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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Winding down LBB  (Read 5051 times)
Richard Russell
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xx Winding down LBB
« Thread started on: Feb 25th, 2014, 2:50pm »

As many of you will know, I recently left the LB forum having tried, but failed, to persuade them to lift their prohibition on mentioning LBB (it was apparently vetoed by Carl).

Without access to the membership of that forum, or the LB Yahoo group, it is impossible to 'spread the word' about LBB - the vast majority of Liberty BASIC users don't know it exists and never will.

Therefore it seems a disproportionate use of my time to put a lot of effort into developing LBB, when the number of users is likely to remain tiny (the membership of this forum currently standing at 45 compared with 5660 on the LB forum!).

So my intention is to release one more major update to LBB, which I anticipate being within the next week or so, but thereafter to wind down development. If serious bugs are reported I will fix them (if possible) but otherwise it is unlikely that any more significant enhancements will take place.

Sorry if this is a disappointment, but after more than two years LBB has failed to make any significant inroads into the LB user base, and there's little point flogging a dead horse.

As time goes on, increasing numbers of people are going to be caught out by LB 4.04's incompatibility with touchscreen PCs, and the DEP issue could become a problem as more PCs have it fully enabled by default. Unless Carl is able to fix these bugs in LB4, or LB5 is released, that will force users to look for alternatives. LBB will of course remain available for download to satisfy that need if and when it arises.

Richard.
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JosephE
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xx Re: Winding down LBB
« Reply #1 on: Feb 25th, 2014, 6:53pm »

Liberty BASIC aside, the engine behind LBB is excellent.

We talked about this a little via email, but why not change the syntax up and develop your own language? The Liberty BASIC programming language is a proprietary specification (of sorts), and the Liberty BASIC community is very tiny with LB5 being postponed so much. Perhaps if you developed your own language, word would get around smiley (Much like AutoIt, or ThinBASIC - Yours would have the advantage, though, as they are both interpreted, not compiled)

LBB is impressive and I will continue to use it smiley I would just love to see it evolve into something that's not related to Liberty BASIC so that there would be peace between the two camps, and so that it wouldn't be tied to backwards compatibility with LB (which in my opinion is very disorganized from a syntax perspective)
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Richard Russell
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xx Re: Winding down LBB
« Reply #2 on: Feb 25th, 2014, 7:56pm »

on Feb 25th, 2014, 6:53pm, JosephE wrote:
the engine behind LBB is excellent.

BBC BASIC!

Quote:
why not change the syntax up and develop your own language?

The market for BASICs is already saturated, and doing that would guarantee even fewer users than LBB has!

Quote:
Yours would have the advantage, though, as they are both interpreted, not compiled

LBB isn't compiled. It isn't even directly interpreted - it translates the Liberty BASIC program into BBC BASIC code, and that is then interpreted. So it's even further removed from a compiled language than the ones you mention!

Quote:
The Liberty BASIC programming language is a proprietary specification (of sorts)

As far as I am aware there is nothing to stop anyone writing a clone of a programming language. Carl Gundel has stated publicly that he is quite happy for people to use LBB. I developed it only after consulting with Carl and other senior Liberty BASIC supporters.

Richard.
« Last Edit: Feb 25th, 2014, 8:02pm by Richard Russell » User IP Logged

net2014
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xx Re: Winding down LBB
« Reply #3 on: Feb 25th, 2014, 8:31pm »

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As far as I am aware there is nothing to stop anyone writing a clone of a programming language. Carl Gundel has stated publicly that he is quite happy for people to use LBB. I developed it only after consulting with Carl and other senior Liberty BASIC supporters.

Richard.


Then why is any mention of LBB banned on the LB form? For me, LBB gave LB4 a new lease of life. I doubt LB5 will be fully developed in time for me to make any use of it - I've been waiting on promises since at least 2005. I too have left the LB forum and will probably stick with LB4 and LBB now. I needed a Linux version of LB5 but I think that is impracticable now.

As I understand it, the LB forum is not an official support forum (that is on Yahoo) so it must be the moderators who are controlling the content, not Carl. They as discrediting the forum IMHO. sad
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Richard Russell
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xx Re: Winding down LBB
« Reply #4 on: Feb 25th, 2014, 10:18pm »

on Feb 25th, 2014, 8:31pm, net2014 wrote:
Then why is any mention of LBB banned on the LB forum?

Carl says he's happy for LBB to be used, but one can understand that he doesn't want it to be promoted, potentially taking away business and eroding his income.

Quote:
For me, LBB gave LB4 a new lease of life. I doubt LB5 will be fully developed in time for me to make any use of it - I've been waiting on promises since at least 2005.

I agree, and you can be assured that LBB will continue to be available and supported, just not as actively developed as it has been up to now.

Quote:
As I understand it, the LB forum is not an official support forum (that is on Yahoo)

I think you're right, but in practice the owner of the forum has made it clear that Carl, who is one of the senior moderators, has a casting vote. The other moderators cannot be held responsible.

Richard.
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Core
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xx Re: Winding down LBB
« Reply #5 on: Feb 26th, 2014, 01:25am »

on Feb 25th, 2014, 2:50pm, Richard Russell wrote:
Without access to the membership of that forum, or the LB Yahoo group, it is impossible to 'spread the word' about LBB - the vast majority of Liberty BASIC users don't know it exists and never will.

I came across LBB via a Google search while researching LB stuff.

on Feb 25th, 2014, 2:50pm, Richard Russell wrote:
Therefore it seems a disproportionate use of my time to put a lot of effort into developing LBB, when the number of users is likely to remain tiny (the membership of this forum currently standing at 45 compared with 5660 on the LB forum!).


But, out of the 5660 I would gamble that 5600 are just dead accounts, compared to other forums its dead in there, including the Run Basic Forum.


on Feb 25th, 2014, 2:50pm, Richard Russell wrote:
So my intention is to release one more major update to LBB, which I anticipate being within the next week or so, but thereafter to wind down development. If serious bugs are reported I will fix them (if possible) but otherwise it is unlikely that any more significant enhancements will take place.

Sorry if this is a disappointment, but after more than two years LBB has failed to make any significant inroads into the LB user base, and there's little point flogging a dead horse.


Are you assuming that all users of LBB are registered members of this forum? or are you tracking the Downloads from your page. I have been using LBB for all final .exe however I just registered to reply to this post.


Question: What was your original intentions with LBB? As far as I see you dont appear to be making a profit from it as its free. Having said that, what would be the difference if 50 people used it as opposed to 800 people?

-Joe
« Last Edit: Feb 26th, 2014, 01:26am by Core » User IP Logged

Richard Russell
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xx Re: Winding down LBB
« Reply #6 on: Feb 26th, 2014, 06:46am »

on Feb 26th, 2014, 01:25am, Core wrote:
Are you assuming that all users of LBB are registered members of this forum? or are you tracking the Downloads from your page.

No, my figures were deliberately exaggerated to make the point. The Yahoo! LBB group has 128 members but I have no way of knowing the actual number of users.

Quote:
What was your original intentions with LBB?

I was frustrated by Liberty BASIC being bug-ridden, bloated and incredibly slow; LBB was my attempt to provide a solution. It was also an interesting challenge and a good demonstration of the power and flexibility of BBC BASIC.

Quote:
what would be the difference if 50 people used it as opposed to 800 people?

None whatsoever from a money point of view, that isn't my motivation. But I often have to choose whether to spend my time working on BBC BASIC or working on LBB, for example. The number of users is a factor in making that decision.

Richard.

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Phineas Freak
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xx Re: Winding down LBB
« Reply #7 on: Feb 26th, 2014, 08:18am »

on Feb 25th, 2014, 2:50pm, Richard Russell wrote:
As time goes on, increasing numbers of people are going to be caught out by LB 4.04's incompatibility with touchscreen PCs, and the DEP issue could become a problem as more PCs have it fully enabled by default.


And that is a perfect opportunity for LBB to shine and show it's capabilities. Developing with and within "vanilla" LB for the newer Windows OS's or writing complex programs is a major PITA. Addons like LBW don't help either since it is the nature of the current version of LB that holds us back. LBB on the other hand can help overcome these limitations.

I believe that developing LBB to include the features that were previously discussed (http://lbb.conforums.com/index.cgi?board=suggestions&action=display&num=1389201278) would help even more LB users to use it.
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Richard Russell
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xx Re: Winding down LBB
« Reply #8 on: Feb 26th, 2014, 08:52am »

on Feb 26th, 2014, 08:18am, PreciseTiming wrote:
I believe that developing LBB to include the features that were previously discussed would help even more LB users to use it.

As I said, I plan to release one more major version quite soon; it will have some new features from that list.

But I think we need to be realistic. What reason is there to think that the rate of take-up of LBB, which has been extremely slow in the more than two years since its release, is likely to pick up?

There are a whole load of reasons why very few Liberty BASIC programmers use LBB:
  • Not knowing it exists; I suspect that is true of a surprisingly large number.

  • Loyalty to Carl; one potential user of LBB told me he felt guilty about using a free product when he'd paid for LB.

  • 'Not invented here' syndrome; some LB users place a high premium on the home-grown-American nature of LB (the clue is in its name and logo!).

  • Better the devil you know: LB has many bugs and other quirks, but once users have got used to them and found workarounds they don't want to have to tweak their code to run in LBB (even if it's rarely necessary).

  • Distrust of LBB's 'provenance'; some people see LBB as a 'toy' product developed by an amateur, whilst LB is seen as 'professional'. As a Chartered Engineer with decades of experience in designing hardware and software systems I naturally don't agree, but you can't easily fight people's perceptions.
Richard.
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« Last Edit: Feb 26th, 2014, 08:52am by Richard Russell » User IP Logged

net2014
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xx Re: Winding down LBB
« Reply #9 on: Feb 26th, 2014, 09:36am »

on Feb 26th, 2014, 08:52am, Richard Russell wrote:
There are a whole load of reasons why very few Liberty BASIC programmers use LBB:
Not knowing it exists; I suspect that is true of a surprisingly large number.


True, I knew nothing of LBB till late 2013

Quote:
Loyalty to Carl; one potential user of LBB told me he felt guilty about using a free product when he'd paid for LB.


Illogical, the paid for app is still being used to generate code and long-time users would continue to use it; LBB does its enhancement tricks. In fact more LB customers would be attracted if they knew that a free enhancement enabled generation of a (mostly) single exe application. I realise that the astute could migrate to BBC4W but most hobby programmers who had become proficient with LB will stick with LB. Carl I think is missing an opportunity to keep LB4 ticking along for a while yet. Too many people are put off by the announcement of LB5 back in 2005 and it is still to see the light of day now well into 2014.

And I appreciate the fact that LBB is free, even after extensive unpaid development work. Thank you Richard.

Quote:
Not invented here' syndrome; some LB users place a high premium on the home-grown-American nature of LB (the clue is in its name and logo!).


I thought Americans worshipped UK goodshuh >wink

Quote:
Better the devil you know: LB has many bugs and other quirks, but once users have got used to them and found workarounds they don't want to have to tweak their code to run in LBB (even if it's rarely necessary).


huh

Quote:
Distrust of LBB's 'provenance'; some people see LBB as a 'toy' product developed by an amateur, whilst LB is seen as 'professional'. As a Chartered Engineer with decades of experience in designing hardware and software systems I naturally don't agree, but you can't easily fight people's perceptions.Richard.
M.A. C.Eng. M.I.E.T. smiley


Illogical again, but I don't know where that idea comes from.
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Richard Russell
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xx Re: Winding down LBB
« Reply #10 on: Feb 26th, 2014, 11:39am »

on Feb 26th, 2014, 09:36am, net2014 wrote:
Illogical

If everybody behaved logically the world would be a better place. smiley

Richard.
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xx Re: Winding down LBB
« Reply #11 on: Feb 27th, 2014, 08:25am »

Just logged on to say thanks to Richard.

Yes I think main reason for low user numbers is "Not knowing it exists".
And it's a moderators' - I would not say "fault" - but consequence of moderators' position.
Really, for the common good, LBB should be linked just from a forum firstpage (right along with links to WIKI).
IMHO of course.

(btv another reason for people not registering might be fact that it *just works*. Not that bad reason wink )
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xx Re: Winding down LBB
« Reply #12 on: Feb 27th, 2014, 10:36am »

It will take time until LBB gets more known, more popular, but like all other "good" products, it will get its reward, everyday a little more.

I'm am not a programming specialist and still found in LBB extraordinary tool to enhance LB4. Other people go/went the same way I do/did, for sure.

Most probably, for "political" or "loyalty" reasons, some of LB4 programmers can not admit they use your program - these ones will never show up in your LBB user's count.

Don't stop your great work wink
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xx Re: Winding down LBB
« Reply #13 on: Feb 27th, 2014, 3:48pm »

on Feb 27th, 2014, 08:25am, tsh73 wrote:
Really, for the common good, LBB should be linked just from a forum firstpage (right along with links to WIKI).

That would be nice. Perhaps you should suggest it to the forum's owner! Sadly, I expect Carl has a veto on that too.

Richard.
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Richard Russell
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xx Re: Winding down LBB
« Reply #14 on: Feb 27th, 2014, 3:51pm »

on Feb 27th, 2014, 10:36am, flotulopex wrote:
It will take time until LBB gets more known

Isn't two-years-and-four-months long enough?! It seems to me that if LBB is still not well known after that length of time, it probably never will be. sad

Richard.
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