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Vincent C

Stability/Compatibility over Fast Development/Features

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For quite a while now (years) I have been trying to convince the people upstairs that stability (and indirectly compatibility) are far more important than fast development and feature richness. It seems that other developers (competitors) are falling for the same trend, I just installed ArchiCAD 14 and am trying to work with version 13 files and it is so SLOW! I hate it when I work faster than my computer/program can keep up!!!!!

See how similar these threads are!:

http://195.144.20.106/viewtopic.php?t=35063&sid=33d6f104b251786f75d17c211f1cc1b6

http://archicad-talk.graphisoft.com/viewtopic.php?p=174614

http://techboard.vectorworks.net/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=149275#Post149275

http://techboard.vectorworks.net/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=152586#Post152586

Apparently it is more important to have 'cool' features to market than that they actually work properly?!

NV I must STRESS again that stable software is far more valuable than 'flashy' unstable software.

It's a disgrace when Beta versions are released as the 'real' thing.

Do you really think that cars would keep selling if they have the capability to clean your shoes, play videos etc but have problems shifting to 3rd gear every other time or the engine dying once in a while when waiting at a traffic light? Do you really thing people would keep buying that particular make? Hardly

Edited by Vincent C

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I know it's not just me, but it seems like the release of a new Vw version update every 12-months has also increased the number of bugs / beta-level tools that get shipped in the product release.

And unless you upgrade your Vw every year, you get stuck with an unsupported buggy, beta-level product.

Tim

So the options are: don't upgrade and get stuck with a fairly stable beta version or upgrade and get stuck with a very buggy beta version for another year......exactly my point Tim!

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VW 2009 had 5 SP's and by the end it was pretty good....VW2010 came out and we were back to square one!!

If 2011 gets fixed I shall stick with that and be very apprehensive about upgrading.

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i know we wont get any feedback from "The Powers That Be" on this, but, when a tool like VW "IS" good, it sells itself. No need for advertising because word of mouth is the best thing "money can't buy"!

If stability/compatibility wins over "Go Faster" racing stripes and trick paint jobs, that would be the Greatest step in the right direction for "Fast Development" that VW could possibly make.

?

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i know we wont get any feedback from "The Powers That Be" on this, but, when a tool like VW "IS" good, it sells itself. No need for advertising because word of mouth is the best thing "money can't buy"!

So very very true. When students ask what BIM software they should learn I'd love to be able to unreservedly recommend VW. But I'd be doing them a disservice as things currently stand.

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i know we wont get any feedback from "The Powers That Be" on this, but, when a tool like VW "IS" good, it sells itself. No need for advertising because word of mouth is the best thing "money can't buy"!

So very very true. When students ask what BIM software they should learn I'd love to be able to unreservedly recommend VW. But I'd be doing them a disservice as things currently stand.

Funny you should say that Christiaan, some years ago i got into a conversation with the head of a tech department of a local Uni responsible for buying software for all media related studies including C4D and CAD. She had a leaning towards VW, so i suggested she go with it.

i too might be a little more reserved in my enthusiasm today . . . . . . . .

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I know it's not just me, but it seems like the release of a new Vw version update every 12-months has also increased the number of bugs / beta-level tools that get shipped in the product release.

And unless you upgrade your Vw every year, you get stuck with an unsupported buggy, beta-level product.

Tim

So the options are: don't upgrade and get stuck with a fairly stable beta version or upgrade and get stuck with a very buggy beta version for another year......exactly my point Tim!

It certainly does seem like that is where we're headed. I think that VW2008 was the last truly stable version of VW - the last version before annual upgrades began. Even that had a couple of things broken by the last SP, never to be fixed. I found VW2009 to be so problematic that I never did a single project with it. VW2010 was a bit better but still no paragon of stability. I couldn't resist the RW engine upgrade so I jumped on the VW2011 bandwagon and am beginning to wonder if I jumped too soon. It's been pretty buggy for me.

I think that a big part of the problem is that translation of older VW files is NEVER perfect (or even very good.) NVW is always encouraging us to start with a fresh file when upgrading but that just isn't sustainable. As I use VW more and more, I build up a larger and larger body of templates and other resources that I simply can't build from scratch every year. If they want us to get on board with the annual upgrade schedule, they need to make the transition seamless. I know that this isn't easy when they're changing modeling and rendering engines but none of the users asked for such a rapid release schedule. They either need to throw more bodies at it or take more time.

Again, I really encourage NVW to consider a 0 new features release. Let's take a breath and finish the release that we have. Especially now that they're pushing the subscription model so hard.

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If they want us to get on board with the annual upgrade schedule, they need to make the transition seamless.

The library of available free resources is a valuable casualty to the current situation, however, marginal backward compatibility would be a reasonable trade off if we received a product that was stable, did what it is supposed to do, and supported current hardware. When sacrifices are made and the basics not put right, then the product starts to look like a poor value.

Again, I really encourage NVW to consider a 0 new features release. Let's take a breath and finish the release that we have. Especially now that they're pushing the subscription model so hard.

Agreed. I can't think of a more attractive reason to upgrade.

Edited by NTZeek

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I opened a file in VW2008 recently. It worked as expected, and offers lots of what is in the new versions. But the 2011 feature set is clearly better. The 2011 stability is actually pretty good for me. I am not ready to go back. The annual upgrade cost is less than value of one billable hour per month (your milage may vary). And I can import files from new versions of that other CAD.

The VW license by subscription has me concerned for future improvements - same cash flow (by contract) to developers whether or not the product improves well. But the biggest potential problem, I think, is likely suppression of risk, of BIG changes, of a total redo similar to jump from System 9 to Mac OSX. Building on the existing kernel is comfortable.

Subscription model has potential, however, to morph development into an endless stream of service packs instead of revisions. This could fulfill the wish for "finishing" features instead of abandoning them to develop new beta features for the next rev. A zero new features rev by installment.

We shall see in a couple years whether or not subscription license model works to benefit the product and the users.

-B

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?If you look at software today, through the lens of the history of

engineering, it?s certainly engineering of a sort?but it?s the kind of

engineering that people without the concept of the arch did. Most

software today is very much like an Egyptian pyramid with millions of

bricks piled on top of each other, with no structural integrity, but

just done by brute force and thousands of slaves.? ? Alan Kay

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?If you look at software today, through the lens of the history of

engineering, it?s certainly engineering of a sort?but it?s the kind of

engineering that people without the concept of the arch did. Most

software today is very much like an Egyptian pyramid with millions of

bricks piled on top of each other, with no structural integrity, but

just done by brute force and thousands of slaves.? ? Alan Kay

I don't know enough about software development to know if this is true but it certainly captures my impression of it.

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I get Kay's point, but I think he missed the allusion. I know of a bunch of nicely engineered structures which failed or were removed as obsolete within 50 years of construction. Those pyramids are still standing, albeit in repose, after thousands of years.

But I still want my software to be archy rather than pileofbricky.

-B

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I get Kay's point, but I think he missed the allusion. I know of a bunch of nicely engineered structures which failed or were removed as obsolete within 50 years of construction. Those pyramids are still standing, albeit in repose, after thousands of years.

Quite right, and they're standing as museum pieces.

I don't want my software to be a museum piece. I want it to be nimble.

As an aside, I'm not sure I know of any cross-platform software that could be described as nimble.

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I know i've been here before, but, this time I'll save you all from the vehicular paragons. . . . . . .

I think what Edward is pointing at(forgive me if I err) with the pyramid analogy and the time needed to complete one is the present day "Bucket of Bolts Sydrome"! Keep adding components and eventually it won't be able to carry it's own bulk.

Quark was the perfect example of this. Over it's previous lifetime so many features and additives had been included that it just couldn't carry it's own weight and others left it standing.

A rebuild solved that. I haven't used it for ages now, so can't say if it's still holding up under presure but at the time, it was a big step in the right direction.

Clean sweep needed!

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...Those pyramids are still standing, albeit in repose, after thousands of years...

Yes, but no one uses them.

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Except for "use" by generations of grave robbers, stone salvagers, and many many millions of tourists. Were the original intended occupants even "using" them at time of interment. The pyramids in Egypt and many monuments elsewhere were created and used as symbols of power and wealth. The symbology is still attached and still relevant.

We seem to agree that Kay's premise is sound. I think the pyramid is probably not best metaphor. Should have left it at pile of bricks (fit's all, standard units) compared to arch (elegant composition of custom formed components - until they fall down).

Current Vectorworks is pretty darn wonderful despite the flaws and harangues on this forum. I hold on to the hope that VW engineers have identified limits of current structure (I don't know what the limits are) and will rebuild, all at once or in big segments, rather than patch or buttress, before it fails (I don't know when that will be). Maybe that Cinema 4d change over is an example of incremental rebuild?

-B

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If I remember correctly, a staff member of NVW has stated that they are rebuilding the whole thing, but it will take some time.

I don't know if he meant that they are building the rebuild version side by side with the current one or that the current version is partly rebuild, partly a pile of stones.

Maybe someone of NVW could inform us on this matter?

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...Those pyramids are still standing, albeit in repose, after thousands of years...

Yes, but no one uses them.

Ah, but had 'we' left them alone they would still fill the function they were built for...........

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...Those pyramids are still standing, albeit in repose, after thousands of years...

Yes, but no one uses them.

Ah, but had 'we' left them alone they would still fill the function they were built for...........

True enough.

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:grin: and in 500 years time 2011 will still do what is was built to do, design buildings in 3D using workarounds......the guys upstairs probably want us to leave them alone now ;)

Edited by Vincent C

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VW 2011 is a good example of yearly refresh gone awry. It's six months now since 2011 was released, and so many problems remain. September will come soon enough, and VW 2011 still won't work correctly, and then we'll get VW 2012!

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I'm afraid that you're right, Bruce. I wish that it wasn't so.

Each of the versions since VW2008 were left with known bugs (some of which were created with the last SP) when the next version was released.

I am glad that NVW has switched to better 3d and rendering engines but I'm growing tired of hoping that the NEXT release will be stable and will fix long standing bugs. I've signed up for Service Select but, if VW2012 STILL doesn't fix most of the things bugging me in VW2011, I plan to cancel.

I suspect that I'm not alone.

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Let me preface this post with this: I love Vectorworks. I use it a lot. A lot of my work DEPENDS on Vectorworks. I don't think there is a better program out there for me, for what I do.

The fancy bells and whistles are nice, but if the software can't deliver my final product BECAUSE the bells and whistles make the software choke, then I want the software without the bells and whistles. Before I was Mac, I was intimate with how to boot my Dell into XP safe mode -- it's nice that now I don't even remember how to do that in XP, nor do I remember why I ever had to so often. Where's the "safe mode" for Vectorworks? I keep VW 2009, VW 2010 and VW 2011 loaded on my machine, so that I can always go back to one of the versions that "worked".

In Vectorworks' defense, there is ALWAYS a learning curve for new features and new ways to do something. Users will almost always resist changing old patterns or workflows to accommodate the "new way." I'd like to think that I am particularly open-minded, and experienced when it comes to Vectorworks. And if I was doing the really easy stuff, I probably wouldn't run into nearly the number of "oddities" that I do.

If I need to "get drawings / renderings out the door", I stick with an older version. I have one drawing where I do 2D stuff, and I sometimes have a completely different file where I work in 3D and do renderings. When I have time to "play", I use the current version, and I try the newer [buggy] features.

Perhaps this already exists, and I just don't know about it ... BUT:

While this Community Board is helpful, and it is sometimes commented on by our friends at Vectorworks, I think it would be nice if our friends at Vectorworks would publish (and keep updated) a document that outlines the status of features. It would be nice to know what is a "known bug", what is "legacy" (and prone to going away), what is "beta", and what is "stable."

While I understand that the above-mentioned document could be very lengthy and hard to organize, I think it would be worth it. Extra-super-bonus-points if it lines up with the HELP file, and links to tutorials and workarounds. It would be nice for the user to be able to KNOW that "it won't work" before trying a million ways to do something.

A very frustrating part about being an end user is not knowing if the software isn't working because I'm doing it wrong, or if the software isn't working because the software has an issue.

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