck up (haha- stole from Lightwolf's post), however I do have the ability to put myself in there shoes. I do it everyday. It's my job.

For those who still cannot wait, I have a solution for you:

1) Download the latest updated version of Dolphin 7 Beta 8

2) Re-code the script yourself (you have all files you need)

3) QA/Install/Test  to verify all bugs are resolved

4) Post YOUR version at Unity

5) Allow members to download, attack, and destroy.

6) Accept all negative feedback, bugs, defects, enhancement requests.

7) Go back to drawing board and start over.

8) Repeat steps 2 - 7

So, any volunteers? You think you can do it better OR faster? I know I can't, so I will just sit back, relax and keep my mouth shut.

I know this is just asking for torture, so go ahead. But please be gentle :)

Chris

 
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mauricecano
There is negativity but I honestly believe the boiling point of negativity has been over the way boonex fails to communicate with anyone. Post and topics of bugs and other issues are made with no reply from boonex. Its gotten to the point where (aside from one great pundent) people have to beg to get program breaking bugs on the trac list.

I honestly think that if boonex spent a little more time interacting with the community all the negative attitudes and feelings would subside. Instead, people see more have no where to go and start making blogs about boonex when their negative feelings boil over. I'm not commneting on the content of the blogs themselves, but I do understand their frustration.

I am new to boonex and php and I'm trying to teach myself and learn the code to help as much as possible so I can post a fix if I can find one to help out. Dolphin is by far the best community and dating software on the market. It has its flaws but will be a great program once released. The delays in release are fine as they are polishing the program and implementing fixes.

The only thing I would like to see is a little more interactivity with the boonex team. I also understand they are very busy. However, there should not be week periods that go by without some sort of blog update or forum post concerning the software's development. Something along the lines....security update taking longer than planned, please be patient...is more than enough and goes a long way in engaging us and keeping everyone informed.
Profesize
Haha! I do admire the power humour has to calm things down.....and to finish it off with sarcasm....just brilliant!

At the end of the day, Boonex have a good product that we all want to be stable. I am currently on 6.1.4 and the reason I stopped there is because it was rather stable and also because every time I upgraded it NEVER went smoothly. There are still things in 6.1.4 that I find hard to believe are not fixed when there are obvious fixes out there in the form of mods that you have to pay see more for.

I guess that my case is different to others in that I have a site that is up and running and generating income despite it's niggles.

I am all for a stable version of Dolphin 7 and am prepared to wait, if it will help make my next attempt at upgrading much more simple.

However I do really feel for those that have been hanging on for the release of RC1 as it has been coming for a long time.

All I can suggest is that you go with the latest stable version and start your sites development now cause to be honest, who knows what may crop up to delay the release of RC1 between now and the actual day.

Just my two cents worth :)
Zarcon
@mauricecano - I totally agree that Boonex should be more informative with its updates on current releases. I also would like to see a bit more interaction between the members and the Boonex team. Definitely.

@Profesize - Again, agree as well. I too also have my site at 6.1.4. Its a free site. I am not trying to make a living off of my website, so delays are aggravating yes, but has no effect on my income at all. It's just a hobby for me :)

Thanks for your comments.
CALTRADE
Chris, this is just ridiculous - schedules and firm date commitments happen all the time in IT - you are not the only one here who has worked for a software company. Whenever people raise this as an issue, people jump in and say how wrong people for basing their business decisions on the official announcements here, and that "Boonex should take all the time they need". When you think about it, they are essentially saying people are stupid for believing Boonex - which seems to be much see more more of an insult to Boonex than to us. Someone on that other blog post you are referring to reminded us that many months ago it was going to be "a few more weeks". What is wrong with believing that? You're right about one thing though, "Boonex's QA department is US, the members" - unfortunately, without that upgrade script, they are getting lousy testing as few people get more than a few weeks into development before having to destroy their work to start all over. You are also right - it is like torture.

Rob
Zarcon
Hey Rob, I'm sorry you felt this was ridiculous. I also understand that I am not only who has ever worked for a software company either. But you should know as well as I do that IT/Software companies miss deadlines as promised all the time. Problems always seem to arise when you least expect it (just as Microsoft. haha)

It just seems to me that everyone is getting angry because they are going hungry or cannot pay mortgages because Dolphin 7 is not out yet or something. Is that really the case? see more

I am by no means defending anyone here, but this is a social networking software, that for some, was supplied for free. I do agree with you, as stated above, that Boonex should provide more communication/update progress to the members so at least we know something. But it just seems some are going a bit overboard with comments.

PS. Rob, there is nothing wrong with believing. Just try not to get too hopeful in case something falls through.
CALTRADE
I just looked it up, that "couple of more weeks" statement for D7 was made on the Boonex blog in November of 08 - almost a full year ago. Check out this forum thread I just found from a year ago: http://www.boonex.com/unity/forums/topic/new-dolphin-7-0.htm

Those same things could have been said last week - and many of them were!
CALTRADE
See Chris - Rachel agrees with you :-)
Zarcon
For the love of all creatures... ROB !!!! Did you do this to me? LOL j/k.
houstonlively
All I will say is, if you have never been part of an engineering team tasked with designing a new product, it is difficult to understand the intricacies, of making everthing work together.

I have never been involved with development efforts using php, mysql, javascript, flash, linux, apache, red5, video streaming, etc., so I can't speak in precise terms regarding development of products using those technologies. I've spent much of my career developing oil well logging instrumentation for Formation see more Evaluation, in Measuement While Drilling (MWD) applications. For those of you that don't know what I just said, MWD electronics must operate in an environment that includes 400° F ambient temperatures, and constant vibration levels of 25G's, and external pressures of 20,000 PSI. The instrumentation gets quite sophisticated because all data processing is done downhole, and the information is, transmitted to the surface in almost real time. No electronic equipment used by the military or by NASA in space vehicles would ever survive such an environment, in fact NASA and DOD frequently partner will oilfield services companies to develop ruggedized electronics.

Enough background. Developing these sort of products is a very difficult task. There are predetermined recipes for success. You can always use parts of what worked in the past, but you always need to develop new electronic sub-assemblies, write new firmware for embedded controllers, or Digital Signal Processors. The individual members of the engineering team work on their assigned tasks and do whatever environmental testing that needs done. Often hardware that does not make it through environmental testing will need reworking until it does. Did I mention that this sort of instrumentation also has to sit out in 40 below zero weather in places like Prudhoe Bay Alaska? (This is where you find out if the pressure seals work between the temperature ranges of -40° F and +400° F.)

Then come the fun part. We take all the hardware sub-assemblies designed by different engineers, and firmware written by the software guys and hook it all up together. We call it system integration. In 30 years, I have never, ever, not once, seen system integration work the way we wanted it to on the first try. Things interact in ways we did not anticipate. We make mistakes that need fixing. The firmware doesn't play with the hardware correctly. The firmware guys say the hardware is the problem. The hardware guys say the firmware is the problem. We do thing over until we get them right. Management wants the product yesterday. The engineers need more time. Eventually, we all work out the glitches, and send the stuff to manufacturing for a 'Pilot' build. Manufacturing build 10 complete instruments at a cost 3 million dollars. Then, the QC guys get their hands on the stuff and test all 10 instruments. OOPS... 9 instruments work great, but one is decidedly not working according to design specifications. Engineering department takes a closer look at the wayward instrument and finds that accumulated manufacturing tolerances of a number of electronic components, are responsible for the problem. It's back to engineering to come up with a fix, then have manufacturing rework all of the instruments. Whoa! Wait a minute! Some of the electronic components we used, are not available in a more precise tolerance, so we'll have to use some components from a different vendor.... Damn! now we have to go through environmental testing again.

Yes, it's a long winded story. All I can say is that even though I became quite comfortable with this type of engineering development, I still cannot give precise answers as to how long the development cycle will take. I can give estimates based on what I know at a given point in time, but that may change as I learn of imperfections in the design. Projects that originally planned for 6 months, stretch out for a year. One year projects, stretch out for 2 years. It happens a lot... to everybody. Are the engineers aware of how long it is taking? Yes... they are painfully aware. Will pep talks from managers magically make the engineers think faster? No. Are the customer impatient? YES.
mydatery
And that is exactly the reason I say that if your about to give a customer a time frame that you need to stuff a Twix in your mouth to keep you from speaking. Hell, if a Twix won't shut you up then whip out a machete and cut your tongue off, cut off your fingers if your typing/writing it or whatever else you need to do to NOT give them a hard time frame.

Keep this little fact in mind. In the world of math (since I do analysis type work) we have what we call "Real Numbers" and "Unreal see more Numbers"

A Real Number is a number that is tangible. We have 5 apples on the table, we know it is 5 apples because we can pick each of them up and count them.

An Unreal Number is a number that is NOT tangible. Water is the best example. Have you ever been able to count water? Measure water? Oh sure, you can call a gallon but a gallon is based upon weight. Now, I give 10 people a gallon jug each and ask each of them to put exactly 1 gallon of water in it, off they go to the spicket and each fills it to the line. I drop it on a scale that measure pounds and all 10 appear to be the same, but then I get out a scale that does pounds & ounces and only 8 are correct, 2 are off by a couple of ounces. Next up we bring in a scale that goes Pounds, Ounces and .1 ounces. Guess what, now we have 5 correct. Next we go out to 3 decimal places .001 and we find 2 are correct, finally we go to 5 decimal places and we have a miracle that 1 of them is correct, but when we go to 10 decimal places .0000000001 we find that even he is wrong.

Why? All of them filled it to the line precisely, but none of them are correct, because there is exact way to land on precisely 1 gallon, and if we keep moving the decimal point out we will find that it just doesn't work. A good example of this is a drop of water. You grab an eye drop and sqeeze out 1 drop, then you go outside and get hit with a drop from a thunderstorm, or you walk through a gentle shower and get hit with a drop that is smaller than the thunderstorm drop, perhaps you visit a waterfall and get hit with a drop of sprayback from the fall that is minute, shower's & waterhoses break water into drops but they are different sizes. While each is a drop, they are all different size drops and no 2 drops will ever be the same. That's part of why snowflakes are never identical (there is more to snowflakes than just the size of the drop though).

Why am I using water? Because time and water are both "Unreal Numbers" there is no exact measurement of each, they are both considered to be liquid/pliable/false/Unreal numbers and as such there will never be a concrete answer as to what the exact number is. While we can call it to a certain decimal point, someone else can always prove that answer wrong by just taking it to a further decimal point.

Like Houston said, it's a long winded story and we can go on for hours and days and weeks and months and years... Heck we can even go on for minutes and seconds and milliseconds and nanoseconds and someone will still find a smaller measurement of time by simply moving the decimal point out a few spots further...

The same is true with time.
houstonlively
Critical typo: There are predetermined recipes for success

Should be: There are NO predetermined recipes for success.

I sure wish Boonex would add a little more editing time.
Zarcon
HL, Long winded? maybe.. But makes a valid point. There is alot of work that goes into these types of programs. Just like you said, nothing is right the first time.

Oh Yeah, and to have YOU comment my blog without burning me a "new one" is very appreciated.. :)
houstonlively
Don't worry.. I'll burn you a new one sooner or later:) It's just a matter of time.
houstonlively
The point of my reply, is that it's fairly easy to give reasonably accurate time predictions regarding the things you know about. It's the things you DON'T know about, and the things you learn along the way, that mess the whole thing up.

And NO... I don't like delays. I DO understand why they happen though.
ziojon
I think the Dolphin7 RC is TERRIFIC... I can't wait to see what the future holds.
 
 
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