#1 2008-03-12 01:32

den4b
Administrator
From: den4b.com
Registered: 2006-04-06
Posts: 2,764

Great and not so great...

First, I have finally got my long waiting break, and I am able to go back home. I am going to Russia this Thursday, in about 50 hours! big_smile Visas, permits, work, and other things were not letting me do this earlier, and will not let me do this later on as well, so I got this opportunity and as they say "I grab it by the balls". I will not be back until the very end of this month tongue

Second, I regret to say and will feel terrible after I say this, and if I don't, I will be just be fooling my-self. I came to the point when I am starting to think that I may not be able to develop and support these tools any longer.

As the user base of these tools grows, the development and support demands are growing exponentially. Unfortunately, as a side effect, my life is starting to shrink, dramatically. I am not sure if many can imagine the pressure. Most people will not be aware of this, but I have 1 full time job, 1 part time job, and infrequent calls to on-site support as another part time job.

This site, and all of these tools, were started up as a result of loads of free time while being in college, great ambitions, and inspiration from friends. As time goes by, there is no longer such thing as "free time", great ambitions are being used by work, and inspiration - well, inspiration by it-self is just not enough to support this big load. By this point in time, support of these tools takes around 1-2 hours a day, each day. This time is taken out of my free/personal time, which could possibly be allocated to the development of the tools, or maybe simply for my own personal needs. Support and development do require huge amount of effort and strength.

Maybe it is my own fault that these tools take soo much from my life. Maybe I am just too responsive to people. On my very own experience, I know that authors of even commercial software are not even partially as responsive. I always tried to help and satisfy the needs of as many as possible, and this tactic doesn't seem to help me any more. In some case, it even provokes people to bring even a bigger load onto my shoulders. Just to give a relative figure out of my head: Today, after work, shower, dinner, laugh with friends for a bit, and sat down answering support emails and looking into new posts on forums. Roughly, it took 4 hours, so by the time I am finished with it all, it is 1am. How's that for a hobby.

Many of you know by their own experience that I give every suggestion a fair trial. I weight all pros and cons, taking many different factors into consideration. It is impossible to describe in details all the reasons, but I always try to give a brief reason for implementing or not implementing some feature/suggestion. And again, this may sound ironic, but I had several cases which led almost to a fight, where user was offended by my decision regarding some particular suggestion. I truly had enough of that. Even if we put my research, experience, thinking, and strong reasons for my decisions - into the bin, then I am still the author of these tools, and I decide what I do with them. I do not charge people for using these tools or even for requesting support, and I defiantly do not have an obligation for satisfy every need. Needless to say, but some people are not even willing to spend an extra minute of their own time to help me answer their question, making me spend 2,3,4,5 times more effort to answer the question.

I am truly shocked by this whole situation, as you already see. I do not blame anybody. I know that most of you are simply trying to improve these tools. I believe it is my own ambitions which led to this situation. I don't know where we are going from this. One thing is for sure, I want my holidays to be spend on me, and not work. I guess we will see when I get back, what is going to happen...

I apologise for the harsh words, but it seemed right at the time of writing.

Last edited by den4b (2008-03-12 01:55)

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#2 2008-03-12 04:29

dloneranger
Senior Member
From: Birmingham, UK
Registered: 2006-05-03
Posts: 122

Re: Great and not so great...

I wouldn't fret about it - you've done lots of great work but you've just GOT to have some personal life

I moderate a forum for TVersity (media streaming software) that supports all sorts of different device (consoles/phones etc) and I know what you mean about support taking over your life and burning you out (we've lost a few mods just through this)
The developers there only answer questions once a week now at most

Advice
Take no more than 1/2 hour a day maximum to provide support

Get a few moderators to answer the 'already answered 10 times a day' questions - they can also, deal with people who insist that you make YOUR programs work how THEY want, and users who complain that 'it's been 10 minutes since I asked why haven't you replied yet!!'

When you're bored, take a few days break - it's not going to kill anyone

You started doing this for fun, when it's not, quit doing the bits that you don't enjoy

Leave feature requests at 'Taken into consideration for future versions' - if you suggest that you might do it soon you'll be expected to have it working and out the door in about 2 hours, so don't ;-)

Don't get into arguments with users, it's fairly pointless in the long term and you don't need strangers annoying you - they'll either go away or stop complaining, just point them to a sticky that says how sorry you are that you can't support every users wishes, if only I had time etc....

Don't take anything on the forums personally - the users here don't look too bad, but neither do the ones on TVersity after I've deleted all the ones that swear at me/family - it used to get to me at first 'hey, I just delete spam why are you bitching at me?' but now I just delete them...... if you can't play nice then you can't play at all

Always remember that it's you 'letting' other people use your software, your not a company, they're not paying you, and any help is just a bonus

Anyway.. I hope you found some of that useful
Lots of great freeware projects are lost due to user pressure it'd be a shame to see yours go under as well

Illegitimi non carborundum :-)

Last edited by dloneranger (2008-03-12 04:30)

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#3 2008-03-12 12:54

Stefan
Moderator
From: Germany, EU
Registered: 2007-10-23
Posts: 931

Re: Great and not so great...

I am sad to hear this, Denis. sad

Too bad you have no more time to developing your tools.
But i understand you!

I hope you will enjoy to improve or bug fix your tools at least one or two times a year only.
Would be to bad to lose such great nifty tools!!11!1

I wish you an nice break and an happy holiday. Greets to Russia. big_smile
All the best for you and your family.

And THANK YOU Denis for giving us such an great ReNamer big_smile

Last edited by Stefan (2008-04-02 07:13)


For more help and how-to's  read our fine Wiki.
If ReNamer had helped you, please donate a coin to Denis or buy a Pro license for commercial use. (Lite vs Pro)

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#4 2008-03-12 13:08

krtek
Senior Member
From: Łódź (Poland)
Registered: 2008-02-21
Posts: 262

Re: Great and not so great...

Have a greate time in Russia! And take a good rest from everything.
You're a great developer and your tools will stand for themselves even without your support. I fully agree with dloneranger - don't let it take your private life. Do something about the software if you will feel that it give you fun or will satisfy your ambitions, but don't let people press you.
I am also too helpy sometimes and I know how hard is to stand aside, but it helps, it really helps live your own life.
And if you decide to look through this forum, limiting time for support can be really very helpful. People will learn with time that you can't answer their question in two days any more. They will even have to learn that you will only answer really important (for you, not for them) questions, and only when you want.
BTW, some time ago my doarm roommate used an alarm clock to teach himself how to control his time spent infront of the computer. He was setting alarm for an hour when he was turning on computer and turned it off no later than 5 min. after the sound of alarm. It was REALLY hard at start ("I'll just finish that...", "Just answer this e-mail.." and so on), but he finally learnt how to stand up from computer at any moment, no matter what he was doing.

Maybe you should hide your email by your name in forum. That will stop people from asking you and only you. Forum is about asking anybody.

I wish you all the very best. You did a lot of wonderful work.
Konrad


Regular Expressions are not as hard to understand as you may think. Check ReNamer's manual or nice Regular Expressions tutorial for more info and start to use full power of applications that use them (like ReNamer, Mp3Tag and so on).

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#5 2008-03-13 07:13

ozzii
Senior Member
Registered: 2007-07-04
Posts: 101

Re: Great and not so great...

I wish you all the best.
You did a lot for me with ReNamer.

I also wish that someone will continue your really great work roll


_________________
Do, or do not. There is no 'try.'" --  Jedi Master Yoda

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#6 2008-03-30 19:21

chanceusc
Member
Registered: 2008-03-30
Posts: 1

Re: Great and not so great...

A few years ago I was in desperate need of software that renamed large groups of files, I searched around the net and couldn't find anything to solve the immediate solution so I wrote a simple little script that would rename off of regex. That worked fine for the time being but I found myself needing this over and over again so I did a searched again and after about 20 different downloads, I stumbled upon your application. I absolutely fell in love with it becoming dependent on it for renaming files. Well, I formatted my drive a few months ago and I for some reason I didn't keep the install for it so when it came time to rename files on the new drive I was suddenly hit in the face with the reality that I didn't have it anymore. I spent hours searching for it but with the current state of the internet and the abuse of search engine optimization, I was unable to find it. Fortunately though, I was fed up again and did a quick search and walla - your app was the first to appear. This is a long and rather unnecessary story but I told it just to let you know that your application is, by all means, the best on the market and I honestly thank you for making it and putting your heart and soul to making it best out there. Having written just a simple script to handle renaming, I can only imagine the time that you've devoted to building this application - THANKS!

I regret hearing that after having built such a popular application that you still need to work more than 1 job. I'm not sure how much of that is financially dependent but have you considered utilizing your tool to generate revenue? I am highly supportive of freeware absent of adware but I also believe that you can capitalize on your program while still offering it free. Even if you just simply sold a few banner spots on the application you could probably generate enough revenue off of it to make the application worth while. Also, there is *no* harm in adding advertisements to your website.

I can't speak for everyone, but I personally would much rather see you see some form of return on your hard work. I am truly thankful you made this application and I wish you the best of luck in life.



Thank you,
Chance Dinkins

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#7 2008-04-02 04:09

ciberman11
Member
Registered: 2008-04-02
Posts: 2

Re: Great and not so great...

I'm very sad to hear that sad. Just like ozzii and chanceuscsaid: Thank you very much for creating the apps, offering support, and generally speaking, making life easier for thousands of people like me.

In my case, it was ReNamer. I just have to say it: This is the best file renamer in existence. Period. And believe me, I've tried almost all of them. I can honestly say that it has saved me hundreds of hours, and I'm pretty sure that it prevented a couple heart attacks. Seriously! tongue

As dloneranger, Stefanand krtekmention, maybe you don't have to quit development. I think they're right. Just invest the time when YOU feel like it. Do just the stuff YOU like. Offer personal support only when you can, or just let people search the forums...

I could go on and on... but the sentiment is the same: Please don't quit! Take some time off, work on the your apps dev only when you can... If you still decide that you've had enough, well... just THANK YOU VERY MUCH, for the apps, and for your time.

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#8 2008-04-06 16:06

den4b
Administrator
From: den4b.com
Registered: 2006-04-06
Posts: 2,764

Re: Great and not so great...

Thanks, everyone! I really appreciate your understanding and support.

As you already guessed, I'm back from my holidays! It was AMAZING!!! big_smile I drunk everything I could've drunk, I went to every party I could've went, and I met almost everyone I wanted to meet! In first 4 days I slept a little less that 10 hours, and after that I didn't even try to count because I wouldn't remember anyway! I didn't even touch computers while I was there!!  wink

I also had some time to think about everything, these programs I mean, and here is what I think....

I will continue my work. I will do it the way I like it, and no other way. The previously occurred situation cannot happen again! There will be no more long explanations for my decisions, and I will not stand any arguments regarding those decisions. If you, as a user, want to help me improve these tools - then help me with the forum, so I can spend less time answering questions/suggestions and more time working on the solutions. I have enough ideas on the list to keep me busy for a long time. I cannot spend a lot of time on any of the support or development, and some will have to learn with time that only important for me and from my point of view questions/suggestions will be answered/implemented.

Denis.

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#9 2008-04-06 23:59

krtek
Senior Member
From: Łódź (Poland)
Registered: 2008-02-21
Posts: 262

Re: Great and not so great...

Hi Denis!
I'm REALLY GLAD to hear that.
I'm ready to answer any questions about regex's and anything else I would know. It already became my habit to check the forum once a day smile
Ps. I think I need few days in Russia as well. To get that spirit. But no possibilities in near future.

Cheers,
Konrad


Regular Expressions are not as hard to understand as you may think. Check ReNamer's manual or nice Regular Expressions tutorial for more info and start to use full power of applications that use them (like ReNamer, Mp3Tag and so on).

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#10 2008-04-07 00:27

Fathom
Member
From: Boulder, CO USA
Registered: 2007-05-10
Posts: 29

Re: Great and not so great...

You have been most generous with your time, in fact your efforts have been heroic. No apology of any kind required.  Many thanks for your efforts.  It is your program.  Being freeware how could you owe anything to anyone.

I sadly knew this day would one day come.  I have been continually impressed with the ongoing and consistent development and support.

Forum work is very time consuming and sometimes very painful. I can relate having made 400 posts on another forum (using same username) supporting others, for a expensive complex program that is poorly written, poorly maintained, poorly supported and with almost useless documentation and questionable advertising ethics. I do it out of pure sympathy for it's users. Not fun and it takes up much of my free time. I have suggested ReNamer there on several occasions.

A wonderful, well supported free rename program is "ReNamer" by den4b to batch remove the "_2" from you new files.

PS.
There is an extremely powerful freeware program called ReNamer by Denis Kozlov that can remove all those suffixes added to your recordings. The program is excellent and so is the personal support he provides in its forum.

I would much rather support a program I appreciate as much as yours but I could never got a firm handle on the PascalScript instructions. ReNamer is the only place I have used PascalScript.  As much as I rely upon ReNamer every few days, I have not worked on a new script in six months. 

The quality of your work is amazing. It is rare to have a program be both powerful and friendly at the same time.  Maybe PascalScript is an additional power option for advanced users familiar with Pascal only, period.  As much as I appreciate and rely upon PascalScript in ReNamer it is frightening how much support it alone can require.

Fathom
Boulder, CO USA

ps.
Thank You also to the Senior Members of this forum who help out.

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