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Phil hunt

to renew or not to renew (that is the question)

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I too have to admit that I have a different view of how new features are

complete and ready to be released.

 

Is it really a problem to say we are working on this, this and that for the next

release, but there is no guarantee that all will be included in that release in

case we are running into unforeseeable problems ?

Or this feature will not come before SP X.

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9 minutes ago, barkest said:

Start at 7m:30s and run for 1 min.

That makes a lot of sense.

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...free entry level version for Unity (and others e.g. Sketchup) good for intro/ starting out/ learning/ occasional users.

 

 

 

Edited by MRD Mark Ridgewell
Clarity
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Well I continued with SSL for 3 licences and upgraded to Architect 2018. However, due to heavy workload and wanting a smooth transfer I have only just downloaded and started using 2018. It has not been a smooth transfer. As reported in other threads start up time can be 3 minutes plus. Viewports take 20 minutes or more to update. VW 'not responds' quite frequently and occasionally crashes. Maybe its time to buy new 3 computers and 2 laptops - an added expense that I am not happy with and wish I had known before upgrading. 

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I agree with Pat. I was a VW luddite for many years. I run a business so I look to improvements in production/quality etc. I have never looked back as an Architect/VSS customer. No pain no gain. Tremendous support from VW UK, some issues yes but I can tell you we work in 3D with Renderworks, and we pump put our work 40% more efficiently and 100% more quality than we ever did before in Fundementals. It also makes our clients decisioning so much quicker, meaning a much better cash flow/predictability. Especially yearly upgrades. No it's not perfect, but it is amazing! 

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In the end I didn’t take the offer to upgrade to v18 in fact although I have v17 I still use v16....find it very stable.....

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It's that time of year again for me.

 

Last year I renewed, but now wish I hadn't as VW2018 really wasn't worth it.

 

My inclination this year is to let it lapse, and wait till 2019 has been out for a few months, and try and make a judgement from comments on here whether it's any more usable than 2018.

 

Anyone else in the same position?

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8 hours ago, line-weight said:

It's that time of year again for me.

 

Last year I renewed, but now wish I hadn't as VW2018 really wasn't worth it.

 

My inclination this year is to let it lapse, and wait till 2019 has been out for a few months, and try and make a judgement from comments on here whether it's any more usable than 2018.

 

Anyone else in the same position?

I feel like 2019 will be a hard sell in the office, so expecting to be in same position.

 

VW2018 worked out fairly well and stable and feeling in the office (and indeed talking to other local users) is longer term the development is concentrating on graphics and niceties not productive or workflow improvements.

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Just gone through the same process again. For better or worse I have kept our subscription for 2019. Brand loyalty more than anything else! Feel like yourself Matt that there will be no significant improvements. Improving performance is needed. VW is slow. I have just purchased a top spec bespoke pc and still it takes a while for VW to render basic renders and often comes up with 'not responding'.

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23 hours ago, line-weight said:

VW2018 really wasn't worth it.

 

I agree. Not enough fixes (to some major problems - with forum members working hard to highlight and beta the software without recognition) and the boffins continue to concentrate on 'fanfare' functionality (which is, after all, the way they've been tasked).

 

Then we have @JimW saying ' This is kind of a spoiler but I already have a list of over 1300 bugs (and counting) fixed in 2019...'

 

With respect Jim, aren't those fixes (ok some of them are probably as a result of new functionality for 2019 - so happy to discount those) 'owed' to the users who bought into 2015,16,17,18?  Will we see them brought forward to their rightful position -  2018 SP4/5 ?

 

I recognise the marketing strategy, but no Company can keep its loyal users yearly subscription without an even fleeting recognition of fair and equitable balance of 'Year on year, did we deliver all we promised'

 

And I'm one of VW's sincerest champions - since MiniCad. 

 

 

 

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They're brought to 2018 if possible too, it's never decided to not fix something because we want to drive sales. Only in the yearly release, at least as development is organized currently, can we fix some of the nastier ones.

 

The other side of the issue, deciding whether we devote resources to fix older versions when the original fix only worked for the latest version, is decided case by case. No one who owns the latest version  would want us to spend development time, funded by them, fixing less features overall because we were working on a special fix for an older version. I'd like if this was possible and in some cases it's both possible and the issue serious enough to do so, but in most cases it simply doesn't work out in the realities of live software development. We can't just copy/paste fixes from one version to another or we absolutely would.

 

Going forward, it'll change so that that hard call won't need to be made as often or at all with the "current" version if Vectorworks. We have plans for features that will let us more surgically apply updates and fixes rather than sticking to the rigid service pack and yearly rollout system we have now.

 

As for fanfare functionality being favored against long-standing requests and stability... Keep an eye out for 2019 info, which should appear in the coming months.

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3 minutes ago, JimW said:

We have plans for features that will let us more surgically apply updates and fixes rather than sticking to the rigid service pack and yearly rollout system we have now.

 

This sounds suspiciously like Vw is considering switching away from a perpetual license to a subscription-based software license. I sincerely hope this is not the case. 🙁

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9 minutes ago, rDesign said:

 

This sounds suspiciously like Vw is considering switching away from a perpetual license to a subscription-based software license. I sincerely hope this is not the case. 🙁

 

Nah, even the future possible pricing structures ive seen all include true ownership. We are looking into some rental models for certain situations where companies just need some number of license for a portion of the year and not constantly, but all of those models still included options for owning the software outright as another ourchase option.

 

We want the ability to update users at any time, but also to let them halt getting updates and keep using their software that they bought and own if they dont want to have a maintenance plan or other yearly cost.

 

We consider what Autodesk did with removing some or all licence ownership from their users to be a major mistake and don't plan to follow suit.

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3 minutes ago, JimW said:

We consider what Autodesk did with removing some or all licence ownership from their users to be a major mistake and don't plan to follow suit.

 

I am VERY HAPPY to hear this!! 😁

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23 minutes ago, JimW said:

Keep an eye out for 2019 info, which should appear in the coming months.

 

Thanks for your response Jim, but I'm already a 'leaver' (as explained elsewhere).

 

It's a great pity that subscription renewals enevitably cannot coincide with (or shortly after) your, now legendary, 'teasers'. So people such as myself have to take a view based on promise vs delivery.

 

Shot myself in the foot? In a way, (weirdly) I'd like to say yes, as I have only good intentions for VW. 

 

We'll see..............

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It is already subscription based in the UK with VSS and annual renewals. A high price increase if you don't subscribe. Not knowing what is in next years upgrade is frustrating. So you subscribe in hope that next years version is worth it without knowing what you are paying for. A few hints would be fair.

 

Its funny that the word 'fix' is used as its an admission that there was a problem in the first place and before release. The software should be fully tested and fixed before release. Not left to users to fins sand report. If there is no time then annual releases are too frequent and perhaps it should be every 2 to 3 years but not at a higher price.

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1 hour ago, michael john williams said:

It is already subscription based in the UK with VSS and annual renewals. A high price increase if you don't subscribe. Not knowing what is in next years upgrade is frustrating. So you subscribe in hope that next years version is worth it without knowing what you are paying for. A few hints would be fair.

 

Its funny that the word 'fix' is used as its an admission that there was a problem in the first place and before release. The software should be fully tested and fixed before release. Not left to users to fins sand report. If there is no time then annual releases are too frequent and perhaps it should be every 2 to 3 years but not at a higher price.

Would say the better approach would be spread the features out over a series of service packs within the year.

 

Give the testers space to concentrate on the working of each feature both in isolation and in the context of an active project. Testers have the same problem general customers do. Each release is a vast drop of new information that then needs to be digested worked out how it does work, how it works in context, what doesn't work is it a new bug,...., etc, etc.  Would help isolate issues caused one feature on others.

 

Might also help with the internal sales pitch if all the staff are reporting continual productive gains over the year.

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If it's true that 2019 focusses on bug fixes then that's great news - however I do feel the same as posters above: why should I have to pay extra to have things that don't work fixed?

 

I get the point about it using up extra resources to apply fixes to older versions as well as the new one. But how about this idea:

 

A version of VW2019 with bug fixes and some new features. This could be offered to new users and those who want to continue their VSS subscription.

 

Then a secondary version with any 'new' functionality disabled - so it does the same as 2018, except that everything works. This provided free of charge to anyone who's already paid for 2018.

 

Speaking for myself - if that allowed me to see that 2019 did indeed run more smoothly than 2018, then I'd likely be willing to pay up for the full version if any additional functionality seemed worth it.

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I came to peace with thins by looking inward and changing my own mindset.  VW is a complicated piece of software that is serving multiple masters and is ever-changing.  The subscription buys me the continued improvement and additional bug fixes.  At this point, we would be fools to expect a flawless piece of software.  So I pay the yearly fee so that I can benefit from the continued refinement and improvement.  Once a year - the icon color changes and some new features (that will likely not be functional for a few years) are introduced - but all in all, it is just a continuation.   

 

I guess I am in the minority in liking the subscription.  

Edited by Tom Klaber
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Posted (edited)

I don't mind the Service Select subscription model and my renewal happens in March so it feels very disconnected from the annual release anyway. The subscription model essentially is asking us to invest in the future rather than the current version of a product. The process certainly could be improved but we don't have the complete picture so its hard to know exactly how. I've always been an advocate of openness and I feel that if I'm a subscriber I should have access to an open beta and have a say in how features are developed. Many of my frustrations would be alleviated if this approach was adopted. The two main ones being -

  1. Its clear from the first release of each version that a much larger testing base is required. The current testing pool is too narrow and doesn't allow testing across a large enough range of workflows. Having a broader beta program would help with this.
  2. New features are often not quite what the user base (or at least this forum) wanted or expected. The new Title Block Border tool reflects the problems with a closed development culture. Because of this, development time is wasted and new features often take 2-3 yearly releases to mature or languish in their unfinished state. Both an open beta and a more transparent development program would address this.

Kevin

 

 

Edited by Kevin McAllister
Added "Service Select" to clarify the type of subscription model.
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@Kevin McAllister I totally agree.  The new title block perfectly represents what seems to be amiss in the development process.  Set and Issue management is one of the big shortfalls of the program.  It at first was heartening to see that VW agreed enough to try and address the issue -but then so utterly disappointing with the solution they came up with - which simply made what worked about the old system harder to use without any tangible upside.   This was an issue that needed to be reconceptualized from the ground up, but what we got was a title block that was simply wrapped in the same style system used to control doors and windows and the result is as one would expect.

 

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1 hour ago, Tom Klaber said:

  The subscription buys me the continued improvement and additional bug fixes. 

 

Sometimes it seems like it just buys me new bugs and no appreciable improvement. That's largely how 2018 felt to me, anyway.

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Posted (edited)

I agree with the comments of both @Kevin McAllister and @Tom Klaber about the misguided Design Brief / Development of the new Title Block.

 

Hopefully Vw Design & Development will take to heart the years of frustration expressed on these forums about the ‘new’ tools such as the Title Block, Layer Cut Plane, Stair Tool, Structural Member, etc.

 

Separate from that, I want to clarify some of the things said in posts above about Vectorworks VSS being called a ‘subscription’ license. It is a ‘subscription’ in the sense that you send Vw money every year, but it is more of a ‘Service Maintenance Agreement’ where you pay for more direct Tech support and also get the next new version release.

 

Vectorworks VSS is very different from the Adobe / Autodesk ‘subscription-based software license’ model where you are renting the software and when you decide to stop the subscription (rental) your software stops working. 

Edited by rDesign
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2 hours ago, Tom Klaber said:

I came to peace with thins by looking inward and changing my own mindset.  VW is a complicated piece of software that is serving multiple masters and is ever-changing.  The subscription buys me the continued improvement and additional bug fixes.  At this point, we would be fools to expect a flawless piece of software.  So I pay the yearly fee so that I can benefit from the continued refinement and improvement.  Once a year - the icon color changes and some new features (that will likely not be functional for a few years) are introduced - but all in all, it is just a continuation.

Well put @Tom Klaber.

 

2 hours ago, Tom Klaber said:

I guess I am in the minority in liking the subscription.  

Perhaps, but I suspect it's more that you are in the minority of being vocal about liking the Service Select maintenance program. If that's the case, I'll add my voice to yours... I vastly prefer owning Vectorworks with Service Select vs owning Vectorworks without Service Select. I too believe in contributing to the the continued development of the software. And, for what it's worth, I review the new features & improvement list each year and do incorporate at least a few new techniques to my skill set. My kids seem to appreciate that because it makes me more efficient... which means I get to spend a bit more time with them. My design clients seem to like the applicable new features/improvements that I incorporate too because it typically means they reap the benefits of my improved workflows.

 

I've found that, when I speak with the "doubters", the vast majority of them realize the advantages of Service Select. Most understand and agree that dropping Service Select really only makes sense for someone who is retiring and won't be doing any paid work any more.

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