Should 34S go off-list?



#13

First, let me say I am amazed at the work that has gone into creating the 34S. It really looks like a great product. But I am concerned that the forum is becoming overly dominated by the development details. When I scroll down the forum, it's hard to pick out the non-34S discussions.

I do NOT wish to create a long discussion of why or why not it should go off-list. But I know in just raising the topic, I'm afraid that is what will occur - and that is not what I wish to happen.

On the one hand, by having it on the forum, it may have have encouaged some to participate that might not have if it was at a different location.

On the other hand, a new HP user might get discouraged from seeing such long single topic threads and not participate in the non-34S threads.

I can see it both ways.

Just a thought.

Bill


#14

We have had this discussion already and the consensus was that we simply do not have an equivalent platform easily available to our primary audience: the regulars of this forum.

BTW, most of the discussion is off-list. My email folder contains about 3600 messages about the subject.


#15

Well, Source forge reports 13,261 forum posts. Obviously, someone is using that forum. Since that is where you are developing, doesn't it make sense that that is where the these discussions should occur? Why can't the 34s users (you know who you are) go there? I would think that issue tracking would be much easier in a dedicated environment.

You guys have obviously done good work, but maybe it's time to take these discussions somewhere else. Like Bill, I find this forum much less interesting these days.

#16

Please, please, don't go! Why shouldn't many different interests live under one museum's roof?


#17

We were asking if Dave could partition this forum somehow for the 34s and other long topics, but never heard from him, IIRC. It would be a very useful enhancement I think.


#18

Katie,

Partitioning the forum would be nice. Not sure what the forum software Dave is using and whether it can even be partitioned. Most of the other forums I participate in have subjects or categories. Of course, by having it all in one forum does expose me to items I might not read if they were separated by subjects or category.

I don't mind reading about the general current status of the 34S project. It's the mind numbing (to me) nitty gritty details that bogs me down. Of course I don't have to read them, if I don't wish to.

Bill


#19

I agree that sometimes the discussions go astray, especially if humans are involved. ;-)

Normally I try to move detail discussions to our internal E-Mail especially if they concern implementation details which are not visible to the user. But sometimes I want to discuss details with the forum members ("Shall we have shortcuts?", "What functions to include?"). Where can I do that if not here?


#20

I have a question about the implementation of the PSE function on the 34s vs. 41C or 42s. What would be the best place for it? This forum, the SourceForge forums or email?

Edited: 16 Aug 2011, 12:10 p.m.


#21

If it's a question about something that might be of general interest, just ask in the forum. If in doubt or if it's just a question which might be answered by a short look into the manual(s), email is the best way to ask.

I'm the one who implemented the PSE command in WP 34S so I'm the one to ask in this special case. Use E-Mail please.

#22

I for one, wouldn't even have been curious about the 34s if I hadn't seen all the many posts here. And I think that many other HP users might have felt the same curiosity as I did.
And I fear that if discussion is moved away, many people who would be curious, won't know enough about this project if it isn't discussed here...
I myself have tried in the past to open discussions about the 34s here only if I thought the topic could be interesting for others too; for other things I emailed the developers directly. I for one think this is a good compromise... And after all, the 34s is a project that is very active in the present (and future) as opposed to the past, hence the many posts; and if there seem to be too many posts about it, it could be because at this moment there aren't many active discussions about older models...

All this IMO of course! :)

Cristian

#23

I was the the evil one raising that topic before :^).

I think development discussions should go to somewhere else, while application cases *should* stay. But likely the development will lead the project to some stable state in the near future, so traffic will eventually go down on the internal issues. That's my hope, and apparently most users either don't mind or even support this branch. So, I'll shut up about it now ;-).

#24

Most forums support subforums. Unfortunately this one doesn't. It would have been perfect to be in a subforum.


#25

And signatures. . . :-(

TW


#26

Hi Tim,

I don't get it. What do you want to tell us?


#27

Many other forum packages and Usenet clients have a stored signature field that gets appended to any message as your "signature". E.g. in your case "Ceterum censeo: HP, launch a 43s."


#28

:-) Thanks, Egan, for enlightenment!

#29

Or something like "Although I work for the HP calculator group, the views and comments expressed here are my own." Terribly difficuly to remember to paste it after each post. . . :-(

--

TW

Although I work for the HP calculator group, the views and comments expressed here are my own.

#30

Just had a look at the "Daily view for frequent visitors."

Not counted, but it seem that over 60% of the messages are 34S related. IMHO that's too much for a "The Museum of HP Calculators" forum.

Christoph


#31

By coming here once a day I'm still able to read through *all* 100% of the postings in a couple of minutes. The WP34s topics are easily distinguished from the rest by the [WP34s] tag that is consistently used; it's easy to ignore them if you want to. BTW 60% means a lot of users being interested in the WP34s.

Although the soft- and hardware of the WP34s are both new and still manufactured, by being RPN the whole package is obviously in the museum's realm: dead technology ;) - and I love that!


#32

Quote:
BTW 60% means a lot of users being interested in the WP34s.

Or a few have a lot to say. :-)
#33

Well, I don't really think that a museum should only deal with things of the past... :)
And by the way: I understand that it can be a little "distracting", but removing the 34s discussions will not increase other discussions. It will just decrease total activity.

Cristian


#34

Quote:

Or a few have a lot to say. :-)


True!

Quote:
removing the 34s discussions will not increase other discussions. It will just decrease total activity.

Also true!

Quote:
But likely the development will lead the project to some stable state in the near future, so traffic will eventually go down on the internal issues.

Most probably true and the solution to this problem!

Edited: 16 Aug 2011, 1:24 p.m.


#35

Quote:
Quote:
But likely the development will lead the project to some stable state in the near future, so traffic will eventually go down on the internal issues.

Most probably true and the solution to this problem!

I agree as well, at least until the 34sii project starts up.
#36

Threads get flushed out by WP34S questions. Its not even a real calculator.

Why dont we have all the Emulators discussing their products here?


#37

Not a real calculator? Why? Because the firmware is not HP? An RPN design based on multiple HP models running on HP hardware. Sounds real to me.

#38

Snaggs, the emulator is not the whole story, the real thing is it.

I understand your point and I'm willing to post here on the subject primarily when there are news to tell which might interest the people here. As I've already pointed out, the majority of posts is via email off-list for a very long time.


#39

I think he was also referring to other emulators such as Emu48 and Free42. Which *DO* get discussed here on occasion--in fact I may be posting a question about one of those emulators soon <g>.

#40

We had this discussion once before. The WP 34S is perfectly within the forum rules:

Quote:
This forum is for discussion of HP calculators including usage, repairs, sources of replacement parts, general information etc. ... Users of this site ... will discuss topics of interest to our community.
This seems to be the case.

As long as we don't have subfora here, people visit this one big forum and "talk" about what does interest them. So IMHO, anyone thinking there's too less "museum talk" shall feel free to change that by raising more interesting "museum topics" instead of complaining about other topics.

My 20m€ only.

Walter

Edited: 16 Aug 2011, 1:33 p.m.


#41

I find it fascinating, at least at this level of detail, and hope it does not go away.

#42

No - Just my 1/2c worth.

I compleatly understand the reason for asking the question but think that particiants on this forum should be able to continue to discuss any topic related to HP calculators (and RPN). If it wasn't for the interest in the subject shown on this site I'm not sure the 34s would have happened and doubt that I would have heard of it otherwise.

Mike T.

#43

The problem with banning the topic (or politely asking for it to go away) is that many members apparently find the WP34S to be intensely interesting. I count myself among that number, so I have to make an effort to see your point of view. But I concede that I might be annoyed if it were some other subject that didn't interest me.

It's ok with me if the developers take their nuts-and-bolts topics off to Sourceforge, but I do take Thomas Radtke's point about use cases. How a particular function or feature on the 34S should function from the user's point of view is very much on topic IMHO. That's an extension of the huge volume of opinion expressed here over the years on how the ideal RPN programmable should work. Those discussions may annoy some users as well, but there's no question they have been considered on-topic here.

Regards,
Howard


#44

Quote:
so I have to make an effort to see your point of view.

It is as if we are all in the same room with only a single speaker at a time and we all have to listen or listen enough to see if it is worth listening too. Like a support group. Wait a minute. This IS a support group! We are all so messed up. Competing in programming contests with '80s tech, writing our own firmware for stock calcs, TVM, spending $100s and $100s on our addiction. When will it end. :-)

Hi, my name is Egan, and I am addicted to RPN. It all started when my Dad gave me an 11C--a device with no equal. I was only 13 and I couldn't stop ...


#45

Quote:
Hi, my name is Egan, and I am addicted to RPN. It all started when my Dad gave me an 11C--a device with no equal. I was only 13 and I couldn't stop ...

Like many addictions, ours appears to run in families..


#46

Quote:
Like many addictions, ours appears to run in families..

Hmmm... my wife raises an eyebrow in mild, unbelieving disapproval every time I get excited about something concerning old calculators... but OK, she's not actually my family blood...

My father loves gadgets of every kind, but he just doesn't understand RPN.
I first discovered RPN at college when I bought a 48G... I saw it every day at the book store, and loved it, but I had never actually used or held one. The day I finally bought it, and took it home, my father was there and said cheek-in-tongue something like, "well, it's really nice, but can it do 2+2?" as a joke because it looked like such a modern, powerful machine. Back then, neither of us even knew that RPN existed.
Imagine my frustration when it turned out I actually couldn't make it calculate 2+2... :)
But I like such challenges, and of course then it became my favorite calculator, ever.

Cristian

#47

Quote:
a new HP user

Is there such a thing anymore? The only thing older than the tech we cherish is us. I'd wager more than half here have a slide rule and know how to use it, others probably have books of tables. And I'll swear based on past messages that there are a few here that remember the days before '0' was discovered. :-)

OTOH, I know that a few developers here are breeding new users.


#48

I'm new to the forum and have been watching for a couple of weeks. I find alot of the detailed posts gibberish to me as it is often way beyond my limited knowledge. My interest stems from drooling over the 41c and 15c in a local department store in the early 80's. So while the forum is dominated by the wp34 i'll just wait patiently till a topic arises that holds more interest for me.

#49

They have their own support forum.

Daniel.

#50

No, because this has been as much an RPN forum as an hp forum for the 11 years i've been reading it. "It's a family tradition".

But that's just my opinion, not a vote. This isn't a democracy. It's Dave's site and i'm a guest. So if he thinks there's too much 34s here i guess i'll have to start looking at that sourceforge place too, instead of getting the Readers Digest version here.

#51

I would like to keep it here. Eventually Dave Hicks may open a special category (today there are specific "articles" and "memories" forums, with different behavior with regards to persistence of messages, threads, etc.). 34S belongs here IMHO.

Edited: 17 Aug 2011, 9:11 a.m.

#52

According to the title line of this forum: "This forum is for discussion of HP calculators including usage, repairs, sources of replacement parts, general information etc." So, frankly, much of what is posted here could be considered off-topic. However, I think the opened nature and inclusiveness of this forum is a benefit, rather than a hindrance, and I've learned a great deal as a result. Also, the development of alternatives to the mainstream HP products is a healthy process, given the stagnation at HP over tha past 20 years. I can live with the slight inconvenience of scanning past threads that don't interest me in order to find those that do.

#53

It would certainly be preferable to me if the 34s did not so dominate the forum. This has caused me to lose interest in reading or posting.

But that is my personal opinion because I have little interest in the 34s and do have interest in other HP calculator topics. But unless Dave has an opinion that causes him to change the way the forum is structured, it will be whatever the posters want.


#54

Martin,

My sentiments exactly.

Thank you for stating them so clearly,
-Katie

#55

If it were just the team members, the 34S dominance could be easily dealt with. It's mostly a conversation outside our inner circle that fills the threads here. Some members have started to carry the discussions over to our internal email. I appreciate this because it shows a certain feel for the sentiments these discussions have caused for other forum members.

You are invited to ask any of the team members for assistance if you have problems with 34S, be it getting started or solving a specific programming problem. OTH I invite everybody to post interesting solutions to problems of the type we love to deal with in this forum publicly here.


#56

Quote:
It's mostly a conversation outside our inner circle that fills the threads here.

But the inner circle of three dominates the 34s posts. If you would provide a place for development discussions at source forge and direct the fanboys there, I think everyone would benefit.


#57

What I don't get is this: OK, the 34s has a lot of activity now. But it's still a RPN calc based on HP hardware so it probably is interesting to most people. And high activity on one topic happens every time there's a new product out, even if some people aren't interested in that product.
There have been lots of topic I'm not interested in - i.e. I'm not interested at all in financial calcs, I'm not interested in desktop calcs, nor in things like the HP67 because it's so expensive I'll never be able to afford one... and so on... but I don't think that posts on these subjects detract from my forum experience. If I want to read those topics just out of curiosity, I do; otherwise it's really easy to skip them. I just don't understand why all these topics can't coexist together.
If the 34s is moved to another forum, what will probably happen is that I will either stop following this forum, or the new one... I don't think I have the time and commitment to add another forum to the list of things to check daily! :)

Cristian


#58

Quote:
What I don't get is this: OK, the 34s has a lot of activity now. But it's still a RPN calc based on HP hardware so it probably is interesting to most people. And high activity on one topic happens every time there's a new product out, even if some people aren't interested in that product.
There have been lots of topic I'm not interested in - i.e. I'm not interested at all in financial calcs, I'm not interested in desktop calcs, nor in things like the HP67 because it's so expensive I'll never be able to afford one... and so on... but I don't think that posts on these subjects detract from my forum experience. If I want to read those topics just out of curiosity, I do; otherwise it's really easy to skip them. I just don't understand why all these topics can't coexist together.
If the 34s is moved to another forum, what will probably happen is that I will either stop following this forum, or the new one... I don't think I have the time and commitment to add another forum to the list of things to check daily! :)

Alexander
(sorry for full quote, but I couldn't have said it better)

#59

Cristian, you make some good points.

I would not dispute that the 34s is within the guidelines of what this forum is about, and many people are interested in it. And, like you, there are many topics here that don't interest me, like how to repair calculators or HP-41 things or (and especially) possible HP-15c reissues, and so on. It's easy to ignore the things that don't interest me only because the volume of posts for those things is relatively small. But the volume of 34s things is not small, and it's easy to overlook a topic I might be interested in simply because there are so many 34s posts that take up space on my screen at one time.

I think the developers of the 34s were correct in using this forum to announce this project and get feedback from the folks here. But all of these detailed design discussions that have flooded the forum really take away from the usefulness of the forum, in my opinion. It's impossible to know how many former regular members do not access the forum these days because of the 34s, but I suspect the number is not insignificant. And potential new members who arrive here probably think this forum is just for discussing a homebrew calculator that they are not interested in. So, it's really more than just coexisting together. It does detract from the forum experience when so many posts are just endless discussions of product design issues that really should be tracked at another location.

The moderator has not commented on this topic. I have a feeling that Dave would be very reluctant--and righfully so--to prohibit any type of discussion unless it was personally offensive to the members. The 34s discussions aren't offensive, they are just volumnious!

My hope is that these discussions will decrease after HCC next month.


#60

Quote:
But the volume of 34s things is not small, and it's easy to overlook a topic I might be interested in simply because there are so many 34s posts that take up space on my screen at one time.

I see your point, and I can see what you mean. But I noticed one thing: many improvements or features that we have on the wp34s now, were suggested/asked here by "normal users", even recently. I think these non-34s-fans, regular users, would never follow discussions elsewhere, and so we would loose the precious input and suggestions that they make.

I really don't see a way to make everyone happy... :(

Cristian

#61

I just did a check, just for fun... I opened all the 34s-related messages in the forum's main page (before archival). I checked, and made a list... and there have been 24 unique users posting on these threads. This is a small community, so I think 24 users is a fair share. My point is that I believe there is enough interest here, for a significant portion of the forum users...
Funny fact: I kept track of how many posts people made, and... the three main developers are *not* at the top three places! :)

EDIT: I didn't count posts in this thread of course, that would have been a bias.

Cristian

Edited: 18 Aug 2011, 3:12 a.m.

#62

Wow, I find it fascinating when people want such a wonderful thing named 34S to "go off-list", so they can "read about 15C" or whatever ... ?!? Does 34S prevent anyone from writing anything about other HP calculators, emulators, other equipment, etc? Certainly not!

In my opinion at least, 34S is such a big achievement that has emerged in recent years, that it fully deserves to be part of this forum. Does it dominate the forum at the moment? Yes - but various themes have dominated it in the past, for a few weeks or even months, this is normal when something like that appears. Would the number of posts increase if 34S goes off-list? No - the forum will just return to as it was before, with a few posts per day, 75% of them being "look-what-I-found-on-ebay".

I slowly started to loose interest in following this forum at around 2007-2008, to the point that I didn't look at it for weeks. But, after I read about 34S, I returned its URL to my bookmarks :-)

So, yes, be my guest - remove 34S, this is what we need now ;-)

Just my 2 cents ...


#63

Hi,

I am curious: Let's say that the wp34S had actually been introduced by Hewlett-Packard as the "HP34S" in its current exact form - in a case like the 20b/30b (let's say in 20b color but 30b LCD and physical keys) and the same hardware platform. And let's say HP did the crazy thing of giving the R&D developers (Tim, Cyrille?) the unenviable task of requesting feedback directly from the community on the firmware before its release so it could be essentially debugged and improved by the collective veterans of the HP users. I bet that the traffic here would be at least as high and possibly higher. And I wonder if anybody would be complaining that the effort should be taken off list then.... If the answer was "no", then I would assert that it belongs here now.

Thanks,
Jake


#64

Thank you, Jake, for this mind experiment! :-)

#65

I agree completely. This is an project using stock HP hardware and development tools, emulating classic calculator behavior. I can't think of something more relevant. It's also a beautiful opportunity to have a real discussion on the development. For me it means perhaps once again there will be the possibility of having a really great HP calc in hand, brand new, without going through Ebay, and being able to use it in the lab like the tool it is, without worrying about scratching a collectible. THAT is what HP calculators are about.

I can say that I had been following the forums less in the past few years, but now I check in frequently (also to pick up the 15c rumors.)

That said, it would probably be worthwhile packaging up the current form as a "classic forum" searchable archive, and moving to a more modern forum software package with a few key subforums.

Dave

#66

I agree with Hrast as well. The volume of 34s postings is not overwhelming and these postings can easily be ignored by those who are not interested in this project. There was a similar discussion some years ago about frequent postings concerning auctions on TAS. The frequency of those postings dropped naturally and I think the same will hold for 34s postings. Once the 34s repurpose project becomes more and more mature, postings will be less frequent.
Also, let's recognize the 34s pioneers are very busy polishing the ultimate RPN calculator. They deserve more than some credit on this forum for that.


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