Subscription Model

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tedg
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Subscription Model

Post by tedg »

I may get flamed for this, but I would like Nisus to move to a subscription model. The reason? I live in Nisus every day. I make a living from what I do. I'd like my main tools to be vibrant. I don't know what I paid for Nisus writer, but I am sure it was years ago, and cost less than a good dinner.

I rarely want to pay more for something. But I look over at my other writing tool, Ulysses, and it gets better every couple months. Wish the same here.
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Þorvarður
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Re: Subscription Model

Post by Þorvarður »

I also live in Nisus every day, and a subscription model would certainly be the end of it for me. It would be the end of a long and beautiful relationship. I cannot afford it. :–(
I'd like my main tools to be vibrant
If you want new features, post requests here and see if they are supported by other users, or send feature requests directly to Nisus.

If you want to help financially, I suggest you regularly donate a fixed sum to Nisus.
adryan
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Re: Subscription Model

Post by adryan »

G'day, all

Bad idea.

Subscription is no guarantee of "vibrancy". In any case, "vibrancy" is overrated. You only have to look at Apple's operating systems to see this. I don't want a continual avalanche of new "features", together with the inevitable attendant bugs. It's usually only the demise of a computer that forces me to abandon a nice stable set of software and take the dreaded leap into the unknown. Nisus is an exception to my rule: I support Nisus by purchasing all upgrades, whether I need them or not — and by contributing to their forums.

When it comes to paying for anything, opt in beats opt out any day.

I'm in Þorvarður's camp here. I have stopped using other software that moved to subscription and would do the same with Nisus — much as that would pain me.

Cheers,
Adrian
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tedg
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Re: Subscription Model

Post by tedg »

What I would like is:

a way to edit docs on iPad. A way to style list paragraphs separately. A completely rethought way of anchoring images. A way of typing links generally, internal AND external. Internal comments that can have directives. Sidebar and general frame management. SGML. A conditional 'stamp' UI for macros. Some of the amazing editing novelties being explored by Bike. A rethought document manager. Collapsible TOC. some write room/drafts capability so that I can do general writing for other apps. More elaborate/powerful Linkback that integrates with the internal drawing tools. A spell checker that isn't a decade-old paradigm and that uses the hidden thesaurus. Internal latex/mathml. AI-advised syntax highlighting in certain paragraph styles.A more modern, unique and tailorable UI. Conditional styles. Custom ligature tools. Deeper integration with Bookends for source notation. An outliner that understands typed paragraphs and that uses personalised ML to extract headers for use in the nav panel. Invisible highlighting. Inbuilt PDF editor. Something other than PERL (jeez). A macro editor with more power and sense, possibly integrating with keyboard Maestro and others using a macro API Nisus devises. Conditional local kerning. Secondary font management. The return of Classic's asian gloss capability (forget what it is called). A rewrite in SwiftUI and experiments — no matter how initially silly — on foreground/background views in VisionOS. More novel multi-window management than Apple provides and is better than tabs. Animated font effects in editing mode.

This isn't a list of must-haves (except in a few cases) and many may not be a good idea. But in the Classic days if you wanted the cutting edge, you went with Nisus. I'd like to see energy like I am seeing in Ulysses, Craft, Tinderbox, Bookends.

Hey, I get that people don't like to pay, and that even suggesting we empower Nisus for our benefit means responses will be about cost and not power. But for myself and my clan, I am prepared to trust Nisus with some part of of my professional toolkit and pay for that. If it means there is a Nisus Pro Pro that is vital and costs more, and a Nisus Pro that is end of life, I am fine with that.
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tedg
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Re: Subscription Model

Post by tedg »

Though the remarks are aimed at possibly goosing Nisus, my hat is off to both of you Adrian and Paorvaròur, and other members of this extremely helpful community. I could probably accomplish almost anything on that list with some help.
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David Sharp
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Re: Subscription Model

Post by David Sharp »

I understand the concerns expressed in Tedg's original post, and the second, longer one.

However, neither a move to a subscription model, nor a scenario in which some of us could voluntarily make donations to Nisus, seems to me a satisfactory solution.

Like quite a few of us here I imagine, I'm old enough to remember when a home computer was simply a stand-alone device, using software installed from physical supports that, even if they could prove unreliable, were at least things we could feel we owned. You could switch it on, use it and then switch it off in much the same way as you used an electric kettle or a toaster.

Now we live in a world in which we may still feel we "own" the computer, but in which everything that makes it work comes to us over a network that may or may not be working, and featuring links that may or may not have been generated by entities that are not what they seem. I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling apprehensive each time I accept a major upgrade, wondering whether I'm not going to wake up to find my machine's no longer usable. I've read that some Apple OS upgrades are now, in effect, irreversible.

Up until now, I've avoided accepting any subscription software services whatsoever, so I can't speak from experience of them. But unless I'm mistaken, such a model exacerbates the above problem, in at least two ways. Firstly, part of the software being provided via a subscription model has to reside on the provider's servers, rather than on one's own machine. Even if such a system may allow the subscriber to use the software while offline under certain conditions, there will automatically have to be moments when the user's machine connects up to the software provider, if only to check that the subscription is still valid.

Which brings me to the second point: what happens when, for whatever reason, the user no longer pays the subscription fee, or maybe no longer has internet access at all? Presumably, he or she will no longer be able to use the software: an intolerable situation for most of us.

As regards Þorvarður's suggestion of making voluntary donations to Nisus, it goes against the basic principle of a commercial service, and could lead to a whole array of other problems. Such as how to ensure that folks who provide such donations don't start demanding, or being given, special benefits.

All that having been said, I’d be happy to pay more for Nisus, which provides exceptional value for money. Perhaps the occasional paid upgrade might help? Or even the opportunity to pay for access to this forum, while leaving it readable for everyone.

I also wonder whether it might be possible to provide a subscription service for companies and other organisations while retaining the current system for individuals such as myself. Of course striking the right balances with such a system could be a problem in itself.
Þorvarður
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Re: Subscription Model

Post by Þorvarður »

Ted wrote:
I could probably accomplish almost anything on that list with some help
So let’s start then. :–)

I understand that you wrote your remarks in an abbreviated form, but that makes it also difficult for me to understand. Of your 32 remarks, I picked out 10 which I’m going to go through now one by one.

(1) Internal comments that can have directives
Do you mean inline comments? And what kind of “directives” do you have in mind? Remember, a “comment” is already an established term in the Nisus lingo.

(2) A conditional 'stamp' UI for macros
Not sure what that means. Perhaps you mean that if you start typing “if” in a macro, you want Nisus to automatically display the if-then structure so that you just have to fill in the blanks?
If that’s what you mean, then create a macro glossary with all the commands you find difficult to remember. Include examples and images/screenshots (!!) so you can easily see how to use them. An example: whenever I type “ifthen” (without the quotes) my macro glossary shows me:

If expression1
code1
elsif expression2
code2
...
elsif expressionN
codeN
else
codeDefault
end


(3) Collapsible TOC
Why do you want that? TOCs are usually not longer than one page, so why do you want to collapse them? If I find a TOC distracting I just cut it out and paste it into an empty document. Or I delete it; recreating it should not take more a second.

(4) some write room/drafts capability so that I can do general writing for other apps

You mean a sort of extra writing pad for notes? I have sometimes thought about that too. But, then I realize that I already have such writing pads. I have created a small note-pads and To-Do lists which I keep in the Document Manager and they appear in the upper-left corner of my screen when I type a certain keyboard shortcut.
Ideas that pop into my head and I think are worth permanently saving I write down in Nisus and then save the (usually short) text with a macro directly into DEVONthink. I save it as .rtfd, NOT as .rtf, because then images in the file can be displayed by DEVONthink without any problem! So, my recommendation is: never save .rtf with images into DEVONthink.
Before I save the file, I write hash tags at the end of the document. Those hash tags are recognized by DEVONthink and are automatically transformed into real DEVONthink tags.
Based on the tags, a smart rule in DEVONthink can automatically move the document into an exact location in a DEVONthink database.
So, in other words, Nisus and DEVONthink work seamlessly together.

(5) Internal latex/mathml
Nisus’ policy is, not to try to do tasks that other programs can do better. If I need LaTeX I would use a LaTeX program, not Nisus. But that’s just me. Don’t know what other people think. But I imagine that it might be possible to write LaTeX code in Nisus with the help of a glossary.

(6) Inbuilt PDF editor
Are you referring to the options “Insert as Image” and “Insert as Text” that appear when we drag a PDF into Nisus?

(7) Conditional styles
Not sure what that means.

(8) Invisible highlighting
Why would one want that? We can create styles that have no attribute other than their name. They can be searched. Or do you mean a feature to hide text? I remember Nisus Writer 6.5 had such a feature.

(9) More novel multi-window management than Apple provides and is better than tabs

Yes, that would be good. However, there are quite a few utilities that do exactly that.

(10) Animated font effects in editing mode
Why do you want that? – I saw that long time ago; I think it was in MS Word. The letters were red and it looked as if they were on fire. I think it was meant for presentations or the Web. Is that what you mean?
tedg
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Re: Subscription Model

Post by tedg »

Many thanks for taking me seriously, though I wish you had selected a different ten. Let me deal with one at a time.

(4) some write room/drafts capability so that I can do general writing for other apps

This is not a notepad I need. I'm not sure if you recall Writeroom. The idea is that already I like Nisus. If it were more vital and added some more things not available elsewhere, I'd want to use it for all my writing. For example, I am writing this in a text pane in a browser. The writing experience is perhaps the worst of the dozens I will write in in a day.

With Writeroom, I would have come to this text pane, put the cursor in (if it were not) and hit a shortcut. The write room window would come up. I would do all my writing/editing in that window, then hit a shortcut (the same one in my case) and the text would be suitably transformed into this ugly, inhospitable pane. This pane is a good example why a simple copy/paste won't work. I have equally but differently ugly text panes that I deal with dozens of times a day: six messaging/mail apps the main ones. I suspect my writing, even in this short note would be more inspired but surely more pleasant in my premier writing app.
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tedg
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Re: Subscription Model

Post by tedg »

I might add that in OS9, I accomplished this with what is now called Classic NW, Frontier, and Westcode OneClick. In iOS, we had (maybe still do) an app called Drafts designed for something like this.

I might also add that if there were existing text — for instance an email I were selectively quoting, that would be conveyed to the supereditor.
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Þorvarður
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Re: Subscription Model

Post by Þorvarður »

I'm not sure if you recall Writeroom
Do you mean this WriteRoom?
https://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/21907/writeroom

Never used it; it’s said to be “a full-screen, distraction-free writing environment.” I think that’s exactly what Nisus is when you switch to Full Screen.

I'd want to use […] [Nisus] for all my writing. For example, I am writing this in a text pane in a browser. The writing experience is perhaps the worst of the dozens I will write in in a day.
I have the sneaking suspicion that you are not using the full potential of Nisus. Instead of typing your message directly into the browser (“this ugly, inhospitable pane”), I suggest you have the browser open on the left or in the background, then you copy the text you want to quote or respond to and run this macro in Nisus:

Code: Select all

# Inserts a quote from the Nisus forum into the active document
# 2017-08-25

Type Text "[Quote]"
Paste Text Only
Type Text "[/Quote]"
Edit:Select:Select Paragraph
Format:Text Color:Blue
Select End
Type Text "
"
Format:Text Color:Black
Assign it a keyboard shortcut. I use Command+IQ, which stands for “insert quotation.”
The quote is in blue and will stand out and be clearly distinguishable from your own text.

Now write your answer in Nisus (which will be in black). Copy the next quote in the browser and repeat the procedure. When you are finished, copy the whole text in Nisus (including the blue quotes) and past into the browser. The quotes will automatically be shown by the browser as yellow quotes. At least this is the case in Safari.

This is thousand times better than what you are doing now.
Try it, and then tell me what you think.

PS
What browser are you using?
tedg
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Re: Subscription Model

Post by tedg »

Thank you. I did not describe the requirements for a universal professional writing environment well enough for you know what I meant. But we are already way too far off topic for me.

I started by saying that I wish NisusWriter was more vital.I wished they had a better business model, because there are things that simply don't work, and others I would like to see if only as proof of life. No matter how you slice it, that means more money into Nisus. Then the response was some combo of:

— don't like subscriptions, period
— Nisus is good enough. What's worth paying for anyway?

So I gave a list off the top of my head. Some things are daily nuisances where things simply don't work as a world class app would have them. Others on the list are indicative of a vital product that would give me pleasure, just to know that the most creative thinkers in this space are on the case.

Now we are talking about whether cut and paste would make me happy when in a browser text view, one of the many writing environments I must use. This uses your very generous and helpful time, and is not particularly what I need. So how about this as a proposal:

— We close this thread. I've made my point that I hope the folks at Nisus thrive, and that us users understand that takes money. After this exchange, I will accept that NW is end of life.

— I open a new thread for some high value deficiency that bothers me and see if we can find some kludge.

Thanks for the helpful energy,

Ted
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loulesko
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Re: Subscription Model

Post by loulesko »

I agree with TedG, I'm in favor of a subscription model.

A little more cost per year for piece of mind that Nisus has the resources to continue on without being sold to a larger company would be well worth it. I really rely on Nisus. Life easier with it.

I disagree with Adryan's comment that vibrancy is overrated or that it's linked to features. I feel a subscription model would enable refinement and continued stability.

I do understand Þorvarður's point as well. BareBones software has a subscription model for BBEdit, but they also allow users to pay the pay-per-upgrade model as well. It's a choice allowing those that can to support via subscription.
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