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Andy Brice
Successful Software

Doug Nebeker ("Doug")

Jonathan Matthews
Creator of DeepTrawl, CloudTrawl, and LeapDoc

Nicholas Hebb
BreezeTree Software

Bob Walsh
host, Startup Success Podcast author of The Web Startup Success Guide and Micro-ISV: From Vision To Reality

Patrick McKenzie
Bingo Card Creator

Any reasons not to use Appcelerator Titanium?

Seems like a really good cross-platform development tool for iOS, Android, and soon Windows Phone. Free SDK and free back-end cloud hosting (built on top of AWS). Native controls. Programming in Javascript for front and back ends.

Can anyone think of reasons not to use this for cross platform development except for the learning curve in getting familiar with the IDE? I need to make sure I won't be heading down the wrong road if I use it.

Thanks.
Dan R Send private email
Thursday, February 14, 2013
 
 
Andy Brice Send private email
Friday, February 15, 2013
 
 
@Andy your comments about "I have heard negative comments about their licensing model" are wildly out of date.  That Q&A question is 5 months out of date.

Try checking out;

http://developer.appcelerator.com/blog/2012/10/an-open-letter-from-jeff-haynie.html

http://www.appcelerator.com/legal/appexplore-agreement/

http://developer.appcelerator.com/question/146970/appexplore--commercial-apps

There were misunderstandings, Appcelerator took ownership, involved the community it providing a clearer license and now all sorted.

Additionally a few weeks back Appcelerator massively increased the amount of free push notifications and much more for their free tier.

I am sure you will agree Appcelerator went above and beyond.
Malcolm Hollingsworth Send private email
Sunday, February 17, 2013
 
 
@Andy

It is as good as it looks - I would not waste my time with anything that was not.

It uses a common language, the language extensions are quick to understand.  The documentation is now excellent, there are guides, video tutorials and sample applications.

There is a massive community helping everyone out - called the Q&A.

The zero to app time is VERY short.  Of course you need to have skill as app creation is not for everyone, but it will not be the tools letting you down.
Malcolm Hollingsworth Send private email
Sunday, February 17, 2013
 
 
I meant @Dan for the second one!  Doh!
Malcolm Hollingsworth Send private email
Sunday, February 17, 2013
 
 
@Malcolm

> "I am sure you will agree Appcelerator went above and beyond."

As I understand what happened, I don't agree.  As I read the thread that Andy posted it seemed like this is what happened:

1. A UK dev used their free product.

2. A UK rep from the company told the dev both he *and his client* each owed the company £5000--which was not at all true.

3. The CEO apologized, said it was wrong, and said the rep needed better training.  Also he emphasized what was free and what wasn't.

How is that "above and beyond"?  It seems like the bare minimum of an appropriate response.  (Reminds of the Chris Rock routine about people who brag about things we're all supposed to do anyway, like, "I love my kids", or "I've never been to jail.")

I know that if I go to a restaurant and get horrible service or food, I expect to be comped on the meal, or something along those lines.  Good owners know this.  If I were the CEO I would have upgraded the UK dev to the full (paid) service, gratis, and made it clear that the rep who was dunning him for £5000 has been fired and there is an active investigation into all of that rep's (or that office's) dealings and all damages are being rectified to their UK customers. And even *that* is not "above and beyond"--it's just what you do when you're serious about quality service.  This is not just a little mistake, as I understand the situation.

If I misunderstand the situation, I'd be happy to understand it better.  Thanks.
Racky Send private email
Sunday, February 17, 2013
 
 
@Racky

The cause of the problem was overzealous staff in the UK office months ago and as already shown the whole thing was resolved very shortly afterwards.

So this is what I mean by above and beyond;

There was a clear problem and the CEO got directly involved straight away, how many times does that happen with other companies?

The CEO wrote an open letter explaining the situation to everyone and published it on the company's own blog, so we have complete transparency.

The CEO took time to re-visit the licence himself and prepare a new version that aimed to clear up the misunderstandings that had been part of the problem and went further to make it very clear what was free and what was not free.

This document was again posted in public on the company's own blog and asked for the community's involvement to make sure that the new licence content was as clear as was legally and suitably possible.

After the community had been given sufficient time to add their thoughts the revised document was published for all to see.

As I understand it the UK office and all others staff were provided with a clear understanding of what is and what is not the right thing to do.

I would not speculate to the fate or otherwise of any staff - not my job and not yours.

So again when I say going above and beyond let me remind you that nothing was hidden from anyone, there was direct and immediate involvement from the very top of the company and the users of the system participated in how to move forwards.

Remember the original Q&A question is still publicly available for all to see - not the act of people who hide away from negative situations.

Should the situation have ever occurred - no never.

Has the company learnt from what happened - you tell me, have there been any other occurrences?  The internet does not let things hide away, we have things like twitter to help make sure that cannot happen ;-)

A quick summary of your main points; 'a' UK dev was told by 'a' rep incorrect (and my comment - stupid and ignorant) information.  So one person by one rep - and the CEO gets involved.  Let us remember Appcelerator is a multi-million pound company that has exploded in size in the last few short years.  Not an excuse for anything - more a point that in almost all other companies you would hear nothing from the PR team let alone the CEO.

So if you were the CEO, good point

You would have given away money - cool that would have solved the problem - no it would not.

You would have fired the staff member - really - your first thought is to fire someone, why not make sure that they were better trained and that other staff learn from the problem and are not left believing that if that make a mistake they will also get fired.  You do not fire someone for making a mistake you make sure they never make it again.  If they repeat it afterwards it is a different story, not the case here though was sit?

Remember your own restaurant example.  When the wait staff make an error it could be over a meal costing £50, assuming that is the average cost per meal at that restaurant (or £100 or £200 it does not matter).  If you are selling a pro account and those accounts cost £5,000 your mistake would have been the same thing (not the same cost) as that of the restaurant.  I notice you did not fire the wait staff member though - you just wanted something for free.

So as the CEO you would have given away money, fired people but NOT have made sure it could not happen again.

So let me revisit my "above and beyond" comment because it also included a point you failed to include because for some reason you have only focused on the negative and ignored EVERY thing that was done in public afterwards.

The free tier of Appcelerators Titanium recently gained a massive bump in all the features and usage allowances. This was done after consultation again with the community.  Just one headline figure; push notification allowance went from 1 million (yes 6 zeros) to 5 million, a five fold increase, for free - no charge, zero money down, nothing to pay monthly.  If you manage to exceed that amount then they start charging you AFTER they consult with you first to find the best fit for your needs.

You see I am not sure how you can have a problem with a company that publicly handles any problem of any level with the degree of professionalism that occurred in this isolated incident.  That decides to say the amount of stuff we give you for free is now FIVE times more than the previous extremely generous allowances - again for free.  Remember this is whilst you are using the free software they supply to create apps that you can make money with and still not have to pay them for that privilege.

So if you are or ever become a CEO of a multimillion pound company and you find yourself in a situation where you have to deal with solve a similar problem - then you can teach me how your way works better.

Now on to the important part, Dan asked if anyone had any reason why he should not use Appcelerators Titanium.  So assuming you have used the software and published one or more apps using it - then it would be nice if you tell him your actual experiences, because at least Andy provided a word of potential concern and I followed up with more updated information and shared my own experiences.

Your turn to share with Dan.
Malcolm Hollingsworth Send private email
Sunday, February 17, 2013
 
 
@Malcolm

> So this is what I mean by above and beyond;

> There was a clear problem and the CEO got directly involved straight away, how many times does that happen with other companies?

Sometimes.  (Recent examples:  Netflix, Facebook, Tesla Motors, JC Penney, Lowes, J. Crew, Amgen, Agrium, Airbnb, Best Buy).  I don't have a count.  Google "CEO Responds".

> The CEO wrote an open letter explaining the situation to everyone and published it on the company's own blog, so we have complete transparency.

That's not the meaning of "complete transparency".  I don't even care about having it, though.

> The CEO took time to re-visit the licence himself and prepare a new version that aimed to clear up the misunderstandings that had been part of the problem and went further to make it very clear what was free and what was not free.

Not above and beyond, IMO.

> So again when I say going above and beyond let me remind you that nothing was hidden from anyone, there was direct and immediate involvement from the very top of the company and the users of the system participated in how to move forwards.

> Remember the original Q&A question is still publicly available for all to see - not the act of people who hide away from negative situations.

All this *is good*, I agree.  My point is to describe it as "above and beyond" is what I disagree with.  It's what one ought to do.  It's like saying a fireman rescued someone from a burning building and then calling it going "above and beyond" his duty.  No, that *is* his duty as a fireman.

> Has the company learnt from what happened - you tell me, have there been any other occurrences?  The internet does not let things hide away, we have things like twitter to help make sure that cannot happen ;-)

I don't think the CEO is attempting to hide anything, and never suggested that, just to be clear.

> company that has exploded in size in the last few short years.  Not an excuse for anything - more a point that in almost all other companies you would hear nothing from the PR team let alone the CEO.

I'm not sure about that.  If a company takes an action foul enough to potentially be a PR debacle, they tend to try for damage control.

> You would have fired the staff member - really - your first thought is to fire someone, why not make sure that they were better trained and that other staff learn from the problem and

I guess my point is that the company was charging the customer $7,500 for a *free service*, and then also charging his *customer*.  If I had been the developer trying to use a free tool and then got that "bill"--yow, that's some seriously upsetting stuff.  That's like going to a restaurant (let's stay with that metaphor), being told you are getting a complimentary bottle of wine, then getting a bill for $300 for Chateau d'Omigod 1982.  It's a really *really* bad business practice.

> You do not fire someone for making a mistake you make sure they never make it again. 

You mightn't; I would.  I think some mistakes are unforgiveable.  I see someone in my kitchen not wash his hands and then cook, that's it--he's gone.  Same with food on floor, etc.  Charging a customer aggressively (see the thread from Andy about how aggressively) for a free service falls into that domain, at least for me.

> Remember your own restaurant example.  When the wait staff make an error it could be over a meal costing £50, assuming that is the average cost per meal at that restaurant (or £100 or £200 it does not matter).  If you are selling a pro account and those accounts cost £5,000 your mistake would have been the same thing (not the same cost) as that of the restaurant.  I notice you did not fire the wait staff member though - you just wanted something for free.

I'd want the staffer potentially fired, too, depending on how grievous it was.  But I see going from free to £5,000 a huge jump indeed.  A big glaring misdeed.

> So if you are or ever become a CEO of a multimillion pound company and you find yourself in a situation where you have to deal with solve a similar problem - then you can teach me how your way works better.

I am the current CEO of a multiBILLION pound company. 

No, OK, I'm being a little silly there.  I don't share your view that one has to be an X to know how an X ought to comport oneself.  I think you probably agree with that.  We all know how cops, priests, politicians, et al. ought to behave and oughtn't to, and yet we aren't those.

> Now on to the important part, Dan asked if anyone had any reason why he should not use Appcelerators Titanium.  So assuming you have used the software and published one or more apps using it - then it would be nice if you tell him your actual experiences, because at least Andy provided a word of potential concern and I followed up with more updated information and shared my own experiences.

> Your turn to share with Dan.

I was just responding to your point, Internet style, not Dan's.  I am sure there is much value in Titanium product, and I hope they get this worked out.  I just took issue with the "above and beyond" sort of "grade inflation" of corporate stewardship.  Low expectations and all that.
Racky Send private email
Sunday, February 17, 2013
 
 
" If a company takes an action foul enough to potentially be a PR debacle, they tend to try for damage control."
And being transparent, when it takes 30 seconds to find a smoking gun is what passes for damage control these days.  It's in the same vein as Lance Armstrong confessing to doping.  I agree, no points given for not going down a blatantly stupid path.

Forgive me for being cynical, but over the top defences of inexcusable behaviour is also what passes for damage control these days.  In this case nobody got killed, and if you are a potential customer of Appcelerator you are now a better informed consumer.  As always, caveat emptor.
Howard Ness Send private email
Sunday, February 17, 2013
 
 
"over the top defences" edit to read "over the top third party defences"  Since anyone can be anybody on the Internet, there is no such thing as a neutral third party.
Howard Ness Send private email
Sunday, February 17, 2013
 
 

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