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laldenj

VW signaling a strategy change?

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It is my impression that, of late(maybe since v. 12.5), Nemetschek seems less interested in bug fixes to its existing versions; instead focusing its efforts on revenue-producing upgrades. Although I have routinely subscribed to each upgrade to date, I am wary that we are now being expected to pop 1/2K a year just to escape the bugs of the current release.

Am I mis-remembering here or hasn't Nemetschek stopped fixing its problems? I am very reluctant to endorse this approach by upgrading to 2009 if this is the case.

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Hmm. Of course NNA is in business to generate revenue for its ongoing success. But with three service packs released for v2008, I don't see how you can say they've ignored bugs. That's not to say they address all known bugs, but who does (or could)? No software house I know of maintains more than (perhaps) one release prior to the current one. Additionally, it seems reasonable to this non-programmer that the best way to address some perceived "bugs" is to evolve through, or even pass, them.

For example, there have been "bugs" for years in the some of the more arcane geometry of both 2D and 3D elements. I have been particularly frustrated by the inability to "snap" to 3D midpoints when working in wireframe. Is this a "bug" because I can snap in another program but not in VW? For both of these issues, it seems the best answer might have been switching to the Parasolid kernal. Does this mean NNA doesn't care about them in the prior version? Of course not. Rather, I see it as caring a great deal: they not only solved my gripes but did so by giving me more than I could have known was possible.

As to your other issue re the value of each upgrade, it seems to me you'll have to arrive at a conclusion based on your circumstances. I simply wouldn't be willing to buy a new car just because they changed the shape of the fenders and moved the headlights a bit. Truthfully, the workstation productivity increases in each of the last four VW versions have easily paid for the upgrade cost in the first two or three weeks. If you're billing $100 per hour and can be more productive by one hour per week, the re-coup rate is just over a month.

We usually (and will this time) make the upgrade switch in Dec/Jan during our slower season: we can watch these boards for tips from early adopters, we usually start with at least the first or second service pack already in place, and we have more time to adapt all the "bring forward" items (workspaces, templates, symbol libraries, other work-flow-related stuff) when we're not quite so buried trying to keep clients happy.

With NNA's recent (last two years?) change to a reliable, annual upgrade cycle, we're able to budget both time and money to review and then adopt (if appropriate) their offering. Makes a lot of sense, even for our small (4 seats) shop.

Do what works best for your business

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I'd go a little easy on 'em for a while. This Parasolids thing is huge, and it'll take a while to sort out. The glossy features thing they do is probably necessary; a good proportion of their revenue is conquest sales, folks migrating mostly from ACAD. And if you don't bring the features, everybody complains about *that*.

I feel a huge relief now that basic solids operations like solid filleting and surface filleting work beautifully, and 3D in general seems more stable; we were losing data and getting pretty edgy, because of 2008's tendency to go off the rails. It seems better now, and it paves the way to much more extensive 3D development, which is indispensable for our practice. There's always more to do, but now they have the means, perhaps better than anyone in their part of the market.

The new snapping/highlighting workflow stuff is just excellent, I think. I can't do without it, and I've only had it a couple days.

There are bugs but I'm impressed. I really, really needed the solids improvements. Worth it.

Edited by mmyoung

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I simply wouldn't be willing to buy a new car just because they changed the shape of the fenders and moved the headlights a bit.

Hi I just bought a new 2008 car sometimes it just stops working I have to disconnect all the terminals recline all the seats and bend the mirrors in to get it to work again. When I shut the front doors sometimes the boot opens, when I bought the car I was told it would be perfect for the type of road id be driving on, which wasnt the case, I was then told I should be driving on a different type of road.

Also in the first month the wheels used to fall off but they sent me a kit to fix that and then a few months later I was sent a kit to fix the problem with the rear windscreen that kept cracking.

Not to worry thou I went back to the car dealer who was very friendly and explained my problems and was advised that the new 2009 model had these areas fixed! Great!

...wait a minute I already have a car its less than a year old! :)

Edited by CS1

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its insane, you pay a lot of money (especially when you are a one man band) and expect a finished product, which VW new releases never are. they arent even the finished product after the service packs......... maybe one day NNA will be able to produce a version on VW which is bug free after all the service packs..... MAYBE

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Hmm. Of course NNA is in business to generate revenue for its ongoing success. But with three service packs released for v2008, I don't see how you can say they've ignored bugs. That's not to say they address all known bugs, but who does (or could)?

Here's a scenario for you Travis. Let's say v2008 includes a serious bug, one that has been very difficult to nail down but one that costs customers a lot of time and money to deal with. Let's say NNA release v2009 and they've managed to quash that bug. Let's say that bug doesn't appear to be related to any new technology in v2009.

Do you think NNA should introduce the bug fix into v2008?

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all bugs should be fixed, i can see NNA building up a bad reputation within 5-10 years as a company that cannot produce a clean version of software (even after numerous service packs), and many users moving onto other more reliable CAD software. dont get me wrong, i like VW but its unreliability scares me sometimes and certainly costs me time and money, all of which i feel like claiming back off of NNA!!!!!!

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all bugs should be fixed

While I think there's an obligation to deal with certain bugs in certain situations I don't think the above sentence has anything to do with reality.

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But bugs that cost a lot of mony should be fixed.

Look at the space tool: if you use arcs or curves in the poly, the area is calculated wrong. Poeple that doesn't know this will calculate projects wrong and thereby the project will go wrong, ...

So this should be fixed in VW 2008!!!

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All software has bugs. All software has long standing bugs. No software company guarantees to fix all bugs in a given release. Most software companies issue service patches to fix bugs or alter functionality during a release cycle.

The fact is when you buy a release you are buying a work in progress - you are buying the best that that company can offer at that moment in time.

No software company on the planet can know what every user will do with their software and how they will use it. No two users are the same, so spread this across hundreds of thousands or millions and you see the issues.

Of course bugs are annoying and frustrating but most have workarounds to let you get the job done. If you find there are no workarounds - consistently - or that the workarounds are too time consuming, then that is the time to look at other systems.

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The area calculation tool with curves and arcs was demonstrated in a VW 2009 promotion I went to - it was said that it speeds up the area calculation process, etc. Which I thought great but whilst they said how fast and efficient it was they did not say it was inaccurate.

As an architect if I make mistakes then I get sued.

There is no point delivering new tools if they do not work and you have not fixed old tools / bugs.

You might be 'buying work in progress' but they never say that at demos or on the box. If that is the case then the updates / corrections should be free and a new version not released until they have sorted out the one they have sold you or give you the new version for free.

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Thank you, quigley, for a dose of realism.

"Bug-free" will never happen, so long as humans are ambitious and willing to experiment. The potential ease of technology is so seductive that when technology stumbles, we are aggravated beyond words. I believe we must find our own gray area, a balance of functionality and ambition.

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all bugs should be fixed, i can see NNA building up a bad reputation within 5-10 years as a company that cannot produce a clean version of software (even after numerous service packs), and many users moving onto other more reliable CAD software. dont get me wrong, i like VW but its unreliability scares me sometimes and certainly costs me time and money, all of which i feel like claiming back off of NNA!!!!!!

Ok i agree that not all bugs can be fixed (was a bit peeved at the time i wrote it..... due to a BUG!!), but when simple tool stops you from doing what you need to and what it was advertised as being able to do, then it is not acceptable. I can find workarounds, but why should i? the tools should do as it is supposed to do, im not asking it to re-define the laws of physics, just bloody clip one thing from another without ruining everything on the page!

rant over

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I would love to upgrade, but if there are going to be more bugs than what I currently have and of those there are the ones that seems to be a standard feature with VW...like the horn not working in all models. Staying in RSA makes it hard enough to confince your company to buy the product due to the exchange rate.....about 10'000 South African Rand is a lot for a small company here.

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Staying in RSA makes it hard enough to confince your company to buy the product due to the exchange rate.....about 10'000 South African Rand is a lot for a small company here.

What about wine for software!!

I also notice you are using 12.5.0, any reason for not updating to 12.5.3?

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Thank you, quigley, for a dose of realism.

"Bug-free" will never happen, so long as humans are ambitious and willing to experiment. The potential ease of technology is so seductive that when technology stumbles, we are aggravated beyond words. I believe we must find our own gray area, a balance of functionality and ambition.

That's true, there will always be bugs. But some bugs should be fixed like the space tool.

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But bugs that cost a lot of mony should be fixed.

Look at the space tool: if you use arcs or curves in the poly, the area is calculated wrong. Poeple that doesn't know this will calculate projects wrong and thereby the project will go wrong, ...

So this should be fixed in VW 2008!!!

I didnt know this!!!

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VW is pretty much the only program I use on a large scale (apart from windows and word etc) maybe its just software but this whole situation seems crazy to me, I cant imagine any product tht a consumer could buy that had faults and the consumer was expected to purchase a newer version rather than having there existing product refunded or replaced.

Imagine buying a bike and the chain broke the first time you rode it, would you be expected to buy the newer version of that bike? Or would you take it back and get a refund or get the bike replaced or fixed.

I can understand if you were riding the bike down stairs, or doing something the manufacturer of the bike had not intended that they wouldnt fix or replace it.

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"Bug-free" will never happen, ... that when technology stumbles, we are aggravated beyond words. I believe we must find our own gray area, a balance of functionality and ambition.

As more life saving surgery is carried out by robots or whenever one boards a jetliner, these are thoughts to remember, especially "aggravated beyond words". : wink :

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... I cant imagine any product tht a consumer could buy that had faults and the consumer was expected to purchase a newer version rather than having there existing product refunded or replaced.

...

Unfortunately with software, you don't actually buy the software, just a license to use it. So you are tied to the license conditions, rather than any consumer friendly legal rights.

That said, software is extremely complex and often general purpose so can be used in many different ways. As has been said before, it is next to impossible to make any reasonably complex software totally bug free, especially when used in so many different ways for so many different things. So it would be unreasonable to expect a refund or fix in every case where the software did not perform exactly as the user had wished. You would however expect the developers to have a list of known bugs (you do report bugs when you find them in the correct way don't you?) and some form of priority to fix them or classify them as 'user error'.

Its such a tricky area but taking a very simple example. I recently reported a possible bug with regarding exporting of transparent objects to JPEG and PSD files. NNA came back to me within the week requesting a test file which I supplied - it was trivial to reproduce. Overnight (for me) they came back with the response that it was 'now fixed in 2009'. What about 2008 I ask? The simple example suddenly becomes more complex, as I don't know if it was actually meant to work the way that I expected it to - no one ever said it should output transparent objects with transparency, I had just assumed as this is how export to pdf worked. So it may not have been a bug in 2008, but a new feature in 2009? I have no idea. But a customer responsive development team would, if technically possible, put the bug fix in a prior supported version and issue it as part of an SP at some point. But then again, maybe I should have submitted a bug submit earlier, before 2009 came out.

Re: Space tool and cut and fill calculations (which would appear to give the correct result but not display them in a way that some people expect them to so its arguably user error). I wonder if NNA has professional indemnity insurance to cover the situation where their software produces an incorrect result?

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If there are errors or bugs, which may cause inaccurate information or time wasting, but can not be fixed then NNA has a responsibility of telling its customers and suggesting possible work arounds until the problem is solved.

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If there are errors or bugs, which may cause inaccurate information or time wasting, but can not be fixed then NNA has a responsibility of telling its customers and suggesting possible work arounds until the problem is solved.
I agree within reason. Many companies do provide customers with access to their bug reporting software (bugzilla etc) so they can track the progress of customers own reported bugs, or be emailed updates when the status changes.

In the UK, your reseller and/or Computers Unlimited should also be notified of any critical issues so that they can take up the issue on your behalf.

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