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Author Topic: Forum etiquette and politeness (Part 2)  (Read 14260 times)

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Offline administrator

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Forum etiquette and politeness (Part 2)
« on: October 10, 2010, 08:25:07 AM »
This is from a long time WD and Forum user (who I won't name). They sum up the thoughts of a number of users who have PM'd me in the last week or two concerning the attitudes of some people when reporting WD problems. Before hitting the 'Post' button next time, please read this and see if your post could be made more polite.

Quote
There are times when we all get frustrated with our hobby, however please remember this is a hobby, no matter how much we would sometimes like to think what we do is vital...  It AIN'T!

We pay a paltry sum for our Weather Display software, and never have to pay again for upgrades and improvements.  Can you say that for the operating system most of us use...  Nope it costs more and more often than not causes much bigger problems and we have to pay for upgrades...

If you have a problem honestly the odds are that it is a setup or configuration problem and that the majority are not experiencing the same problem, but if you post details ( reproducible step by step instructions) including your station type, WD version and as many details as possible if other users confirm the problem then 99% of the time the Author will do all he can to try and determine what the problem is and fix it.

However with WeatherDisplay we are dealing with dozens of different weather stations being supported, many of which are nothing short of a pita to try and code for, and 100's of different hardware platforms with varying CPU types, amounts of RAM and disk space.  No wonder there are some issues, in fact if there were not any issues then I would believe that all problem posts are deleted...  Oh no that would be that OTHER Weather Software that doesn't even support their own Forums directly any longer...

In other words folks... Step back, take a deep breath, chill pill, drink a beer...  whatever it takes to post courteous posts and when you do hit one of those mystery issues just try and remember WeatherDisplay never caused anyone to die and it just isn't worth losing sleep over...

My Two Cents...

There seem to be more impolite posts relating to bugs in the beta versions...if you don't want the hassle of finding problems and you can't live with bugs not being fixed immediately THEN DON'T RUN THE BETA VERSION. Simple as that. With many beta products you will find that releases are weeks or months apart so bugs take a long time to fix. For example the last beta release of the forum software I use was in March. I don't use the beta version for obvious reasons! Beta testing is an exercise in patience whilst helping the author to find and eradicate bugs. If you're impatient and post messages that upset the author then don't expect to get much help back, especially if you're the only person reporting a particular problem.
Chris
Weather Forum Administrator

Offline mikeym

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Re: Forum etiquette and politeness (Part 2)
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2010, 12:11:40 PM »
Chris

I'll certainly second those thoughts !

Cheers

 :D

MikeyM
http://mikeymsweather.com/

Another VERY Happy WD user
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Laser Snow Depth Sensor LR4/Fluke 414D working in WD thanks to Brian

Offline Welly

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Re: Forum etiquette and politeness (Part 2)
« Reply #2 on: October 14, 2010, 07:08:56 AM »
Here, here.

I think Brian is doing a brilliant job, just look at the version history, he's working his socks off!

http://www.weather-display.com/history.php

Offline Kojack

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Re: Forum etiquette and politeness (Part 2)
« Reply #3 on: October 14, 2010, 09:17:26 PM »
Thank you Chris

I think some members forget who is standing the cost of the forum and the hassle of keeping it running
John
Win7 Home premium

Offline jpmorgan49

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Re: Forum etiquette and politeness (Part 2)
« Reply #4 on: October 14, 2010, 09:44:24 PM »
Name one other Weather Software program where you get personal, prompt support/responses? I thought so, there isn't one.  Brian has done a PHENOMENAL job with support and upgrades... :D :D
jp


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Offline ed2kayak

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Re: Forum etiquette and politeness (Part 2)
« Reply #5 on: October 24, 2010, 01:34:34 AM »
I'm new user.. Many helpful people here. I appreciate it. :D
Ed
CoCoRaHS PA-CD-6,  Weather Underground KPAMECHA7, CWOP DW5425

Offline stuartturrell

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Re: Forum etiquette and politeness (Part 2)
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2010, 03:08:29 PM »
I must admit, this is one reason why i stay away from this whole forum these days.
Used to visit these forums daily a few years back, it was a close community, these days that has gone.

Brian works very hard on this piece of software, it does show, the amount of functionailty it has is tremendous!  I cant think of any other program i have that is so vast and does so much.

I do hope it wasn't Brian that wrote that message to you, otherwise people upsetting the writter of this fabulous piece of software are risking the writter telling us where to go and let's face it, that would be it, Weather Display would no longer exist.

People have to realise we are other people and have families and full time jobs so support may feel like it takes a while, but in reailty, its pretty quick, imagine phoning a call centre for the issues!  8O

Peace.

Geoff P

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Re: Forum etiquette and politeness (Part 2)
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2010, 03:23:10 PM »
I agree 100% in what you are saying Stuart, perhaps the members who do all the moaning does not realise that Brian puts in hour after hour designing the software and correcting everyones problems and it is all done on a voluntary basis, if it were me I would name and shame the members who have the cheek to be rude or impolite and lets see what assistance they get then.

Geoff 8O

Offline stuartturrell

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Re: Forum etiquette and politeness (Part 2)
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2010, 09:14:30 PM »
if it were me I would name and shame the members who have the cheek to be rude or impolite and lets see what assistance they get then.

Geoff 8O

Good idea Geoff, one way of ensuring Brian isn't hassled and we don't loose the future of Weather Displayand it ensure existing "elder" users don't disappear else where - for good.

This isn't an official WD forum is it?

Offline jdjeff

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Re: Forum etiquette and politeness (Part 2)
« Reply #9 on: January 16, 2011, 05:29:18 PM »
I must say that I agree with the original post and quoted comment within.  I'm 100% for people being treated with respect and dignity in forums, emails, pm's, at home, at the workplace, and in a place of business where consumers and retailers engage in ethically binding transactions.  I also agree that the earth won't open up and swallow a person whole if he or she is having a problem with their weather software.  They will not be struck dead by a lightning bolt unless the conditions were proper for such an event to occur.

That being said, there is another perspective to consider being open to in this specific case of purchasing and running WD software.  Many of us are newcomers, not only to the hobby, but to the WD platform.  Many of us can get around a computer very well but still get lost in programming lingo.  Many of us have a desire to learn something new and accept the consequences as such.  We will make mistakes.  We will not see the obvious.  We will become over zealous and ask questions prior to making our own investigations.  We will not have read each and every post in the WD forum prior to asking what the more experienced people consider to be a dumb question.  We will be new.  We will need guidance.  We will need patience and tolerance from the people that went before us.

This is not free software.  As consumers, we anticipate a reasonable ethical transaction that includes a fair level of support.  I'm not suggesting that owning a copy of WD means you are out in the cold after you paid for it.  But perhaps this software business (and I would consider it a business) has reached a point of saturation on the developers side where he needs to make some important decisions.  If Bill Gates after stealing the DOS platform attempted to market and implement more sophisticated versions on his own and with no outside help, he wouldn't have gotten very far.

This agreement works both ways, in my opinion.  Just as we are not expected to bark out orders and have pointless debates with the developer, I would also expect an equal (if not higher) level of respect to the people who support this business.  Having questions or posts simply ignored for one reason or another is pretty much worse than expressing anger and frustraion out in the open.  You have to remember, we are supporting this software business.  If we are 'too stupid' or 'don't have enough spring in our step', or from the wrong part of the planet to get any kind of response, then this is a distortion of how a business is supposed to be run.

It is also of my opinion that this weather hobby thrives and grows on new sales of equipment.  This means newcomers flocking to the forums.  And yes...it may ruin all the fun you've been having as a tight knit 'polite' community.  It's just reality.  Perhaps if the author of this software is up to his neck in fixes and improvements, maybe it is the responsibility of the old timers to step in and help.  Running away from the problem isn't going to make it any better.  Criticizing how people post without providing any individual and specific feedback isn't helping matters much either.  The idea that you are allowing the new guy to struggle and become even more frustrated to the point of venting off anger to the big cheese, is what I would consider more detrimental to the hobby than the poor slob griping and complaining.

If someone posts a 'dumb' question or if someone doesn't provide enough info, Why do these posts go unanswered?  I can tell you from personal experience in this forum that repeated unanswered posts have been fueling my fire...especially when I see all the posts around me being responded to in a timely fashion.  I know this discussion leans heavily toward beta versions.  But the overall message is clear.  So the question is, what reaction does one expect when consumers get ignored?

There are more than 10,000 posts between the people who posted in this sticky.  Maybe it's time for all this experience to step up to the plate and help out.  I do see Brian scrambling around prioritizing like a one-armed paper hanger in a windstorm.  All that experience quietly observing isn't helping matters.  If new people reach unprecidented levels of anger, then I would think that pretty much shifts the burden of responsibility to the more experienced people allowing it to get this far.

And what's worse is that based on what I've read in this thread, I risk my potential for receiving continued support simply by calling it as I see it.  It's backwards.

Offline broadstairs

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Re: Forum etiquette and politeness (Part 2)
« Reply #10 on: January 16, 2011, 05:43:15 PM »
I understand some of the frustrations referred to in the above post, they can affect many folk here not just new ones.

One of the problems in being expected to help is that this is closed software and we do not have access to any code which could be reviewed in order to make helpful suggestions. I and I know others who do help as often as we can especially if we have seen the problem before and perhaps it could be related to setup installation other software or hardware, and if we see new folks who dont provide all the likely required information we chip in to ask for it and save Brian some time. But the other problem is that often we are not around, or we dont read all the posts but only those with a title which might mean we could help.

It is a fact of life that when you only have one developer (who works his butt off) and there are only 24 hours in a day and he needs his sleep and he has a life, then sometimes it can take ages for him to get round to looking at problems, some times this can be days or even a week or more. It must also be remembered that the one payment you make gets support for ever, how many new releases of Microsoft OSs do you get for free?

Stuart

Offline jdjeff

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Re: Forum etiquette and politeness (Part 2)
« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2011, 10:41:56 PM »
Quote
It must also be remembered that the one payment you make gets support for ever, how many new releases of Microsoft OSs do you get for free?

I'm not so sure I would make this comparison.  On my computer, I have other software that relies on the OS.  Depending on the package I got, some of it provides for lifetime upgrades and some of it does not.  Some of it started out as lifetime upgradeable and the policy shifted due to the developers cost of operation.  WD is not an OS.  This is an apple to orange comparison and pretty much irrelevent.

WD is also very complex.  The learning curve is huge.  As I stated before, I know very little about programming.  But as in the software packages I referred to above, some of them are user friendly and can be figured out without even cracking open a help file.  Some of them are counter-intuitive and not so user friendly.  For those, an advanced understanding of computers in general is necessary.  Good search skills are required to sort through lingo meant for the advanced user.  I would put WD in this category.  The point is, there are gobs of applications out there.  There are just as many forums as there are enthusiasts.  Each provides different levels of support...some are better than others.  But this is not the crux of this thread.

Personally, not being able to figure out how to set up a webcam in WD, has necessitated me in going out and purchasing third party webcam software.  I had this set up and broadcasting within 15 minutes.  It took me three weeks and 15 minutes total, on my own, to get the webcam configuration I desired up on my website.  The WD help files are out of date.  I was asking questions on how to get this thing going and I wasn't getting any responses.  The responses I was getting were vague and sketchy.  No, the world was not coming to an end if I didn't get my webcams up and running.  But I had to spend an extra $59.95 to get something that is already included in WD.  It's taken almost all of my energy sometimes to refrain from an emotional outburst.  Was some of my frustration leaking through?  Yes it was.  Too bad for me, right?

What I see posted in here is disturbing.  I see a schmoozing policy turning into a witch hunt.  To put it bluntly, Brian being in over his head is not my problem...or anyone else's for that matter.  This is a choice he is making.  As I also said, it may be time for him to make some important decisions regarding losing a grip on his supposed well-meaning approach.  You may not be giving enough credit to the people who have purchased this application.  Many of us (including myself) would certainly understand the need to cover increasing operating costs....if there were any.  As it stands, he's doing it all himself.  We are getting frustrated and so is he....and it looks like the 'elders' are too.  Something has got to give...it's that simple.  Being ignored and being forced to walk on eggshells drawing smiley faces does not change the fact that we need support.  Not everyone is a computer guru.  And not everyone walks around clicking their heels whistling dixie.  And to have the 'elders' sit idly by and observe and criticize or just plain leave for good, really makes them part of the problem.  If behavioral problems have reached unacceptable levels and you are that compassionate about Brian's efforts, then why aren't you MAKING the time to help out?  Why aren't you urging him to open up the code for examination?  Better yet, why isn't Brian asking some of his more trusted clients to take some of the load off?  Why does it seem like the blame is being put on the people who are paying for this service? 

I say this once again...it's all backwards.

Offline Burnsville Weather Live

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Re: Forum etiquette and politeness (Part 2)
« Reply #12 on: January 17, 2011, 02:56:26 AM »
...and what about those people that work hard to help this software with testing beta software, writing scripts that use the software, encouraging others to PURCHASE the software. What about those people that come here (someone called them "elders" above) to help answer questions of the "newbies" and the not so new-B's?  Aren't those just as needed to make all this work out?  Run off all those people, ignore the newbies and make everyone too scared to ask a question let alone answer one...  What will we have then.... ?   :-k
Scott

www.BurnsvilleWeatherLIVE.com (Formally Webster Weather Live)

Windows XP Pro(SP3), 4G Ram, QuickCam Pro 9000, Davis Vantage Pro II w/Solar/UV & Heated Rain Catcher, WXSim, 1-Wire: Lightning, Leaf, soil moist/tmp.

Offline Weather Display

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Re: Forum etiquette and politeness (Part 2)
« Reply #13 on: January 17, 2011, 05:08:20 AM »
sorry if people think they are being ignored
some people have been waiting for months to get their problems fixed
and so I have been working hard on those
if you feel that your money has been wasted then I can offer you a refund

yes some of the help files are out of date
no I do not have the spare time to update them
yes others can update the wiki help files
I doubt they have much spare time either to do that

I use WD's webcamcapture program and movie maker program myself on a W7 Atom CPU PC and it works great for me

Offline teal

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Re: Forum etiquette and politeness (Part 2)
« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2011, 11:23:49 AM »
  Hi I,m a new user I had a problem with the date in WD & three emails latter all sorted out in 30mins, CANNOT FAULT THE SERVICE, (just spent over an 2 hours on the phone to get my dishwasher sorted & got no where) I had a problem with usb drop out & again the users of this forum helped me, but I do agree that some sort of upto date manual would nice.
many thanks Teal