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Cross-platform BBC BASIC (Win32, Linux x86, Android, Mac OS-X, Raspberry Pi)

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Richard Russell
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« Thread started on: Dec 11th, 2017, 11:42am »

I created this forum for two main reasons. Firstly because I am unable to participate in the 'other' (BB4W) forum, and I wanted to provide somewhere at Conforums where people could get answers 'from the horse's mouth'. And secondly as a place to support the cross-platform version of BBC BASIC (BBCSDL) which is understandably considered 'off topic' at the BBC BASIC for Windows forum.

However as things have turned out neither reason is valid. To my disappointment and upset, members of the BB4W forum have such a hatred of me that they will not join this forum or ask questions of me, even when they know I could provide answers. I received this unsolicited comment from a longstanding user recently: "I'm not even a member of the BBCSDL Conforum or discussion group (nor will I ever be)".

As far as BBCSDL itself is concerned, as we know that has attracted very little interest, and certainly there is no demand for any 'support'. Probably because of me having missed a 'window of opportunity' a few years ago, the remaining small number of BBC BASIC users are dyed-in-the-wool Windows enthusiasts with no desire to run it on other platforms.

So it is my intention to close this forum in the near future, unless anybody objects.

Richard.
« Last Edit: Dec 11th, 2017, 12:39pm by Richard Russell » User IP Logged

michael
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« Reply #1 on: Dec 11th, 2017, 6:17pm »

Quote:
So it is my intention to close this forum in the near future, unless anybody objects.


Atm, there have been more people visiting this forum with questions that would apply to your level of knowledge than at the BBC4W forum.
Also, the active members of BBC4W forum, (referring to about maybe 3) rarely are on. Only recently has the activity increased after David Williams put out his forces of Darkness.

I wouldn't assume as to their personal reasons, but it seems that people are just waiting for something to happen and not as willing to participate.

BUT
There have been a massive audience on the BBC4W forum for the ongoing subjects that has been an echo of what is posted here. ( I have tried to champion the effort for quite some time)

As far as I am concerned, this is established and has gained attention from a growing audience, as you can see if you look at the posts its a matter of relevance.

* Can I apply this to my needs?
* Is this interesting?

You can see where people are most reactive to. BBCSDL is being worked on by people on the BBC4W forum (one in particular David Williams has a project ongoing for it)

To each his own.. I'd say.

I believe that it would be tragic and counter productive.

I strongly object to this move. It would be sad for me to see you leave.

Besides, so much has changed since those troubling times. You are much more receptive to people. And noticeably more positive.



« Last Edit: Dec 11th, 2017, 6:21pm by michael » User IP Logged

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« Reply #2 on: Dec 11th, 2017, 8:55pm »

on Dec 11th, 2017, 6:17pm, michael wrote:
BBCSDL is being worked on by people on the BBC4W forum (one in particular David Williams has a project ongoing for it)

I think you'll find that is incorrect.

But suppose for a moment it was true: why would somebody who refuses to join this forum be an incentive for me to keep it open?

Richard.
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« Reply #3 on: Dec 11th, 2017, 9:08pm »

Correction on that project, but BBCSDL snippets have been posted on BBC4W forum. I can find them.

This is David's project.

Quote:
Sometime in early 2018 I'm thinking of embarking on some new projects:

* An ARM instruction interpreter (not emulator!) for BB4W allowing you to run some limited ARM machine code binaries under BB4W. At minimum it would run ARMv2 binaries (in User mode).

* If not an ARM instruction interpreter, then an ARM-to-x86 instruction translator. Yes of course the resulting x86 code is likely to be inefficient, but so what? It would be fast enough for certain applications, and too slow for others.

* Possibly an ARM assembler so you can write ARM assembler code within the BB4W IDE (or import from a text file), assemble it, and run the binary code with the proposed ARMLIB (or whatever it's going to be eventually called).

* An OS_SpriteOp emulator, so you can load in RISC OS Sprite files and display them using emulated SYS OS_SpriteOp calls.


Anyone interested in these projects? I really wish that I had undertaken and completed them 10-or-so years ago! The ARM instruction interpreter/translator would have come in very handy in recent months.


David.
--




My projects do revolve around BBCSDL projects and BBC4W as my hobby.

If you decide to close this forum, then I guess there is no words that can change that.

The 3rd law of Thermal dynamics applies?

Quote:
The entropy of a system, determined relative to this zero point, is then the absolute entropy of that system.

« Last Edit: Dec 11th, 2017, 9:26pm by michael » User IP Logged

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« Reply #4 on: Dec 11th, 2017, 11:01pm »

on Dec 11th, 2017, 9:08pm, michael wrote:
If you decide to close this forum, then I guess there is no words that can change that. The 3rd law of Thermal dynamics applies?

You must agree, surely, that the current situation is unsustainable.

We have a language (BBC BASIC, or at least my 'branch' of BBC BASIC) which has only a small number of users - some estimates say fewer than 20, although personally I think that is ridiculously low. Yet we have two forums 'competing' for that small number of users, with only very few people being members of both (some of whom are unwilling to post here).

It wouldn't be so bad if Conforums supported a 'push' mechanism whereby users could opt to receive an email notification when a new post appears, but it doesn't. You can choose to be notified about posts to individual threads, but not to the forum as a whole. So there is every likelihood that an answer given at one forum won't be seen by members of the other forum.

From my perspective the best solution would be for there to be a single forum catering for both BB4W and BBCSDL (and indeed any future 64-bit version should such a thing be created). I cannot believe that the number of users and the quantity of queries would come anywhere near exceeding the ability of a single forum to cope with the demand. But that option is ruled out because a few individuals will not tolerate me being a member of 'their' forum (I have asked to join, and the admin even created a poll to test opinion, but the idea was vetoed).

So that leaves me with only two options: the status quo (which isn't satisfactory for all the reasons above) or closing this forum so that there is at least only one, albeit one to which I cannot contribute. Until recently that choice was finely balanced, and I didn't know which way to jump, but what has swayed my opinion was the remark I quoted in my initial post - from a longstanding user - that he would never join this forum anyway.

Richard.
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« Reply #5 on: Dec 13th, 2017, 1:01pm »

Hi Richard,

as a matter of clarity (and as admin of the "other forum", at your institution), the poll was 14:1 in favour of your return, and I would certainly not oppose your return: indeed, I would welcome it, though I accept that there are a small number of members who would not, and might resign (or disappear) as a consequence.

I agree it isn't ideal to have two fora covering the same, fairly limited, ground - but given that there seem to be at least some members who think it desirable to be active in one but not the other, I can't see an overwhelming argument for closing either. I certainly can't see why the fact that some people don't want to join this forum is a reason why those who DO want it should be deprived of it (and your expertise).

With regard to numbers, the fact that this forum has recruited ~150 members in a relatively short period, and the "other one" has ~620, and that both are still getting new members, the estimate of 20 users seems rather pessimistic!

Best wishes,

D
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Richard Russell
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« Reply #6 on: Dec 17th, 2017, 2:12pm »

on Dec 13th, 2017, 1:01pm, DDRM wrote:
I accept that there are a small number of members who would not, and might resign (or disappear) as a consequence.

Including you, I believe!

Just as likely, they would once again bully me until I left the forum, which would take us back to square one. After all, they didn't previously express their hatred of me by "resigning or disappearing" but by much more direct action. cry

Quote:
there seem to be at least some members who think it desirable to be active in one but not the other, I can't see an overwhelming argument for closing either.

I'm pretty sure that the reason some members are "active in one but not the other" is simply that it's too much effort to monitor two different forums on a regular basis. I very much doubt that any of them think there is an advantage in having both.

Quote:
I certainly can't see why the fact that some people don't want to join this forum is a reason why those who DO want it should be deprived of it (and your expertise).

Nobody is going to be "deprived of my expertise" since they can continue to contact me directly, or post to the 'official' BB4W and BBCSDL support forum at Groups.io, or join the Facebook group.

Quote:
the estimate of 20 users seems rather pessimistic!

You'd have to ask David Williams about that; it was his estimate, and he seemed very confident about it - in fact I think he believes it to err on the high side. The 'raw' numbers of members reported by Conforums are meaningless because most people never leave, as such, they simply stop visiting the forum.

The Liberty BASIC forum reports 6000 members but the true number of active members is probably no more than 100. If we apply the same ratio to the BBC BASIC forums it might suggest that this one has perhaps 2 active members and yours around 10. That seems about right.

It is possible to argue that, of the two forums, this one is more deserving of continuing to exist. It's a significantly 'friendlier' forum than yours, there is a greater level of expertise and it supports a wider range of products (all 'my' BASICs, even those prior to Windows, whereas your forum is BB4W only).

So can I suggest that if you really don't want me to close this forum you close yours instead?

Richard.
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« Reply #7 on: Dec 17th, 2017, 2:48pm »

Quote:
It is possible to argue that, of the two forums, this one is more deserving of continuing to exist. It's a significantly 'friendlier' forum than yours, there is a greater level of expertise and it supports a wider range of products (all 'my' BASICs, even those prior to Windows, whereas your forum is BB4W only).

So can I suggest that if you really don't want me to close this forum you close yours instead?


And to what end? You did agree that this was a nice presentation tool, and provides reference for those looking for ideas.
And what about the people with an older BBC4W? The message board link would go to nowhere if you shut down BBC4W forum.
Both forums have their strengths.
Sure, there were 20+ new members to the BBC4W forum, BUT:
If you look at the sheer numbers of people who have looked at the posts in the TOOLS section, its astounding.
My original goal when I started on the forum was to help the silent masses of whom would be, as was once stated: not ACE programmers.
Even suggesting shutting down of a forum, is impulsive and counter productive.
As you know I too have a programming forum that links to this forum and to other resources and provides more content.

But, how can a person have a constructive outlook if all works are at risk? That's how I see it when an ultimatum is suggested.

Richard, you really need to look at the BBC4W forum in the TOOLS section.. If that doesn't convince you of the strengths of both forums, then I guess Ill have to preserve all the works and offer a link to the resources for as long as the forums are active.

(preserve that which I have permission to preserve)
« Last Edit: Dec 17th, 2017, 3:17pm by michael » User IP Logged

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« Reply #8 on: Dec 17th, 2017, 4:53pm »

on Dec 17th, 2017, 2:48pm, michael wrote:
And to what end?

As I keep saying, the "end" is to have only one forum and not two!

Quote:
And what about the people with an older BBC4W? The message board link would go to nowhere if you shut down BBC4W forum.

That's already the case for the Discussion Group link, which in old copies of BB4W goes to the defunct Yahoo! Group. It would be easy enough to leave a 'forwarding' page containing just a link to the remaining forum.

Quote:
suggesting shutting down of a forum, is impulsive and counter productive.

I don't do 'impulsive'! Indeed I am often criticised for the over-cautious way I approach everything!

Quote:
I too have a programming forum that links to this forum and to other resources and provides more content.

Links are not a problem. As I said, whichever forum is closed, it can be replaced by a forwarding page. It is in any case not wise literally to delete a forum because a cyber-squatter can then create a new one with the same name.

Quote:
you really need to look at the BBC4W forum in the TOOLS section. If that doesn't convince you of the strengths of both forums

This is difficult for me. By your own admission you believe in 'reinventing the wheel' and I'm sorry to say I cannot see the point of the great majority of the 'tools' you have developed. Please don't be discouraged by that.

Anyway, I have always emphasised that the forums are not suitable as code repositories because they cannot sensibly be searched or indexed. Once a thread has disappeared from the front page it will likely never be read again. The best place for tools and libraries is the Wiki, because users know to search there if they can't find what they want in the supplied Help file. And of course code listings there benefit from syntax colouring.

Richard.

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« Reply #9 on: Dec 17th, 2017, 5:12pm »

I am afraid you would be mistaken Richard.

I crossed this path near the beginning of my campaign. There was resistance because of the worry that ACE programmers wouldn't come to the forum.

(yip... cus ACE programmers would need help and are probably still deciding to buy the full version. LOL)

Here is a post from a member of both these forums after justification of my works needed clearification:

Quote:
It seems it was the "Lowercase Keywords" setting in my options which totally messed up everything. I've changed this back now and tried your original code, and it all works like a charm. Sorry for the duff steer here. My fault!

I really appreciate your help and learn more from code like this than any book could do.

Thanks

John


And I must state, that this was when I had very little skill in programming.

I would also state with certainty, that you are also mistaken about this:

Quote:
I have always emphasised that the forums are not suitable as code repositories because they cannot sensibly be searched or indexed. Once a thread has disappeared from the front


In the Graphics section of BBC4W if you look back over the posts, the numbers dont lie.. especially on older posts. It even surprised me that so many people were looking back so far for so long since they were posted..

Quote:
I cannot see the point of the great majority of the 'tools' you have developed


And thats because they were made for people whom have made the numbers that dont lie.

Those whom choose not to post. ( that is a lot of people Richard.)









« Last Edit: Dec 17th, 2017, 5:38pm by michael » User IP Logged

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« Reply #10 on: Dec 17th, 2017, 6:05pm »

Here is a solution:

Make a large link like what I did in my forum (which is sorta inactive because I focused on these two forums.

http://programming.conforums.com/index.cgi


One of the boards would have a link to visit you here:


Visit Richard Russell - the founder of BBC Basic for Windows:

and make a link..

That makes it easy and everyone would be happy.. sorta

Problem solved
« Last Edit: Dec 17th, 2017, 6:10pm by michael » User IP Logged

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« Reply #11 on: Dec 17th, 2017, 6:48pm »

on Dec 17th, 2017, 5:12pm, michael wrote:
There was resistance because of the worry that ACE programmers wouldn't come to the forum.

ACE? That's not an acronym I am familiar with (the only use I know is Advanced Conversion Equipment - a television standards converter from many moons ago).

Quote:
I would also state with certainty, that you are also mistaken about this

When somebody says "with certainty" you can usually be pretty confident they are wrong. wink

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« Reply #12 on: Dec 17th, 2017, 7:05pm »

ACE- a card used in poker, blackjack and other games. (blackjack- ace could be 1 or 11- which made it valuable and risky)


As far back as I can remember people have used the word to describe a persons skill at accomplishing something.

Although there is no proper use of that word in that way, people have used it in that manner. (no matter if correct or not)


Quote:
When somebody says "with certainty" you can usually be pretty confident they are wrong.


I would say that is true, but with that, what can you be certain of?


OH LOOK!! I found a dictionary link for aced and ace:


https://www.thefreedictionary.com/aced




« Last Edit: Dec 17th, 2017, 9:29pm by michael » User IP Logged

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