I can back that statement, Abd ul-Rahman. Last week I received a mail
directed only to me from Protel support concerning the setup of the router.
I had not turned to them directly; they had been reading my postings on
this thread.

Regards,

Gisbert Auge
N.A.T. GmbH



                                                                                       
                       
                    "Abd                                                               
                       
                    ul-Rahman            An:     "Protel EDA Forum" 
<[EMAIL PROTECTED]>          
                    Lomax"               Kopie:                                        
                       
                    <marjan@noho.        Thema:  Re: [PEDA] Reply1 MS versus Linux     
                       
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                    23.11.2001                                                         
                       
                    21:49                                                              
                       
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At 10:24 AM 11/23/01 -0500, Fred A Rupinski wrote:
> > Has anyone seen Protel reply directly to this forum?
>
>Yes, on 11/20/01, from Samual Sattel, regarding "Protel usage"

I did not find that post in my archive. I suspect that Mr. Sattel may have
written directly to Mr. Rupinski in response to a Rupinski post on this
list. That is not uncommon.

Protel, I was informed perhaps two years ago, has a policy that employees
do not post to this list except for "Protelcsc," Protel Customer Service
Center, which occasionally pops in when they can easily clear up some
mystery that we have not handled for ourselves within a reasonable time.
Exceptions are quite rare. We are pretty sure that very many employees do
read this list, though perhaps fewer than was the case at one time, and
perhaps once in a while an employee gets carried away and responds
directly.

I have been asked by an employee on occasion to convey some information to
the list, a way around the restriction.

At one time Protel and the users had a fairly serious adversarial stance
toward each other; I think that the rule originated at that time. It was
far too easy for flame wars to start. There would be other reasons as well;
it can take a lot of time to write thoughtfully and it is perhaps not the
best usage of employee time. I know that Mr. Foley of Accel wrote on the
Accel user support list with a serious anti-time-wasting message directed
at the users as well as, perhaps, at employees. But we know what happened
to him, I don't think he is in the CAD business any more. I can say that
there were many Accel customers who, while they were insecure about the
future of the product when Protel took over, nevertheless were not sorry to
see Mr. Foley go.

Obviously, it is up to the users and their companies what is a "waste" and
what is not.

However, I *would* recommend a certain level of participation by certain
kinds of Protel employee. Imagine how we would feel if a development
engineer were actively asking us questions and reflecting on the answers.
Relations have improved to the point that serious rudeness from a few users
would be pretty strongly damped by the user community. Rules for employee
participation could be developed, such as, for example, that employees
would not respond to flames, that employees would need to be authorized by
Protel to participate here, and limits might be placed on what the
employees could reveal.

I do think, however, that the value of secrecy is vastly overblown. Some
matters properly remain secret, but secrecy clearly hampers communication
(well, duh!), and good communication between the developers and users could
greatly increase the pace of program improvement.

On the other hand, there are also other ways that communication could be
improved. A user panel is one possibility that has been mentioned; these
users would be under NDA so the secrecy issues would not be such a problem;
but they would be allowed to let the user community know that they were in
communication with Protel and could serve as a conduit for surveys, etc.


[EMAIL PROTECTED]
Abdulrahman Lomax
Easthampton, Massachusetts USA



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