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Stobe
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03/09/16 08:56 PM (5 years ago)

Knock Knock (Who's there?) Stobe (Stobe who?) Touche'

Friends, Oh how time flies. It seems like just yesterday we were sharing deep dish pizza, and taking an epically long hike just to see David attempt to dance. But that was almost a year ago! Wow. Although I have been visibly absent lately, I've tried to keep an eye on the forums, and answer the occasional email. If I failed to reply to any emails, I apologize. Been a crazy year for me also (not nearly David-level crazy, though). I've kept in contact with David regularly. Through the years I've become less of a technical asset to David, but continue to be an emotional asset, I hope. (I try to keep him away from ledges and bridges). We've been chatting recently about some of the same things listed in his recent forum update. I can vouch for all the "invisible" work that he does to keep the lights on at Buzztouch, and am constantly amazed by the amount of that work. Don't worry, this is not going to be a love letter about David. I'll admit that we don't always agree on things, and I'm not afraid to (attempt) to correct him when needed. (but dammit, he's usually right, afterall!) I'd like to offer my viewpoint and opinions about the current state of things. And remember, this is from Stobe, a long-time BT user (whoa, just noticed I passed the 5 year mark) (squirrel!) First of all, I can tell you that David is both equally passionate and frustrated about BT at the same time. If it were one or the other, it would be sooooo much easier for him to make the tough decisions. Quick side story to set the mood about the above statement. (you knew I couldn't get through this without going into story-teller mode....) In 1999, I bought a 1979 Pontiac Trans-Am. T-tops. Black with the gold phoenix. Smokey and the Bandit! For the next year or so, I spent every spare minute, and every spare penny on making that car as awesome as I could. I drove it with pride, and every fine honey waved when I drove by. (Granted, I lived in Florida. And it was hard for most of the "honeys" to take one hand off their walker to wave at me.) 2 years later, I had my first daughter. Time any money priorities shifted majorly. And like women, classic cars don't fare well when you don't give them enough attention. (just a joke. calm down, ladies!). Another year later, I moved my family to Virginia. The moving company off-loaded the Trans-Am in my side yard, where it sat for years. I knew I didn't have the time or money to put back into it to get it fully bitchin' again, but I also didn't want to let it go. I was caught in the ultimate catch 22: I knew I could make a lot more money selling it, if I could just invest some time and money into it. But I didn't have the time and money. And If I just let it go, I would lose a lot (both monetarily, and emotionally). If any of that made sense, then try to put yourself in those shoes, and you'll know what David is going though. So here's what I know.... -David says Buzztouch isn't going anywhere! (David saved that point for last, but I thought it warranted a front row seat in this discussion). -David is putting a lot of thought into the future method of paying the BT bills and keeping the servers running. There is a lot involved in this bullet point. "Business" vs "Free". What that would mean to you all (paying members and non-paying alike). Where would the money come from. What the future expectations of the audience would be. This is going to be a very complicated decision. Period. We are talking through the options, and at some point a plan would need to be created for either scenario. -Currently, you probably can't "help" David. I know you all mean well. And I know you genuinely want to help. Want to lighten the load. Want to do whatever you can. From everything I know about Buzztouch and David, these offers are appreciated, but realistically don't help. The best thing we can all do to help David is to lend a hand in the forums, and be the first and second line of defense when it comes to supporting other members. Everything else "behind the scenes" is like a four million piece puzzle, and only David knows where the ziplock baggies of pieces are stored. We would just get in his way. I'm not by any means defending that reality, or saying it's at all smart. (Because it's not!) But that's just the way it is. -This mobile stuff we love is wayyyy more complicated than it used to be. Things were so much simpler when there was one iPhone. One screen size. One version of iOS. (And no Android). I know David touched on this, but its important enough that I wanted to reiterate it. -Things would be a lot easier if there was no legacy involved. All the awesome plugins that revolutionized what we could do with Buzztouch are now ticking time bombs that would need to be defused before they could be included in something new. My opinion is to just make the "new thing" and worry later about making the old stuff work with it. But I can't speak for everyone. All this being said, I can tell you that I'm pitching David on some ideas that I think would work, and could bring some new life into this awesome tool/community. But I'll admit that I have a habit of over-simplifying things that David later has to set me straight on. Included in my pipe-dream of a plan would be: Ways to add some of the innovations that we've all talked about over the last few years. Ways to re-gain the support and confidence of the BT audience that has been dwindling away. Discussions about the pro's and con's of a business model versus a crowd-sourced product, and how to transition the current practices to either of those two. And with any luck, figuring out if David can get closer to BT paying both BT's bills and David's bills. This was never a priority in the beginning. And by the time it became a priority, it was too late (the Trans-Am was parked in the yard.....) So continue to love Buzztouch. Continue to show your support in the forums. Stop trying to help until help is asked for (that's a tough one, I know). And stay tuned..... I have hope, and I know most of you still do as well. Your friend and fellow code-butcherer(er?), Chris / Stobe
 
Niraj Shah
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03/09/16 10:17 PM (5 years ago)
Thanks for an insider's viewpoint. Appreciate it. Software is indeed a complex beast. Emotions are quite sophisticated. Running a business requires deft handling of both. It is hard, very hard indeed. David has given us insight into those difficulties on the web conferences, on the forums and in person. Yet he is unwavering in the commitment to the Community. I give him the emotional permission to make significant changes that breaks away from the legacy code base. Change is good. We will survive. We will be stronger with the change. It will be painful at times. We will learn new things. It's fine, bring it on! :-) -- Niraj
 
sarahk
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03/09/16 11:45 PM (5 years ago)
If I can just get over the hump of getting my first project live I'd love to come to a BuzzCon and learn more and start messing with plugin creation. I love the idea of making the making of apps easy
 
Dusko
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03/10/16 01:10 AM (5 years ago)
>I give him the emotional permission to make significant changes that breaks away from the legacy code base. Change is good. I do to. CHANGE IS GOOD should continue to be our motto. We shall survive just as we did when he introduced version 3.0 instead of version 2.0.
 
GoNorthWest
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03/10/16 01:26 AM (5 years ago)
Epic post, Chris! I, too, have been bending David's ear over the past while, and I know he struggles immensely with it all. David, like most of us, is super passionate about what he does, and about Buzztouch especially. But, bills are bills, and some things have to give from time to time. I can't even imagine being faced with the decisions that David has to make at the moment. I have a hard enough time deciding between Coke and Pepsi sometimes! (love my Pepsi!) It'll all eventually work out. David loves Buzztouch...we love Buzztouch...it's a framework that's absolutely meant to stand the test of time. For those not willing to wait, there are a ton of alternate solutions out there. For the rest of us...we'll continue to plug along, helping each other out to develop the best apps and app developing community in the world. I'm in it for the long haul, and I'm here to help as best as I can! Mark
 
MadRod
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03/10/16 02:26 AM (5 years ago)
Thanks Stobe. Now lets get a BuzzCon 2016 rolling so we can discuss this in person...
 
MacApple
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03/10/16 10:43 AM (5 years ago)
Stobe! I remember the days we used to run through the meadows together. No, wait, wrong forum. I'll get my coat.
 
feraco
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03/10/16 11:56 AM (5 years ago)
I here you! Lets keep a positive attitude.
 
DougJoseph
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03/10/16 03:38 PM (5 years ago)
Stobe, who? :-) Thanks for the update. Re: the GitHub post: Is that kosher? Is David OK with that?
 
Stobe
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03/10/16 04:02 PM (5 years ago)
Already squashed. Taken care of. Exactly my point about "helping". And as much as we've all grown accustomed to emailing and texting David our thoughts and questions, try to limit your questions to the forum. That way David can answer them more openly and publicly. And he won't have to potentially answer the same question multiple times. This also allows David to answer on his own schedule. When he has time. I think he feels compelled to answer texts/emails quicker, which just compounds the time sink. @MacApple. Meadows? How much did I drink in Vegas?? @MadRod. That would be awesome. Not sure about this year. Although I would volunteer Ian's farm for a pretty righteous unofficial party. (I'm not sure if I'm really allowed to offer up his farm, though, lol!)
 
DougJoseph
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03/10/16 04:04 PM (5 years ago)
Thumbs up.
 
Kaybee
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03/10/16 11:07 PM (5 years ago)
Great post stobe !! I guess we all feel the same, there must be something we can do to help !! Sometimes it just be patient... other times its not. I am very excited to see what David comes up with, but I can wait for it. Never rush a genius/artist. I personally think we should band together and form a crowd funding initiative, its not a bail David out, its more of fund BT to enable it for say 12 months to employ David and anyone he thinks needs to be part of it, to come up with a new BT for 2017. Those that value BT will be very wiling to contribute majorly to its success. So when D is ready and go to the next level, let us be ready to support him. Regards Kristen
 
MacApple
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03/11/16 04:53 PM (5 years ago)
@Stobe - The meadows were St Louis. Can't believe you would forget, dead to me.
 
mutzy
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03/13/16 08:56 AM (5 years ago)
I have been around since the beginning and have no problem paying for Buzztouch. As others have mentioned I can even live with how it is now although there is the potential for it to be so much more. It's always good to see David on the forums but it seems there is a post over few months that gets everyone else excited, but then no results. It sounds like he is trying to do too much for too many people all at once. I personally would be perfectly happy paying David to manage the back end (which he does now already), help out in the forum, and manage/update all core/plugin files. Actually, just having David handle all the plugins (and more?) alone is worth the membership fee. But that's just me. In the meantime I'll keep trying to figure this stuff out on my won. Josh
 
ianJamesPiano
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03/14/16 04:56 PM (5 years ago)
The farm works for me!! Plenty of Grampy's Green Tomato Wine too!
 
MacApple
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03/14/16 05:02 PM (5 years ago)
Plenty of what? You said alcohol, yes?
 
ianJamesPiano
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03/14/16 05:20 PM (5 years ago)
Oh yeah and even the Irish have trouble downing this stuff!
 
MacApple
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03/14/16 05:33 PM (5 years ago)
St Pats day! My birthday! The world celebrates. Damn fine to see your name. Call me sometime MF.
 
thegibcoyote
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03/20/16 08:32 AM (5 years ago)
I support BT and have done so for many years. Already made my new payment a few weeks ago based on the new payment plan. Glad to help as best I can....without bothering David lol. I too agree that breaking from what we have and building anew is the best way forward...and back that up 100%. We can all fix what we have built later. Best of luck and thanks Stobe for insight !
 
Tony @ Buzztouch
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04/06/16 09:58 AM (5 years ago)
Keep calm and Buzztouch On..... :) Tony Buzztouch
 
Tony @ Buzztouch
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04/06/16 09:58 AM (5 years ago)
BTW, awesome post Stobe!!!
 
freesoftwarewiz
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04/20/16 01:05 PM (5 years ago)
You post is helpful Strobe - elucidating. :-) We have been paying members since the beginning, so that is not of issue to us. I do NOT agree that ALL change is good (Coke found that out the hard way!) I have purposely NOT emailed David directly - both because we have been swamped, and because I KNOW just how distracting that is, as you almost HAVE to answer them (the senders get emotional :) That alone would be a big help I'm sure. I love BT and the whole concept of simplifying APP making via the BT style framework and "Plugins" - as a WordPress supporter, it is a familiar construct. :-) And Strobe is spot on: I doubt we can be much help to David. I maintain 2 "APP Making" sites on 2 servers (HTML5/template to hybrid APP creation method), and it would take more time and effort to just EXPLAIN to anyone where all the pieces and parts are kept to have them 'help' change or maintain it, than it would to just do it myself! I suspect it is even more complicated for the BT backend. I participated in several crowd sourcing approaches (such as the kickstart for LiveCode going open source), so that suggestion has merit for David's situation I believe. To me, the challenge is divorcing the "plan" from the "implementation", because it is bloody difficult to figure out both at the same time - you tend to end up doing a wee bit of tail chasing! :-) But it would appear that most of us here are willing to throw in, one way or the other. That is where I would start. :-) Joe C.
 

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