[futurebasic] Re: [FB3Beta] Name change -- the world according to tedd

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From: RP Phillips <rpphillips@...>
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 2004 03:54:52 -0600
     Interesting points made by Joe, Tedd, Scott and others.

Joe wrote:
> "A year or two ago we were tossing around the idea of
>  abandoning the word "Basic" from FB."

     I agree that there is unfortunately a stigma attached to the name 
"basic."  But I don't know that removing the word "basic" from the 
product's name is necessarily the solution.  After all, five minutes 
with Staz's newly renamed "FutureSuperDuperProgrammingThingy" 
development package will be all it'll take to know that it's based on 
basic.

     However, because of the direction that Staz and Company are taking 
FB, it might be worth their considering a name that incorporates the 
Object Oriented nature of their software.  Objected Oriented languages 
are quite acceptable to many of those who (for right or wrong) nitpick 
at these kinds of things.  And it has the added benefit of being true.

     It's funny how we all seem to have an opinion on how Staz should 
run his company.  But I think that it's just because we care about what 
he and his people have created (this disclaimer was added to hopefully 
prevent Staz from axe murdering us in our sleep).

Tedd wrote:
> "...investors will want things done the way it's done with
>  other large scale software companies..."

     That is SO true.  Two years ago I was a contractor on a large 
software project by one of the behemoth "baby bells."  I wasn't hired 
for my programming skills but rather because of my background in radio 
and television (I had to manage a staff of audio editors [among other 
things]).

     As the project progressed I ended up writing several programs to 
manage and filter gigabytes of audio files and database files that were 
moving through my facility.  Two of these programs (written in FB^3, of 
course) were nearly as complex as the primary software product itself 
(which was being coded in C).

     The point is that when my client's head-honcho boss came into town 
to visit our plant he discovered that these specialty programs had been 
written not only to run on Macs (which he "distrusted" [whatever that 
means]) but also that they were written in basic.  It took my client 
almost 20 minutes to convince his boss that to hire the needed C 
programmers to do what I did would have cost about ten times the 
combined cost of the Macs (purchased to run the programs) AND my time.  
And as slowly as the C programmers were progressing on the primary 
product, development time would have been about double or triple what 
it took for me to get the job done (my client's opinions, not mine 
[although I agree]).

Tedd also wrote:
> "Furthermore, if you want to support FB, then I think there
> are even more effective ways for us to demonstrate the power
> of FB, such as publishing books, articles, solutions to
> computer problems and such. In my way of thinking, there is
> much more opportunity for us by our actions to show the
> superiority of FB than whatever could be accomplished by a
> simple name change."

     What you wrote hit the nail squarely on the head for me.  There are 
many aspects of programming using FB with which I feel completely 
comfortable.  And there are other aspects that are so unclear for me 
that I don't even how to get started with them.  Of course to one 
degree or another this is probably true for all of us.  The interesting 
thing is that the peaks and valleys in our knowledge are unique for 
each of us.

     For example, one day I'll read a message in this list where someone 
obviously doesn't understand something as well as I do.  A few days 
later the same person will be writing with authority about something 
that I scarcely understand.  Okay, to be honest, I "scarcely 
understand" a lot more than the reverse.  :(

     For example, Staz has made it reasonably easy to add toolbox calls 
to a program.  I've followed the instructions; sometimes it works and 
sometimes it doesn't.  And when there is a problem there isn't really 
enough information available for me to discover why it doesn't work.  
Another example, I'd also like to make use of Apple's "CoreAudio" for a 
project that I'm working on but I have no idea how to make it possible. 
  For that matter I don't even know if it is possible.

     I really want to make use of all the cool software technologies 
Apple makes available to us.  If it's possible, I'd even like to use 
gcc or Xcode to compile some of that great open source stuff out there 
and incorporate it into my work.  But the sad truth is that I've had 
more luck tweaking and compiling C programs to do what I want them to 
do than I've ever had bridging the gap between C/C++ and FB.

     I'm not too dense (so my mom tells me).  If I could acquire a solid 
foundation on these kinds of issues then I'm certain that I could take 
it from there.  And this solid foundation, Tedd, would probably have to 
come in one or more of the forms you mentioned.

     On one hand I realize that it's not anyone's job to teach me C or 
C++; and I'm certainly not expected anyone to do so.  But the fact of 
the matter is that for better or worse, C and C++ are the "800 Pound 
Gorillas."  In my view the FB and C/C++ relationship is a lot like that 
between Macs and PCs.  Macs are generally better for so many things but 
nonetheless we (and Apple) must still work in a PC world.  Apple has 
gone to great lengths to work and play well with Wintel boxes.  And in 
a similar fashion we FB users must have access to the tools and 
knowledge we need to make use of what is available in the larger world.

     If these suggestions are accomplished then will the next Photoshop 
be written by someone using FB?  Probably not.  But I'd be willing to 
bet that we'd see an increase in the number of those second level and 
vertical market utilities and programs that so many people (average 
people, not just other FB programmers) can't live without.

     - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * - * -

     This is why I don't write to the list very often.  I never know how 
to shut my yap.

     -Rick

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