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Bugs not patched in older versions

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(Kevin has just dropped in before me)


Yes, something is not quite right. (Is that a Vectorworks standard - a bit like Star treks Scotty "Cap'n, I can'r hold her")


I took a (admittedly very brief) look earlier and the one thing I stumbled over was if I overrode your very fine pen size for the gridline it shows - but only as a line. 


So another fault we bought with 2018 which ought to have been placed in a SP rather than carried forward. 



So Ive just opened this in 17 and it works fine.




You buy a product in 17, the boffins break it in 18  and then they expect you to buy the fixed part back in 19.


This is no way to retain a loyal user base. You can rely on that loyalty to see you through some odd and quirky hard to pin down bugs, but you shouldn't rely on that user base to be silent and turn belly up when you break things and then slip the repaired code back into a  'New, All singing all dancing - you must get this, its the best ever.......' yearly upgrade.


And worse - this isn't the only 'break and renew' we've had to have foisted upon us in the rush to get the next flagship upgrade out.


@Biplab - you owe me a rebate - I'll settle for a SP







Edited by Gadzooks
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The reason I'm not moving to 2019 isn't just a money thing - it's because I don't want to move to something that still seems to have a lot of issues.


I do think that bugs should continue to be fixed in a previous version until the 'new' version is stable enough that everyone can move to it confidently.


I agree that VW owes us another SP for 2018.

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Moved to issues resolved, but I would like it to be noted some issues aren't resolved. 

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6 minutes ago, Gadzooks said:

Moved to issues resolved, but I would like it to be noted some issues aren't resolved. 

This just goes by the original post issue, any new issues that come in afterwards do not get rolled into the same topic otherwise we get endless threads. 

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17 hours ago, Jim Wilson said:

This just goes by the original post issue


 I'm going to be super picky on this one JIm.


The original post was for a bug in 2018 - having been working in 17. To say that bug is now fixed in 19 is convenient for NNA, but it's correct to say this is still not fixed in 2018 which ought to be addressed. The issue is clearly 'ongoing' for 2018 users and I'd like this to be noted - thats all I was saying.


By moving this to the dark corners of 'its all ok now' part of the forum, (This is not about you - I'm not saying this is engineered) you've moved it away from forum viewers to make their minds up about this (and similar) faults with the 18 product that should be addressed in a SP.


Bit like VW saying their cars were 'faulty', but if you'd like to buy a new one they are all now 'fixed'. VW has been 'persuaded' by to make amends to their earlier original owners.


I'd like to know why NNA has an alternative view on this. Is it because the various faults in 18 simply cannot be remedied by a SP - or is it going to cost too much in time and NNA would rather move on?







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I agree with you on principal, but this is not something I am going to be able to change. Once a version has gotten it's last service pack (I strongly believe this to be the case for 2018 barring any major OS changes in the very near future), there is nothing more that will ever be corrected in it. 

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Thanks Jim - appreciate your response, but I'd like to push you to the limits of 'User Experience Manager' and ask you to answer my queries fully - or alternatively get NNA to answer.


I'm basically asking for this issue to be escalated.


I think I know what your reply will be.

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Splitting this out into it's own thread, replying shortly.

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7 minutes ago, Jim Wilson said:

Splitting this out into it's own thread


Thank you

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The core and driving reason we do not patch older versions after their end of life is due directly to the way we build the software itself. When we maintain a "build", even though it might LOOK very similar from one version to another, it is a separate line of development and takes. Vectorworks 2018 and 2019 may look very similar certainly from the UI side, but they have many very different and incompatible components. This means a number of things that influence what we can and can't do:


1) When we fix a bug in a newer version of Vectorworks, that fix doesn't always work/apply to a prior version. That was the case with the section line appearance bug and quite a few others visual issues in SP2 for 2019, the fix was a change to the VGM that without significant modification, the previous versions could not accept. Effectively, we would have had to put forth the same effort to fix 2018 separately from the effort to fix 2019. This is why the issue did not receive a patch.

2) Once we release a version of Vectorworks, within days, we start work on a newer one. However, it can be a bit obscured to users how many versions of Vectorworks we have up in the air at any one time. For example now that 2018 has been sunset/reached end-of-life, we are maintaining Vectorworks 2019 publicly and Vectorworks 2020 internally. In addition to that, we often have engineers working on what will be Vectorworks 2021, or at the very least on features that depend on features that won't exist until 2020. This means that we already, at minimum, have to maintain 3 separate development environments/developer environment versions just to maintain regular operations as we do today.

3) We do indeed have to make a call on things like "How much are we willing to slow or cancel current support and future development to maintain older versions?" and the answer has been since I worked here "For one year after release." 

The way that many companies have chosen to address this, is to either go completely versionless or web-based, where you always log in to the latest version of the product and you have no control over the versioning, or they offer some sort of maintenance plan like we do with Service Select. However, since in this industry we are one of the (not few but certainly smaller than the big guys) holdouts that are not forcing subscription programs on users we are definitely going to have a higher percentage users who are used to the older purchase models like we had pre-12.5, where you bought a version and used it for a number of years before switching. This is of course a personal preference kind of thing, but I'm personally in the camp of wanting to own what I paid for after a handshake. I do not think we will be changing this any time soon. We may offer monthly or yearly subscriptions as an option for students and companies who ramp up and down their staff frequently, but I do not see us forcing this on the entire user base.

Now, this is all aside to the OTHER core issue here, which from the users point of view is (please forgive my dramatic oversimplification): "I bought a Thing2. That Thing2 doesnt do what I need it to do, which is one of the things it is supposed to do when working normally. Thing1 I owned last year did it and still does. Thing3 does it too, but I already own Thing2 so why should I have to now buy Thing3?"

That's the harder part for me at least. But looking across the vast sea of software packages, that's the norm. This has always bothered me. We can go with the car analogy as well, if I bought a car from Honda and the one they sold me just doesn't stop when I hit the breaks, it wouldn't matter if OTHER people weren't experiencing this problem, I'd be able to get a replacement car from Honda right away. This reality just isn't so in the software industry. I have no answer for that, it's bigger than I will ever be. I never like the "That's above my pay grade" moments but this is a big one.

I would suggest that the reason the industries differ so dramatically is because 1) software generally can't cause a deadly accident. 2) software updates come, by design AND by demand, much faster than the development of things like microwaves or cars or skyscrapers. Speed is often favored over attention to detail. Quantity over Quality. That's very much the direction we started to head awhile ago (2009ish) and was exactly why we have the quality issues we have today.

That kind of leads us here: It is absolutely and completely up to YOU to decide whether we merit your money, which you of course know. But if you believe that we are attempting to wring money from users unfairly or that we intentionally refrain from patching old versions, then I would absolutely understand if you no longer wanted to do business with us. People don't come to this forum for no reason, they don't post things expecting me to throw them candy, they post because they either want to gain knowledge, or they want the product to be BETTER. If they wanted another tool that was already available, they wouldn't be posting here, theyd've already moved on.

The positive change I've wanted to see in this company happens with increasing frequency, but quality is not simply a switch we can flick and leave in place. It was a change to how we reviewed tasks, chose features and drove development. I have now watched engineering managers rank up to directors and vice presidents in this company. They know their stuff, they know what's possible and what's not, and they know the product more intimately than I or many users here probably can. The right people are in the right places, heck our CEO started out as one of our first engineers. We don't just pluck staff from the job market bucket, their (and my!) lives are deeply interconnected with this company and Vectorworks itself. We don't make decisions with the intentions of stiffing anyone, there's no Scrooge McDuck-ian vault of gold coins that the VPs swim in or I would absolutely post pictures.

I am more than willing to discuss this or answer any questions I can.

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I totally get the stuff about having several versions in the air at once, and that the same fix doesn't necessarily apply, for an outwardly similar problem, across these different versions.


I think there should be more overlap between the active maintenance of versions though and this is partly because of the lag at the user end, in using new versions or functionality. VW2018 came out towards the end of 2017 - but many people will not have upgraded until several months later (especially given the recent tendency for early SPs to be so buggy). So perhaps you might install VW2018 in spring 2018 - but even then, you might not start using it on live projects. Or perhaps you use it on new projects but keep older projects, that are nearing their end, running on VW2017. Or perhaps you decide to use VW2018 on a small, or non time-critical project first. All this means that it could easily be 6 months after release before a large user base starts using a new version 'for real'. (Maybe VW has user stats that can prove me wrong)


On top of that though, it might be that you start using VW2018, and you're aware that there are a few things it can do that mean it might be worth making changes to your standard drawing setup or workflow, but you don't quite have the time to test these out, so you essentially continue with your 'old' workflow. Maybe 6 months later you get a chance to try a few changes, to try using some things that you've ignored before (and these might be things that have actually been present for 2 or 3 versions). And maybe this is the first point in time where you start using VW2018 *and* start trying a few changes to your working methods *and* apply this to a 'live' project. But by this time it might be September 2018.... and VW2019 is getting released. And it's right at this point in time that you start discovering all the little bugs that turn out to make a certain thing unusable. The bugs that only become apparent to a user in 'real world' use and which apparently have not been discoverable by VW's own testing.


So... we the users might only find all these things a year after release but then we are told it's too late to fix them. And then there's the choice to go to the next version and the cycle starts over, constantly chasing our tails.

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