About to give up on NWE

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CrisB
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NWX reliability and speed

Post by CrisB » 2006-09-25 12:05:33

I've been using Nisus for maybe 3 years now, and various other word processors for 20! I like the format and menus of NWX. It's way better than MSWord, and latest NWX 2.7 is LOTS better than previous versions.

But NWX still has serious speed issues with large files, a change to a style in a 150 page file today took several minutes on my G4/10.4.7. I have lots of RAM which it could use - but just doesn't. My largest file I've split in two and cut down to 380 pages, 2.2 megs. Just OPENing this file takes maybe 40 seconds. A SAVE stops all activity and takes 10 seconds - you just have to sit and wait, even though I have a hard drive with a memory cache.

NWX still has lots of bugs which they do not seem that keen to fix. Nisus do say they are interested in bug reports for NWX pre-release versions, but then only fix some. The problem seems to be that Nisus is a small company with very limited resources. They don't seem to have a much needed Quality Assurance function.

Since inception, NWX has serious problems opening anything but a very primitive MS-Word .doc file, anything with a graphic gives problems. Hopefully, something is going to be done...

Lastly, NWX crashes fairly regularly. Maybe every few days, or once a week. So I set it to save files every ten minutes temporarily, but that facility itself is both slow and cumbersome to use... It often reports files as saved unnecessarily, wasting my time in checking them out. And insists on opening the file before it allows me to delete it, wasting more time.

Verdict. If we rate MS Word as scoring 3/10, NWX 2.7 scores 6/10. Much more effort into fixing bugs, and an effective QA function which tested facilities and fixed problems before release, would move it up to a very solid 8/10 rating. Fixing the speed issues, the crashes, and better MS-Word support would make this user very happy to give it top marks - 10/10.
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Mark XM
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Post by Mark XM » 2006-09-25 16:44:29

It always interests me how we all assume that our experiences are shared by everybody.
I have been using NWE since before it was NWE, and apart from a period using betas of 2.5 or 2.6 I have found it to be extremely stable. What bugs and issues I have reported have been dealt with very quickly and efficiently, and the support has been rapid and unfailingly courteous ... in some cases within 24 hours. I have never had a crash using a release version of NWE since version 2, if I remember rightly.
I have had a problem of speed in loading, and sometimes speed in response, but then I was using a first edition G4 TiBook running at 400Mhz, with 640 MB of RAM, and for most of the time with a 10G hard disk (I have just bought a 17" MacBook Pro which will have the full 2G of RAM ... a world of difference!). I have had files of 70+ pages in mixed Chinese and English--created in Word on Chinese Windoze boxes--to edit, and have encountered no particular enduring problems other than the lack of graphics import from .doc files.
In my experience, there is no software that imports Word docs perfectly ... not Pages, not Mellel, not NeoOffice, not Papyrus, not Mariner Write. In general, NWE does it as well as any, though currently graphics are a problem. Yes, it is taking a long time to implement, but I'm sure they will do it; it would all be much easier, I'm sure, if Microsoft would only use a standard graphics format, but then pigs might fly ...
If you read the features requests in the threads on this forum ... over this year we have been bombarding Nisus with demands for so many features that they must at times feel overwhelmed. It is for them to prioritise which can be done and in what order. To me it has seemed as if collectively people have been saying, "We'd like a small, responsive app, but please give it all the features of Word!" I have my wish-list, which includes graphics handling, but in the mean time, until the people at Nisus can get round to implementing them, I'll continue to work round the problem.
I wonder ... are CrisB and I using the same software from the same company?
Mark

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midwinter
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Post by midwinter » 2006-09-26 11:25:52

Mark XM wrote: I wonder ... are CrisB and I using the same software from the same company?
Mark
I know it must be frustrating for a mission critical application to behave poorly, but I have the same response. Ever since the memory leaks in the betas last summer were fixed, I've had no real problems out of NWE at all, and like many people here, I do academic writing with headers and footnotes and lots of pages and all the bells and whistles you might expect.

But to second what someone else said: trash the prefs. That's likely what's going on.

I just can't wait for NWE 3.0 Special Toaster Edition.

Anne Cuneo
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Post by Anne Cuneo » 2006-09-27 06:21:27

Lastly, NWX crashes fairly regularly. Maybe every few days, or once a week. So I set it to save files every ten minutes temporarily, but that facility itself is both slow and cumbersome to use...
I am becoming tedious, I know: repair permissions, reconstruct the desktop, and trash plist (preferences). You'll be surprised…

Apart from that, I must ask, with Mark XM:
are CrisB and I using the same software from the same company?
Even when I forget to trash the plist, which happens when I am caught in a story, I have never had a crash since 2.0, I have given a Save command every 5 minutes for my longer texts, I hardly notice that the job is being done. I just compleded a 80'000 words book without a glitch, and the previous one was 180'000, and we were on Nisus Express 2.5, and it still worked beautifully.
I am not even working on the latest Mac. This is an e-mac G4, 1 GHz and 768 MB SDRAM only. So it's not the memory. It's the… well, yes, once again, maybe the plist, maybe permissions…

Afterthought: I feel like stressing that Nisus people have been unfailing helpful, generally quick in responding, and have implemented quite a few things from our wish-lists already. I was the first to breathe fire and brimstone when we went from the fantastic Nisus Classic 6.5 to the cripple Nisus Express 1.0. To be fair, I have to defend Nisus 2.7 now: it's the best instrument I have found to write a novel. Using Word has become unthinkable.
Anne

ninjagame
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Same here

Post by ninjagame » 2006-09-27 06:44:26

I can only second Mark's, Midwinter's, and Anne's remarks: I've never had problems again since NWX 2.7, and I never even had to trash the plist or repair permissions. I've been migrating my PhD from NW Classic to NWX, and there's LOTS of footnotes, format gizmos and the like. No problems whatsoever with NWX.

joao
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Post by joao » 2006-09-27 08:46:38

I have to agree with the past posts. NWE has become increasingly stable, and I find it's been exceptionally solid with the new release. The Nisoids take bug reports very seriously if you take the time to report them, and I haven't found myself trashing prefs or the like in some time.

As an aside, I'm now forced to use Word at work, and I can't think how people actually get work done with the program on a regular basis. It's been well over a decade since I've had to use any form of the program on a regular basis, and it's just staggering how awful it is. I do everything I can to use NWE, and the difference in ease of use and transparency is just amazing.

foobar
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Post by foobar » 2006-10-02 10:33:45

Not to disagree for the sake of disagreement, but it's not very helpful simlpy to pile on with personal experiences of the program's stability. I've also had serious and repeated crashing problems with even the most recent version of NWX, especially when using footnotes extensively. The application's stability is (in my experience) far from what it ought to be, and autosave, while it helps, does not cure all ills.

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HeatherKay
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Post by HeatherKay » 2006-10-03 01:00:26

foobar wrote:I've also had serious and repeated crashing problems with even the most recent version of NWX, especially when using footnotes extensively.
And you've been in touch with Nisus and reported these issues?

I freelance for a software company, writing and editing user guides with NWE for later layout in InDesign. Although the company has a small and dedicated beta testing team, they still like their customers to report bugs, send them broken files, etc. They are a small company, much like Nisus, and having users help them trace and fix bugs is important to them.

When I've had issues with NWE in the past, I emailed support, sent them files, and got excellent responses and detailed questions by return. Help Nisus help you, in other words.

:wink:

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midwinter
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Post by midwinter » 2006-10-03 07:15:26

foobar wrote:Not to disagree for the sake of disagreement, but it's not very helpful simlpy to pile on with personal experiences of the program's stability. . . .The application's stability is (in my experience) far from what it ought to be, and autosave, while it helps, does not cure all ills.
I'm honestly not sure what we're supposed to do beyond suggesting that troublesome files be sent to Nisus and for bugs to be reported, preferences trashed, etc.

Anne Cuneo
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Post by Anne Cuneo » 2006-10-04 07:16:18

I'm honestly not sure what we're supposed to do beyond suggesting that troublesome files be sent to Nisus and for bugs to be reported, preferences trashed, etc.
... or start thinking that we, the non-crashing population, are lucky to be enjoying a special protection from Heaven, Destiny or however you want to call it. :lol: :lol: :lol:
Anne

rmwalker
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Post by rmwalker » 2006-10-04 16:01:17

Frankly, I am tired of hearing how well this application performs on other user's computers. I have done all of the things that were suggested by other users on this site. I have sent several files to Nisus. On more than one ocassion I have received replies, which generally include requests for more information about my computer and other software that is installed. As soon as I end my contacts by phone with Nisus, I hear nothing. I have reinstalled the software many times, with numerous repairs of permissions, prebinding, and more recently replaced my hardrive with a new SATA II drive. I have reinstalled the OS (10.39) with only native memory installed. Nothing fixes the problems with hyphenation, the software has corrupted those documents and they are never repaired. NWE also continues to spontaneously produce other odd changes in my documents. The only solution for the hyphenation problems is to avoid hyphenation alltogether, once I have employed hyphenation, whenever I change the document subsequent paragraphs are altered with numerous hyphenations between syllables in other words. This requires that I correct the entire document. It's fine until I make a single change, and then all subsequent paragraphs are altered by the sofware. The problem is clearly with the code logic that produces hyphenation. The software should create only a single hyphenation in any word at the right margin break.

Anne Cuneo
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Post by Anne Cuneo » 2006-10-16 13:28:38

We cannot be using the same software, rmwalker!
I have had some of the problems you list at some point, but since Nisus Express 2.5 or 2.6, they have disappeared, all of them. I use Nisus for everything, from grocery lists to writing complicated reports with pages of footnotes and/or endnotes, with tables and everything, for novels long and short. Hyphenation works beautifully. The only experience I don't have is with equations. I must be writing in it six to eight hours every day. And none of the things you list happens to me nowadays. There MUST be another explanation than: the logics of the code is flawed.
By the way, I use one Mac at work which is still on 1.3.9, and has Nisus 2.6 (haven't had time to change it all yet), and a PowerBook the rest of the time, with 10.4.7 and Nisus 2.7: I switch my documents from one to the other, and still, I keep having no problems at all.
I have wishes for new features. But no complaints.
Maybe I am rubbing salt in your irritation, but your long list of disfunctions somehow provoked me into this post… :wink:
Anne

Mark XM
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Post by Mark XM » 2006-10-16 17:12:15

Just a question to rmwalker ...

Do you have any haxies running? I can't remember having seen any mention of them in this kind of context on this forum. They seem innocent enough ... I used to run ClearDock and Silk and a couple of others, but found strange things happening with some other app, not Nisus. Someone pointed out to me that haxies play around with settings deep in the system and can produce apparently random side effects with applications; so I got rid of them.

I miss ClearDock, 'cos I liked the effect; I try to avoid Carbon apps if I can, so Silk has become less necessary; I can't even remember what the others were. But neither of my haxie-less machines--a TiBook 400, which was my sole machine up to about 3 weeks ago, by when it was struggling to run 10.4.7, though NWE was great, albeit slow; and now a 17" MacBook Pro--throws up these kinds of problems.

So, since I don't remember anyone else mentioning this ... do you have any haxies running?

Mark

rmwalker
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Post by rmwalker » 2006-10-17 12:40:39

:evil: Thank you all for your input. The answer to most questions is no, no, and no. I have installed OS 10.48, which seems to have solved most of my problems. I might even try hyphenation again on some document that I am willing to lose permanently. The problem, as I suspected, is clearly that Nisus is not supporting OS 10.39. I wish they could have been honest about that when I purchased the software. I am not singling out Nisus, Apple continues to have some serious problems with OS 10.4, notably problems with Epson printers, particularly the Epson Printer Utility, but also with drivers, problems that they refuse to address. NWE is a wonderful product. Hopefully I will not encounter new problems if I upgrade my OS again. On this particular machine, I try to avoid additional software that might produce conflicts and update scripts, permissions, and prebinding frquently, before and after I defragment the disk. I'll keep my fingers crossed. Thanx.

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midwinter
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Post by midwinter » 2006-10-17 14:49:55

rmwalker wrote:notably problems with Epson printers, particularly the Epson Printer Utility, but also with drivers, problems that they refuse to address.
What kinds of problems? I have a couple of Epsons that work fine.

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