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Kevin McAllister

Open Beta Program

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+1

There seems to be an community here that would be willing, if not eager, to help.

Along with this - I would love to see more openness with a release of a roadmap that shows the features that are under consideration / development. I understand that this is problematic from a competitive point of view- but I know firms who are gave up on VW because it is too hard to know if needed features are going to come online. I think it would be easier to have people hang on for 2-3 more years if they know more robust BIM features are being worked on. - Even if it is not specific - an official recognition of where Nemetschek wants to bring the software in the next 3 years would be reassuring.

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+1 very good idea!

First of all then we actually know and accept it is a Beta version we are testing (at the moment VWs feels like Beta when released until about SP3 barring the original 2104version).

Secondly our feedback would help in finding not only the bugs but also potential crucial omissions and deficiencies in certain tools and new features.

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+1

I'd be interested. I have done beta's before and have been good at them, from what developers have reported back. I am good a troubleshooting and at explaining steps done in order to recreate issues. It's good to be able to help as an actual user in the field too.

Also, I was born in the Chinese year of the dog so I am known for my ability to keep secrets.

-Neil

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I too would be interested in participating in a beta program. I would like to replicate actions in a current project as a test in a beta application (while I do the actual work in the current license) to help iron out the kinks before the new version of VW goes live. I have been frustrated with problems in current versions of VW while I am doing production drawings on the clock. I have submitted many bugs throughout other versions of VW.

Rob

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I'm bumping this thread because its more relevant than ever. I'm curious how many beta testers come from regular users of these forums.

This thread is a prime example of real world stuff that could be beta tested -

https://techboard.vectorworks.net/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=224981#Post224981

I nominate that Benson Shaw, Bas Vellecoup, Michael K and a few others be given the opportunity to beta test if they want it (and aren't already beta testers). One would assume that the field of beta testers is a diverse group of people, from experienced users through to students and also includes individuals who have specifically wish listed new features being implemented....

There's some irony that I beta tested the Mac version of Rhino without even owning a copy.

Thank goodness for JimW.

Kevin

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Many!

I put forward candidates whom I think would be excellent contributors from time to time as do other employees that regularly interact with users. I agree with all of your recommendations.

I am personally in favor of an open, or at least partially open beta program and have been pursuing avenues to increase the Beta program as a whole. I will keep doing so.

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[Bump]

Any hope for Vw adopting a more open Beta testing program?

From reading all the recent 2017 troubleshooting posts on the forum, it appears that Vw2017 is having more bugs reported than should be expected for a release product.

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Plenty of hope for this, even more so than in previous versions. 

There are actually fewer bugs this year than last year, but now they're publicized and discussed openly so it will artificially seem like more exist. 2009 (over its lifespan) actually had the most bugs I think, or at least took second place, but that was one of the forums quietest times since bugs were not publicly discussed in that era.

The forum hasn't been in it's current state long enough for it to be used accurately as an indicator of issues, especially with the influx of users and post increases just from the upgrade, but after about 2-3 years it will most likely stabilize and be a good source for things like that. For now, because of all the changes the metrics are nearly literally off the chart:

Screen Shot 2016-09-22 at 1.06.40 PM.png

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@JimW- Thanks for the feedback, it's good to hear that Vw is still receptive to the possibility of more Open Beta testing.

Whether or not there are more or less bugs reported in 2017 relative to past versions, having a more open beta testing would help catch more of these bugs prior to release - as opposed to the current approach of waiting for SP1 to fix the obvious bugs.

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I would just add to this conversation to think about testers from a WIDE variety of industries.  There are so many different workflows and architects, set designers, lighting designers, engineers, landscape artists, cabinetmakers, etc all have different needs.  I know you can't please everyone, but it's worth keeping in mind, and that diversity seems to be part of the spirit of VW development.

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And don't forget different countries with different keyboards, language settings,
lower hardware quality, .... and may be different thinking or workflows.

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16 hours ago, zoomer said:

and may be different thinking or workflows.

Not just that, but also quite different use of Vectorworks than the majority of users. E.g. building and landscape/garden architects are probably the largest user base by far if the kind of requests for new features are a reliable indication, but Vectorworks is also used in other areas that are quite a bit apart from the average use scenario.  We use the same tools but sometimes in quite different ways and then run into limitations/issues that may not show up as frequently as with "normal" use.

An open beta would imho benefit from an as wide as possible usage variety so that any hidden bugs have a better chance of showing up early and hopefully be fixed before release, and that will in the end benefit everyone.

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Open Beta seems like a Saas move - maybe VW could move away from major releases (as fun as they are) - and instead release features as they came in line - like Apps.  

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I very much doubt we would do a FULL open beta anytime soon, but I see good changes coming nonetheless. I personally would rather us do a constant rolling release where features were pushed out as they were finished and we didn't user versions at all, but that changes a LOT of things since we aren't doing that from the start. Not just technological, but it would also be a huge change to backend accounting and administration stuff. Again, I certainly don't think that's impossible, but I suspect if we did decide to do it, it would be over the course of many years and we would probably start smaller by rolling out features in SPs or via "streamed" updates which the Resource Manager is kinda-sorta able to do now at least for content items.

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As a Service Select Subscriber I would prefer that too.
But I think it is nice to allow yearly releases for normal users.
Could be both.
Instant Release of certain Features, when ready, for subscribers first.
Finally packing existing features in a yearly package for manual updaters.

Will be interesting from that time when there is no more need for file version updates
with every releases.

I heard it helps Software stability and control with smaller feature packages.

On the other hand, every update for me means some amount preparing work and risks.
Things like Project Compatibility issues, Workspace, Plugin and Settings transfer, ...
That happens for me now 3 times a year, in case of Modo.

Edited by zoomer

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11 hours ago, Tom Klaber said:

Open Beta seems like a Saas move - maybe VW could move away from major releases (as fun as they are) - and instead release features as they came in line - like Apps.  

This will only work well with a subscription only model, like Adobe's Creative Cloud. Otherwise you will still need major releases once every while, typically within 1-2 years, for accounting reasons.

I wouldn't mind small update packs to fix individual major issues when a solution/fix becomes available and then leave the Service Packs for fixes of the smaller issues or improvements of existing tools including the previously released small update packs for the urgent problems.

Besides that, a major release will also provide a focus point of deciding what to get done first for the new version based on user input.

One of the big complaints about the Adobe Creative Cloud is that improvements and bug fixes are on a (much) slower pace now that they're subscription only (i.e. SaaS) because it seems they no longer have a sense of "urgency" to get things finished/fixed.

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9 hours ago, zoomer said:

On the other hand, every update for me means some amount preparing work and risks.
Things like Project Compatibility issues, Workspace, Plugin and Settings transfer, ...
That happens for me now 3 times a year, in case of Modo.

This is why I would still prefer staying on Service Packs for the non-urgent things instead of a continuous string of small updates. For major bugs the benefits of these preparations etc. for a bug fix update to solve this will outweigh the cost of time to be spent on the update.

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On 5/7/2014 at 4:17 PM, Tom Klaber said:

+1

There seems to be an community here that would be willing, if not eager, to help.

Along with this - I would love to see more openness with a release of a roadmap that shows the features that are under consideration / development. I understand that this is problematic from a competitive point of view- but I know firms who are gave up on VW because it is too hard to know if needed features are going to come online. I think it would be easier to have people hang on for 2-3 more years if they know more robust BIM features are being worked on. - Even if it is not specific - an official recognition of where Nemetschek wants to bring the software in the next 3 years would be reassuring.

 

This. 

 

We recently invested in VW Landmark as a small landscape architecture office. The LA field is vastly underserved in the BIM department and Landmark may be the only tool that even begins to address the needs of a modern-day LA practice. However, the program is admittedly still geared, in my opinion, for garden designers rather than landscape architects. We need more robust and accurate grading and roadway design tools specifically. 

 

I would like to have some assurance that NNA is working towards the tools I need in a timely manner. I would even be more than willing to help provide input and testing as necessary to ensure the tools are developed properly. 

 

I think there is a passionate community here along with a coming wave of LA's more than willing to contribute to the development of a great Site Information Modeling toolset!

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