I'm done with crap code from IFI, RobotC and EasyC

You three have the lock on 4,000 competition robots and another 10,000 classroom robots. We buy your software expecting it to work and are rudely awakened to bad code, hasty patches, cruft and CS100 level mistakes. You’ve had three years to sort our Cortex systems out, but have failed

I understand that VEX sells billions an billions of units into classrooms and they are forgiving of bad code (not sure why, but I’ll drink the koolaide). On the other hand, 5000 robots run hard core competitor code to prove this is the best robot on the planet. One would think that VEX, RobotC and EasyC would be on this like maple syrup on pancakes.

I want clean code, I want competition code that works. I don’t want code that presumes a robot config or “natural language” I want code that I can use, that’s right. It’s right because it’s been tested, not just drummed into a code stream.

I want you three to get together and quit fooling around. Get devices early, make them work rock solid. Harden them. Then go add you natural language nonsenses.

I am / was / will continue to be appalled by the entire IC sensors for motors for 2012. Based on the amount of flying feathers, I’d release that product next week, since it didn’t work very well last week.

I have roboteers that I need a lot of life lessons to about mechanics, gravity, friction, etc. I’d rather not add in poor software engineering design and practices at IFI,ROBOTC and EasyC.

This is a harsh note, but I don’t care. We build amazing designs, hard core mechanical that rocks and you show up with software that can’t get the job done. Either up your game and make this work or open source it so people that can help, do help.

You owe much to the software gurus of Vexforum that have reversed engineering (no matter how poor the first cycle was) and gotten to the correct code.

Let us see RobotC, EasyC and IFI code get internally better, before we see features stacked on crap code.

Or open source the details so those of us that can program for a living can build something that works (Ummm, why yes, I am calling you out)

While (***) is a simple game, there are a ton of programming parts we can do,



Was there something specific that prompted this? Although not perfect, I have found both ROBOTC and EasyC adequate for the task given the hardware constraints they have to work with.



While I agree that sometimes code doesn’t work like you want it to, I think your being unfair. Carnegie Melon and Intelitek do a good job with their IDEs and it’s ultimately up to us to turn that into great robot code.

Also attacking them and calling their products “crap code” isn’t at all the best way to get them to change. I understand coding can be frustrating at times, but there is a much more professional and dignified way to express that frustration. If you were one of the makers of RobotC or EasyC, would you want consumers to kindly tell you what they thought could improve? Or would you want them angrily screaming that what you make is junk?

Even if these products are “crap code” (and I believe they are not) we are all human. None of us are perfect. If I were Carnegie Melon or Intelitek, I’d want people to forgive me when I inevitably make mistakes. So would you. You know what I mean?

Lastly, if I’m reading your signature correctly, you’re a mentor. You of all people ought to be professional about expressing issues with programming. What kind of example are you setting for your team?

I’m sure this thread will be deleted or locked or who knows what. But consider my words a loving rebuke. I’m not against you :slight_smile: Just hoping you understand what I’m saying. Have a great day! :slight_smile:


So you are one of my vex heros. You dig into the hardware and the software an do the indepth analysis of what’s going on. You rock!

My problem is “Adequate”. This software is our “only” interface, it needs to be golden or magical (can I say unicorn like?) into the bare metal, it needs to work and work very well and presently the API’s have problems. ’

Most of my work is RobotC, and while they are responsive to the 16 million VEX classroom kits, the competition us given short shrift.

The event was the dance just before worlds. Here is non working IC code and “trust us, this is the VEXNET code” you want to run. The Tasking software not right.

I need code I can push and it works. We came from PICS, we coded to the metal and Kevin’s library.

I want stuff to work, to be tested and put out there in time for us to test it, so when we find the IC buffer frame is wrong it gets fixed.

the software and logic portions of the vex kit should be undergoing more testing in high-stressed situations. while as they make work fine for simple classroom use, they simply are not holding up under competition circumstances as they should be if they are the only competition legal pieces of equipment.

I agree with Disciple855; As a mentor, you must be able to express your frustrations in a more mature manner than calling it “crap code.” If I were one of the engineers who made the software in question, this thread’s title, alone, would make me want to say “Don’t like it? Write your own code!!” Then, if I read the rest of the post, I would want to say this:

If you want to see a change in the product, try labeling your post “Constructive Criticism and Suggestions about RobotC And EasyC.” Then, list the problems you’ve been having, and list possible solutions for those problems. If I were an IFI engineer and I saw that, I would reply “Thank you for the suggestions,” and then I would get to work on addressing the issues.

It’s not professional well tested code, just ask them.

I’m a professional project manager, fluent in 2 dozen languages and 1/2 dozen methodology, BS is BS. RobotC people are well aware of my distaste for their product and it’s outcome. I can say it’s a product that places next to last, or a product that places second. In either case it has some major suck points that they need to address. (and I can write suck points or major software defects, your choice for the works)

I forgive when working code gets shipped AND (And I mean AND) we’ve instituted a change in our process

I’m a 6 year mentor, I’m the 2010 VEX Mentor of the year. I set the example that big groups (IFI, RECF) say and do stupid things. And as a Mentor of the year, and the Chief Roboteer, I’ve earned the right to call higher management to task.

I’ve also earned the right to suggest to clueless people like you [Disceple855] that you back up from places you should not stray. I’ve skipped over your comments in the past, this is not a discussion you are qualified for.

I doubt it will be deleted. Nice to know that you are not against me, but it’s pretty clear from the first 50 lines that you are clueless.

Have a Magical Day!

OK. Enough is Enough. I totally respect your knowledge, and I agree with you on many counts. But calling people stupid and clueless is not acceptable on a friendly forum. I do not think I have ever read that winning MOTY entitles you to act in such an abrasive way towards other people.

Ok. I am clueless. There, you do not need to say it.

And you sir, have a Magical Day as well!

So my job as a mentor comes in four parts:
1)Inspire roboteers
2)Build great robots
3)Inspire future roboteers to be a roboteers
4)Fix problems with the existing system.

So you got a glance at step 4. Dog eat dog skippy. I want the best products, services, locations for my teams. I push my agenda, any way I can, any place I can. Could I have done this with Paul C and JVN to make a decision behind the scenes, yes. To put this out there for you to see and learn from was plan 4, it becomes somewhat of a teaching moment.

You get what you ask for…

First off, just because you got mentor of the yar 2 years ago does not mean that you can walk around like you own the place. Secondly, it also does not give you the right to disrespect people on the forum. Saying that they’re “clueless” but also saying that you have “skipped over their comments in the past” shows that you have never seen what they have to say. Lastly, saying that “this is a discussion that you are not quaified for” makes you look just plain silly. Last time I checked, you do not have an admin mark under your username which makes you the same as all of us.

Maybe we, as mainly high school students, do not live up to your expectations. Maybe we are not as knowledgeable as an experienced adult and mentor. Maybe we do appear “Clueless” to you. BUT, as you stated, it is your role as a mentor to inspire roboteers. Calling out one individual because of a difference in opinion could very well be enough to turn someone off from this forum, from vex, and from a future career in robotics.

I really don’t care how mad you are, this is unacceptable and you need to cool down for a while.

…Now rip me apart for how wrong I am because I am incompetent compared to you

Maybe having an argument with a bunch of kids isn’t the best way to solve this problem

Have a great day, and please try to be nice, it normally works out pretty well.

Excellent, so you got the clueless hint first time, so maybe its worked.’

Having a Magical day is only valid within 40 miles of a Disney Park, but since you’ve grasped the undertone, well played sir!

And I normally don;t say that, but the last three weeks of sensoe, code and procedural code its worked…

But the key here is to have IFI, ROBOTC and EasyC pull together.

I completely agree with Papertowels9876. You are one of those individuals who just because they have a presigious title thinks that they can do whatever they want, and somehow they’re “God”. Just because your a mentor, it does not mean that you know everything about robotics. I guarantee a great majority of the students here know more than you do. Also, by doing this you are setting a very bad example for the students in your organization. You are suppost to be the rolemodel, and honestly if you act like this on a daily basis, I am very afraid to see how the students in your organization are.

Again, could you be specific, the only problems I saw at worlds were hardware related or, by the admission of the students, problems with the user code.

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By the way, I happen to know a Mentor of the Year. He would never call out an organization or individual like this.

Please just think about what you are putting in text and remember that the image you are reflecting on yourself and your club is permanent.

Oh. I’m so sorry you didn’t catch the sarcasm.

And still, you are talking to other people like you know all, and everyone else is ‘stupid’.

You say you teach roboteers skills they will need later in life. I am not sure abusing everyone who disagrees with you is a good skill to have.

Perhaps you could cool it a bit. And maybe even (gasp) apologize and politely point out what you want changed.

Hi Everyone,
I’m locking this thread because we’re approaching “personal insult” territory. I will reopen it tomorrow morning when I hope everyone will have cooled down.

Everyone at VEX appreciates feedback, especially from respected mentors from within the community like Foster. We take all feedback very seriously.

We’re not perfect. We make mistakes. We’re always trying to improve.

That said, I hope everyone can relax for a few hours and we’ll continue this discussion in the morning.



Thread is reopened.
Please keep it professional.


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I know that mentor too and he is awesome. Easy C has worked for what I wanted the robot to do. I am only a high school student so I am not a professional programmer.

I agree, I think EasyC works fantastically for robots. I think RobotC is definitely more of a challenge, even though I have not used it myself, but I’ve heard rumors. I’m not much of a programmer but I’ve done small things and have seen what people have worked with on EasyC and I think it’s just right, major changes are going to cause even more problems than there are now. I don’t think there can be a perfect program.

Small updates are great ways to get programs toward 100% perfect. Changing a program entirely would cause more confusion. So the programming software and codes could be updated to work better. It would be a great improvement.