5 Replies Latest reply on Oct 3, 2012 1:35 AM by Vincent_L

    Developer Relationship : What could be better

    Vincent_L

      Hi,

       

      I'm very grateful that for the last two years Filemaker considerably improved it's developer relations by opening up a bit. I got invited to FM12 early preview, the new technet, and that latest PM Q&A, all of which are much welcome and are much needed. It also helps to think that FM Inc is on the right track for the future. Here's some of my thoughts on how to improves things even further.

       

      Features requests :

       

      - Make sure there's only one way to submit new feature requests (to my knowledge actually there's 2)

      - Make this process modern that means being able to send pictures, links and attachments.

      - Make it public and interactive : with some technology that can let people vote for ideas, like http://www.uservoice.com, so FM Inc can knows the popularity of a feature request.

      - Make it searchable (of course !)

      - Have FM Inc feedback on some, we need to be sure we're listened too. It helps commitment to the platform.

      - Moderate them : for instance if some are just already covered by techniques or workarounds, put some pointers to those.

      - Checkmark them when done

       

      Ok, I know some are covered by the feedback section of the public forum, but that's kind of a mess. Lacks attachments etc.

       

      Paid Technet advantages : all covered by NDA

       

      - Sooner pre-release software in the dev cycle, and especially dependable way to submit bug / issues for those ß. Also have a private section for discussing it amongst paid technet users. For 11 and 12 their wasn't ways to do this. Not only this is counterproductive, but that gives the strange feeling that FM Inc doesn't care

       

      - Private forum : Ask the engineers.

      That would be a forum where we could ask very technical questions and get real highly technical details from an engineer. We may ask question "in a calc like table1::f1 + table1::f1 + table1::f1, is table1::f1 actullay fetched 3 times or only once", or in FMS 12 would 8 server side scripts running at the same each use one of the core of my 12 core machine.

       

      Not only this would save us a lot of time doing experiments, this would help us to better optimize our solutions, but also would help FM Inc to realize better what are our concerns. Making an engineer to look in a process in detail, some of processes being old code, might actually help them to optimize some code. Those would alos lead to white papers

       

      I understand, and we'll understand that those reply might are not commitments from FM Inc that the behaviors would stay the same in feature releases, you can put a big red disclaimer at the top of the forum

       

      - Searchable Bug reporter : Yes one list that we can see all the bugs already submitted, those solved, etc. Yes under NDA. Don't let the community waist time on re-running in the same bugs. Of course bug report submission in a modern way, with attachments allowed, ability to add some comments.

       

      - More devcon video session : not all can travel to devcon, I'd wish like apple does for it's wwdc some months later all devcon videos would be online for paid technet members.

       

      - Audible webex sound : what about this terrible terrible sound in the webex conf. Ditch the phone, use voice other IP, we're in 2012, do something it's terrible (french webex sessions are much better sounding)

       

      - Bring back the XSLT library, not it's not there anymore, I know that XLST is deprecated for web, but that's only one use of is, we rely on it for exports and imports. In this library in the past there was great examples.

       

      - A technique repository : The web is full of filemaker techniques to do some stuff, but it's scattered everywhere. Having a moderated clean repository, for techniques, custom function, XLSTs would be great. Plus Filemaker could see those as feature request also (if some are read / downloaded a lot that means it may miss from FMP. If such techniques would translate as feature it would show a great deal how FM Inc listen to its customers. I'd made this available to all users, it would helps newsbies tremendously. Let the techniques beign signed, with link to the author blog (this will create motivation)

       

      - And of course do some ask the PM sessiosn like this one !

       

      Don't fret about some of this new openness, openness leads to confidence and commitment to the plattform, that translates into loyalty. Plus it help us to do more stuff with FMP, so it takes FMP in new areas, expanding it's market.

       

      Don't be afraid about some human involvement, and bear in mind that there's plenty of technet members eager to be moderators

        • 1. Re: Developer Relationship : What could be better
          Vaughan

          Vincent_L wrote:

           

          ... Sooner pre-release software in the dev cycle, and especially dependable way to submit bug / issues for those ß. Also have a private section for discussing it amongst paid technet users. For 11 and 12 their wasn't ways to do this. Not only this is counterproductive, but that gives the strange feeling that FM Inc doesn't care

           

          Don't confuse beta and pre-release.

           

          FMI has beta programs where selected customers test early versions of the software and report bugs. The pre-release version is not for testing and reporting.

           

          I imagine that once we get the pre-release version FMI already has all the bug information they need and they have decided to ship the product.

           

          The problem with openness is that you're helping your competition, and they're most likely smart enough not to return the favour.

           

          Opinion only.

          • 2. Re: Developer Relationship : What could be better
            crispinhodges

            A well reasoned arguement and a case well made. Thank you Vincent

            • 3. Re: Developer Relationship : What could be better
              jrenfrew

              One of the interesting things about voting for a feature is that we might all vote for something and it 'appear' to be a feature to include when secret stuff that is being dreamed up by scientists renders our desire obselete! Democracy is not the only way.

              Threads like this show there is enough passion in the community to share ideas but the engineering effort required to deal with my one little thing when it only affects my solution might not be where I need the product to develop.

              If everything we asked for was fixed where would be the fun in that??

              The advantage of FM is that it is a rapid development tool which can be used by novice and expert alike, and it often saves us from our own poor programmming. Making it muy rapido is a glorious goal but if we wanted to be software developers we could alwaysa apply for a job there!

              • 4. Re: Developer Relationship : What could be better
                Vincent_L

                FMI has beta programs where selected customers test early versions of the software and report bugs. The pre-release version is not for testing and reporting.

                 

                I imagine that once we get the pre-release version FMI already has all the bug information they need and they have decided to ship the product.

                 

                 

                It seems to me that the current process lead to some pretty big failures, so expending tester base might be a good idea. Plus it's very frustrating to get a pre-release software and not being able to at leat discuss of it amongst usre who have access too

                 

                The problem with openness is that you're helping your competition, and they're most likely smart enough not to return the favour.

                 

                It's time to realize that Filemaker has no competition, by that I mean that all the feature we want, and all the one they introduced so far, are so filemaker centric that they've no value for an eventual competition. Introducing horizontal portal has no meaning in the competition. Script triggers etc. Ok some are, like FM Go, perhaps the webviewer, those can be seen as stragtegic and be left under the curtain.

                 

                The major competition I see to Filemaker is Dev jumping out of the boat because they're feed up with FMP performance, lack of dev productivity. So the number 1 concern for filemaker is to keep its users as their usage grow.

                • 5. Re: Developer Relationship : What could be better
                  Vincent_L

                  One of the interesting things about voting for a feature is that we might all vote for something and it 'appear' to be a feature to include when secret stuff that is being dreamed up by scientists renders our desire obselete! Democracy is not the only way.

                   

                  Yes Ford blew away faster horses customer wishes, but at least ford knew people needed some thing to move faster. FMP scientist never blew away my expectations for, for instance, horizontal potal functionnality. And that have been ask for at leats a decade.

                   

                  So I dont ask FMI to delivers us faster horses, they may invent the car, but I'd be glad only if this allow me to travel faster