Discussion Forums  >  Grunts, Groans, Complaints

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Bonzo
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09/21/15 02:57 AM (4 years ago)

Is the community fading?

I've been a member a few years now and love BT. Never thought id ever have apps in the app store which actually make money until i stumbled across this place.

But....

I remember the day when i was on the forum daily just to keep up with all the posts, a lot with helpful pieces of code and suggestions....

Now. i can access the site once a week and i can see all posts in one page...

I'm hoping its not the case the BT is fading away or at least the forum.

Bring back the good old days! :)

P.S. i would love an eDelivery plugin if anyone is bored ;) somewhere i can capture a signature and it then emails to the email address i supply
 
SmugWimp
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09/21/15 03:20 AM (4 years ago)
I keep an eye out, but I'm pretty busy these days, which is kind of a good thing. Paydays are further out than I'd like, but larger than usual so eventually it all works out.

My beacon project is almost at a close; we're just tidying up some small details. But it's working superbly, and I can't be happier. There is the potential to escalate this to a few car dealerships, so I'm really hammering out the details on this one.

Along side that project, is another (not entirely app related) tracking project for remote administration of rental vehicles, using Tracking Devices with OBD2 data connections over SMS messaging. This will allow the rental agency to rent vehicles remotely, with pre-approved clients (students at our local university) and they can lock/unlock the vehicles, as well as gather the odometer, gas level, and other of the typical readings without having an agent or representative within miles of the car. Our initial test will be with 5 vehicles. The 'app' part hasn't been approved yet, but basically it'll be a CustomURL wrapper around a network capable remote admin screen. Nothing really fancy needed; Custom HTML Page templates are part of the Tracking Server software that I utilize; I just need to modify one or two things and it's over.

That said, unless I have a question or an answer, I've been keeping my nose to the grindstone; I've got a lot of things to do.

I'm hoping the reason there are so few questions recently is because everyone figured out how to do everything ;)

Hope it's all good wherever you may be... :)

Cheers!

-- Smug
 
LA
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09/21/15 07:23 AM (4 years ago)
Never!




LA
 
Dusko
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09/21/15 08:34 AM (4 years ago)
I have been custom coding for BT for a year and half by now. I work for agencies that use BT as an app engine and let me tell you, they have dozens and even hundreds of apps in the stores. They are busy getting new customers, fulfilling their needs, finding contractors (like myself and others here), and so on. If you stick to several tried and tested plugins, preferably working for both platforms, you do not really have to spend much time in the forums.

As I see it, BT forums are for novices, and for difficult questions of why this or that plugin stopped working, how to get to grips with new versions of iOS and Android, and the similar. There are also courses on BT on Udemy, Kindle and elsewhere, so people may go there for answers too.

Happy and calm people rarely post on forums, only the excited ones do!
 
LeonG
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09/21/15 10:22 AM (4 years ago)
I think the traffic went down mainly because some main members kinda disappeared and/or don't really build apps and or plugins themselves anymore.

Chris has his new job now, Kittsy totally disappeared, David is busy with earning money, Stobe does not record much lately, old members like Danny are not around anymore, Susan is more in the web business, etc...

With Apple TV and a new cool approach from David, a new era could start!
 
AlanMac
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09/21/15 11:16 AM (4 years ago)
I personally think there was more 'energy' in the forums when I first started. There was a time of expansion when a management team came together to help David Book. That seems to have faded away and David appears to be on his own again, which I think is a bit of a shame.

I also think it is harder to get up to speed than it was when I started, so maybe Buzztouch isn't attracting people at the rate it needs to or used to?

What can we do to help?

Alan
 
Absentia
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09/21/15 12:01 PM (4 years ago)
I can say I definitely had more of an excitement for the first couple of years of using Buzztouch...I think that might be the case for a lot of people. People come here and realize that it is actually possible to make apps and possibly make a lot of money doing it, then they kind of take off and do their own thing with it

There was a couple years that I was single and having fun learning about making apps from this community and having a lot of success with it - now I'm married and its started to feel a lot more like work. It gets harder to make money in the App Store every year.

I still stop by these forums all the time to see what's new but I haven't found much reason to post lately..despite that I still think it's an awesome community that has helped me in countless ways

Another reason the forums might be less active is because a lot of the long time posters are now real life friends and they keep in touch in different ways
 
MacApple
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09/21/15 05:33 PM (4 years ago)
Some good comments and replies on this thread.

Will post mine when I get to my laptop!
 
mrDavid
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09/21/15 07:05 PM (4 years ago)
There's so much to post like @MacApple is suggesting, but quick two cents: a lot of us "long time" members still keep in touch personally, and lots of us are doing different projects (many still app/code related) and have become busy with life, etc. Many of us need less help these days too. I'm thinking that buzztouch isn't attracting as many new members that are supposed to become the next generation of "long time" members, if that makes any sense, who knows why, and who knows if I'm even right on that issue, we can only speculate forum activity. Usually forums work that way, old members go and do their things, new members come in excited and become old members, generations of different people coming in and out, etc.

I don't know much, but I do know that Buzztouch is always doing something cool behind the scenes, and I suspect we still have many many years of surprises ahead of us. @AlanMac, I think the best way we can help right now is to help spread BT's word, although @DBook is technically made of magic, he can't build and maintain and awesome product full-time without folks like us to help spread that word.

I don't remember a day this month or last month that I wasn't doing something BT related. I just need lots of less help now... I'll try and step up and help on the forums more, I'm just so busy these days. Pretty awesome. Pretty crappy. Nice to see some faces here though. :-)

mrDavid
 
MacApple
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09/21/15 07:21 PM (4 years ago)
MrDavid! My top jail breaking bro.
Smug! My top island dweller.
Bonzo! My second favourite avatar on here!
Absentia! Owe you!
AlanMac! Can I have my ten cents back?
LeonG! You're LeonG!
LA! (Home of the body bag!)
Dusko! Have you seen my wash board?

Some good comments and replies on this thread.

Will post mine when I get to my laptop!
 
David @ buzztouch
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09/21/15 08:40 PM (4 years ago)
Hi Gang,

"Is BT fading" Short answer. YES. But, naturally and normally and not surprisingly. But, it can shine again. Two ideas...

Firstly: Like anything, such as humans, age tends to change far more than one could realize prior to reaching the "age" of aging. If that makes any sense. A 20 yr. old could never guess what it's like to be a 60 yr. old. They could speculate but never know for sure. Buzztouch shares lots of similarities with this comparison. It's not young anymore, it's aged naturally, it's different than it ever was (for good and for worse) it's far more mature, and less prone to take risks. Old timers (like all of us on this thread) may say "it's very different or fading away" because it is. It's natural, it's different. Time has affected it. But, like any middle aged human (is 60 middle aged?), there are decades to go.

Secondly: We all know (us old timers) that things change over time, and change is good. I hear everyday how great BT "WAS" at helping somebody get started. Helping somebody put a career together. Helping somebody achieve their goals. How cool is that! I also hear that it's "TOO BAD" BT isn't giant, profitable beyond our wildest dreams, a market dominator, etc. etc. Most of these supportive remarks come from "long timers" who whitnessed first hand the tremendous amount of VISIBLE energy I put into this not so long ago. We put into this. You put into this. I honestly believe that many many people "wish me financial success" - for good reason. I deserve it. Yeah, I just said that. But, deserving and getting are two different things.

It wasn't too long ago that each and every one of us was super stoked, excited, fascinated by this wonderful new world of mobile. iOS - WTF! This thing was amazing and changed the world. Literally. None of us could get enough of it . The gadgets were infectious. Hanging out with folks that "understood" the interest was also infectious. BT's forums (and chillin' with like minded buddies all over the world) were also infectious.

THEY STILL ARE.

However, in the early days a very small amount of us, do to this early-days-addiction, embraced and helped a very very large number of new site visitors. We all know these super-fan peeps. Look at the top 25, you know who they are. I won't name names for fear of leaving somebody out. I was also in that list. Today, our collective enthusiasm, priorities, motives, eager outlook and a few other key indicators have changed. We've moved on in many ways in many different directions. This is expected, natural, not surprising.

IF THE NEW USERS AND LOYAL LONGTIMERS WERE EMBRACED BY ME AND THE GANG we would have a very different feeling. We all know this. It's OK to recognize the lack of visiblity.

However, it's easier said than done. BT is not a highly profitable business. It's barely profitable at all. Many of you have speculated that it should be. I can show you a very long list of BT folks that earn far more dollars than BT. Lame right? It is what it is. Many of you have speculated that it should be "easy" to make money doing this. I can assure you that it's not. Illegitimately, maybe. Hobby money, maybe. Legitimately, not so much. Making a "few bucks" is one thing. Making a living is another thing altogether. Making a living for a staff is yet another thing. Think back on the folks "making more money than David" thanks to BT. Do you think they have revenue to support an actual, legitimate, REAL tech business? Said another way, do you think they have hundreds of thousands of dollars of annual sales? I doubt it. That's what it takes folks, running a legitimate tech company capable of supporting a real-life-helpful-fix-this-for-me-staff isn't cheap. Hint: A one yr. computer science graduate commands $100K plus in California. A CEO with a long list of responsibiliteis is also not cheap. That's me folks.

BT IS NOT GOING AWAY but surely it will need to change yet again in order to survive. It will survive. It may or may not become my living. It will however continue to inspire, support, and help anyone interested in mobile. As a business? Maybe.

Thanks for caring, I care too...

d.
 
MacApple
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09/21/15 09:17 PM (4 years ago)
What he said.

Still not at laptop.
 
Derval
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09/21/15 09:23 PM (4 years ago)
One thing is clear from this thread: BT and David still have a pretty solid fan base which is pretty cool. For sure activity on the forum has slowed down as people move on to new pastures (or, as @Absentia points out, folks are keeping in touch in different ways) but a lot of us are still in the same field and got started in this whole mobile business thanks to BT. I for one, am very grateful for that and look forward to seeing what form BT takes as it continues to survive while so many other players in this field have disappeared completely.
 
CMCOFFEE
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09/21/15 09:39 PM (4 years ago)
I decided to go for my bachelors in Software Engineering since it will only be a year to year and a half more of school. Others and I have given so much links of helpful posts I dont think there is that much more to give. I do believe buzztouch should be a industry standard framework for all business to create professional mobile apps.It basically already is, but the other masses havent recognized that yet I guess, Idk. Other 'app building sites', are just not as grown as buzztouch honestly. The others may seem like it but they're horrible to me. They're software has limits unlike buzztouch you know. Plus David has made alot of cool upgrades that he hasnt released.

Ive made alot of plugins for both platforms I havent released yet because I'm making them more 'interactive'. Plus the ones Im not close to finishing or even the ones that are close to being finished, I will probably not release, because David probably already made better versions. I do it just for practice anyway, I dont really make money besides making custom plugins for others. The coolest thing programming has taught me is, to never give up. All great things come with patience.Buzztouch is amazing!
 
Kaybee
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09/21/15 10:18 PM (4 years ago)
Great to see the support here in response to a fair question.

I agree with all the comments above. of course we all go through different seasons in our lives and have different areas we focus on as things evolve. What the BT forum has already is a whole heap of knowledge buried in previous posts.

Has the forum become more of a old members club maybe... I know when I started and to some degree still think, if I post a question on the forum everyone will know how little I know lol.

My position currently is that I have moved on from a beginner developer making basic entry level apps, to rather being a business analyst and helping my clients come up with value adding apps, I tend to spend all my time communicating with the client and helping them makes use of the mobile world to make managing their business quicker, easier and always online by the use of mobile tech. I use a few of the BT forum members to do the real coding work.

Gone are the days I would spend 2-3 hours reading through the forum, there are still pearls of wisdom and things worth sharing. I don't think the forum has any less value to me than it did in the past. Whats great is there is always a response to any post within 24 hours, to me that means it is serving its purpose. I know if I post something today I will have an answer or some kind of support by the days end.

Where to now for David and Buzztouch, well that the million dollar question ;)

The user base has changed clearly, the % of experienced users vs newbies must be bigger for us oldies in this thread. Only David can clarify the stats. So the question is what should BT be to this audience? Where should David spend his energy on BT to make it a business that can firstly support him 100% then continue to grow and became of stature that he doesn't need to be the "...bottle washer" but rather the CEO.

For us here now, probably some kick ass plugins and more in depth training to help us make some amazing apps, watch apps and tv apps etc etc.
For newbies, its probably something entirely different, maybe some more holding of their hand to get an app done etc.

Whatever David does I think the pricing needs to change, right now the price of being a BT member is so cheap its not worth the time to pay it. I don't think any of you would batter an eyelid if David was to charge more.

But having said that, what do we as a community want from BT? Put your requests in to David, I think its important for him to know what we want to help him deliver a solution.

Looking forward to see how things develop in the coming months
 
Wissam
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09/21/15 10:22 PM (4 years ago)
The main question should be, Why is the plugins market fading??
When was the last WOW plugin released??
 
mrDavid
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09/21/15 10:50 PM (4 years ago)
I'm really doing my best to not respond to post above me.

Really trying hard. LOL.

@MacApple, the longer you take to find your laptop the bigger disappointment there will be if your post doesn't live up to the wait, hurry up or start typing from your phone, I'm anxious. ;-)

@David, wonderful, your posts are always super insightful, I can't wait to see what's next.
 
David @ buzztouch
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09/21/15 11:10 PM (4 years ago)
@Wissam: That's a reasonable question (ignore MrDavid's urge to bark about it, hah!).

We could talk and talk about plugins and why the market has done well and not-so-well all at the same time. For sure it's one of the single biggest assets, AND LIABILITIES for BT.

Asset: Some developers have found a way to earn a few bucks, learns a few things, and offer some good functionality to apps that would-be developers would otherwise have a hard time doing themselves.

Liabilities: There are 4 core issues with the plugin market...

1) For a developer, it's very very VERY demanding to support a plugin after they have created it. The number of questions "about your plugin" are alarmingly high in many cases. And, frankly, few developers are willing (or able) to offer any useful support which is exactly what's expected. This is indepenent of how much they "earn" selling their plugins. The fact is, in most cases the person that paid five bucks for a plugin (that would have cost them many hundreds to have developed by a third party) almost never understand how to use it, compile it, include it in their project without at least some questions for the developer. Sure, some folks can figure it out, many cannot. The devs suffer from this. I suffer from this. Customers suffer from this. It's simply too complicated and many site visitors even with the best intentions cannot make use of the things they purchase and want some sort of help. Rightfully so.

2) Pace of Change: Keeping a plugin updated for all the different operating systems (iOS changes constantly, Android does too) and development environments is super tough. I compile projects daily that are riddles with warnings and errors becuase third party plugins (or my own for that matter) are simply out-of-date. This happens very very quickly. It's very difficult to keep plugins working for "all" the devices and operating systems.

3) Customers: For all the reasons I mentioned above, plus a few more, customers (plugin purchasers) are not getting what they deserve in far to many cases. Again, refer to the previous ideas. Yeah, they get some good code. But, their expectations are higher than they once thought and ultimately they end up bummed out or worse yet discouraged all together.

4) Teaching: I enjoy helping people figure out how to make plugins. I really enjoy it. It wasn't too long ago where I spent several hours a week doing exactly that. But, the results were marginal. Sure, plenty of new developers enjoyed the learning discusisons but rarely did BT benefit measurably from the effort. If you're a plugin developer you may take offense to this idea. Sorry, you're plugin may be awesome but there's a very high probability that it's not awesome, it's not even your code (copy paste jobs) and it simply isn't worth paying for. OUCH!. Yeah, some rock but many do not. Ahhh, the open market dilemna - insert Google Play thoughts here.

So, again, you ask a good question but the sad answer isn't obvious. The last WOW plugin is an arbitrary idea anyway. I think the awesome ones are obvious and hope to see more :-)

d.
 
Bonzo
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09/22/15 02:17 AM (4 years ago)
@MacApple, did you ever find your laptop? Do we all need to chip in for a new one?

@David, i'm so glad to hear that BT is not coming to an end anytime soon! I certainly wouldnt be able to work without it. Like most of us (i assume) i have a full time job which keeps me very busy so i struggle to find the time to continue with the apps and learn code myself. i spend a lot of time at airports though so thats when i try and make up for it. I wouldnt survive without the core being done for me and that forum to help with fixes/tweeks

Next mission is to get in the Top25 lol!

#MissionTop25 - Wonder if i can get it trending :)
 
David @ buzztouch
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09/22/15 02:23 AM (4 years ago)
#MissionTop25

It's a thing....
 
FunkyMonkey
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09/22/15 05:33 AM (4 years ago)
I think 1 thing to consider why the forum is bit quieter now, is that being quite newish myself, the amount of knowledge the gurus have shared in past posts, normally answers my technical question, so rather than post and waste peoples time on here, i google the question first, and 9 out of 10 times it has already been answered by the buzz crew here, I only input in the forum myself, when i know the answer (which is very rare).

I myself have made a career out of this since joining, while its a low paid career due to saturation of the app market, I am still Managing to pay my bills, while doing something i enjoy.

My apps rely on the work of real coders and there plugins, I couldn't do this without them, My suggestions would be aimed at the plugin market and keeping that a viable shop for coders, one suggestion would be to increase your price of plugins and maybe charge small fee for updates to keep it viable for coders.

as you can see by the responses here, the forum is not dying its just evolving i think.

Keep up the great work Buzztouch Gurus :)
 
Wissam
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09/22/15 06:45 AM (4 years ago)
@David, your work is always inspiring and we can all see your commitment to BT.
@Mrdavid, i do hold big respect to your work ( without barking!) but as a developer I think you should look at your customers satisfaction which will be reflected on your plugins or apps rating.
Without the amazing plugins you guys are creating, people like me (with no experience at all in coding) would never be able to publish a single app nor receiving monthly checks from apple:)

thank you all again but seriously i want something that will make me go back to app making ( last one was 2 years ago :(
 
LA
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09/22/15 08:40 AM (4 years ago)
"Home of the body bag"? lol



LA
 
farcat
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09/22/15 12:51 PM (4 years ago)
Very interesting thread with many interesting comments.

Personally I have been busy with other non-app projects. The client demand for applications isn't there all the time.

Sooo glad to read from David that BT IS NOT GOING AWAY because I really need it.
Not just for the help I get there but for the sense of community that I have never found anywhere else (not even in real life).. there it is ... a sob coming...

Thank you David, thanks you BT and thank you plugin developers!!

Farcat
 
mrDavid
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09/22/15 01:08 PM (4 years ago)
@Wissam Totally - my bad, my bark was louder than intended, heh. The question came off to me as just another user trying to get us to make plugins so that "everything gets better again". Re-reading your first and second post, I get what you were trying to convey now, and that's totally valid. Like David said, until it becomes a little more profitable, someone like me isn't too motivated to put the time and effort into offering top-notch support and timely updates. I'm so incredibly busy these days and it just wouldn't be worth it. I'm thinking that taking down a few of my plugins that definitely don't work anymore will lessen the damage of users downloading plugins with issues - I'm getting tired of sending folks refunds! LOL!

That's really the biggest reason my plugins are over the top expensive as heck, I get very few sales, the ones that do sell and need support makes my time worth supporting. I want to put them down to a reasonable price, I'm just afraid of the damage that's going to do when everyone starts purchasing again and will need immense support for the issues they will find.

If I could find a day or two to update them that would be best. I literally worked on my birthday, so when I do have time, I don't want to load up xcode and fix code. LOL. Life is hard.

Anyways @Wissam, I hope you get your WOW plugin soon, I heard @AngryBird is taking requests on the forum, hit him up ;-)

Cheers!

mrDavid
 
ATRAIN53
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09/22/15 01:31 PM (4 years ago)
I've spent more time learning app dev outside BT and working with standard iOS tutorials because some of the code in BT was killing me. Having everything sub classed in BT stopped me from easily using iOS standards like Storyboards and prepareForSegue: to do something basic like pass data between view controllers.

Those are things an iOS developer needs to be able to use to create apps that work with all these great SDK and API's out there. Every book, tutorial and class I've attended use these things and trying to get them to work with BT was too much of a challenge. I spent ages trying to get XIB files to load in BT, something that is just standard in iOS.

IMHO the magic of BT is still it's ability to feed JSON to a live app and the pre-made view controllers that produce a pre-designed screen/view. BT Self Hosted is quite stable and should be built upon, not replaced.

The BT core needs to become more generic and work with standard iOS stuff like storyboards and focus on the JSON magic to set it apart from app builders. That is still very powerful stuff, but the hand coded screens and views are way too time consuming and not easily adaptable to iOS updates and device size changes.

As for community, I'm in a major city and there are so many awesome resources and connections I've made attending developer meetings and conferences. I wish I had more time to attend more. I attend some that don't even seem interesting based on the description - but you always learn something or meet someone new.
 
Lyle @SFNeNT
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09/22/15 10:31 PM (4 years ago)
I agree that for a lot of us Buzztouch was a awesome starting point and helped us bring app ideas to life we wouldn't of ever imagined. As we become more advanced in the learning process, we developed skills that helped us develop app beyond Buzztouch's core elements to fit specific needs or goals we where trying to accomplish. Some people ventured off to learn more because of the foundation Buzztouch layed out for us. But, there is nothing like this community out there. I believe I was with them since almost the start up and I'm still here now just been quieter.
 
GoNorthWest
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09/23/15 07:43 AM (4 years ago)
Great discussion!

Bottom line for me...I'm not going anywhere...totally in for the long haul!

Mark
 
MadRod
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09/23/15 12:26 PM (4 years ago)
Hey guys good to see so much activity.

I guess we all feel that the forum is fading away a bit. I myself have been away, not doing apps, when I'm updating an app and wanting to use a new plugin, if I come into a problem its much harder to solve it. I post a question and its hard to get a reply or a reply that helps one solve the problems. So of long time user like me, that are not coders, it kind of push you away.

Not only that, probably like a lot of us, your life takes you on different paths, my kids are growing and it seems I have less and less available time for me and for this.

I love BT, it literally changed my life and the opened new doors of knowledge for me. I'm super grateful for this awesome community and its members. I owe a lot to David for that, what a fantastic guy he is, he truly cares about people. If this was a Buzz Con, I'd stand up, raise my half full glass (this is how BT make me feel) and propose a toast to David and Super Thank him for being who he is.

I hope BT lives on, I'm counting on it, and, David, is any help is needed, I'm here to help out in whatever way.

Cheers to BT Gang.

Miguel
 
Niraj Shah
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09/23/15 06:30 PM (4 years ago)
Keep on trucking :-)

-- Niraj
 
Fingers Crossed
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09/24/15 05:54 PM (4 years ago)
My 2c, which is worth about 1c with the Canadian exchange rate these days...
I pretty much agree with all the above comments, David obviously has a real handle on what drives the market and his business. Change IS good for a multitude of reasons.
I came across BT as a developer with 20 years, but none of it in Obj-C. Couldn't code my way out if my life depended on it! BT took all that work out of it and I could create apps. Once plugins hit, there were a few great ones, and a few naff ones. All told though, it basically works for me. I've updated some code manually, learned a bit (but not enough).
A lot of the 'masters' as mentioned above moved on to real jobs and priorities, many of them still pop in to help out many a person in the forums which is appreciated!

BT has stayed fairly static, and provides a certain niche that meets many needs. For me, BT is great to push to a small business that can maintain their own presence. That is something many tools can't do that easily, and as a BT client, it allows RAD deployments once you have it down pat.
What BT can't do without coding is flex too much. If the plugin doesn't do it, you have to revert to Obj-C. Thats where it failed for me. Totally my fault, but this is my ramble :)

For me personally, I switched to Corona SDK. I've some experience with LUA and found it a fair bit easier. Being able to create/use SQL in code was helpful, and being able to code something exactly as I needed it was helpful too. Primarily good for game kind of apps, whereas BT I find is better at business style apps.

I fully expect to continue with BT, and use Corona where those needs arise. BT was my first ;) so it will always be special :P

I look forward to what the future may bring!

Have a super day.
 

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