www.rblibrary.com, and a fuller opinion on it…
One of the posters on the forums site recently through a mini-fit about RBLibrary, a site where you can purchase tutorials on how to do stuff in Real Basic. I proceeded to bitch about how both are in the wrong, but never went too far into details on what I find wrong or right about the site. There is a huge reason why I didn’t, but before I do, I wanted to address something first.
I’m used to getting told to Just Google It when I ask some of my questions. (Most of the time, it’s warranted – I’m just being too lazy at that time.) Most of the questions I ask, however, have already had the time put in beforehand to try to find a solution, and either I’m not understanding an aspect of what I have found, or have could not find what I was looking for. Those that have bitched, if they bothered to do a little research beforehand, didn’t find what they looked for; those who didn’t do their research need to start looking first. Many of the authors trying to rake in money are no worse for wear on the money side and have published tutorials for free on their own sites, if not someone else’s. The information, more often than not, is there, in the manual and online. You just need to look.
So why use RBLibrary, then, if it is out there? First, it should be easier to find what you are looking for by the authors who have already proven that they know what they are talking about. Some of the names on there post in the forums, and a few who don’t have been published both online and in print. (You can find a How-To by Erick Tejkoski, who used to do the RB tutorials on Resexcellence’s site, in the latest MacAddict, for example.) These guys know their stuff.
Second, while I feel that their prices are a little unreasonable, it’s not so unreasonable that I wouldn’t buy it, if I could. (Again, I’ll get to this in a second.) These guys put the blood, sweat and tears into putting in the research and implementation of RB and what they do that they shouldn’t have to put everything they write out without getting compensation. This is especially true if I want o profit off of their information: Why should I get what they had to work to get for free?
Third, you get the information you’re paying for at that moment, not the next day, week, or month when you need it sooner. The fact that it is online, available anytime, is a good enough reason, especially for us who do second/third shift programming.
As I said, though, there are a few things I’d like to see. First, I’d suggest creating a uniform presentation of the files – if what I am seeing from the outside covers of these files represent how it’s presented inside, they will have a hard sell, and will not help RB in the long run. Second, ditto for the site – most of us who need it won’t pass over it, but it may hurt their sales with potential customers of RB looking for resources to the program.
I’d also suggest that they make a print option and deal with a company like Lulu or Cafe Press. Order 4-5 books, have them all printed in 1 manual/magazine – like printing where you can have the articles, and a printed copy sent to you that you can easily store away for later use.
These things, however, are relatively minor, since most programmers (that I know) only care about what’s inside, and don’t need printed copies. (I prefer to have printed, in the event of not working with dual monitors, but I prefer dual monitors better.) That, and I think these will eventually fix itself, especially if it takes off.
The one thing preventing me from ordering anything is that they’re going through PayPal for everything. Right now, I don’t have myself set up with a bank yet, so I can’t order anything online without getting help from people. (My subscription with RB, which has long since lapsed, was paid this way.) So, I can’t judge what’s inside because I can’t access what’s inside. This, I think, will change as it gains momentum and success: this site wasn’t funded by Real Software, it was funded by people in my shoes. (Ok, maybe they’re a little better off, but they’re not rich enough to go into business for themselves 100% yet, if you get what I mean.)
So why post it here, when the people on the forums are the ones who need to read this? Because I am one of those people that, when asking questions, doesn’t slouch much in the research end. (I usually come into work every day prepared for a shitstorm because I am unconventional in my research methods.) I’ve already told you what does happen when I do slouch. (It ain’t often, but it always happens when I do.) it bothers me a lot that people will bitch and whine because someone tries to earn an honest dollar for the work they go through. You want something easy? Buy the books and quit whining. Otherwise, put yourself into their shoes and start treading, because they’ve earned their right to handle their information the way that they see fit.
Here’s hope to their success in this. 😀 I look forward to digging myself out of my hole to be able to read their stuff soon.