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Find/Replace Too Limited / Macros Confusing

Posted: 2003-07-22 01:50:00
by rcgordon
I am very disappointed in the first release of NW Express. I've been using NW since about 1993, and it has been the ONLY program that I could use for certain aspects of coded text processing. But this involves Find/Replace functions that recognize more than just ASCII text; BBEdit Lite can do that. I need to be able to build macros that involve PowerFind Pro searches of any combination of formatted, colored, inverted, boxed text where all of those attributes can be distinguish alone or in particular combination with other attributes.

I also need to set and jump to markers; they're gone, too.

And I very much also need a Macroize function. Yes, I know that wasn't there in 1993, but it's greatly increased the ease of use. Perl macros won't cut it -- even if I wanted to get fluent in Perl (which is a joke if you're planning on having a useful and user-friendly application). As I said above, I need to recognize all of those other attributes, and I want a syntax that mirrors the syntax of the Find/Replace function. And I don't want every macro to have to be a separate file.

And I'd really like to not have to trash 10 years worth of work on building macros to continue running Nisus. For now, I'll just have to continue with version 6.5, but I really hope you see the light. You're killing this wonderful program!

Couldn't Agree More

Posted: 2003-07-30 09:49:21
by garyniem
As someone whose entire publishing workflow depends on using Nisus macros (all using attribute-sensitive find & replace) to embed tags in text documents for importation into Quark, I completely share your disappointment and dismay over this new version of Nisus.

My office bought version 1.0 of Nisus -- and every upgrade since then. I attended training sessions at the Nisus headquarters in San Diego, and even helped a bit with their marketing campaign. I know some of the long-term employees at Nisus by name.

Before this new version emerged, I had thought that I was close to the "core user" of Nisus: someone who enthusiastically jumped in, mastered the find & replace, and went on to fully develop thousands of macros in all their powerful glory.

But it seems that Nisus is looking for a new type of user as they transition to OS X. And it sure isn't me.

With the find & replace gutted, and the macro facility largely gone, it seems like an era has passed. If Nisus thinks I'm going to just dump 10 years worth of macros and start from scratch on Perl or AppleScript, they are utterly mistaken.

At least with the previous versions, Nisus had a trump card: all the search & replace power you could handle, and macros whose power was only limited to your imagination.

Who's going to buy this program now? Does Nisus think that by gutting the program & attaching a pretty interface that its appeal will somehow be broadened?

What we're left with is a quirky little program with no underlying power. For my business, it's useless. My only option is to keep a workstation running OS 9 and keep using an older version. I fail to see how that outcome helps Nisus's bottom line in any way.

Finally, I'd like to know why it is that a program as complex as Adobe Photoshop can be ported to OS X without the loss of a single feature, but, because of Nisus's small size, we're supposed to accept this candy-coated carcass as "the best they could do?"

If Nisus had at least given us some hope that full macro functionality (and convertibility from previous versions) will be included in a near-future release, I might not "Express" this kind of dismay.

Perhaps nothing good lasts forever. If the Nisus we love -- and I did love it -- is indeed well-and-truly gone, thanks for the memories -- it was a good run.

Bad Tactical Decision: How NWE May Have Gotten Crippled

Posted: 2003-07-30 10:40:08
by rcgordon
I suspect that the decision to adopt Okito Composer as the base application for updating NW, rather than simply Carbonizing the existing code was the tactical decision that may bankrupt the company. I can't imagine what Cocoaizing the application could possibly bring in terms of market share, when the small but zealous existing customer base has been alienated. To compete against Word? Not likely.

But most of all, I'd just like to hear from someone at Nisus that they hear us and intend to make it work for us. I haven't seen or gotten a response to any of my queries or suggestions that I've posted since Beta 1.

Posted: 2003-07-30 18:07:35
by joao
Actually, there have been some responses from the Nisus staff within the past week or so about features that they are working on.

While highly impatient at first, I'm now more than willing to wait a bit and see how the program develops. The company seems sincere in its commitment to add many of the features from previous versions. The more I work with the interface, the more I like it (especially its ability to appear and disappear so completely - you sure can't get that with Mellel!). There are some very good core decisions with 1.0 - give it time.

Reply to Joao: Staff Responsiveness

Posted: 2003-07-30 19:11:34
by rcgordon
I'm glad to hear that the staff has been responsive. Maybe if I stick around this form and the nisus-interactive listserv, I'll start hearing something. I, too, would certainly like Nisus to succeed. Like Gary Niem (I assume, from his post), I've made a specialty in using Nisus to parse input word-processed files into Xtags for import into QuarkXPress. I'd have to completely rethink my strategies and retool my techniques if I had to abandon the functionality available in Nisus Classic. And I've developed a very smooth-working machine that I just want to keep going with and building on. I wish the Nisus folks all the best. I just hope I can hang with it.

Posted: 2003-08-24 20:06:27
by JBL
Am I just missing it or does the manual say absolutely nothing about the syntax of Macros. Okay, so for perl macros you need to go learn perl, but how about the "Menu" macros. As far as I can see all the supplied macros are perl macros. I suppose with some trial and error I could figure out how to make a macro of a powerfind search, but does anyone have some simple examples. Similarly for change font or color.