Are the posted questions getting worse?

  • The irony is a company selling products that are software / code has a forum they support that has gotten buggier over time. This in some respects is a very visible face to the world. For many, it likely could be a first exposure to Redgate. You would hope they would take a good hard look at some of the reported bugs, and get some help in prioritizing them and seeing what it takes to fix them.

    Some issues are more cosmetic, while others are big and obvious. An email with a link to a post, that doesn't take you to that post, but lands you back further in the thread. Makes me think how does their software work? Or can I trust those giving advice?

    Over the years, there have been many extremely talented people contributing to this site. It is really sad to see some have left or contribute far less often.

    Steve - I can see how frustrating this is. Maybe some of my comments could help drive some thoughts into a productive conversation. I kind of get the sense that those in charge of the purse strings should take a firsthand look at a few of the main things that are buggy. Then ask them if this is the impression they want to leave with potential customers.

    If you set a station on the radio, then punch the button, should you have to tune it to the correct station? Or would you expect it to give you the right station every time?

    It is indeed a slippery slope. I don't know if marketing makes a connection between users of this site and the company that they work for being a customer, but that would indeed be interesting if they have it. Especially over the last decade. It would truly be a shame to see the site disappear - it has helped so many with great advice - from the newbie to the old sage.

     

  • Bumping a post so that Greg's post above shows up.  It wasn't showing because it was the first post on a page, and that's just one of the problems on these forums.

     

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.

    Change is inevitable... Change for the better is not.


    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • Greg Edwards-268690 wrote:

    The irony is a company selling products that are software / code has a forum they support that has gotten buggier over time. This in some respects is a very visible face to the world. For many, it likely could be a first exposure to Redgate. You would hope they would take a good hard look at some of the reported bugs, and get some help in prioritizing them and seeing what it takes to fix them.

    I absolutely agree.  However... this is what we have to be careful of and this is why I want the Before'n'After "marketing info".  I don't want RedGate to decide that the forums aren't worth it like they did on the Simple-Talk site (they removed the forums) and, more recently, the ASK SSC site (they dropped the whole site like a hot potato).

    With the Marketing info, we might be able to convince them that the fixes would draw some of the old timers and heavy hitters back and seriously improve the marketing and sales aspects of the site in doing so.

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.

    Change is inevitable... Change for the better is not.


    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor wrote:

    Jeff Moden wrote:

    Steve Jones - SSC Editor wrote:

    sales@ or marketing@ might get better traction. We have someone monitoring the webmaster email, but not 100% sure they'd do much more than send the emails to me.

    What a conundrum... tons of good people have abandoned the site because of problems with the site and they don't listen to the guy they brought along with the purchase of the site for the sake of continuity and other advantages.  What makes you think that the folks in Sales or Marketing would "make the connection"?  And why haven't they cared since even before the change to WordPress?  If we knew why they don't care, perhaps we could offer some reasons that might make them care.

    It has to be "positive", though.  We can't say that having a crap website is hurting their business (and I have seen it do so in 2 cases now) or they may kill the site like we've seen them so ruthlessly do on Simple-Talk and ASK SSC.

    We need a little advice here please, Steve, because I'm thinking that Sales and Marketing aren't going to place any importance on the forums of SSC.

    I think adding pressure from you all is helpful because (as with many organizations), they want data from multiple sources to make a decision. They hear from me, they see some of these posts I send my boss, but getting more people to see/hear that you all care about the site helps. I think some frank honest thoughts, not emotional complaints or rants, but "I used to do this and I can't. This was helpful to me in the past, but it doesn't work well. There's a lot of whitespace, which makes it slower to find info, the constant post errors reduce the time I spent answering questions". Those types of practical, honest thoughts might help get things moving.

    The move to WordPress came about because we were struggling for resources, and we didn't have a lot of C#/ASP.NET resources in house that work on websites. We did have people running WP for Simple Talk and RG.com, so the idea was things would be easier to fix. That hasn't proven to be the case, especially with the PASS Data Community Summit, which is more of a priority than this site.

    I'd love to move back to a C# based system, but that's hard to maintain in a different way. When we've reached out to the BBPress people (Forum software), they find us to be one of the outliers (maybe the outlier) in size and scale, so they're less helpful as well.

    I am trying to spec out some things to fix and see if I can get some budget for a consultant, but that's not an easy thing to do as there's a lot of scaffolding to set someone up and then merge in their code, plus the concerns about security/auth/etc.

    I'm in the middle of a rough stretch of travel here, so I'm hoping you all can put some pressure on management here to raise the priority of SSC inside RG.

    i like others probably here have asp.net C# experience and would be willing to get involved.

    in fact can’t we just have a copy of the code and db and go host our own solution maybe

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "Ya can't make an omelette without breaking just a few eggs" 😉

  • Jeff Moden wrote:

    ...

    You'll have to forgive some of us, though... especially those of us who tested a lot of this prior to the release and it was released with all the bugs that we reported.  Those were not great moments for us.  We were also told that a part of the move was to improve SEO.  IIRC, you even reported that the site was taking better hits. 

     

    Not upset or angry at any of you. I'm sorry and somewhat embarrassed with how this has gone. The site did improve in SEO and in traffic for a bit, but it's certainly fallen from my perspective over the last couple of years. Not sure of the traffic patterns. I don't think I have access to the traffic analysis, or where it is.

    Google/Bing has always been the majority of our traffic, so SEO matters. However, only if people continue to use the site. I think marketing your struggles and reasons for not spending much time here are good things to feedback.

  • Greg Edwards-268690 wrote:

    The irony is a company selling products that are software / code has a forum they support that has gotten buggier over time. This in some respects is a very visible face to the world. For many, it likely could be a first exposure to Redgate. You would hope they would take a good hard look at some of the reported bugs, and get some help in prioritizing them and seeing what it takes to fix them.

    Some issues are more cosmetic, while others are big and obvious. An email with a link to a post, that doesn't take you to that post, but lands you back further in the thread. Makes me think how does their software work? Or can I trust those giving advice?

    Over the years, there have been many extremely talented people contributing to this site. It is really sad to see some have left or contribute far less often.

    Steve - I can see how frustrating this is. Maybe some of my comments could help drive some thoughts into a productive conversation. I kind of get the sense that those in charge of the purse strings should take a firsthand look at a few of the main things that are buggy. Then ask them if this is the impression they want to leave with potential customers.

    If you set a station on the radio, then punch the button, should you have to tune it to the correct station? Or would you expect it to give you the right station every time?

    It is indeed a slippery slope. I don't know if marketing makes a connection between users of this site and the company that they work for being a customer, but that would indeed be interesting if they have it. Especially over the last decade. It would truly be a shame to see the site disappear - it has helped so many with great advice - from the newbie to the old sage.

     

    send this to my bosses.

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor wrote:

    Greg Edwards-268690 wrote:

    The irony is a company selling products that are software / code has a forum they support that has gotten buggier over time. This in some respects is a very visible face to the world. For many, it likely could be a first exposure to Redgate. You would hope they would take a good hard look at some of the reported bugs, and get some help in prioritizing them and seeing what it takes to fix them.

    Some issues are more cosmetic, while others are big and obvious. An email with a link to a post, that doesn't take you to that post, but lands you back further in the thread. Makes me think how does their software work? Or can I trust those giving advice?

    Over the years, there have been many extremely talented people contributing to this site. It is really sad to see some have left or contribute far less often.

    Steve - I can see how frustrating this is. Maybe some of my comments could help drive some thoughts into a productive conversation. I kind of get the sense that those in charge of the purse strings should take a firsthand look at a few of the main things that are buggy. Then ask them if this is the impression they want to leave with potential customers.

    If you set a station on the radio, then punch the button, should you have to tune it to the correct station? Or would you expect it to give you the right station every time?

    It is indeed a slippery slope. I don't know if marketing makes a connection between users of this site and the company that they work for being a customer, but that would indeed be interesting if they have it. Especially over the last decade. It would truly be a shame to see the site disappear - it has helped so many with great advice - from the newbie to the old sage.

    send this to my bosses.

    Ok... fine.  What are their email addresses?

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.

    Change is inevitable... Change for the better is not.


    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • Perry Whittle wrote:

    in fact can’t we just have a copy of the code and db and go host our own solution maybe

    If it were that easy, I would. The structure of things have changed, and the old C# forum (and ASP.NET site) code is likely unwieldy now. There were also some security issues with the forum software and one of the challenges was taking an upgrade from the company, which had moved on as well, and adding back in customizations we had used.

    In fact, security and working with modern web requirements for SEO was one reason to pick a platform. It was already a challenge for Andy and me right before we sold, since we weren't always up on what things needed to be done for better web response. Performance wise for the db we could handle, but web stuff is hard.

    I'm very torn here. I would prefer we take something like BBPRess at this point and re-write or customize the way it works so it's not so "WordPress-y", which is a lot of JSON and dynamic queries, which don't scale. However, then we're have issues taking upgrades. Really, I'd prefer we take something OSS, fork it, fix it to perform and re-release it so others can help maintain it.

     

  • marketing@red-gate.com is likely the best (or sales@).

     

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor wrote:

    marketing@red-gate.com is likely the best (or sales@).

    Ok.  Thanks, Steve.

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
    ________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a ROW... think, instead, of what you want to do to a COLUMN.

    Change is inevitable... Change for the better is not.


    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    How to Post Performance Problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor wrote:

    Perry Whittle wrote:

    in fact can’t we just have a copy of the code and db and go host our own solution maybe

    If it were that easy, I would. The structure of things have changed, and the old C# forum (and ASP.NET site) code is likely unwieldy now. There were also some security issues with the forum software and one of the challenges was taking an upgrade from the company, which had moved on as well, and adding back in customizations we had used.

    In fact, security and working with modern web requirements for SEO was one reason to pick a platform. It was already a challenge for Andy and me right before we sold, since we weren't always up on what things needed to be done for better web response. Performance wise for the db we could handle, but web stuff is hard.

    I'm very torn here. I would prefer we take something like BBPRess at this point and re-write or customize the way it works so it's not so "WordPress-y", which is a lot of JSON and dynamic queries, which don't scale. However, then we're have issues taking upgrades. Really, I'd prefer we take something OSS, fork it, fix it to perform and re-release it so others can help maintain it.

    What i've noticed is that at certain times of the day when the site likely has low traffic i can post and browse with ease and no errors\timeouts, during the day it gets worst, i  would say that the platform this site sits on could do with some scale out configuration to ensure the site performs during busy periods

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "Ya can't make an omelette without breaking just a few eggs" 😉

  • Steve -

    Do you think that it would help if we get together as a group, and send one email as a group (listing all of the members of the group) with all of the issues that we see and how these issues are causing the audience to leave?

    Or would it be better to have everyone send emails individually?

    We could still create a group to do things like prioritize the items, have consistent and clear verbiage about the issues that we send on, etc. If we do create a group, the more folks that are in it would be beneficial to the goal. If we can get folks (like me) who don't participate anymore because of the issues, it could be an eye-opener for RG.

    What does everyone else think about this? Is it worth doing? Would you participate in this endeavor?

    I'm thinking of this group being either a new thread here as SSC, or perhaps something like a shared mailbox that everyone would be a part of. Or even other ways that I'm not aware of...

    Wayne
    Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server 2008
    Author - SQL Server T-SQL Recipes


    If you can't explain to another person how the code that you're copying from the internet works, then DON'T USE IT on a production system! After all, you will be the one supporting it!
    Links:
    For better assistance in answering your questions
    Performance Problems
    Common date/time routines
    Understanding and Using APPLY Part 1 & Part 2

  • Volumes are better, especially across time. Getting a consistent set of emails across time is good.

    Your posts here (forwarded) did get a meeting set and some movement on upgrading WordPress and discussing next steps. I'm back lightly for a few days, so I'll work on trying to prioritize issues. I'll post back here what I see in our lists so you can tell me what you think is more or less important.

  • Steve Jones - SSC Editor wrote:

    Volumes are better, especially across time. Getting a consistent set of emails across time is good.

    Your posts here (forwarded) did get a meeting set and some movement on upgrading WordPress and discussing next steps. I'm back lightly for a few days, so I'll work on trying to prioritize issues. I'll post back here what I see in our lists so you can tell me what you think is more or less important.

    As far as WordPress sites go SSC is very clean and elegant imo.  Some WordPress sites are still fixed width and are truly stuck in the past.  Maybe SSC has some issues but overall it's a great site 🙂   Here's Red Gate's competitor's site: https://www.quest.com/community/apexsql/f/forum.  Not nearly as good and no activity in 20 days.  The old SSC site was before my time.  Maybe there are missing features from the past?  Idk I do notice in older postings, like more than 10 years ago, the format of the code changed, or the current code box wasn't backpopulated maybe?  But that's now long in the past

    As for upgrades imo it's maybe not worth spending any additional money.  Reason 1: as a platform and an architecture WordPress and PHP are at the end their rope and out of gas imo.  PHP stands for "PHP: Hypertext Preprocessor." and how much hypertext preprocessing should modern systems have to peform?  Zero.  For a long while WordPress (and Drupal and other CMS's) have been offering the best, most complete customizable web system (server+db+forum ui).  Reason 2: new options are about to be available (server+db+forum ui) which are truly better in significant ways.  C#, SQL Server, and Blazor components.  Imo a much better separation of concerns, better db and data access, more modern tooling, and much better supported

    Aus dem Paradies, das Cantor uns geschaffen, soll uns niemand vertreiben können

  • We're not just a forum, though. This is a whole publishing engine that gets article submissions, runs them through a queue, publishes, scheduled, generates a newsletter, has the daily question, and more. It's not a simple site, nor is it simple to move.

    Wordpress might not be great, but it's not bad. To me, the biggest issue is the forum structure doesn't fit well in a documentdb. It's a bit forced. Much better to make this relational.

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