Living Up To Expectations - Sun, 21 Jun 2015
Today is Father’s Day. I spent a wonderful day with my family. What do I come home to, but three reviews on GenSoftReviews giving Behold terrible ratings.
The first two reviews point to the very long time it is taking me to develop Behold. Both say Behold is an excellent GEDCOM reader. But the expectation from the first two reviewers is that I’ll never get Behold to the Version 2 and the full-featured onscreen editor that I’ve been promising for 10 years.
The third review took this even further and lists 6 points. 1, 2 and 3 are about the amount of time my updates have taken me. 4 is concluding I’ll never get editing into Behold. 5. and the Biggest Con: is calling Behold extremely expensive, and 6 is saying I shouldn’t try to help influence the future of genealogy and should only concentrate on Behold. It was scathing.
Now I don’t want to make any excuses. Just because I have an important full-time job that requires additional hours from time to time, I have a wife and daughters and we do things together, I’ve got my household chores like everyone that makes me hate the fact that we have to eat and that grass grows in the summer, I had a mother who came down with cancer and gave us six rough months, a father who came down with dementia and gave me three intensive years in the nursing home, I have other relatives and friends we spend time with, after finishing my stint on the Board and as President I still do volunteer work for our regional Heritage Centre, I maintain my personal website, GenSoftReviews, and contribute to Genealogy and Family History Stack Exchange, which I helped start, I blog and maintain close contacts with other geneabloggers. I give talks on genealogy that require preparation and thought (and I’ve got three proposals I’m submitting to RootsTech 2016).
Just because I’m doing a few other things, I’m not going to give any excuses. I should be able to spend 4 or 5 hours every night and stay up to 2 a.m. to work solidly on Behold and nothing else … and then go to work the next morning, shouldn’t I?
Should I be single-minded? Should I work on Behold and nothing else? Every little change I propose in Behold’s Future Plans sounds easy doesn’t it? If life and programming were only that simple and problem free.
Contributing to BetterGEDCOM and FHISO and going to Gaenovium all add to my global perspective of the program that I think is needed. I don’t feel I can ignore the surroundings. I must absorb, adapt, and continue on towards seeing Behold to fruition.
In really contemplating what the posters are complaining about, there do appear to be a few things they think I’m doing wrong.
First, obviously according to the reviewers, I shouldn’t be so open with everybody. I shouldn’t talk to other developers, or people who are trying to change genealogy for the better. I shouldn’t think about their good ideas. I definitely shouldn’t try to help the genealogical community in any way.
Second, I shouldn’t give any of my customers any ideas at all about my future plans. I should be totally mum to mentioning where I am going, and definitely not state any dates I’m striving for. In fact, I should completely take my ToDo list down and keep it private just like every other vendor does.
And my pricing is obviously totally wrong. I should not charge a single lifetime price for my product, but should instead do what all the other vendors do and charge an initial price, and then a significant upgrade price for every insignificant upgrade and bug fix each year after that. $40 is way more than any genealogist is willing to spend on any product. After all, shouldn’t all genealogy software be free?
Sorry. I’ll just sit and take my lumps from those reviews. They certainly don’t do anything to motivate me. They only depress me and give me less incentive.
But I’ll continue on. I have been developing Behold a long time. I agree it is taking much longer than I ever expected it to, and I’m sorry if people feel deceived about the goals I have been setting for myself that I haven’t achieved. I’ve written many blog posts on my Behold Blog documenting my progress, lack of progress, and ongoing battles in programming and I’ve been open about everything. Do you know other genealogy developers who do this?
Now I’ll apologise again that Version 1.1 will unfortunately be another day later. I couldn’t work on it tonight because I didn’t expect to see those reviews and then need to spend the evening writing this blog post.
Second thought, and I realize this is really what the reviewers were asking for: Maybe after 1.1 is out, I should directly track towards Version 2.0 and just do what’s necessary to make that happen.