Notification of the 1.0 release of OpenPrjoj came through my news feed recently. The contents were a typical press release. The release quickly gets to making the statement “Projity announced the initial OpenProj beta in the Fall, over 200,000 users joined the beta testing in over 132 countries.” Now this is interesting, because a news item just five days previous claims “OpenProj has now been downloaded over 200,000 times with deployments accelerating around the world.”

It seems to me that someone has drawn an equivalence between “downloads” and “beta testers”. What they can really claim is “200,000 tire kickers” or without the metaphor, “200,000 evaluations”.

I can speak to this because I’m one of the people who downloaded it. I have to say that I was impressed, both with the concept and with the obvious level of effort that’s been put into it.

I used it to import a Project file, with the intention of making some changes and printing a report. Although I was able to change the data, the report they produced was wholly inadequate. Butt-ugly, rasterized fonts, and so on. It sucked. I wound up exporting it to an OpenCalc file and reporting from there.

Now if I was a beta tester, I’d probably have provided some feedback to let them know about my experiences. If it was really a beta release (instead of just another one of thousands of projects with “v0.9” releases) you think it might have told me. After all user involvement is part of the “social contract” of open source.

I resent being placed in a group (or so it seems) that I never thought I belonged to. This press release smacks of the kind of marketing over-hype that isn’t — and shouldn’t — be associated with an open source project.

So make that “over 199,999 users”.