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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » I want to see the manager! » » Response to Steve Brooks, due to locked thread, May 2018 » » TOPIC IS LOCKED (1 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Profile of Jonta
This is a response to Steve Brooks' response to me in "All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2018 Steve Brooks". That topic is locked as of now, thus, I'm posting this as a separate thread.

Threads in question (also locked as of posting this):
- 25 character password limit -
- High number of characters per line -
- How are passwords on TMC stored? - How are passwords on TMC stored?
- Windows-1252-encoding instead of UTF-8 -
- Priority: Is TMC ready for GDPR? -
- < title >-order -
- Improper handling of HTML-tags in threads and subjects -

My guesses as to your perspective:
- Thankless: There's a lot of work involved. Sometimes a "Thank you" thread pops up. But only sometimes.
- Laboursome: With technology these days, it seems like it should all be easy. TMC certainly makes it *look* easy: Site up all the time, works everywhere. So it's probably easy, right? Just feed the servers electricity, and the domain registrar money, right? What do you mean "stuff breaks", "security concerns", "misbehaving users" and "laundry list of things you wish you could do"?
- It takes time. More time than most of us think, and often more time than the TMC staff thinks.
- Long time: 16 years. That is a looong time to be doing something. Especially considering the downsides mentioned in this paragraph. With a normal job, you can do something else. At least for a while. Not so here. Sure: There are other people to hand the reins to. But it's still *your* horse. And has been for 17 years. And there are over 60.000 users. Can't just abandon them, can we? Think about all those lives, all the time they've spent.
- Critics: out of curiosity, I googled you yesterday. And some of the first results was a critique of you. That's not nice. In black and white, for all to see. Tying into the next point:
- The vast majority of feedback is negative: One seldom hears of "Hey! Great job on the green colour still working!" "Cracking job! Keeping the text all legible!" No. People come calling when there's something wrong. And it takes… 10? 100? bits of positive feedback, to cancel out 1 bit of negative.
- Difficult: It was supposed to be easy. And it sort of was. In the beginning. Here's some HTML. And a database. And a domain. And. Oh. A problem. Right. Few minutes to solve this one. Moving on: The server. Alright. Set it up like this… blast. Another problem. And this one takes several hours to fix.
- Technology improves, and expectations do too. How is one supposed to keep up with it, when people expect reliability and functionality along the lines of massive web companies that have hundreds of engineers on staff? They weren't even around when TMC started!
- Diverse range of people: There are Canadians, young people, old people, an entire international section, stage magicians, close up magicians, dentists, mechanics, and all sorts of other people. How on earth is one to balance this mass of strange weirdos? They get into arguments!

I hope this shows that I'm not completely oblivious to what goes into creating and maintaining a place like TMC.

- Not my first time posting:
- Easy to miss, what with the number of threads I'd posted

My perspective:
"Haven't been to the site in a long time, now I come back, with more knowledge of technologies involved, and there are issues they should fix, that they might not know about. I'll spend some of my time notifying them. Especially (lack of) GDPR-compliance could cause serious problems.

Why I did it the way I did:
- One thread per issue: Keep discussions about separate issues, to their respective places
- All in one go: Less time consuming for me

My worries:
- What I perceive as condescending language ("I find it very odd", "Very strange indeed", "There are other discussion forums/boards on the net that allow childish behavior and I suggest you pay them a visit at your earliest convenience."). But hey:
- Barriers of culture, language, age, and more
- Especially older users not knowing the ins and outs of technologies used
- According to your LinkedIn-profile, you studied Computer Science, amongst other things.
- That this post will also be deleted, or closed. I posted responses in both Can't see anyone's Avatar Photo - is it you, or me? and Updating the interface of the Café. The both posts deleted, and the first thread closed. My posts were about the respective topics.
- People don't have the time to read EULAs etc:
- A response like this is a warning sign; when the issues the site has are not addressed, but instead the bearer of bad news is critisised (though: see below).
- I'd seen several other threads of this type gone unanswered. I get that there's a massive workload, and that bug reports aren't suited to the format. But. This makes me think that there's a lot of

What I am not saying:
- That you don't have the right to do these things.
- That you don't care about the users
- That you don't care about the issues
- That you won't ever address the issues

But what does this look like from the outside? =)

We're not here to hurt, we're here to help. Reading responses and the lack thereof to other threads, makes it seem like the staff is… pretty much hostile to input. Is this The best we can be?

To less stressful days, then
Lots of love

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