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-   -   My personal opinion - it's time. (https://www.feldoncentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=5144)

Dale 12-08-2009 12:32 PM

My personal opinion - it's time.
 
I appreciate that it has been unexpectedly difficult to accomplish the major improvements in fish movement. We've almost all been patient, and we're quite willing to wait longer while Jim gets this done to his satisfaction - and then for the optional Creature Packs.

...however, Beta 10d was released over 6 months ago. No visible progress since then.

That's a long time for a single Beta release.

Personal opinion: it's time for another Beta release.

Assuming that there's nothing to release in terms of fish movements, there are still a lot of bugs and product features that have been covered in this forum - that could be fixed. Yeah, I know it would take time away from the work on "New realistic fish behavior, including schooling, chasing, and pecking at corals."

A partial list of things that (in my opinion) should be done before waiting another 6 months:

o Bug fixes and feature improvements that have already been discussed here.

o (quote) "Automatic lights. There will soon be a greatly expanded interface for customizing the background colors"

o The crystal improvements that have been promised.

o The various documentation, help-file, and UI improvements that have already been "promised" here.

o Perhaps even the starfish...

Now, I'm rather sure that Jim would rather keep focused on the realistic fish behavior. And I'm sure that expressing my personal opinion will draw some angry responses.

So, a question - if 6 months between Beta releases isn't very long, then how long in your opinion would be "too long"?

harris 12-08-2009 01:02 PM

:silent: This is one of those posts I generally would not touch with a ten foot pole.

However...I will say that if there was a "TEAM" working on MA3 I would also be impatient. Since Jim is the sole designer and engineer, a longer development time is to be expected. How long is not for me to say.

Yodelking 12-08-2009 03:37 PM

Arghh, this is a tough one...
Let's see... documents, helpfiles, crystal, User interface, automatic lights, or new fish models and behaviour?

hmm...

OK, I will never read documents or helpfiles, I don't use the crystal, I hardly ever change settings...

I'd have to chose new fish models and behaviour...

henemly 12-08-2009 03:54 PM

2nd vote here for new crystal stuff.

Nicki 12-08-2009 04:22 PM

It all depends on the way the programmer ( ie Sachsu-san ) works . Does he work on one issue at a time exclusively and then save his progress as a releasable beta , or does he hop about from one thing to another as the inspiration strikes ? From my own very limited programming experience I would say that I tended towards the latter . And then , Jim is an artist as well as a programmer which I'm sure influences his decisions as to when to release new work .

Just my two cents , not having a go at you Dale . You sometimes say the things that many of us have been thinking . << Though I'm taking the 5th as to whether this is one of those times :p >>

Jim Sachs 12-08-2009 09:05 PM

To paraphrase Thomas Edison - Though I haven't found algorithms for the fish movement or collision avoidance, I have found a thousand things that DON'T work. If I divert my attention now, I'll quickly forget what I've already tried.

celine 12-08-2009 11:22 PM

As Confucius said :haste brings no success. https://www.feldoncentral.com/forums...ilies/cool.gif Be patient,one day Jim would make you thrill all day long..............

Ralph 12-08-2009 11:50 PM

So long as you keep finding new ideas that don't work keep at it, when you run out of ideas that don't work and still have not found the magic combination then it is time to move on to other parts.

cjmaddy 12-09-2009 08:35 AM

If memory serves, that's usually predicted to be next October.... ;)

Jim, have you considered, that if/when you next release an update, - in the blink of an eye, the first of many will immediately start saying, 'I can't wait for the next....'
The ironic thing being, that there is nothing in this world more certain, than 'wait' is exactly what they will HAVE to do! :)

Jim Sachs 12-09-2009 09:43 AM

Oh, yes - I've certainly noticed that. Even when the updates are only a day apart!

I've had a lot of other stuff going on lately which has further slowed progress and made it harder to concentrate. Sometimes real life gets in the way of writing computer programs.

All I can suggest is for everyone to go and spend some time with their families, and check back every once in a while to see if there are any MA3 updates.

harris 12-09-2009 10:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Sachs (Post 117227)
"...All I can suggest is for everyone to go and spend some time with their families..."

Jim - make sure you heed your own advice, especially during this time of year. ;)

Dale 12-09-2009 10:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Sachs (Post 117227)
Oh, yes - I've certainly noticed that. Even when the updates are only a day apart!

I've had a lot of other stuff going on lately which has further slowed progress and made it harder to concentrate. Sometimes real life gets in the way of writing computer programs.

All I can suggest is for everyone to go and spend some time with their families, ...

Fair enough, on all counts. And I certainly didn't want to suggest something that would slow down the development timeline.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jim Sachs (Post 117227)
.... and check back every once in a while to see if there are any MA3 updates.

That would be MA3 Beta updates.

feldon34 12-09-2009 03:35 PM

All software is Beta software. Discuss.

Dale 12-09-2009 04:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by feldon33 (Post 117240)
All software is Beta software. Discuss.

Agreed (and off-topic, so thanks for doing that).

Discussion:

What percentage of software being sold today has BETA as part of its official name? (quoting: Marine Aquarium 3 BETA - Windows )

If you purchased something 10 months ago, with the FAQ reading as follows, what would have been your expectation of the meaning of "soon"?

Quote:

Originally Posted by serenescreen web site

What's coming soon:

* Automatic lights. There will soon be a greatly expanded interface for customizing the background colors.
* New realistic fish behavior, including schooling, chasing, and pecking at corals.

Once these features are in place, the stage will be set for many exciting additions. Optional Creature Packs will utilize the large environment as a playground for a wide array of different fish and invertabrates.

Please believe that I'm not criticizing the February decision to start selling MA3 Beta - or the decision to honestly call it Beta.

I'm just asserting that, in my opinion, calling something BETA (whether or not it is being sold) -- and then stating what is coming soon -- sets certain expectations as to when incremental improvements will be made. Those expectations are fuzzy, of course - but (in my opinion) a general consensus would be something shorter than 6 months.

Ralph 12-09-2009 06:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dale (Post 117243)
Discussion:
What percentage of software being sold today has BETA as part of its official name? (quoting: Marine Aquarium 3 BETA - Windows )

Possibly the only honest listing one can find. Until it is abandoned pretty well all software is beta, whether included in the name or not. It is rare software that will not have numerous updates within its life cycle.
To me using the term BETA in the title means this program is under active development so stay tuned. If Jim could turn the clock back 6 months he may well have taken the "beta" out of the title. It has proven more time consuming / difficult than initially anticipated but it has not been abandoned so a "BETA" it still is.

Dale 12-10-2009 12:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ralph (Post 117244)
Possibly the only honest listing one can find.

...
To me using the term BETA in the title means this program is under active development so stay tuned...

I absolutely agree that the name is honest, and may as you say be the only honest name that can be found.

When I buy (non-Beta) software, my only real expectations are that there will be future updates, and that I will probably be charged for some of them (called "new versions with added features")

My point was:

A. There's not much software named "Beta" that is not free. Selling MA3 Beta sets higher expectations than a free Beta.

B. Clearly advertising major feature additions "coming soon" sets higher expectations than not saying when any updates are coming.

Summary: The combination of paid Beta and major features coming soon sets even higher expectations.

feldon34 12-10-2009 03:58 PM

Easy fix: Stop calling it Beta.

There are no known significant bugs. Now whether you feel that it has the features you expect or not is irrelevant.

Apple iMovie 08 removed a significant amount of features found in iMovie 07. The latest Final Cut Express removed significant features from previous versions of Final Cut Express.

So I'll advise Jim to simply remove the Beta tag. When he does an update, it will be 3.0.1 or 3.1 or 3.5 or whatever.

Dale 12-10-2009 07:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by feldon33 (Post 117256)
Easy fix: Stop calling it Beta.

There are no known significant bugs. Now whether you feel that it has the features you expect or not is irrelevant.
...
So I'll advise Jim to simply remove the Beta tag. When he does an update, it will be 3.0.1 or 3.1 or 3.5 or whatever.

That works for me (if it's acceptable to Jim, of course).

Jim Sachs 12-11-2009 01:45 AM

I'll consider it.

cjmaddy 12-11-2009 03:54 AM

Can we draw a line under all this nonsense now, and let everyone get back to doing things that are more productive?


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