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laldenj

VW signaling a strategy change?

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If only it were that simple. The problem is that often what people claim are bugs are simply:

- Things that version of the program can't do.

- Things that don't work as they think they should.

- Due to other causes like inadequate hardware.

- Are caused by OS issues or software conflicts.

- User error because someone is trying to do something in a different way or sequence to what was intended.

I've been using the program for 15+ years now, and providing support and training for nearly 10 years. I've always found NNA to be pretty good at fixing and addressing problems. Over my working life I've used other AEC programs as well, and in my experience none of them are trouble free. Also if you view other programs forums you will find the issues coming up are often very similar to what we have here.

Having done a little bit of scripting myself I can appreciate how hard it is to actually forsee all circumstances and then accommodate them, and to also find the cause of a problem. Sometimes it can literally feel like looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack.

Simply stating there is a problem isn't very useful. That is why NNA need detailed bug submissions with files containing the problems. With those they probably have half a chance. Without them they have no chance.

Vitriolic rants achieve nothing at all.

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If only it were that simple. The problem is that often what people claim are bugs are simply:

- ...

- Things that don't work as they think they should.

- ...

- User error because someone is trying to do something in a different way or sequence to what was intended.

I think this is very true. When I went from student to commercial license I got the printed manuals. Its amazing how much less 'buggy' the software became as I learned the correct way to do things and what features the software actually offered compared with what features I thought it offered. It is quite clear from a number of posts that appear on the boards that the manuals and help files are often not the first point of reference when a problem arises.

However, I am also not saying that there are genuine bugs, some of which really should be resolved via SP's even if the version is current. It is not unreasonable to expect support for at least one prior version (ie 2008) because peoples expectations of their software do not suddenly stop the morning that the new version is released.

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If only it were that simple.

Okay, by talk about it I don't mean simply talk about it. Naturally I mean the talking needs to come to a conclusion. And by talking I don't mean just sitting around ranting. I submitted a detailed report on the bug I mention above a long time ago. I eventually received instructions on how to clean files that have become bogged down by circular referencing, but this is a very time consuming process. What really bugs me about this is that it's been fixed in v2009 but not v2008. To me that's wrong on a number of levels.

I've been using the program for 15+ years now, and providing support and training for nearly 10 years. I've always found NNA to be pretty good at fixing and addressing problems. Over my working life I've used other AEC programs as well, and in my experience none of them are trouble free.

Exactly. You're confirming my point: that it's not simply a case of the market economy dogma that you "can vote with your dollars."

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I agree with a large amount of you here.

VWorks cant be sitting here fixing bugs and not developing.

But I feel a shift in emphasis within the company real or otherwise.

I think some of the bugs of late have shown us users disrespect.

But some of the improvements have been revolutionary.

The nerds should become draughtsmen tho. this would help .

Why ? well its because its drawing that makes us money.

One of the great misconceptions of of age is:

Just because you can right software and talk programming language you have a grip on reality.

Brendan

Edited by B.Balemi

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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.

I'd say it's quite the reverse.

Now NNA has yearly updates with only bug fixes, rather than major and minor releases approximately every nine months. New features introduce new opportunities for bugs, and now there are fewer of those opportunities .

Also, Parasolid licensing means NNA is paying more for a more reliable solids/surface modeler, rather than less for a cheaper but less reliable modeler.

But as always, if bugs are hindering you in your work, report them to bugsubmit@nemetschek.net.

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Then how do you account for the circular referencing bug being fixed in v2009 but not v2008 Andrew?

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Andrew, I'm not quite sure I follow:

You're saying that the current strategy is to incorporate the bug-fixes in the yearly update, i.e. new release? That would mean that, as a customer and end-user, you'll be forced to buy the upgrade in order to get the bugs fixed in the application you bought less than 12 months ago.

If I've purchased VW2008, why should I have to pay for VW2009 in order for issues with '08 to get fixed? Aren't upgrades supposed to introduce new or better functionality and bug-fixes to, well, fix bugs?

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I believe what Andrew is saying, correct me if I am wrong, is that because NNA is only releasing new features every 12 months, only free bug fixes are released until the next paid release.

Under the old system, there would be a version release, a couple of updates to fix bugs, then a .5 release 9 months later that would have additional new features that had the potential of introducing new bugs, necessitating a couple of updates over the next nine months, all while working on the next major upgrade. Reducing the available resources to chase bugs down.

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What you call a bug may be features or functionality not incorporated yet. Apple, Adobe, and Autocad, as well as every software developer have bugs that don't get resolved between versions.

In my opinion NNA works very hard trying to eliminate bugs and they do fix major bugs before the next version. Sometimes a bug is very difficult to fix and requires a major rewrite of sections of code. This will typically introduce bugs in other areas, which has to be flagged and fixed. To say a bug (or feature, or functionality) that was fixed in 2009 and NNA should go back and fix it in 2008 is unrealistic.

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Andrew, I'm not quite sure I follow:

You're saying that the current strategy is to incorporate the bug-fixes in the yearly update, i.e. new release?

No. I am saying all the service packs for 2008 were generally bug fix upgrades, not additional features like the old .5 releases (which could add bugs.) And NNA promotes the upgrades based on new capabilities, not bug fixes. The only possible exception I can think of is Parasolid, but that was also promoted as faster and that it would allow us additional capabilities.

I'm not saying anything about NNA's level of support for older versions, I'd say that's unchanged. The original poster implied it had changed.

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I'm not saying anything about NNA's level of support for older versions, I'd say that's unchanged. The original poster implied it had changed.

Actually, Andrew, it sounds like NNA is changing it's support of older versions. As I understand it, NNA will not be fixing any more bugs in 2008 and no more service packs will be posted, thus "abandoning" VW2008.

Is this true?

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Bill, Maybe I am missing something, but I've been a user since Minicad 6. To the best of my knowledge whenever a new release came out, support moved to that version and no new bug patches or updates were forthcoming for the previous version. I believe that the one exception I can think of was 12.5.3 that dealt with some Leopard (Mac OS 10.5) issues quite literally making the software unusable that was released after version 2008.

Go to the General Downloads Page and look at dates, and you will notice that all the way back to version 8 there is a period of months if not more than a year from the last patch of one version to the first patch of the next.

Right, wrong or indifferent, NNA is not changing its current practices as I see it.

Edited by ionw

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Sorry. I've only been using VW since 12 so I assumed that some level of support for the previous version was the norm.

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The screen flicker problem reported to NNA some 2 years ago and still not fixed in 2009 and its recent update. Whilst recognised by NNA as a bug which flickers the screen in XP and Vista they forgot to fix it in 2009 and say to now fix it would break the system.

The temporary solution, which is not fully successful, is to keep the object info pallet fully open at all times.

As said previously, NNA should be concentrating on getting the basics right before advancing the system every year. This is a health and safety issue, affecting those with epilepsy, and should not be sold without that warning. Up to now I have strongly supported Vectorworks but not now as I am very disappointed that a problem identified over 2 years ago has still not been fixed, we were mis sold 2008 by NNA as they claimed it had resolved the problem, have not been kept up to date with investigations and, to be frank, do not believe that such a bug would break the system, especially as the system goes through some fundamental changes each year.

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Holy man, looks like I've found the mother-load of rants ! Before I add my own I want to say I really appreciate the help I've found here from other users and people like Jeff. Thanks !

I've been spending a fair bit of time in the forum trying to resolve my own VW issues. I'm sure some are due to my own shortcomings while I try to wrap my head around something. Never the less it's been a frustrating year since adopting VW and I often have voices behind me saying things like - why does this 'insert task here' have to be so freaking complex, all I want is an idea worked out and this tool is getting in the way.... Another sez Phil, grab a sheet of velum and load up the pen. It seems I spend way too much time on the VW learning curve and lately more time with issues.

Downtime is especially challenging for small time firms like my own. Here my simple reckoning for this week so far:

Sole operator of small engineering firm. No IT. Multi-tasker including washing the bog.

Hourly cost to run firm: $125

Time spent on current issue ( Combine into Surface ) experimentation, research: 18 hrs

Unrecoverable cost so far this week: $2250.

The only reason I'm here at 12:45am is an attempt to recover some of that lost revenue.

There's a point when things become a liability and such a drain on resources the bottom line dictates what needs to be done and frankly I'm pretty much near digging out the velum today....!! I've used alot of Cadd apps, gave up Visual Cadd when we switched to Mac, gave up ACadd when they told me to piss off after finding out I ran on Bootcamp, gave up on TurboCadd after issues with accuracy and on, so I understand that VW is not a singular culprit, nor are other Cadd forums any different, all apps have issues....well maybe we can exclude native Mac apps. For sure we all spend way too much time doing what essentially boils down to R&D for software companies and I'm not sure they really understand or appreciate just how much we all invest in their product and the latitude they get from clients. For sure if any other machine in my plant gave as much grief it would be packed up and shipped back to the supplier in pretty short order.

I'm not sure what the answer is. Broader test groups maybe ? Better and more direct feedback from clients ? I just know I spend way too much time dealing with issues that are not of my own making, but am expected to swallow the time and costs.

There's my 2 penneth. Hopefully the VW2009 due to arrive shortly will be a bit more intuitive and useful.

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My problems with VWA 11, 12, 12.5, and 2008 were always limited and manageable. And the only thing I could complain about recently is the plan rotation feature, and what it does to the origin.

But that problem was small compared to my experiences in the office with AutoCad 2000 / 2002. I prefer to call it "AutoCrash", because whenever I sent an AutoCad plot to the HP 500 plotter, the program crashed, and sometimes corrupted the file. This happened in two separate offices with two separate computers and plotters, and two separate licensed installations of the same program.

So a plan rotation bug? I can live with that (but a screen flicker would be a major annoyance). And the latest PodCad Podcast says that Vw 2009's user experience is much better than in Vw 2008, in Dan and Pat's unbiased and humorous opinion.

Edited by Bob-H

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Maybe Nemetschek North America needs to add an "Errors and Omissions" clause in the licensing of the software to dispel any expectations of perfection!

As has been said, new features and tools, bring new bugs.

The Question gets to a point made earlier, should Nemetschek North America not release any new features or Application versions till the presently released version has all major bug fixes implemented?

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We can all complain until we're blue in the face....a snipit from the Vectorworks License Agreement...

6. Warranties and Disclaimer of Warranty

6.1 No Warranty

To the maximum extent permitted by law, the software is provided "as is" without any warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including, without limitation, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose and non-infringement (and NNA disclaims all such warranties). NNA does not warrant that use of the software will be error-free or that use of the software will meet the licensee's needs. You confirm that (a) you have the requisite expertise to evaluate, and have in fact evaluated, the suitability of the software for your purposes; and (b) you have relied upon your own skill and judgment in selecting the software.

6.2 Limitation of Liability

IN NO EVENT WILL NNA'S AGGREGATE LIABILITY WITH RESPECT TO ALL CLAIMS ARISING FROM OR RELATED TO THE SOFTWARE, IN CONTRACT, TORT OR OTHERWISE EXCEED THE CONSIDERATION PAID BY THE LICENSEE TO NNA UNDER THIS AGREEMENT. IN NO EVENT WILL NNA BE LIABLE FOR ANY CONSEQUENTIAL, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, PUNITIVE, EXEMPLARY OR INCIDENTAL DAMAGES, LOSS OF GOODWILL OR BUSINESS PROFITS, EVEN IF NNA HAS BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY THEREOF.

YOU ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL WORK PRODUCT CREATED USING THE SOFTWARE.

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I think you will benefit from some on-site 1 to 1 training and you will find you will not have to recover many more bundles of $2250

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This quote from Jeffery is of some relevance here I believe however on the other hand it may not be, you can decide. http://techboard.nemetschek.net/ubbthreads/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showthreaded&Number=116826

My reply to that is...maybe 100 beta testers is not enough to cover the broad spectrum of the VW's application, maybe 200 is not enough.

Consider Microsofts approach with Windows 7 beta testing. Have it available to the whole world to test for a limited time and get the people advise of bugs and consistencies before the version release.

Although this approach would be all consuming with the volumes of submissions, my suggestion would be only release a time limited beta release to those with a license already who want to be a part of the testing.

Worth considering I say NNA.

However what do I know.

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