9 Replies Latest reply on Oct 13, 2004 5:19 PM by Peter Agar

    The devils advocate

    calom Newbie

      I have noticed that a very few issues on JBoss forums get answered (of late?).
      Some of the questions were of interest to me so I montinor these quite often.
      Is this the open source blight?
      I have noticed that parallel question in Weblogic is much easier to come by in a Google search.


        • 1. Re: The devils advocate
          Mark Newbie

          I concur!

          Being even more of a devil's advocate, the people who can generally best answer these questions are JBoss people. But for them it makes bad business sense to give information for free that some of their customers pay for.

          In the long run, it's going to be to the detriment of JBoss acceptance.

          • 2. Re: The devils advocate
            Michael Not relevant Newbie

            I agree.

            And don't get me started on the vaguely written documentation on the web site. If I were paranoid, I would suspect there is a very strong commercial disincentive to have clear, easy to understand documentation on the web site with fast and friendly set up assistance in the forums.

            Even the for-pay documentation isn't of any great quality. I strongly suspect one or two that I've made the mistake of buying were written by second language English speakers. I would use this public forum to invite Jboss to use some of that "Professional Open Source" revenue to hire excellent writers and proof readers.

            And when that fails, guess what, you buy the docs because the free stuff is so vague, and you get a sales and consulting call from Jboss within a day of purchasing the docs. So when the vague and poorly written for pay docs fail, you get to hire hugely expensive consultants.

            I couldn't have thought of a better business model myself, it's sheer genius :-))

            • 3. Re: The devils advocate
              calom Newbie

              Perhaps its our fault.

              Maybe we should start taking a closer look at Geronimo or JOnAS.

              • 4. Re: The devils advocate
                Scott Stark Master

                The question answered depend strictly on time. If you expecting an answer at time t0 and this conicides with busy people, your going to be waiting longer.

                • 5. Re: The devils advocate
                  calom Newbie

                  If you take a look at page 4 of this forum, not a single post there has been answered (dating as far back as Sept 30th).

                  So I guess if t0 is more than 2 weeks then thats ok.

                  Anyway this is an observation, not a flame. After all we do perform the task of beta testing JBoss (for free too).

                  At the end of the day, market forces will apply. If people do not use it, you lose it.

                  • 6. Re: The devils advocate
                    Adrian Brock Master

                    I don't know about Scott, but I hardly ever answer questions in the forums anymore,
                    although I have probably answered the most out of anybody in my time.
                    That was certainly true when we had statistics about it.

                    The only reason I check the forums, is because I am looking for that very
                    infrequent post where somebody actually reports a bug rather than
                    showing their incompetence.

                    Most posts are FAQs or are simply unanswerable because of too little information.

                    The only thing that would make me come back to the forums would be to have
                    a button I could press where I could choose from:

                    1) Your question is in the FAQ or use search (it has been answered so many times before)
                    2) Your question is unanswerable, provide more information
                    3) You are in the wrong forum
                    4) Do not cross post
                    5) Do not hijack somebody else's post with your irrelevent comments
                    6) I have answered your question now reread my answer and do some work yourself
                    instead of expecting to be spoon fed.

                    I'd also like the search function to be fixed,:

                    1) it is totally unusable at the moment. I can't even find answers to posts I know I have made before.
                    2) There should be a button where we can remove all the incompetent posts (mentioned
                    above) from the search index.

                    END OF RANT

                    • 7. Re: The devils advocate
                      calom Newbie


                      2) There should be a button where we can remove all the incompetent posts (mentioned
                      above) from the search index.

                      Hear, hear.

                      Will this question be a victim of that button? :-P

                      No, I agree. There IS a lot of noise in this forum which is sadly drowning out a few important posts that report on possible bugs (thats why I mentioned the above page, though that number will obviously change as time goes by).

                      I think it would be doing all a favour if these issues could be addressed (a.s.a.p), I guess the ball is in JBoss's court (so to speak).

                      • 8. Re: The devils advocate
                        Mark Newbie

                        First of all I would like to mention that I recognise Adrian as someone who answers to posts here and that it's much appreciated. But he's only one of a few.

                        That notwithstanding I must say that generally posts here about problems people have do not get answered. Not even when they're about bugs, despite Adrian's claim.

                        The most frustrating answer to a post is the one saying it was already answered, or that it's in the FAQ, manual or whatever, without giving any clue where to find it. And this is also a bit the feeling I get from Adrian's answer here. When you're not posting something about a specific bug, you're either sloppy, lazy or incompetent. That is not a good attitude and the arrogance makes my blood boil.

                        OK, I admit, I am lazy. It's the nature of programmers to be lazy. And I could well be incompetent too, that I have so many questions. But my clients pay me very well for my incompetence. Let's turn things around though. Generally as a user I think it's fair to say that if a product raises so many stupid questions, then it must be because your documentation, FAQ etc. are either insufficient, ill-written or hard to find. Whether this is on purpose or not makes little difference.

                        To be fair though, the lack of response on the forums is not unique to JBoss. It's only a little worse here than at most forums. The days where a post to a newsgroup would result in half a dozen of answers within the hour are long gone. The web has grown and so have the technologies, and expertise has been spread too thinly to provide the necessary critical mass to keep a forum going. Ask yourself this question, when did I last answer a post on a forum? Or do you only come here when you have a problem? It's a process of give and take, so try to answer others posts as well sometimes. At least answer one post for every question or problem that you have.

                        This post is getting long, but I have one more thing that I think JBoss should consider to take as an example. About a decade ago when the Macintosh switched to PowerPC, there suddenly rose a compiler-maker to the top and wiped out all competition for Mac development tools. The company was Metrowerks and their development environment is called CodeWarrior. The PowerPC was new so people had many questions and problems. I think one of the keys to Metrowerks' success was that they had assigned someone whose task it was to answer any question anyone had with their product. Full-time. ANY question. The guy would answer anything, and if he didn't know he'd say that too and he would turn to the tech guys of the company. You could bet the answer was there the next day.

                        Your motto should be: there's no such thing as a stupid question.

                        • 9. Re: The devils advocate
                          Peter Agar Newbie


                          I fall into the incompetent category mentioned above. I have VERY little clue of what I am doing, and here's my perspective on the topic.

                          When I encountered an apparent change in functionality upgrading from one version of JBoss to another, the first thing I did was try to find documentation on what had changed.

                          After a while I found the change docs over on sourceforge.net (I couldn't find anything here). I understood little of it, but I searched through every relevant doc hoping to find something which sounded like my problem.

                          Unable to find anything I turned to these forums. I feel like this is the last place I can really get help for my problem even thought it probably is a very simple question. (I have a circular reference in my EJBs and I maintain referential integrity myself, but 3.2.5 seems to do it automatically and its giving me grief with my circular reference).

                          I would hate it if these forums were only for the experts who knew exactly what to ask, or for those reporting bugs, and if there were a button to "remove all the incompetent posts"

                          I realise that in the end it might not matter, because no-one has yet to answer my post and quite probably no-one will, and I will just be left clueless as to what to do.

                          I also agree that, in principle, answering a post for every post you make is a good idea, but its not really possible for an "incompetent" like me.