@marcmerce My opinions have shifted somewhat slightly. I have come to terms with the fact that Botpress is not for anyone except us the programmers. It is still a very young venture which has staged a commendable balancing act between making the technology accessible and ensuring continuity through revenue generation. Let me try and split the issues
Development & User Acceptance
I feel Botpress has been around long enough to have a beta testing team. You know the guys who use it and make noise on the forum and read everything. Those can be your beta test users. You also know the guys who contribute to PR’s. Those can be your beta inspectors. The only way to speed up the dev debug and release pipelines is to have a bunch of independent/fresh eyes looking at the stuff that’s there. The most successful products are those that engage their stakeholders. I would imagine @allardy will be keen about hexing the whole code to speed up nlu while @jbperron seeks to plug in code that gets insights from users. Meanwhile, @anonymousUser can’t figure out why all the code won’t show up in code editor like it does in visual studio code (wild example I know but you get the picture I hope)
Pro Version Caveats
Don’t wait for someone to ask why they should move to Pro or to ask for a trial, give them a glimpse. Let’s take RBAC for example (which I imagine is foremost on the features that drive users to go Pro). Show people that separation of concerns and roles is possible in the community version at a very small scale whereby a super-admin can create one account each for
- Conversation Designer (Access to Content, Q&A and Misunderstood interface only)
- Agent / Moderator (Access to HITL & Misunderstood only)
- Analyst (Access to Analytics module only)
If that’s giving away too much choose an ‘unimportant’ role with minimum usage eg an Analyst
Let me give you my experience here. On realizing there was no separation of concerns in Botpress, I created a few pages on the same server using Laravel with explicit access to a certain module GUI and disabled the side menu items, scrambled the URL and did some other random foo. Dirty workaround but it works.
Now imagine how my heart plummeted to my boots when I learned that for a few quid a month I could get that functionality. I can easily transfer the cost to my client along with hosting fees and all the other mandatory stuff. I admit I could have read the documentation (I came across RBAC and just brushed it off as some security acronym I admit) but had I known from practical use I would not even have bothered wrangling a solution.
I would encourage that you release docs at the same time you release a new module. Right now there isn’t anything on smooch, uipath, slack, microsoft teams, misunderstood and nlu-extras. First, just do the basic drill down which a developer would quickly understand. Then let people stumble and get lost and ask questions and help each other from there. After some time, review the content and factor in the sticking point. Engage serial bloggers who love giving to the dev community and have a distinctly transparent way of expressing ideas and getting main points across ( @abhisheksimion comes to mind) to review just a short piece of your literature at a time, (emphasis on short, something that can be reviewed in 10-15 minutes).
The body of knowledge behind the solution
As with most open source projects we tend to focus on the functionality of the application as a whole. However, you would be amazed at how many people are intrigued with the nitty gritties. For instance, I have a dude who recently joined my team who is a Maths graduate majoring in Statistics turned programmer (thats a mouthful lol). All he does in his free time is tear the nlu module apart over and over again with each new release. Try and create forums and blogs specifically for individuals focused on the science behind botpress, UX developers, big data analysts e.t.c.
Sorry for my very long analysis, believe me I could go on and on because I have a lot of issues but I feel these are the ones that are foremost.Overall just remember as a community we love Botpress, we appreciate all your efforts and we want to do everything that we possibly can to help it reach its full potential as a product and as a company. Thats the spirit of a community. But as with real life communities there are always segments. Just find ways to get the most from each segment