Much better than anticipated


#1

When I first received a notification from AB support that this forum was to be the future of Amibroker support…I was disappointed. Amibroker has always offered great support so I was anticipating the beginning of the end.

Its so great that I was so wrong. Amibroker staff are here and so many great people offering addition ideas. Soooo much better than the Yahoo Message Group in this Discourse format as well. Sorry for not having the vision that this would be as functional as it is and will become. Congratulations on engaging the community!


#2

Yes change is difficult for everyone. But not all changes are bad :slight_smile: and as far as AmiBroker is concerned we always look to bring you the best.


#3

Agreed. Really enjoying the new format. Thanks Tomasz and AB community


#4

First of all, I would like to point out, that I am of the same opinion about the new forum. It is a great place where every user can find lots of useful information and inspiration. From the technical point of view, it is much, much better than the old Yahoo mailing list, in every possible aspect. It looks great and is packed with useful features. I really enjoy using it :slight_smile:

But there are some issues regarding this forum and lately introduced changes in AmiBroker’s support, that are questionable to me. Just to be clear - my intention is not to undermine/contest any of Tomasz’s decisions - I’m just one of many AmiBroker’s users - Tomasz is the developer of the software and I highly respect his policy, but as an enthusiast of his software I am interested in the continuous development of AmiBroker.

@Tomasz wrote in another thread that - I quote:

…with current overload of support, very little time is left for development.

In another thread Tomasz added:

If somebody is looking for hand-holding via phone we seriously advice looking for some other software, as our software is not really targeted for beginners. It is advanced tools for advanced, computer literate people.

I think that Tomasz’s potential shouldn’t be wasted for answering basic questions or exchanging series of posts with “get me what I want” users. There are users with forum statistics like ( 5m read time, 10 posts read, 0 likes received, 4 topics created) who find it easier to ask basic questions on the forum instead of spending some time searching for answers on their own. Some of them receive detailed replies from Tomasz or other users and don’t even find it appropriate to say thank you.

I think that recently Tomasz has been really overloaded with support because:

  1. Registered users (who had up-to date license) used to have an access to AmiBroker’s email support. It was also/usually provided by Marcin Gorzynski. Now all programming issues/questions can be asked only here. Tomasz is the one who usually solves/answers them. I don’t know if Marcin is still an AmiBroker team member, but it would be great if someone (ie. Marcin) could support :slight_smile: Tomasz on the forum, leaving only the most demanding issues for him.

  2. AmiBroker’s forum (which from June 1st 2017 serves as an official support) used to be fully accessible to registered users only. Only registered users were permitted to make a post/ask a question on Yahoo mailing list (at least in my case - I had to provide an email, which I used, when buying AmiBroker, to get full access to the Yahoo mailing list). Now anybody is allowed to pose a question (make a post) - whether he is a registered and legal Amibroker user, or not. Anyone can set up an account providing any email. In many cases forum members receive detailed replies from Tomasz and other users.

Summing up those two points - registered (and having up-to-date license) users, have lost one way of receiving support (via email) and at the same time, not registered (probably illegal) AmiBroker users, acquired possibility of receiving support from AmiBroker’s official community and most importantly - from AmiBroker’s developer - Tomasz Janeczko. That is very questionable to me - because I don’t know why Tomasz and official AmiBroker’s community should support illegal users if they don’t support AmiBroker… If this forum was restricted to registered users only, Tomasz would have more time for himself or for AmiBroker’s development.

  1. Apart from the mentioned above, Tomasz has even more additional tasks - regarding Discourse platform maintenance (which he has described as a mammoth web app) and moderator work. Below many posts there are Moderator’s (Tomasz’s) comments regarding lots of editing mistakes made by users… It all takes his time and effort.

So here is a dilemma :wink: On the one hand I highly appreciate each Tomasz’s reply and I bookmark many of them, because they are packed with useful information, tips and insights from the most authoritative source - the developer of AmiBroker.

On the other hand many users (like me) look forward to each new release, can’t wait to make use of the newly introduced features - and for that reason they would opt for switching some of Tomasz’s focus (or even most of his focus) from the support to the development of this great Software.

Maybe Tomasz considers introducing some changes, so that he had more time for the software development to make AmiBroker even better and even more competitive. It is already great (in many aspects much better than the competitive products) and has gathered a unique community. One of the things that users really appreciate is the possibility of suggesting their requests. Lots of those suggestions (reported to the Feedback Centre) have been implemented in the recent years but many are awaiting. The backlog is really long. Some of them are planned to be implemented but Tomasz’s time is the limiting factor here. I think that many users will agree that Tomasz’s outstanding skills and time are clearly among the most valuable assets here - therefore should be used with caution :wink: and saved for the most demanding tasks. I think there are ways of additionally supporting Tomasz to make it possible :slight_smile:

Best regards - Miłosz


#5

@Milosz - I will post a little more later with regards to some points that you raised, but at the moment I just want to say - don’t worry new public release is near. There were internal releases in the meantime (6.23 and 6.24) that were not public because Yahoo “situation” caused that we did not have too much time for testing and public releases. But 6.25 will be public. And there are many interesting things in it.


#6

Agree with you 100% @Milosz


#7

That represents 80% of users. Typical person always thinks his/her problem or suggestion is unique. Typical person always thinks his/her time is precious in contrast to other people’s time which is of course free, in their opinion. This is how things work in this world.

If the forum was registered only it means heaps of maintenance too. Because people don’t want to use registered email addresses. They want to use other addresses, different from their registered address. So suddenly you get daily 10+ of emails like “please subscribe, change my address and so on.” that you have to verify etc.

Yahoo was for registered users at some point and I am still receiving tons of subscribe requests everyday even today when it is closed.

Also you can not practically distinguish genuine trial users from the others. If genuinely trial user is rejected any help he/she will not buy. That is not good.

Trial users will have to have their questions answered. If not here, then somewhere else. Which pretty much always ends up on email support, which is bad, because no one else can see the response.

It is also not true that registered users are somehow magically “better” in terms of “resource usage”, as even today I got the basic question from user who is registered something like 10 years and the question is answered in KB for 10 years and being quoted twice a week on this forum.

When you face real-world customer care problems you just face the “true face of humanity”. It is not without reason that customer service is considered among the worst jobs one can ever have. Not because it is difficult but because of attitude of the “other side”. It is side effect of “customer is always right” paradigm that is so popular. It might be true if you are buying tomatoes, but for highly technologically complex things like software it can’t be further from truth because customer typically is ignorant when it comes to new software, yet he/she always thinks he/she is “right” because they were told the old mantra.

I have build AmiBroker for my own use, not to sell it to anybody. I needed a trading software and no offering on the market was able to cope with what I needed. AmiBroker was released to the public because several people asked me to do so. As it turned out lots of people found other platforms lacking as I did, and they choose AB. AmiBroker was meant as powerhouse not as iPod-like toy that everyone could use. If it was designed for the masses it would need to get simplified to iPod level. I am programmer, not customer service man. Customer service is not my favorite thing to do. Still I was servicing people for 20+ years.

There are no easy solutions. Even if you hire 10 people they ALL come back to you asking questions as NOBODY on this planet knows what I know about AmiBroker. And as long as all those answers are kept private nobody can benefit from shared knowledge.

Open community forum is extremely valuable because:

  1. If I answer one person, all the others see the answer and there is a chance some may be having same issue solved by this one answer

  2. On numerous occasions forum members provided perfect answer even before I have seen the post so not only the answer is delivered faster but it saved some of my time. In a number of times the answers given by others were more elaborate, more detailed and better written then I could deliver in limited time

  3. Other users may have better understanding of newbie talk and provide better answers for newcomers. I sometimes find that I speak “different language”. Things that are obvious for me, are not obvious for everybody else, so I not always dig into the details required by newcomers. Other users may have better ways to express things clearly to people without programming background.

As of now I am extremely pleased with this Discourse based forum. It works 100x better than Yahoo. It proved to handle programming questions very nicely in clear format. Its presentation is amazingly good. It is fully mobile friendly. The participation is great. User-submitted answers are in their majority awesomely good.

I was reluctant to move to ‘classic’ web-based forum like phpBB, but Discourse is in separate class of its own and I am glad with the decision to move to it.


#8

Tomasz, thank you very much for your detailed reply.

I wasn’t aware of the fact, that it takes so much time and effort to distinguish between legal and illegal users. I thought it would be more effective (and fair in case of illegal users) to restrict the possibility of asking questions on the forum, to registered users, than providing support to anyone… I also didn’t take into account trial users…

… for this reason I tried to propose a solution which may ease the burden at least to some extent.

Of course I understand that the more “proactive” users on the forum, offering their help, the less work is left for you, but there are many users who either don’t have the knowledge or just don’t have enough time to offer their support this way. I thought that we might come up with some additional form of supporting AmiBroker, so that you could spend less time doing simple, repetitive tasks over and over. Now I understand that it’s not that simple, but I am still of the opinion, that it would be very desirable.

As I wrote many times, I appreciate AmiBroker’s policy and highly respect your choices. Thank you for your expertise and continuous support :slight_smile:

… and this forum is really great. No doubt about it ! :slight_smile:


#9

In practice things are always more complex than in theory and pretty much never black&white. Many of those ‘illegal’ users that you worry about eventually buy because their setup just stops working. So bottom line is: do not worry too much :slight_smile:


#10

Tomasz is one of the most intelligent , diligent and Cool headed person i have encountered. Amibroker is one and the forum are perfect example. With the search function, depites it has been introduced only recently, i could easily find solution to my problem. With the forum growing, i think Tomasz will b freed to answer advanced questions and development.

I also like to thank advanced AB users help and guidance on the forum. What i would like to suggest to Tomasz is to give credit, in free upgrade for example, to motive and reward those kind and diligent helpers.

Heartfelt thanks,
Jimmy