My First Rant Discussion — Ever

How do you manage to help discussions being constructive and treating people with mutual respect? I just had this strange experience. You pay $34.95 for a text editor, and suddenly you’re allowed to yell and swear aththe developers. WHAT?

I’m an eager follower on the E-texteditor forum as it is a good place to follow along and report bugs. This way, the editor can mature as fast as possible and an open forum can help the process of making visible which bugs are the most annoying. Most of the tiny usability improvements, new ideas and bugs are reported and confirmed in the forum.

However, some comments just don’t help the open process. Take this, for instance. A thread in “bug reports” called “Age old bugs STILL NOT FIXED: selection and window size…“:


I’ve paid money for this, and I have to deal with these fscking annoying bugs every single time I open the damn editor? Many versions have come out since reported, and they’ve been there since beta.

I honestly don’t care about startup time when I have to resize the window every time I use the editor and can’t properly select stuff when it’s more than what fits in the window (and god forbid you select horizontally outside of the window size..)

Enough is enough. Fix the goddamned bugs.

I could not resist trying to pull a frustrated user in a direction where I felt the discussion would be better, so I added following reply:


PS. The fact that paying 35$ does not grant license to yell at the developer… At least it’s not anywhere in the license agreement.

Within 15 minutes I was suddenly involved and ranted upon as well:


And please don’t tell me what I can and cannot do. It’s hard to be patient when you encounter the same bugs every single day in a paid product, particularly after you’ve gone through the effort of reporting them, only to see a performance release, rather than bugfixes.

There are other threads with a similar tone, for instance “:( Bugs i hate” and “ User prioritized bug fixes and features“. You can read my reply and follow along in the forum. But I think the most important issues here are:

  • How do you facilitate an open forum to keep a constructive tone?
  • Is there some kind of magic “discussion judo” that could be applied

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6 Responses to “My First Rant Discussion — Ever”

  1. Damien Le Berrigaud Says:

    Well, a simple “solution” is to have a sticky in each forum giving a list of rules to follow on the forum: good behaviour, no insults…

    That would simply give a way for moderator to tell people they are not respecting the rules and they should change the way they behave. If it is written in a sticky it is much more convincing.

    I guess all those people also know they bought existing features not promises of features right? :)

  2. Geoff Says:

    Yes, it’s tough. I mostly resist jumping in but sometimes can’t help myself. Seems to me most asshats burn out pretty quickly and can be safely ignored. Posting a calm and reasoned response will often highlight that they’re being a jerk, and almost everyone reading will catch on.

    This is not to say the gripes are illegitimate, but there are ways to say things without being obnoxious.

    Some takes on this from a customer service angle:

    Man, there’s another blog post I totally want to link to but can’t Google it up. I’ll post later if I can find it.

  3. Thomas Baekdal Says:

    I not in favor of rules – I think they would make people even more annoyed than before.

    I would do two things:

    1: Catch the problem early. The person above is angry about a bug that has been a problem for a very long time. They obviously failed to not only fix the bug, but also address the issue when it was first reported. A simple thing could be to say “We know this is a problem to some people, but unfortunately there is a number of other things we want to fix first”. Be firm, but in a humble way.

    2: It is not a problem that a single person is posting an angry message, it is much more damaging when a lot of forum participants is fighting each other. They should have stopped the discussion immediately.

  4. Geoff Says:

    Ah! Here it is:

    Let me refresh your memory of what, exactly, the deal is.

    Let me state this very clearly: We at Delicious Monster are making you the following proposition. We agree to provide you with a piece of software. We will also provide you with support for that software, within our abilities. We do not promise the software is free of bugs, nor do we promise it is suitable for your purpose.

    Indeed, I promise you that the program does have bugs and will not meet your exact needs, just like every other program ever written, including software you write yourself to meet your exact needs without bugs.

    However, because we are in no way dishonest, we will provide you with a free demo so that you can determine for yourself if the program is good enough to warrant your giving us $40. This deal does not include any additional rights, products, or services, even those implied by us.

    The list of things the deal does not include begins with the right to abuse me in your support email, even once.

    I do not make this statement as a representative of Delicious Monster. Indeed, I do not represent Delicious Monster in any way whatsoever, except insofar as I am employed by them. Rather, I speak only as a sane individual who did not make his first retail transaction yesterday.

    That is because this deal, or some variant thereof, is the basic proposition made by any business. With the possible exception of businesses specifically aimed at accepting your abuse as a service, abuse is never part of the deal. If you are abusing the employee of a company, you are not a customer. You are an asshole, and I for one am intolerant of assholes.

  5. Thomas Baekdal Says:

    He he – brilliant!