irev wrote:midwinter wrote:
This is not a novel concept and in know way unfamiliar to those of us that rely on professional software for our lively hood. I for one visit sites regularly to see if there are fixes for problems that I or associates are encountering. Different software companies may call them different names, but most make an effort to keep the communication channels open between them self and their customers.
Sure. And that's why sites like macupdate list "what's new" or "fixed" when an update appears. Additionally, the communication channels here seem to be absolutely
wide open, considering that we're all sitting here on Nisus's forum talking with them
about company strategy.
Take a quick surf over to the http://www.adobe.com/support/forums/main.html
page and click on any of the dozens of products listed. Right at the top of the any of the pages you will find a topic called ‘Top Issues’. Adobe is very forthright with problems, and has a loyal following as well as a very healthy bottom line to show for their consideration.
Aren't there several threads here much like what you're describing? This is part of why I'm suggesting that a publicly available known-bugs list might be either redundant or unnecessary or both. The problem is that with this new iteration of Nisus Writer, Nisus doesn't really need to go about announcing what's wrong with its product. They need to get people in the door, either crossing over from Word (like me) or moving laterally from NW classic. The issue we're haggling over is how to keep them.
Is NWE as powerful or fully-featured as Word? No. Not at all. Word does everything. Everything. And for writers like me, that's the problem. The thing is always getting in the way, trying to anticipate my every move, correcting my words, messing my footnotes up (that widows/orphans bug took nearly 10 YEARS to get fixed), making noises, auto-indenting, and basically making me fight with it to get my words on the page.
The simple fact of the matter is that as it is, Nisus is really attractive to people who need the basics (footnotes/endnotes, styles, tables and page numbering). In other words, humanities nerds on the high end (that's me) and poor college students on the low end (that's my students). Right now, Nisus is nearly perfect for their needs, sitting comfortably in between TextEdit and Word (too expensive) or AppleWorks (which is just frankly hideous). For me, it feels a little dodgy on some things, but we're still getting to know one another.
I'm reminded of this piece by Paul Ford
(and specifically the second picture down) as I type this.
I think, in the end, that Nisus is as forthright and open as they can possibly be. There are blogs by the developers (which I wish were actually done as personal blogs like Dave Hyatt's or Dan Schrimpf) which give us teasers of what's to come. There's a support forum where the developers talk to us.
For them to advertise or publicize the weaknesses/bugs of NWE would not be in their best interests as a company, and the amount of people such a list (if it were public) might serve would potentially be dwarfed by the amount of people who would look at the bug list and then go download the absolutely hideous Mellel or the funky-text-displaying Mariner Write demo.
Would I mind if this list were private? No. Would I mind if there were a special forum for it? No, depending upon how it were handled.
For those of you who have not had problems with Nisus, be thankful. But for those of us that have, it would have saved us valuable time (not to mention undue frustration) if we knew that they were real ‘Known Bugs’.
This is the case with all software that, from time to time, doesn't behave properly. You check their support forums, you send feedback, and then you move on. I'm not trying to be dismissive of your problems, which seem as though they were, indeed, frustrating. It's just that at this stage of the game I don't think it's in Nisus's best interest to go exposing its flank at the same time that it's advertising itself as an alternative to Word.
And as with all software development, we're watching the same process that OS X went through: 1) make it work, 2) make it work fast, 3) add features.
We're at the end of step 2 and moving into step 3, if Charles's blog entry about 2.1.1 is any indication.