NWE 2 - First impressions...

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NWE 2 - First impressions...

Post by niklas » 2004-09-10 04:29:12

First: congratulations! It is a major upgrade from 1.x and the overall feeling is just sweet. I think I may finally be able to dump word altogether.

Now, some impressions after my first day of work:
  • - It looks beautiful... not unimportant if I am supposed to stare at it the whole day...
    - I like the styles implementation - the most intuitive I've seen in a WP!
    - Tables also appear to be nicely implemented, although I haven't really worked much with tables yet.
    - I noticed some quirks when working with a large (100+ pages) document. It felt unresponsive and slow at times and it would have been nice to have more help with navigation.
    - I think the drawer works very well, much better than all the toolbars and floating windows that most other WP:s have (the instant thesaurus is really cool!). It is nice that it can all be hidden with a single command. I agree wit a previous poster that it would be nice if the drawer "groups" could be selected by one click of a button (or a shortcut). With the growing number of palettes you really need different sets and the popup menu is a bit tedious.
    - In these days of tabbed browsing, have you thought about some kind of tabbed interface (such as in the new BBEdit) where multiple documents can be held in the same window? Perhaps this could be integrated with the document manager (that I really haven't used much) to group documents together into meaningful projects that can be all opened by the click of a button?
    - The small icons at the bottom of the page are cool, and useful, shortcuts and visual aids as showing the state of the document/selecion. It would be even cooler if the current style were spelled out and were clickable... I am sure this can (and will) be further expanded in many interesting ways.
    - Searching is well implemented and capable. I still miss a few things: I'd like to be able to search for style attributes (bold, italics etc., style names...) and structural elements such as section breaks.
    - Shouldn't there be an easily accessible menu command for spelling? As it is now spelling can only be accessed via the drawer or via a contextual menu.
    - OK, and the still missing stuff: lists (ordered, unordered), integration with EndNote and other ref. software, automatic creation of table of contents, text flow around images... but you know this...
All in all, I am very impressed, and very happy with it.

Now, get some rest (but not too much...)!

Best regards, niklas

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Adding my first impressions.

Post by Todd » 2004-09-10 15:14:05

First impressions are sometimes the most important ones. So here’s mine. Overall I’m delighted with 2.0. I believe that I can proudly make it the workhorse of my writing life, the best word-processor I’ve ever used (a journey that goes back fifteen years to WriteNow 2.0). Much has been improved, but just as importantly, everything that I liked about version 1 has stayed the same.

Here's what happened when I opened a long (183-page) document on my G4 500 Titanium Power book...

It took a little while longer than expected to open my document. Once opened, it didn’t choke; every inch was rendered properly and there was no need to reformat paragraphs like in version 1. A relief.

In version 1, typing became tediously slow the more my document ballooned. Now typing is noticeably quicker, every bit as responsive as in a small document.

Page scrolling with the arrows remains much too slow and choppy to be of any use. Hmmmm...

I can italicize Big Caslon now! Hooray!

Nisus Help is much improved. The footnotes and hyperlinks are helpful, and I have to smile a little at the Classic Mac icons that are scattered around the text! (Will new Mac users even understand them?) History is hard to kill.

The auto-complete feature is rapid-fire and stream-of-consciouslike to write with... but the space-bar deletes any word with apostrophes, and shockingly the word “Nisus” isn’t in there. (Although “Nissan” is!)

My dumb quotes are history, as they were automatically reformated into smart ones. A real time-saver. Dialogue looks great.

The character size bar is now more than just eye-candy; it’s really usable, as it seems to know the popular sizes. Since it doesn’t hit all of the point sizes, there is a sacrifice in precision, but altogether it seems like a the best possible balance.

The character family list sometimes turns grey for no reason that I can see, though the fonts still function perfectly.

The subdued aqua look is an improvement. Otherwise the interface looks and feels like the same, unobtrusive, intuitive design as before.

The very bottom line feels redundant to me (page count, zoom size, and character buttons are already in the drawer) and it detracts just a bit from the minimal look and feel. Compounding this is that the scroll bar row above it gets filled up with useless blank space when there’s no aqua gumdrop there. Eliminating both of these rows could add a half-inch more space for reading a document -- and that’s a lot if you’re on a portable computer.

The only feature left that I strongly prefer? Widow/orphan control.

That’s it for now. I’ll expand at a later time when 2.0 and I become old drinking buddies.

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Post by Jdalmul » 2004-09-10 20:26:47

I'm just trying the demo and I've got concerns about loading documents. I've given up on even getting long book-length documents to open. Just doesn't happen--though the same documents opens instantaneously in Word. Even when I open a short document loading time is noticeably slower than in Word. Sometimes I even get a--progress bar. Like I was loading an MP3. Is this normal?

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Post by charles » 2004-09-11 13:00:17


A number of our users have requested immediate feedback that a file is opening, no matter how small it is. That is why we added the progress bar.

Our file reading code is newer than Words and they do a lot of tricks to make it look like a file open instantaneously, even though it really does not. We are working on adding these same optimizations and tricks to our software so it will feel just as fast or faster eventually...
Charles Jolley
Nisus Software, Inc.

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