Makes me mad
Danny Campbell Posts: 311
What really pushes my buttons on the AMX forum is searching for and finding a module, downloading it, and then discovering that it is not a usable module but something built for RPM only. If it is no good to me as a developer, why publish it on the web site and waste my time?
Does anyone really use RPM or is it just another Visual Architect?
Does anyone really use RPM or is it just another Visual Architect?
Why not just publish the API so we can go ahead and use the RPM version of the module. I get that AMX wants to push that product. But, there's no reason it shouldn't work for us too.
Curious what module that RPM uses, that you can't use in your project?
This is a lot like where I get called in to update someone's code and there is the main, a bunch of home-grown .tko module files and no documentation at all. When I write my own modules, I supply the .axs file along with an AMX-style document that tells the next guy how to use the module. I don't expect everyone including AMX to give out the source, but is it that much trouble to copy a document from a similar module and edit it to match the new module?
As an independent programmer, I don't really lose out on jobs to other AMX developers, so it isn't a competition thing. In fact, in many cases I'm apparently the only one they can find to do the work. For the most part, projects are lost due to the customer going with Cre$tron because those programmers seem easier to find. From looking at their toolsets, it is pretty obvious that Cre$tron thinks more of their developers than AMX does for theirs. We get stuff like IREDIT which was last updated back in 2006 and had to be tricked into loading on anything after Windows XP or a new buggy program like TPDesign5 that is only released to support new hardware. Programs like G4Panlepreview or G4Panelbuilder get released and then left to die a slow, horrible, death. AMX seems to spend all of the resources on replacing us rather than supporting us. So why do I stay? Because I want to write code instead of fill in parameters for cookie-cutter systems.
I do a lot of development work also and to be honest that's what floats my boat. If I could not go to site and just write modules...I would! But its not always enough to pay bills, so site work is part of the solution. When AMX moved away from residential (but never admitted it) I went and did a couple of Cre$tron training courses. Their support for programmers is outstanding, the way AMX's should be. The amount of modules and free resources is huge. Don't get me wrong, some of the Cre$tron tools aren't that great either and their stuff has just as many quirks as AMX but the support and resources is far better.
I now do both, but would prefer to work with AMX every day of the week and twice on sunday because of its flexibility. The whole Simple Windows thing with Cre$tron is a bit dull and long winded, but it works and I earn a living from it.
Cre$tron also have jumped on the C4 bandwagon and brought out Pyng...which anyone will be able to buy apparently...leading to yet another disaster.
Why oh Why can these companies not just be happy with their position in the market, selling quality kit into a quality market place? Control 4 is never going to be AMX or Cre$tron so why do they try to be Control 4? Sure I lose jobs because people use Control 4 instead of proper control systems, but that's the way of the world. I don't see anyone making easy to program JAVA or C++ environments for Windows programming so why mess with something that works so well......beats me, but I'm not the one making decisions so it doesn't matter.
Control 4 is running out of options for funding and their EPS isn't fantastic. Being a public company is a pressure, whether they can hold up is anyone guess..................I guess its just a matter of time...possibly like AMX
I feel comparing AMX and Craptron is problematic since in reality the way in which they work under the hood is markedly different. I don't say this in a mean way - but it really does take a different level of skill to program in one vs. the other. You don't have to be that savvy to work in Craptron since a there is really a lot of hand-holding going on. (before you pounce - I know its really easy to create a screwy system in Craptron)
But, now to the point made above by Duncan Ellis...
I do agree the interface with the companies is markedly different and Duncan Ellis describes it pretty accurately. The interaction at AMX, while generally friendly, still has a tinge of stand-offishness. More than once I've felt like I was the enemy trying to storm the Gates Of Richardson. It's not a slam on any one individual. It's more of an overarching feeling; the way in which AMX just does business. There is a sense that AMX kinda "puts up with us" as opposed to seeing us as "vital to their cause" Here again - I cannot say this often enough: this is not an individual thing. I get along fine and love most my interactions with AMX. I'm speaking of the apparent general policies of how they connect with the outside world.
Craptron is almost the exact opposite. I can't stand their products/framework. But, they do a great job with their customers and dealers.
I can't emphasise how disappointed I am in AMX (By Harman!), in how they have just let the residential brand disappear....Its nuts! I like coding, I don't like configuring in Control 4 and I don't particularly like joining boxes in Cre$tron - but its better than C4.
There is a skill in what we do and I'm lucky enough to work for a few company's who need AMX development and I really enjoy working for them (they're also really good at engineering!). Unfortunately, the benefit of doing development using my own cash is not worth the risk because the business model has changed. I used to do it quite a bit, and it helps develop the brand because people develop innovative things....this is no longer the case ... as you can see by lack of activity on the forums - it used to be flooded and now I see tumbleweed rolling down the superhighway when I login....
Shame...but how it is and its not going to change, because Harman own it and they clearly have a direction in mind. Clearly they think that a 'programmerless' product is what is needed and as I think Danny said, that boat has long sailed. Also true is where someone said that if the modules were properly developed instead of being half-a**ed, programming would be greatly reduced. This is one thing that Cre$tron does really well.
I've just widened my scope, allowing me to be more flexible and am starting to learn Python as well.
live with it ..... don't live with it or do the sensible thing and make it part of your CV rather than all of it! If you are a good AMX programmer, even though you don't realise it, you are quite a flexible asset and you should make good use of that fact and find new outlets for your skill base.
am I missing something?
Anyway, I'm not expecting any big changes in direction from AMX. At this point, I would be pleasantly surprised if they just made a change to the module downloads section on the web site to have a note that says "this is an RPM module - if you do real programming don't bother to download it".
Quite often, I'm at a site working on some undocumented crap code that is usually either a project that someone started and walked away from without finishing, or is so old that they can't find anyone to agree to go in and add a new device into a 10-year old system and I'm dumb enough (or hungry enough) to take on. I guess all of the new stuff is either Craptron or done with RPM 2.0.... Anyway, I'm in the middle of nowhere without an internet connection and I use my phone's hotspot to download a module that I home will help me out - to find out 10 or 15 minutes later that it is a module with no docs and designed for RPM projects.
I do believe they have notes to that effect. I remember seeing a text attachment in the downloads section specifically saying something to the effect, "Notice! If you downloaded this to work as a normal DUET module - you have failed! This module is for RPM" I also notice the version number is a dead giveaway. Useable (by us anyway) Duet/Netlinx modules are always 1.xyz. the RPM ones are 2.xyz or something like that. (not at my computer to verify)
It is disheartening to see how many times I go searching and come to find one for RPM and none for us. I'd love to write my own DUET modules but have had no luck at all with it. All attempts at help have lead to the same dead end. I follow the examples or documentation about 5-10 pages in and something is different from the manual to reality and there's no one who knows the new course to follow. Of course, Netlinx modules are still easy-peasy.
As an AMX employee and certainly not a spokesperson you can appreciate that there are times when I can only point you to publicly available information. In that linked article particularly the second paragraph.