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Beamtracer
03-11-2004, 02:04 PM
I was wondering if anyone can answer these questions about the Lightwave 8 feature list and the Mac.

The feature list is from Newtek's website.
http://www.newtek.com/products/lightwave/product/8/features.php#OTHERENHANCEMENTS

Rendering Enhancements:
•Direct Show Flexible Point: allows users to view Flexible Point images in Internet Explorer.
As Microsoft ceased Mac development of Internet Explorer last year, I wondered if this Lightwave feature is able to work with Safari or other Mac web browsers?

Integration tools:
•Photoshop plugins that allow NewTek's Flexible Image HDRI format (.flx) to be loaded into PhotoShop.

•DirectShow filter allowing .flx animations to be played in Windows Media PlayerI like the idea of using Lightwave's '.flx' image file format in other applications. In fact, I wonder why the Photoshop flx plug-in isn't distributed independently of Lightwave 8, so that others who receive your animations can view them.

The other "DirectShow" plug-in that allows flx images to be viewed in Windows Media Player is a curious one. Microsoft has always done a pretty poor job of porting WMP to the Mac.

I wonder why Newtek hasn't created a flx Quicktime plug-in? QT is more cross platform than WMP. More professional content creation applications are based upon Quicktime than Windows Media.

A flx Quicktime plug-in would have allowed all those QT based applications to view flx image sequences. These apps include Apple's Final Cut Pro, Discreet Combustion, Adobe After Effects among many others.

As far as I know, there's currently no way to import flx image sequences into After Effects. I feel this may have been more useful than Windows Media Player support.

Triple G
03-11-2004, 04:10 PM
All good points, Beam. I'd be interested to know the answers as well.

riki
03-11-2004, 04:34 PM
The Mac version of WMP doesn't seem to work with flx files. I just tried to open a still image, no luck.

Beamtracer
03-11-2004, 05:26 PM
It's possible the "Direct Show Flexible Point" feature of Lightwave 8 works with browsers that are developed for the Mac platform, but I don't know.


Originally posted by riki
The Mac version of WMP doesn't seem to work with flx files.The Mac version of WMP hardly works at all!

Beamtracer
03-20-2004, 05:54 PM
This is part of a discussion going on in the Community section of Newtek's forum.
http://vbulletin.newtek.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=19931
These posts worry me...

Originally posted by jevinstudios
Well, after learning of the incredibly ambitious manual/help system built in to LW8, I am getting even more excited about this milestone of an upgrade.

Originally posted by mouse_art
I absolut agree with you.

But ,the online help button ,only open the IE explorer(within help content), so i think..
Once again, I'm not sure if this is true or not, and it seems that the person who posted it isn't 100% sure, either.

If it is accurate, it would be another feature of LW8 that only works with Microsoft's Internet Explorer web browser.

Surely Newtek would have heard the news (about a year ago) that Microsoft has ceased development of Internet Explorer as a separate entity from the Windows operating system.

What that means is that development of Internet Explorer for the Mac is finished. It finished about a year ago. New versions of I.E will only come as part of the Windows OS, and will not be available for the Mac.

Although some Mac users may be still using I.E, most have already switched to the much faster Safari web browser. We don't need I.E. We just hope that LW8 works with Safari. It's all just HTML, isn't it?

riki
03-20-2004, 06:47 PM
I had trouble with the last version of the html manual. Some script was preventing the index page from loading. I had to trash the search function before I could view it.

Beamtracer
03-21-2004, 02:16 AM
It may be the case that Lightwave 8 uses the browser of your choice that you set in your Mac OS X preferences. We'll have to wait and see, I guess.

archiea
03-21-2004, 08:10 PM
Regarding NT's mac development in general....

I inquired about two weeks ago about the compatability of LW w/ OS 10.3.3, just days before it Apple released it. Newtek responded with uncertainty regarding 7.5's compatibility. We had to find out ourselves by installing 10.3.3 and seeing for ourselves. Yet 10.3.3 has been "available" to developers for weeks. How is it that NT, a mac developer, didn't know of 10.3.3's compatibility?

If NT seems dubious about developer related releases, do you think they would have prepared for a Safari/QT compatabile manual?

In the past when I've posted NT's exposure to the apple community (LW demos in stores, mention in the apple page), they have responsed as if to say that apple hasn't returned their messages. Why would apple treat a developer like this?

Yet, Peebler's Lux gets center stage at past macworld.

I just got the Mac Realviz upgrade today, my second mac license upgrade, the first being for the 8.0/DF+ back in the fall. It was out of sheer greed, as this bundle interest me greatly, but it doesn't fall in my budgeted R&D or software library. I would love to say that I upgraded the day of the offer, as opposed to the last day, as i can't say that I've been happy with the mac end of things at NT.

its true that NT is perhaps the more vocal developer out there, but much of what they said is "wait". I'm not talking about the release of 8 but the state of the mac development. i've stated before that I can't rely on Lightwave on the mac for anything on a deadline with whats been going on this past year. Its just not professionally supported. Period. i've mentioned charging for x.5 release to bring in revenue for additional development. I'm told that the price point is a a selling point by NT and users alike. Well, we got what we paid for: 5 months of downtime regarding the graph editor.

I believe that the release of 8 will be as much about PR as it is about features. I believe that NT has to break out of this safety bubble of the community here, with all of the fandom and so forth. Its getting a bit incestuous. I'm not saying dump the community, or stop catering to it. Just don't let just that be your goal.

I see NT selling LW to LW users, not new users. I see on the webpage, the frustrating methods of just getting a Demo. Its not stated, its just the download page for LW 7.5. No mention that it functions as a demo. No mention at the NT front page of a demo. So only LW users know that the DL functions as Demo. In contrast, the tutorial material is extensive and well documented. however it can seem overwhelming to a new user. Formatting it to sell ,as well as inform, is a suggestion. I really like how maya did the PLE edition...

I hope NT can use this extra time in 8 to confidently sell it to the mac community...

eblu
03-21-2004, 09:52 PM
i HATE to say this in a NT forum.
But, I'd really like to contribute to this discussion.
Archiea, Apple doesn't treat its 3rd party developers like that. Netwek is Not an Apple 3rd party developer. Oh they do port an app or two to the mac, they have in the past had some strong ties to the mac, and they might even have some sort of developer relationship with Apple, but they just don't consider themselves part of the Apple developer community. They aren't excited about os x (as a company) and they don't get involved in the Apple development community. I watch Newtek try to "ice-skate uphill" so to speak over and over as far as the mac is concerned. They never know when an update is coming, they don't understand the basics of the OS, and they spent how many years blaming the hardware... only to flip around and promise software optimization? Their tech support phone system isn't aware that the mac version of LW exists, they obviously haven't made any contacts over at apple, they exclude the mac from their product planning stages, and they repeatedly thumb their noses at Apple's historically proven track record in UI design (btw: thats a PLATFORM AGNOSTIC track record).

Newtek doesn't "get" Apple... plain and simple. Its a shame, because Lightwave could use some elegance, on the inside and the outside.

archiea
03-22-2004, 02:57 AM
eblu,

I'm not sure what your sourses are, but i find it hard to disagree. It puts into perpective much of the problems w/ using lw on macs...

mlinde
03-22-2004, 08:03 AM
NT appears to be trying to make an effort to "get" the Mac, IMHO. If you talk to the developers in-house, the addition of Scott Thompson (the Mac specialist) has been supplemented by adding a Mac on the desk of everyone who develops Lightwave (in addition to the Windows PC).

For those of you who are and always have been mac-philes, the different methodologies between the Mac and Windows are actually quite broad, and even when working with cross-platform development tools like CodeWarrior things aren't simple to get from Platform A to Platform B. It's not like opening a word document, or even a Lightwave scene. It's a lot more complicated.

As far as the 10.3.3 thing, I can attest to the fact that NT was fairly convinced that 10.3.3 solved the GE bug before it was released. I say fairly convinced because I doubt they put 10.3.3 on every Mac in the shop while it was a pre-release package. They are, after all, working on a software package themselves, and have already missed a big release date. Imagine the setback if they put a 10.3.3 seed on every development Mac and suddenly discovered that it inadvertently disabled all the network ports on the machines?

With a development team for the entire product line that can't be more than 20 people, the fact that 5% of their developers are Mac-specialists is a pretty good number. I, for one, am convinced at the sincerity and efforts being made by Newtek to improve Lightwave on the Mac. You can, and should, make your own opinions. But make sure you are informed when you do.

Ade
03-22-2004, 08:53 AM
I bought Lightwave cause it was on mac.
I came from Amiga.
The mac forum numbers speak for themselves over how passionate and interested lightwave mac users are.
Mac users are the most loyal...In a stubborn way somtimes.

eblu
03-22-2004, 10:02 AM
mlinde,
for the most part I agree with you. Newtek is making strides, and putting forth an effort to make LW a solid 3d platform on the mac.

But I have to say I've been down this road before. Newtek as a whole keeps missing the boat on major issues. Making the help system IE compatible only (if indeed that has happened) is a good example of not "getting" the mac. In this hypothetical and highly probable situation, it would have been much less painful for them to plan a platform agnostic help system, as IE is now and forever Windows only. Now the mac users are faced with using outdated, out-moded, and possibly useless technology going forward (old versions of IE). And don't make the mistake thinking that this situation is just hypothetical or even relegated to arbitrary future support systems. This kind of planning... planning the PC version and then porting to the mac, has plagued Newtek since the beginning. Things like Quicktime support, lost plugins, poor support currently for the underlying Unix nature of OSX, all come from poor planning at the beginning. I think its great that they are making a concerted effort to support the mac. But that misses the point entireley. Newtek should start that effort in the Planning stages, with a clear understanding of the platform, so that they don't shoot themselves or their user base in the foot, as they take inappropriate designs and try to shoehorn them into that "other", "niche", platform.

they just don't think like an apple third party developer.

Beamtracer
03-22-2004, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by eblu
Now the mac users are faced with using outdated, out-moded, and possibly useless technology going forward (old versions of IE). Don't forget, Eblu, this information came from a Windows user on the other forum, so it's unverified at this time. We'll have to wait and see whether LW8 is browser agnostic or not.

One simple remedy to some of these Mac perceptions would be to buy Proton a Mac and make him use it in the office for 6 months. Really, I'm serious.

Proton posts more messages on the forum than any other Newtek staffer, but he doesn't think cross-platform. He's quite Windows-oriented.

Swap his office computer (a BOXX?) with a Mac for 6 months and he'll start thinking about cross-platform issues. He won't become a Mac-head, I'm sure, but at least he'll consider the Mac in his thoughts.

Darth Mole
03-22-2004, 02:00 PM
If he switched, would he have to change his name to Electron?

Ed M.
03-22-2004, 03:01 PM
OK, I've only been lurking on these boards as of late, keeping my mouth shut and not rattling NTs cage. In the past, my comments seemed to cause quite a disturbance among particular community members as well as NT employees. Tsk tsk. If you all remember those heated discussions, you all read what NT's answers (excuses?) were regarding Mac development. This time, you are starting to see for yourselves just how bad NT has become WRT the Mac.

Ted (eblu) stated it perfectly in his post here in this thread. First is was that the hardware wasn't up-to-snuff... Now, well.... Hmmm, I'm not sure there is anything I could add except that all of this has been brought to light in the past. What I find alarming is that it's been going on for quite some time now and really, how far has NT come WRT the Mac or the Mac community as a whole? Be honest with yourselves. You'll see, go back and re-read some of those insightful posts and see if NT's attitude has changed any. Anyway, to quote my good friend Dave K. Every....


"If you stop innovating, then you are stagnant and just waiting to be obviated by someone with more a clue (more of a vision) than you have."

In other words, Do exactly what NT is doing regarding the Mac and... well you get the picture.

Ya know... I might be out of line by saying this, but it almost kinda seems like NT is *hoping* some other Mac 3D solution comes along that's comparable enough to Lightwave, so they can finally rid themselves of the Mac. In other words, It would give them the *out* (i.e., excuse/reason to drop Mac support) they are looking for. If they keep it up, they might just get their wish (something along the lines of PR: Renderman, scaled down perhaps?) except for one caveat...

The solution that's likely going to come to the Mac will more than likely be *better* than Lightwave (on any platform); perhaps something similar to FCP except it will be for 3D. Anyway, that's the feeling that I get. NT seems to be bonding to Microsoft more and more these days. It hasn't gotten any better, folks. Eblu is 100% correct in his assessment. You can bank on it.

At this point (and many might disagree here), but the only way I really see LW development on the Mac side improving worth a damn is if Apple, for some reason, decided to acquire NT and bring all development *in house*. Anyone remember the rumor a while back that Apple was in the market to purchase a 3D company? I don't think it's rumor. I'll lay odds that they are probably still looking, but then again, why would they want NT? If NT offered such a compelling product, you would think that Apple might have made them an offer. Or is it the fact that Apple DID in fact look at the players on the field very thoroughly and figured... "nah.. we can do better"? Just something to think about.

Having said that, I'll go back to lurking now, but remember, Ted has stated it well (as usual). Go back and re-read what he wrote, so it really starts to sink in.

--
Ed

mlinde
03-22-2004, 04:25 PM
Originally posted by Beamtracer
Proton posts more messages on the forum than any other Newtek staffer, but he doesn't think cross-platform. He's quite Windows-oriented.

Swap his office computer (a BOXX?) with a Mac for 6 months and he'll start thinking about cross-platform issues. He won't become a Mac-head, I'm sure, but at least he'll consider the Mac in his thoughts. Beam, Proton is a capable Mac user. He did the demo at Macworld this January (on a Mac, from what I understand) for Lightwave. These guys do think about the Mac, it's just so different to what they've done for so long it's not going to be a short trip. Finally, I didn't download the help files everyone talked about, but I would be quite surprised if the html help was Windows only with Lightwave [8]. Quite surprised.

mlinde
03-22-2004, 04:37 PM
Ed and Ted, I think you guys are all over the doom and gloom. I don't know where you get your information about Newtek's commitment to the Mac, or their capabilities on the Mac. I know that when NT ported LW to Mac OS 9, it was one guy doing all the work. Gee, what a surprise that he may have lost source code for his work. I will reiterate the facts that I have:
1) Since the addition of Scott Thompson, Newtek has evaluated the development platform for Lightwave, and is changing from CodeWarrior to XCode to improve Mac performance.
2) Every developer in-house at Newtek has both a Mac and a Windows PC on their desk.
3) Lightwave [8] is being designed to be fully cross-platform, no missing features one one side or the other, unless it is a legacy tool that isn't being updated on any platform.

Will there be performance differences between Mac and Windows with LW[8]? You bet. The processor specific optimizations that occurred for the Pentium family don't just show up in Pentium v. Mac, but Pentium v. AMD. Those optimizations still exist. I hope that the 8.1 or 8.5 release for LW will include real optimization for Altivec, or even for the G5 specifically.

In addition, there are non-Newtek issues that will affect your performance. Lightwave is a HUGE OpenGL application. If OpenGL performance is different on Mac or Windows, it isn't Newtek writing the OpenGL software and the graphics drivers.

archiea
03-22-2004, 10:11 PM
Originally posted by mlinde

As far as the 10.3.3 thing, I can attest to the fact that NT was fairly convinced that 10.3.3 solved the GE bug before it was released. I say fairly convinced because I doubt they put 10.3.3 on every Mac in the shop while it was a pre-release package. They are, after all, working on a software package themselves, and have already missed a big release date. Imagine the setback if they put a 10.3.3 seed on every development Mac and suddenly discovered that it inadvertently disabled all the network ports on the machines?



I was told by NT that they didn't know. Period. So how can you attest to it if you are "fairly convinced" about a speculation or a "doubt". Cmon people, if you want to speculate, fine, but don't say it with as much conviction as if it were fact....

archiea
03-22-2004, 10:15 PM
Originally posted by eblu
mlinde,
for the most part I agree with you. Newtek is making strides, and putting forth an effort to make LW a solid 3d platform on the mac.



Sorry eblu, how can you associate 5 months of downtime from the graph editor as defining LW as solid? Or 7.5b? Or NT uncertainty of 10.3.3?

Amadeus0
03-23-2004, 12:09 AM
DirectShow is part of the DirectX API. So you wont be getting ANY DirectShow additives on your Mac. Internet Explorer has something called "ActiveX" that MS has supplied COM ties to DirectX with (note that ActiveX has nothing to do with DirectX, and someone could write -for Windows- a COM-like interface from DirectX to Java -instead of ActiveX- but such a thing isn't standard.)

DirectShow filters are not just Codecs' or "plug-ins", but just what they're called: Filters. DS filters are more then a Codec in someways, and less then a plug-in. The blend is pretty good (one of the few times you'll hear me praise MS products/standards/interfaces), and QT has NOTHING like it (from what I understand.) Also Newtek has R&D that they can take from the (Windows-only) Toaster -like DS filters- and bundle them with Lightwave.

About the WMP issue. DS filters can be used by ANY Windows program that is written to take advantage of them. Premiere Pro and Virtual Dub for example. So it's not that Newtek is somehow putting all this effort into making all this DirectShow "stuff", but rather by leveraging existing R&D (Toaster) they can create one Filter that can be used in IE, WMP, and any other program on the face of the earth that uses DirectShow. Very efficent. :-)

eblu
03-23-2004, 05:58 AM
wow.
in this thread I've been both associated with "doom and Gloom" as well as being a little too positive.

sources mlinde? I am not writing a newspaper column here, my opinion is based solely on my experiences. Its the way netwek has made me feel about them and their ability to work with the mac dev community.
and as an aside, the hiring of a new mac programmer, the re-evaluation of LW, the move to xcode... these things are band aids over the real problem... that LW from the beginning wasn't designed to run on a mac. and while I meant to intimate that it is a negative thing, I never intimated any "doom or gloom". I instead mentioned the word "shame" tho ;)

in other words I always felt that Newtek is unimpressed with Os X, and can't see the value in really understanding how it works, how it was designed, and what it has to offer.
If they were excited about it, Xcode would have been a no-brainer from day one... optimizations would have been on the drawing board before 1 line of code was written, Newtek wouldn't have to apparently re-educate their engineers about the viability of 3d in OS X.
there are several 3d specific companies out there saying without any hesitation that the mac is now the fastest, and that they are getting performance that (insert chip manufacturer here) can't match. These companies do OpenGL, rendering... all aspects on the 3d thing, and LW is Much slower, embarrassingly slower on the mac, and the general perception... FROM the Developer community, is that "a poor craftsmen blames his tools". generally developers feel that Newtek can have a much faster mac version of LW, if they only tried.

Xcode is the least of the advantages about being generally excited about os X. Apple basically designed os X the way large and complicated projects Should be designed, and there is literally hundreds of things you can learn ABOUT programming in general just by reading about os X. THIS for the most part IS not done at newtek.
It would have drastically changed the way LW works. LScript would be a real scripting language, and not a half hearted Patch, Screamernet would be a Unix tool or a "service", LWs windows would not break convention (just talking about window behavior here such as how the windows behave when you click on them). and updates would become more frequent and they would break less features than they fix. I was just saying how nice that stuff would be.

Its no secret that OS updates freak them out, because of the possibility that OpenGL could be vastly different enough to break something in LW. How is THAT justification for not testing the update?

archiea,
"touche missyour pussycat!" good one, but you should notice these phrases in my statement... "putting forth effort", and "making strides".
without those I'm saying LW is solid (like your seem to think), but with those I'm basically saying that some nebulous force called Newtek seems to be actively working towards a goal.
its not that I think 5 months of waiting is solid, but that Newtek is now (pretty late in the game) making decisions to shore up the problems they created for themselves.


while I'm at it... Beam, my statements were conditional about the alleged help system and whether or not it is indeed non-platform agnostic, it was a very topical example, but there are literally dozens of real examples to choose from.

fxgeek
03-24-2004, 06:14 AM
You know, it's very easy some times to think that as mac users we are being deliberatly left behind by software developers, but this is simply not the case. Lightwave like any other 3D software is an incredibly complicated piece of programming and NewTek has only limited resources. You get the sense sometimes reading these forums and it's a bit disconcerting for anyone coming to these forums that the PC version is perfect and the Mac version is riddled with bugs. It's not. Go to the PC forum you'll hear just as many people with problems and issues. As for certain PC features, you have to think of it from a Business point of view.

NewTek has to allocate it's resources based on the returns it expects, and to be honest, they're doing a great job compared to some other companies >cough< alias >cough<

As for the IE thing. I doubt that it will be the case that the help will only use IE. It would be more work to do that than not. If its true html help it will probably use apple's help viewer which is essentially safari. And anyway, it wouldn't be a big deal to change it afterwards anyway.

As for the direct show stuff - who cares? Are you ever going to use it? Anyway, we've got Pixlet

Yes it would be great if there were more mac specific features in LW but I believe that NewTek are committed to developing LW more on the Mac. I think they probably have to transition the code to xcode before they can develop more mac specific features and that transition will take time.

Just to put things in perspective, Maya on the Mac is a dog compared to Lightwave. It has a very limites set of supported hardware and anything outside of that is quirky at best. Im not complaining about Maya either, there's plenty of good things about the Mac port as well, but LW on the Mac is a dream in comparison.

there is a temptation to think sometimes that development decisions in companies like NewTek are based on biased platform decisions by company directors, but the reality is they are a business and will base their decisions on good business sense as they see it, not petty platform biases. With recent studies showing a marked increase in Mac's being used Visual Effects it's silly to think that NewTek and other companies wont respond to increased sales potential, and they've already announced steps to increase their mac support. If it gets to the stage that Mac sales of Lightwave equal or surpass PC sales (and it is possible) then you can expect Mac development to surpass PC development and PC users will be complaining.

I used to complain about LW in the past, especially witht he diseastour that 6.0 was (remember the texture disappearing problem) but I think that they've done a great job supporting the mac when other developers bolted. Someone mentioned that they didn't think that NewTek "got" OSX, but remember, Lightwave was one of the very first OSX applications.

At the end of the day Lightwave on the Mac is a powerful and viable creative tool. I think that Mac users frequently expect software to be Perfect, and tend to voice our concerns quite loudly at flaws, but If you take a pro active and engaging tone with software developers like NewTek you will get a far better response than the accusing moaning tone that sometimes we Mac Users can all be accused of some times.

Alot of people come to these forums to see what the LW community is like or how suitible Lightwave might be for them. Why cant we start a thread of Lightwave on the Mac success stories rather than descend into the usual bitching and moaning session.

(Im going to be virtually slaughtered now, aren't i?)

eblu
03-24-2004, 09:53 AM
Originally posted by fxgeek
Yes it would be great if there were more mac specific features in LW but I believe that NewTek are committed to developing LW more on the Mac.(Im going to be virtually slaughtered now, aren't i?)

hi fxgeek,
again, I agree with many point made in your post. I can't seem to get my ideas across tho.

the point is that Apple is not just some niche company, they are a damned good software developer, with lots to offer (for free) to programmers of any cpu preference. In my opinion, Newtek's Entire product line could benefit from looking at how Apple conducts the business of application development, including the PC only apps. Newtek is a small company with few resources? All the more reason to check out Apple, they have become experts of minimal effort = maximum effectivness, and they share their experience freely with the dev community.

Apple no longer makes you "buy the whole cow" when you "only want a glass of milk" any more. Many of their technologies, and the concepts behind them (which is extremely valuable IP, and very helpful to small companies) are portable (a problem facing newtek, as LW is getting very long in the tooth), extremely useful, and easy to fix when things break. I'm not saying that Apple gets left behind.
I'm saying that Newtek is basically biggoted against the mac, and they are currently fighting that attitude internally, putting macs on every desk, hiring new mac people, etc.... But that is a band aid. It encourages more biggotry, by putting more responsibility on the developers to "do this other thing" that they didn't Have to do before.
If all of the developers simply looked at apple as a resource, and did a little research, they'd find that another way of looking at the same problems, could help solve those self same problems very quickly. This is not done.

I've tried to get Newtek developers interested in mac os X as a source for ideas about app design (more than just UI... proper coding techniques), and a source for technologies (rendezvous for ex), to get them excited about infusing LW with a more robust character. But I think that I was labeled from the start as a mac geek, who doesn't know anything about the process, or the issues involved, Or worse, the mac forum simply isn't visited on a regular basis by the general Newtek developer population, and so I am ignored.

and so I think its a shame that Newtek isn't excited about being a 3rd party macintosh developer.

am I mad? do I think its the end of the world? Does this make LW a bad product? no. Its just the state of things as I see them.

I'm sorry if its not happy news, but this is a Help forum, people come here for help, and to offer help. I am simply offering up to newtek, a vast array of new and free ideas, that they continually devalue because they thing that they only apply to a niche prooduct and not a platform agnostic product.

http://developer.apple.com/


so a disclaimer to people who are looking in these forums for the "fit-ness" of Lightwave... You shouldn't be looking in these forums, you will generally find issues, problems, and complaints... ie: the worst case scenario, and since every software product has the exact same worst case scenario (the product doesn't work) you will invariably find that user-to-user help forums are filled to the brim with the same kind of posts regardless of the product name ;)

mrunion
03-24-2004, 10:02 AM
eblu:

I believe that a trip to a University Library with the intent of studying good software development practices would fill much of this bill. I'm NOT implying ANYTHING about anyone here or NewTek. It just sounds like you are wanting NewTek developers to learn about "development processes in general" from Apple.

I am not at all against case-studying things that work. Apple seems to be able to work well. I'm just not so sure that studying Apple *alone* will help anyone.

I'm a PC developer, but I don't study Microsoft code to learn to develop. They have some good code. But they have some bad code too! Study the methodologies without worrying about the platforms. Then apply those methodologies to the given platform of choice.

archiea
03-24-2004, 11:51 AM
Originally posted by fxgeek
You know, it's very easy some times to think that as mac users we are being deliberatly left behind by software developers, but this is simply not the case. Lightwave like any other 3D software is an incredibly complicated piece of programming and NewTek has only limited resources. .....

.....NewTek has to allocate it's resources based on the returns it expects, and to be honest, they're doing a great job compared to some other companies >cough< alias >cough<

(Im going to be virtually slaughtered now, aren't i?)

No, not slaughtered, buddy. Infact you reinforce my point.

I've brought up NT's limited resourses as the issue itself. I, for one, am willng to pay for x.5 releases if it would gaurrentee no having another year like this past one. I mean when Panther came out, I was told flat out by NT that they are not going to patch 7.5c until 8.0 was out. period. I never wnat to hear that again. I never want to have to pay for a patch, (i.e. pay for 8.0 as a promised fix, which is still vaporware), regardless if its Apple's fault or NT's.

Yeah, the bundles ar great, and they are appreciated as an effort to quell the complaints. However, I;'d trade it for solid support of Apple's ever chaning OS. Just my vote....

fxgeek
03-24-2004, 11:59 AM
Originally posted by archiea


Yeah, the bundles ar great, and they are appreciated as an effort to quell the complaints. However, I;'d trade it for solid support of Apple's ever chaning OS. Just my vote....

I agree completely. It was a bad customer relations decision on NewTeks part not to fix that issue immediately, despite how frustrating it might have been for the programming team. Whether or not it was Apple's fault (and it appears in hindsight that it was) they should have jsut bitten the bullet and fixed it - not fight over it for months. That was bad customer relations regardless of whether it was right or wrong.

eblu
03-24-2004, 12:23 PM
Originally posted by mrunion

I am not at all against case-studying things that work. Apple seems to be able to work well. I'm just not so sure that studying Apple *alone* will help anyone.

ok. thats reasonable. But I think The opposite is occurring. Apple appears to be basically ignored, as a resource, By a very large percentage of developers... until you get to the biggies. Microsoft, IBM, HP... all of these companies have been not only paying close attention to what apple does... They actually refer Directly to Apple patents in some of their Own patents. So there is a huge Apple following in the PC camp, just by the big companies.

Don't get me wrong, I don't envision an iLightWave, I just wish Newtek would do a few very clever things such as...

break the renderer out into a service/unix tool/background app (whatever you call it when it exists by itself and doesn't have a GUI) and open source the control protocol.

stop hard coding paths into LW.
stop using features of the OS that have been end-of-lifed, or deprecated.
create an application wide scripting system instead of the currently hacked up Lscript.

fix bugs in a timely fashion (quicktime support is buggy and has been since the beginning, 5 months is a drop in the bucket in comparison).

when you can, follow OS conventions... theres no reason for the backwards, broken and inconsistent behavior of the windows in mac lightwave, Apple has behavior that is proper and not buggy that comes for free.

in other words I'd like them to start leveraging the platform, which means More research and LESS work. And I'm all for the same thing happening on the PC side too ;)

Lightwolf
03-24-2004, 12:59 PM
Originally posted by eblu
break the renderer out into a service/unix tool/background app (whatever you call it when it exists by itself and doesn't have a GUI) and open source the control protocol.
It is calles lwsn and is a command line renderer with an (albeit limited), open to the public basic protocal. The only caveat is it doesn't use TCP/IP directly, but a shared directory for commands.
I know what you mean though ;)


stop using features of the OS that have been end-of-lifed, or deprecated.
I assume for most of that you can blame
a) Apple, for changing APIs
b) Codewarrior, for not being up to date (man, is that thing even G5 optimized yet?).
How often do you want NT to break compatibility?
NT can either stay put on Codewarrior and (probably) hand optimize like Maxxon do, or break all existing plugin compatibility and go XCode.
Not to mention the future move to 64bit compiles, which again will affect both platforms.
I think even NT mentioned the move to XCode _after_ the LW8 release, and they are still trying to get old plugins to work with it, and are working with Apple on resolving that issue.
Cheers,
Mike

Ed M.
03-24-2004, 03:23 PM
I said I'd go back to lurking, but...




You know, it's very easy some times to think that as mac users we are being deliberatly left behind by software developers, but this is simply not the case.

OK, is that what the magic 8-ball is telling you? Seriously though, I think Ted outlined it extremely well. I don't think it's a case of it being "very easy" as much as it is a case of it being quite *obvious*. And besides, what would rouse such disquieting feelings in a particular customer base in the first place? So there must be a little truth to it.


Lightwave like any other 3D software is an incredibly complicated piece of programming and NewTek has only limited resources.

Yes, this has been the classic excuse NT has been using for quite some time. If you go back and read through all the interesting forum discussions ( SneakerNet, et. al.) where things like this were brought up, you will see for yourself that there *seems* to be this peculiar sense of resistance on NT's part -- how something wouldn't work or it would be "too difficult" or "we already looked at that" or "we'll take a look at it, it seems interesting". Isn't the idea to give the customer at least a *little* of what they are asking for (for their money)?


Go to the PC forum you'll hear just as many people with problems and issues.

Indeed, but Mac users aren't concerned with what problems LW is having on the PC, they just want their stuff to work (as advertised) on *their* platform.


As for certain PC features, you have to think of it from a Business point of view.

What, abandon a whole other potential market? One that is extremely fertile? Good busniss would be to stop trying to milk the cash cow (Micro$oft) and concentrate efforts on areas that could drastically improve if a bit more attention was paid. Many choose to go the easy rout. Good business just doesn't give up markets.

--
Ed

fxgeek
03-24-2004, 04:15 PM
Originally posted by Ed M.
[B]I said I'd go back to lurking, but...




OK, is that what the magic 8-ball is telling you?


Yeah, that's what its. Shucks, you found me out

would a simple "I disagree, but..." have been too hard?



Isn't the idea to give the customer at least a *little* of what they are asking for (for their money)?

I believe that's the point I was making. Without unexhaustable resources and with release schedules, they have to make business diecisions on where to allocate their programmers time. This goes for every software company in the world. In an ideal world software would have no bugs, but thats just not the case. Especially with 3d software, whose developers traditionally doesn't have the same resources as companies like Adobe


Indeed, but Mac users aren't concerned with what problems LW is having on the PC, they just want their stuff to work (as advertised) on *their* platform.

So basically what you are saying is that NewTek should ignore their PC userbase and concentrate all their resources on the Mac version of Lightwave? I know mac users dont care what problems PC users have but PC users do have problems too. I get the impression from the tone expressed here that it is only the Mac version of Lightwave that has flaws, and I was meerly pointing out that that is not the case


What, abandon a whole other potential market? One that is extremely fertile? Good busniss would be to stop trying to milk the cash cow (Micro$oft) and concentrate efforts on areas that could drastically improve if a bit more attention was paid. Many choose to go the easy rout. Good business just doesn't give up markets.

Ok, perhaps you could explain how, given their recent moves towards greater mac development they are abandoning a market? You realise that the point of NewTek as a company is to make money. And as much money as possible. It's that simple. That's what companies do. They are not here as a charity. Thats what business is all about. It would NOT make business sense to take an unreasonable amount of resources away from their Windows development to concentrate on the Mac. Yes it's not fair, but it's the reality. They have to judge based on SALES as to how much development money they can spend on each platform.

I would say, and I know you'll disagree but I would estimate that 95% of Lightwave's features work perfectly on the Mac.

Yes Lightwave still has issues on the Mac. Network rendering one such serious issue. But it does work. Im not denying that, but I feel that given their press releases, NewTek are addressing these issues. I also strongly believe that this will change further the more prevelaint the mac becomes in 3d.

erk
03-24-2004, 04:40 PM
Originally posted by fxgeek
Yeah, that's what its. Shucks, you found me out

would a simple "I disagree, but..." have been too hard?




I believe that's the point I was making. Without unexhaustable resources and with release schedules, they have to make business diecisions on where to allocate their programmers time. This goes for every software company in the world. In an ideal world software would have no bugs, but thats just not the case. Especially with 3d software, whose developers traditionally doesn't have the same resources as companies like Adobe



So basically what you are saying is that NewTek should ignore their PC userbase and concentrate all their resources on the Mac version of Lightwave? I know mac users dont care what problems PC users have but PC users do have problems too. I get the impression from the tone expressed here that it is only the Mac version of Lightwave that has flaws, and I was meerly pointing out that that is not the case



Ok, perhaps you could explain how, given their recent moves towards greater mac development they are abandoning a market? You realise that the point of NewTek as a company is to make money. And as much money as possible. It's that simple. That's what companies do. They are not here as a charity. Thats what business is all about. It would NOT make business sense to take an unreasonable amount of resources away from their Windows development to concentrate on the Mac. Yes it's not fair, but it's the reality. They have to judge based on SALES as to how much development money they can spend on each platform.

I would say, and I know you'll disagree but I would estimate that 95% of Lightwave's features work perfectly on the Mac.

Yes Lightwave still has issues on the Mac. Network rendering one such serious issue. But it does work. Im not denying that, but I feel that given their press releases, NewTek are addressing these issues. I also strongly believe that this will change further the more prevelaint the mac becomes in 3d. Once upon a time (LW7.0 era) a big percentage of Lightwave sales came from Mac users, is that no longer the case? I would have thought people who can afford more expensive hardware like Macs, would also be a more likely market for software like Lightwave, which can cost a much as a decent computer. Certainly the people I know who use the lowest cost no-name hardware tend to pirate software if they can, disposable income often drives platform choice.

Ed M.
03-24-2004, 04:54 PM
They have to judge based on SALES as to how much development money they can spend on each platform.

Well, it's the *developers* job to offer a compelling enough product that customers actually want to buy. It's the *developers* job to increase sales in a particular area. If the Mac LW market is lagging, then it's the developers job to figure out how to bring it up to speed -- otherwise they are just stagnating and just waiting for some other company to pass them by.

How are Mac-based sales supposed to increase if *developers* like NT continue to neglect the platform, and instead go for what seems to be the cash cow?

When companies stop trying to do something to invigorate an ailing product (Mac LW) or only put a half-hearted, band-aid effort behind it they are only selling out their future and any value that might come along with it. What's more, they pass up opportunities that their competition doesn't, and so they loose out on other markets -- the cross-platform market as well as the Mac-market. That isn't smart business. And why dismiss the #2 OS?!?



If companies ignore (or place a half-hearted effort into) the #2 OS, and the #1 UNIX OS, (which happens to be the fastest growing and evolving OS (UNIX OS), then they are not exactly being wise or planning for the future. - Dave K. Every


Remember, the tools are the platform. If they don't support *my* platform (tools), then they are not supporting *me* (as I would like). This means that they will either drive me and other customers to competing products (and as you know it's 10 times harder to get someone back once they've learned something else), or they will be telling me that my concerns don't matter to them (generating bad will). Neither is good business. So it is... "Yet another platform" that is bigger than all but Windows (and has a few million seats). - DKE

Eh, let's ignore it.

--
Ed

fxgeek
03-24-2004, 04:56 PM
I would estimate that it's about 70 - 30 Thats just a guess based on other Pro companies stated platform breakdown. I could be wrong.

fxgeek
03-24-2004, 05:05 PM
How are Mac-based sales supposed to increase if *developers* like NT continue to neglect the platform, and instead go for what seems to be the cash cow?


How can you reach the conclusion that NewTek are neglecting the platform when they have publically stated that they are expanding their mac development efforts including a complete change of their development environment to modernise the code.

Ed M.
03-24-2004, 05:23 PM
fxgeek...

I think your question was best answered in Ted's (eblu's) posts. I don't think it can be made much more clear. The fact still remains... This effort should have been put forth YEARS ago, Unless NT has been living under a rock. OS X is the future and it's RIGHT NOW. Oh, and has anyone caught this:

http://www.apple.com/acg/xgrid/

That's what I call making progress ;)

--
Ed

KouunnoHito
03-24-2004, 09:57 PM
Well I personally both lightwave with every intention to go to the mac version once I pick up a mac. If newtek feels ok about putting out a piss poor port for the mac instead or a truly mac version of Lightwave fine. Then I will make the move elsewhere for my 3d modeling and animation needs. Their really isn't a excuse for newtek if they offer a Mac version then it should be up to par with all other offerings, otherwise stop selling the mac version and wasting everyone's time! I am new to Lightwave and think it's a great product however in choosing lightwave it came down to 2 products Cinema4d and lightwave. If newtek feels Mac os is a waste of time then I'll simply drop newtek and go with Cinema4d. So after lw8 and maybe a small update if the mac problems greatly disappear then I'm staying, otherwise I'm selling LW and picking up Cinema4d.

EchoStation3TA
03-25-2004, 09:34 AM
This has been a great thread. I see a lot of rational thought both for suggestions of betterment and outlining of problems.

I have a lot riding on this. I've used Carrara, which I don't find intuitive at all, or easy to use. I don't want to use Maya because the learning curve is more like a learning cliff. I have a lot riding on Lightwave being a competent 3D app, not only in terms of what you can do with it, but bieng essentially bug free.

Seeing things like a 5 month issue with the GE bothers me. It's not that people are complaining about missing features, rather they are asking for existing features and interfaces to work.

I'm just starting an animation project that will take years to complete, but it's a lifelong dream. I'm looking for the best platform and Macwise, it seems to be Lightwave.

And no, I don't want to run out and by BOXX or a PC. I chose Mac for my own reasons, and that of my company. I hope Newtek sees this thread as positive.

Developing for the Mac doesn't mean you take away from the PC seats. It means more people with Macs might buy it.

Thanks for all the insight from everyone though.

Rich

eblu
03-25-2004, 07:58 PM
Originally posted by fxgeek
How can you reach the conclusion that NewTek are neglecting the platform when they have publically stated that they are expanding their mac development efforts including a complete change of their development environment to modernise the code.

fxgeek,
I see that marketing as pure double talk. They should have said: "we're rebuilding our mac development team because we tried to force everyone to move to texas, and the mac guys said no, we're also reeling from that loss because those particular guys were a significant part of the team that made the 6.0, and 6.5 versions of Lw what they were." Newtek in a "money saving move" terminated its relationship with many of the high profile LW programmers, and tried to get by without anyone for a while.

This "aggressive" move was necessitated by a vacuum, one that was created by the debilitating bugs that have plagued LW since version 7. while I am very happy to see Newtek do SOMETHING Its a pure game of catch up.

The part that burns me up, is that cost cutting, and playing catch up would not have been necessary if they had only got the design right. Proper design, for all of the platforms, gives you unambiguously easy to manage, easy to port, and easy to fix, code.

Newtek doesn't think like a multi platform company, they don't design that way, and so they need to hire Mac-centric programmers, they need to pay someone else to have LW ported to unix (way back when), they need to evaluate for 5 months whether or not they will fix a bug. Newtek is a one platform company, that just happens to port one product to the mac.


I am not asking to have special treatment, I am not asking to be singled out with my Mac-using-comrades, I think That that has already happened. they obviously have this "mac issue" well in hand, and have a "Mac-only" solution in place. Not... a... good... thing... you know what happens when you put a coat of paint on wall that happens to be crumbling? you get freshly painted bits of wall. I would like to see that Not happen in this instance.

oy yay! the sky is falling! (just thought I'd do something to deserve the "doom and gloom" label :) )