-1 for moving to stackoverflow. Why do we need another site? I have been using Google groups for years, no issues so far. What do we get by moving to stakoverflow? Does it work on Android tablet or something else that we need to know that is so special about it?
On Monday, February 13, 2012 3:49:47 PM UTC-5, Ikai Lan wrote:
I share your concerns about streamlining the user experience. As it stands, the user experience isn't great: you have groups, StackOverflow, billing issues forms, abuse forms, the public issues tracker, Google Groups, Reddit ... I could probably go on. The move to StackOverflow isn't necessarily making things more complicated, as our documentation will to updated to reflect that it is the primary destination for code questions - and in exchange, the Python/Java groups will be placed into read-only. We've done this with other products at Google such as Android and experienced overwhelming success - not only will App Engine Java questions be exposed to developers following App Engine, they will also be exposed to tens of thousands of Java developers on StackOverflow. And the tooling! The tooling will allow us to identify where we need better learning resources, or where the product needs improvements. We could certainly build this ourselves, but that detracts from our ability to answer questions, launch features, and improve the documentation. There are always tradeoffs in those scenarios.
Hope this helps,
Ikai Lan Developer Programs Engineer, Google App Engine
Google is absolutely committed to App Engine and part of the reason we are moving the Java/Python groups to StackOverflow is to have better, more consolidated answers to questions. While it might be possible for Google to build its own tool tailed to questions and answers, we really like StackOverflow in part because it is where a lot of developers go in general to get answers to questions. As I've talked about on this group before, we currently have essentially 2 support options: Premier Accounts (for $500/month) or StackOverflow / Groups where the community can support it and Googlers will sometimes answer questions. The first has an SLA and the second does not. So, in response to Google investing in better enterprise support, I hope that answers the question.
In terms of the concern that this means we are trying to deprecate App Engine. I can honestly and frankly say that there are no plans to do so, quite the opposite, we are growing! Right now we are trying to consolidate a variety of places to get answers into 1 to improve how people get questions answered. We are keeping this group (google-appengine) because it is a great place for discussions, but when it comes to asking a question and getting an answer, we believe StackOverflow is a product more suited to do this.
Johan and Ikai both work on the App Engine team so their word is as official as mine, but I figured hearing it from more people might help.
+111 absolute agreement; I would like to hear an official statement from Google regarding long time commitment to GAE ( incl. plans regarding adequate support options).
Google, has the best developers in the world. It has so much money to burn. It has the best internet-infrastructure on this planet.
If Google would like, I'm sure a self implemented "StackOverflow" for Google-Products would be ready in three month from now. And now they decide to outsource this one to the .NET based StackOverflow, that just lost his founder and brain Jeff Atwood?
That really doesn't look like Google has any plans to invest in better enterprise support or make GAE a first class Google product.
I think this is a terrible idea because it makes people check 2 places and subscribe to 2 boards. Newcomers to this discussion will have a hard time knowing about this.
App Engine team does put enough resources for community and customer support. I have a paid app and I cannot get my simple billing questions answered. In the billing interface, there is no link or phone # to use. Just a link to this forum... unless we pay become a Premier Account for $500 / month but first we need to talk to the sales team. Really? So desperate users in need of urgent help post questions on forums and if they make enough noise and show enough distress, others users help them and sometimes, in with their immense goodwill and too little available time, Google Engineers help too.
Google App Engine team says, 'well support is best effort around here or get a Premier Account'. I think this is not the way to do it. Together with Google engineers, WE make Google products what they are because of our deep involvement.
This lack of support is general across most Google products. Our company uses many Google products that are now business critical for us: Google Apps for Business, Checkout, Analytics, and more. With all of those, if you have a problem, well, it's your problem because you cannot contact anyone.
So is it hard to provide good support? Not for every company. We use Amazon S3 and Cloud Service. We are a little tiny customers for them. The other day we had a problem that brought down our SaaS app. Emergency. What do you do when that happens? Well, simple. On Amazon AWS console, click on 'call me I need help now' button and a human calls you within a minute.
So Google: use a tiny portion of the immense net revenue to add more community and product support engineers. I bet that will improve the bottom line even further.
One last BIG concern. One of the things that first get dropped when a product is going to be retired (i.e. killed) is developer and community support. Java and Python appengine discussion groups are being deprecated and dev support is moved to Stack Overflow. That does not sound like App Engine is going forward to me. More like a huge red flag. Is App Engine business in danger?
Telling Google users to use Stack Overflow is the equivalent of displaying a big sign on Google Groups home page saying "use Stack Overflow, it's much better than what we have".
As other users suggested, Google should improve this forum software and make it work more like Stack Overflow and not move there...
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