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February 05, 2003

Is anybody listening at Userland ?

What do SamChris, Drew, ClemensScott, David, Mickey, Matthew, and many others, have in common, besides being smart and gifted software architects? They have all been using Radio for some time  and have all walked away from it after a while, with 'Radio sucks' being very frequently heard. If I read their adventures, they are so similar to my experiences; you start of being in awe with the process of blogging and aggregating, so you actually love your radio. But after a while the small annoyances slip in, and you start looking at radio with software engineering eyes and you start wondering where all these problems come from. And then some bigger problems will show up causing you to lose large parts of your contents, lose tables, renumbering all your posts, fail to upstream content, etc.

If I would work for, or own, Userland, I would be starting to get very worried, because if a group of people that is normally not put-off by alpha or beta software starts walking away from your product yelling 'this sucks', something is going very, very wrong for your product....

Posted by Werner Vogels at February 5, 2003 12:43 PM
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It's my experience, too. I've switched approx. two years ago from my Manila-Site to Radio, as first with Radio 7, later Radio 8. A few weeks ago my Radio crashed irreparable (after upgrading to Mac OS X 10.2) on all of my three machines (and yes, I own three licences of RU). What should I do? I can't stop blogging ;o). So I wrote a fast hack in Python for a weblog tool and CMS of my own. It's not really ready but the Schockwellenreiter is still alive. (Pls. Excuse my bad (d)english but it's the only I have.)

Posted by: Der Schockwellenreiter on February 6, 2003 03:50 PM

I recently experimented with Radio, having been a regular reader of Scripting News and other sites that tout Radio as God's gift to blogging.

Boy, was I disappointed.

I am a programmer. I am very rarely irritated by bad software, because I am pretty good at getting things to work. But with Radio, I was about to lose my cool. It is SO BAD -- so buggy -- so poorly designed and programmed -- that I am now trying to figure out why I ever expected it to be good in the first place.

I think Userland is a company that is very good at slick marketing. They're great at designing cartoonish looking logos and slick coffee cups and friendly bubbly promotional material. But they suck at programming. They just out-and-out suck.

Dave Winer is well-reputed as a computing guru, and I've read lots of stuff about how he's been in the business for twenty years. Now, having tried Radio, I'm surprised that he is so well-regarded. He sure can't put out a good software product.

You want to try something that works? Go with Fog Creek's CityDesk. It works. It's intuitive. It does some very cool things. The Fog Creek people don't spent a lot of time and money on flashy logos and coffee cups and getting the cactus cartoon just right, but they can put together some hella-good software.

I was seduced by the promise of Radio's capabilities -- kick-ass RSS feeds, automatic commenting functions, archiving and so forth. But it just plain doesn't work. You would have to be a complete masochist to enjoy working with Radio. It's back to CityDesk for me.

Posted by: disappointed on February 9, 2003 06:18 PM

I love you guys!!!!

Posted by: Lovey on March 18, 2003 07:48 PM

I've been trying Radio 8.0.8 for the past week. You're post "Is anybody listening at Userland" states *precisely* my opinion. I just caught on to blogging and am looking for a way to start. Radio seemed perfect! I truly wanted it to work because I love the concept but I can't take it, I can't use something this unstable. I am truly disappointed. I really tried hard to make it work too.

Posted by: Steven on May 16, 2003 06:17 AM