A poor impression to the new user


(Jeff Cable) #1

I am still unable to use the RW 7.1.5 software (and which appears to me to be rather unwilling to work without falling over) and I have thus far sent four e-mails messages with different issues to support; while noting that the crash reporter also crashes with no report sent.

Figuring that it must be me doing something wrong (despite many similar forum posts) I head over to the site pages that offer video instruction. I thought I could get myself a little more education about what it is that makes RapidWeaver so prone to produce issues while it is being used.

I read about the free tutorials advertised in the purple getting started box here: http://rapidweavercommunity.com/tutorials.

It very clearly states the following, verbatim. “If you are new to RapidWeaver then this is the place to start. This collection of FREE tutorials will get you up and running in no time. You’ll learn about how to create and publish your first RapidWeaver project.”

Clicking on the purple box produced another page; which incidentally also carried the same message about FREE tutorials: http://rapidweavercommunity.com/tutorials/series/getting-started

The first video is about meta tags and I could do with improving my knowledge about them. I clicked on the video and it did not play. It did put up a box stating verbatim: “Start Learning Today” Then requested just $10 per month to gain instant access to the entire library of RapidWeaver tutorials. !!! Really?

  1. I am in the UK and don’t expect to see services from a UK company advertised in US dollars.
  2. FREE means no charge to me. It does not imply any quid pro quo nor should it prevent the new user from availing of the starter tutorial materials available. I suggest the staff at RapidWeaver look at tutorial sites like Udemy and see what an exemplar of the online training industry actually looks like.
  3. I would suggest that any software which cannot be got up and running by any averagely intelligent user, without benefit of a subscription to an entire library of tutorial materials, is very poorly written.

I now think that I am wasting my energy with a company that does not have the common courtesy to answer its customers. I may well have purchased a rogue copy of RW software but the omens, while I survey the many similar complaints which I can see everywhere in these forums, do not fill me with hope of a resolution.

You have my cash and I have to suck it up and accept that I was foolish to buy some software which appears to be riffled with ‘undocumented features’. You can smirk and think PEBCAK but I am letting you know that is not the case. I don’t hold out much hope of a refund for my wasted cash, my valuable time, nor my extreme disappointment at buying an ill-conceived piece of software from a company who appear to specialise in rudeness and ignoring the customer.

It appears to me that the developers have never had to use their own software because it is not written for ease of use. The lovely appearances are of little use when the basic programming concept and execution is so poor. The tin lid on this is the failure of any responsible individual to even respond to me. Sadly, it is back to WordPress for me because at least the WP community and the developers of WP plugins are easy to reach for the times when discussing issues is the most efficient way of resolving them.

I think that Realmac must be really desperate for my few quid. That’s ok lads. Have a drink and laugh at my expense. You an laugh it up because you won’t hear me recommending your software or your company to anyone. :disappointed:


(Brian LaPan) #2

Sing up for the basic account for the getting started videos.


(Chet) #3

Sorry to hear about your issues. I’ve been using RW for many years. They’re a small team who cares passionately about their software. I remember that RW has a bit of a learning curve and can understand your frustration. As you may have seen here on the forums, they’re on a quest to resolve as many bugs as possible. In all my years of using RW, I’ve never seen the development as active as it has been this year.

If you’re really unhappy, send them an email an ask for a refund. They do it no questions asked.

Again, sorry to hear that your start with this program/community didn’t meet your expectations.


(Jeff Cable) #5

Thank you, Brian, for your response.
I don’t think that ‘FREE’ suggests to me that the user has to sign up for any account. setting up an account (silver, gold or lifetime) is not mentioned on either of the pages to which I linked. The signup and login boxes on the top right of the page containing the videos do not carry any indication that the user, who tries to accept the invitation view FREE video tutorial material, has to sign up to an account before testing the material for content and quality. Sheep may do things differently to sensate humans.

In the final analysis, RapidWeaver appears to me to be obscure software which, on its face and my experience with a version 7 iteration, (suggesting maturity) appears to be rather poorly written.

A recent attempt to emulate Adobe’s Photoshop, which is very deep and takes many years to learn to use well, by Serif software saw them arrange some 240 odd instructional videos on their site. Not a penny is charged to the new or prospective user who can view the videos and decide whether the software looks suitable for their purposes or manageable.

see here: https://affinity.serif.com/forum/index.php?/topic/10119-in-house-affinity-photo-video-tutorials/

Udemy charges for tutorials just once and you have access for life as well as getting certificates for completion of each course of tuition. The courses are taught by someone who understands the software.

see here: https://www.youtube.com/user/udemy

All in all, I tried to make the point that the site here advertise FREE tutorial material and your response was to curtly advise me to sign up for an account. If you are a support worker for Realmac then you have missed the point by a very wide country mile.

Please tell me how you can offer this information to me (sign up) which I did not want or need and yet not manage to find any of my technical issues (four separate e-mail messages detailing each issue which I have had) that have prevented me from using the software at all?


(Jeff Cable) #6

Thank you Chet. I suspect that the software I have has either not downloaded correctly or has something important missing from its files. It really does not do anything that it is supposed to do. I could remove every scrap of the software from a machine I keep pristine and well maintained and try to download another copy. What bothers me is that I invest so many hours in trying to build a site and it represents a large amount of work to me. If it can be salvaged, I would have preferred that and without any contact from support and help to address my issues, I am reluctant to just delete what I have.

The learning curve would be far easier if the software reacted to various inputs in the same way. I have given up trying to discover what is wrong with it. The message from Brian LaPan, if he is actually from support is dispiriting. He neither read my post nor attempted to find out what my technical issues are. Advising me to do that which I don’t want or need to do is unhelpful and speaks volumes to me about the level of support I have had thus far.

Error boxes and crashes are not what I expect from a version 7 iteration of any piece of software. I appreciate that thousands of lines of code can cause unexpected problems but I am seeing so many issues and random problems that I find it hard to believe that the software (as is) has even been alpha tested let alone distributed as a GM. It is hard to become a part of a community when the basic membership entrance is software that works.

As to the refund… if I have to ask then it shows that support is merely an aspirational misnomer and the people providing the much vaunted support need to examine their own methods.


(Pete Schuder) #7

Sorry to hear of your experiences. I am 71 years old and it took me less than 1 month a year ago August to learn how to use Rapid Weaver. I am not a programmer, rather self taught in anything computer related. I can honestly say that it has been a fun adventure learning how to implement Rapid Weaver to make my web pages look like real web pages and the learning process has been easier than I initially thought. This forum is very helpful, there are videos on Youtube that shows older versions of Rapidweaver, but that are still relevant and I have even beta tested version 7 for them and gotten nice responses back from them when I asked some pretty dumb questions. A long time ago I used Front Page from Microsoft, never got one bit of help from them. Learned how to use it by trial and error. I also looked at some of the other apps out there and tried them. I found the support here was about as good as it gets.

The one caution I would give you is that buying add-on stacks can become addictive and costly. Fortunately, I don’t make a living designing pages and the few dollars I get for design work goes right back onto getting more goodies…resulting in my sites looking even better.

Finally, I am using RW 7.1.5 and have not run into any complications, crashes or snags thus far. I am assuming that some of the issues that come up are due to people doing very complicated design work. I try and keep it simple. Not to showboat, but here is one of my websites: http://neicaaa.org/


(Jeff Cable) #8

Thank you SteveB.

You can sing that!

The front page: https://www.realmacsoftware.com does not suggest that this is a cottage industry. [quote=“SteveB, post:4, topic:10438”]
they are really nice people
[/quote]

I don’t know that. My experience to date has been entirely negative. I would rather have a working product than know that the developers are nice people. [quote=“SteveB, post:4, topic:10438”]
When it’s working for you RapidWeaver is pretty bloody brilliant.
[/quote]
I took a liberty with this quote so that I am clear… RW 7.1.4 and 7.1.5 have never worked for me so your conditional phrase does not apply. Would the software not working imply the opposite case to “pretty bloody brilliant”?

Persevere is a good thought but without a serious response from the developers I am concerned. I neither have endless cash nor endless time to waste. Four e-mail messages and several forum posts later suggests to me that any further perseverance is misplaced.


(Jason Bostick) #9

Are you looking for support regarding a specific issue(s) or are you looking for a refund?

If it’s the former, many people here can help you out if you’re interested.


(Peter Danckwerts) #10

This forum is possibly the single most important resource which RapidWeaver has (followed by Stacks). As @jabostick says, there are many people here to help you. It took me quite some time to get the hang of RW but it was well worth it. You won’t find a better piece of web design software out there at any price.


(Jeff Cable) #11

Peter, many people are and have been completely missing the point of me writing, the fifth day of me owning a **

completely NON-FUNCTIONAL piece of software!!!

** .

This forum (“single most important resource”) has offered me absolutely nothing positive for any of the issues which I have raised. The 72 hour support e-mail facility has not responded to me after some 100 plus hours.

I have previously stated that the dialogue boxes that follow the crashes and errors requested me to contact support at Realmac, which I did. No contact from Realmac support has followed.

I don’t understand why the comprehension of my issues has effectively led to nothing being offered by Realmac or this forum. Extolling the virtues of this forum and the RapidWeaver software to me is hugely unhelpful. My forum experience, my e-mail to Realmac support experience and my RapidWeaver software experience have all been sub-optimal.

Wordpress is free of charge (and it works). Q.E.D.


(Jeff Cable) #12

Thank you Jason.
I have been looking for support regarding several issues for four days (96 hours). The forum requests went unanswered and my four separate e-mail messages to support remain unanswered. I have software which does not function and it is long past the 72 hours for support to respond.

I have requested a refund 96 hours after requesting support in the forums and via e-mail. With no support forthcoming in the forum thus far, I have seen no evidence of the help available in the forum. FWIW the dialogue box errors specifically mention getting support from Realmac.

I am helpless and have my hands tied by a support system which does not work when something goes a long way off the rails. This is easily the worst software support experience I have known. Minor questions assume a different priority to a completely non-functional product, as far as I am concerned. In lieu of the never present support, I can only hope for a rapid refund then I can move on.


(Stuart) #13

This makes me sad.


(Jeff Cable) #14

Thank you Pete.

Sadly, I have gotten not a single response from Realmac support. [quote=“Pete, post:7, topic:10438”]
Finally, I am using RW 7.1.5 and have not run into any complications, crashes or snags
[/quote]

I had problems from the moment of installation and they have continued to get worse. The software is now not performing as intended and many of the faults are appearing at random. The stimulus to various events is also random. My software package appears to be broken and without expert assistance, I cannot even begin to know what to do to fix it. This is the fifth day without any useful response.

Nice work on the site. My need is for a blog that deals with technical issues around the non-operative treatment for bony injuries following trauma and developmental orthopaedic conditions that must also be dealt with non-operatively. I now want to include some instructional video but RapidWeaver does not appear to be the correct tool. I am leaning towards having my WordPress site hosted and that will free me to produce the relevant content.

I made a huge number of mistakes when first putting the site up and it was hacked to ribbons in the first few weeks. Since 2013, it has been working well enough. You can see it here: http://www.jna.org.uk/


(Jason Bostick) #15

You haven’t raised any specific issues to us other than that you hate the software and the Realmac team. We can’t help you based on the info you’ve provided.

I’m not trying to be dismissive or un-empathetic, by the way. Just saying it’s hard to offer a way forward based on what you’ve said.


(Peter Danckwerts) #16

I’m not a mind-reader, @jepho . I didn’t see anything about dialogue boxes in this thread and I’ve just performed a search of this page and you never mentioned them until after I made my last post. In fact, there is very little detail about what you are having problems with, so don’t be surprised if you don’t get many answers here. Perhaps you mentioned them in another thread. I’m not going to waste my time searching for what you may have said elsewhere.

Well, yes, WordPress is free but the bundled themes are pretty dreadful and most of the add-on ones are expensive and only licensed for one site. Even then, getting it to look the way you want it is usually very difficult. WP is very vulnerable to hacking. There are certainly things which it does better than RW, but there are many things which RW does better.


(Jeff Cable) #17

I don’t know Jason… if you have not read these issues, what chance is there of any official Realmac person reading them. I have linked to the three posts I could find and they are all quite specific. I don’t expect reading or comprehension to be an issue on a forum for computer users.

finally, here is a link to my dropbox public folder. http://tinyurl.com/j8mofv4

In that folder you will find four e-mail messages which I have sent to Realmac support… all unanswered except the very first one actually produced an auto responder message. No follow-up since then (5 days ago). You will also see a .jpg image that shows the odd HTML quotation mark and closing symbol in the top left of the webpage. You will also note that the page categories have not printed in an expected tab nor do I understand how they can appear superimposed right along the top edge of the webpage.

Pure hyperbole and I would prefer it if you did not try to ascribe that sort of invented nonsense to me.


(Jeff Cable) #19

Do tell…:confused:[quote=“peterdanckwerts, post:16, topic:10438”]
so don’t be surprised if you don’t get many answers here
[/quote]

I am not. I published my issues when they occurred. The links are all available in my comprehensive response to Jason (although you probably won’t want to waste your time) The lack of reading or comprehension is the only rationale I can think of for there being no answers forthcoming from the forum or Realmac support.

Rude much? Never let the facts get in the way of a good imagination eh? [quote=“peterdanckwerts, post:16, topic:10438”]
but there are many things which RW does better.
[/quote]

Evidence?

Anyway sunbeam, I don’t much care for the cut of your jib and if we were face to face you may be more inclined to keep a civil tongue in your head. The cowardly stance you take is easy from a distance and any fool can do it. Your bravery would likely evaporate rather rapidly if you met me.

I have been civil, even if a little more than fed-up over the tardy lack of response from Realmac and the highly valued forum and its membership. I suspect that discussing anything with which you don’t agree would be a waste of my time so I won’t try and educate you.


(Robert Ziebol 🖖🏼) #20

@jepho Sorry you are having these issues, but at least in this thread, you are coming off as very aggressive when most of the responses have been nice and relaxed. We understand you are upset and if Realmac has not answered your questions, it can be understandable. People here are, for the most part, very nice and do try to help, if they can. Here are some things you might want to consider when making reports to either a developer or on the forums.

  1. I do support for Joe Workman, and we have many time replied to a customer and they either never get the reply or it goes in their junk folder and they do not see it. How many people actually look in their junk folder? Another reason you might not have gotten it, is you might have mis-typed your email address, it does happen. I have had to resend invoices to many people who added a letter or something similar.

  2. When posting issues either to developers or on the forum, if you can, add a URL. This way we can see the code of your project online and can see what the issue maybe. Now, if you can not publish or are seeing this in preview, try to publish or at very least export your project so you can show people that.

  3. Give people your version number of things, RapidWeaver version, Plugin Versions, macOS versions, they can ALL mean something to one person or another. Just saying this doesn’t work isn’t as helpful.

  4. Try making a VERY BASIC site, without ANY 3rd developer issues. Choose a standard plugin (like Styled Text or Markdown) and one of the themes that comes with RapidWeaver (preferably one of the “New” themes.

If it continues to work, start adding plugins. I also believe from one of your threads you mention that you use the Accordion plugin, do you have the latest version? I know he released a version that would fix issues with RapidWeaver 7.1

Last but not least, be patient and polite, as you can see from this thread itself, if you get heated, others do too. RapidWeaver has a HUGE following and it works for most people. People love to use it, and if you start getting mean about something they love, they will come back with mean responses.

Hopefully this will help you and others out when reporting issues. Good luck with your issues, and I hope your RapidWeaver experience gets better.


(Jeff Cable) #21

Thank you for your kind and helpful offer SteveB. I think the failure on the part of Realmac to address any of my issues has been the final straw. It is now five days without any response from the developers. I have sent my e-mail request to Realmac at 03.35 this morning; requesting a refund.

I cannot make the software work in any predictable manner and I have followed the instruction manual carefully. I spent some time trying to construct a reasonable website. I have accepted that the work is now wasted and I will move on.

There is not much point me occupying the time of people who are willing to assist me.
I have had more than a basin full now and have decided to abandon Realmac and their software in favour of another software solution.

Realmac have lost me as a customer.


(Jason Bostick) #22

You’re right, I was interpreting the tone of the thread, not anything in particular. My apologies.

I also hadn’t looked through your posting history for those other things (and I don’t have any reading comprehension issues either by the way - speaking of invented nonsense), I was just referring to what you posted here.

I’ll leave it all be, though.