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Kurtis
09-28-2005, 07:23 PM
Dear LightWave Users,

SIGGRAPH was a very exciting show for LightWave and NewTek. As you may know, we introduced two new products at SIGGRAPH this year: LightWave 8.5, a free update for previous LightWave 8.x customers; and we previewed LightWave 9.0. We also lowered the MSRP of LightWave from $1595 to $795, taking LightWave back to it roots as the most powerful and affordable professional 3D application on the market.

The response we received from all of these announcements was, to put it bluntly, incredible! I can't tell you how the LightWave development team felt upon such a wonderful reception, not just the recognition for their very hard work, but also for the many changes that NewTek has put in place to make LightWave the most versatile and powerful 3D app on the planet. All of us at NewTek are gratified that you have given us your loyalty and attention. We know we have been given an awesome responsibility of shepherding LightWave into a new era, and, based upon your reactions; most of you think we are headed in the right direction. To simply say "thank you" just doesn't seem enough, but "thank you" it is.

I wanted to take this opportunity to let you know how things are going. We are just finishing the final beta testing for LightWave 8.5. In addition to new features such as Open GL shading in Layout, improved performance and precision in dynamics and particles and, of course, LightWave 64, included for free, we have continued in our quest to improve workflow and stomp out irritating bugs. We should have LightWave 8.5 ready to roll shortly after you read this.

For our Mac users, many of you have asked why some of the improvements in the Windows version are not also in the Mac version of LightWave, such as support of OpenGL 2.0 and 64-bit. Let's take each feature separately. In the case of the 64-bit port, LightWave needs to run in either a completely 64-bit or completely 32-bit environment, as most applications do. Apple has for the initial OS generations for Mac 64-bit processor systems implemented only core operations in 64-bit, leaving the graphic user interface in 32-bit space. Like most other applications, LightWave cannot work this way, for the reasons mentioned above. Once Apple implements a completely 64-bit version of the OS, then we can conclude our implementation.

OpenGL 2.0 support for the Mac requires updates to the graphics card drivers, and as Apple has yet to implement the OpenGL 2.0 specification, LightWave for the Mac will not be able to take advantage of those features. We sincerely regret this, but please rest assured that we communicate regularly with our contacts at Apple regarding these and all other issues that affect our development on the Mac platform. Our sense is that Apple is doing their best to properly prioritize and address such issues, and that they do take into account the feedback that they receive from customers as well as from developers.

Work has also progressed on LightWave 9.0, and we have several new additions to the development team that have really helped to round out our abilities. In fact, we just concluded a team meeting at our headquarters in San Antonio, and everyone on the team from all over the world came and worked side by side, with some meeting face-to-face for the first time. I have never seen a more excited group of engineers, all of them eager to work together to make LightWave shine. Each revision that this team creates gets LightWave that much closer to being the ultimate 3D app. Thats not to say we don't have a lot of work to do you, more than anyone, know that. But, rest assured, that work is being done by a very talented and driven group of people. Should you have any doubts about that, just look at the release schedule, and the quality of releases, that we have produced this year... and the year is not over yet. :)

Very soon, we will begin the beta cycle on LightWave 9.0 in earnest. We were able to release a "sneek peek" to our beta team just prior to SIGGRAPH, and that got many excited. They are all chomping at the bit to start putting LightWave 9.0 through its paces. The sum of the changes in version 9.0 constitute a profoundly new LightWave 3D. This was the reaction of some key users that we made acquainted with these developments, including Ron Thornton, who was our guest at a recent development team meeting in San Antonio.

The list of features that we revealed at SIGGRAPH is not exhaustive. There's even more very cool stuff we didnt show at SIGGRAPH that will be in LightWave 9.0. This revision will touch on virtually every aspect of LightWave and affect how every user works. It will change the way you use LightWave, making it simpler, more powerful, and faster. But it will still be the LightWave that you know and love, and won't take you very long to get up to speed. If you have seen any recent screen captures, you will see that we haven't changed that much of the user interface, though in all fairness, we are still working on workflow optimizations, and likely will be until the last possible moment.

We are also totally revamping the LightWave documentation and help system, and giving it a workflow-based approach, as opposed to the menu and control approach of previous releases. We think that this will help you to find answers more quickly, and make it easier for new LightWave users to get up to speed.

Last but not least, I want to remind you of our latest promotions: if you purchase a new license of LightWave from August 1, 2005 until the time we ship LightWave 9.0 (projected 4th quarter 2005), it will come bundled with a license of Vue 5 Infinite, the incredible landscape generation program from e-on software (retail value of $595) and will include a free upgrade to LightWave 9.0, all for the price of $795! PC and Mac LightWave users with v7.5 or earlier may also take advantage of a LightWave upgrade special for as low as $395, and will get Vue 5 Infinite bundled with the upgrade and receive a free upgrade to v9.0; LightWave [8] owners may also purchase an upgrade to v9.0 bundled with Vue 5 Infinite and receive their copy of Vue 5 today. As NewTek's CEO Jim Plant likes to say, "Those are the best deals in 3D!" And he's right.

Best regards,

Jay Roth
President, 3D Division

DragonFist
09-28-2005, 07:42 PM
WooHoo! :dance: :thumbsup: :D :bowdown: :heart: :boogiedow :beerchug: :rock: :bowdown:

pixym
09-28-2005, 07:45 PM
Let's stay tuned to LW evolution ;)

connerh
09-28-2005, 08:13 PM
Very nice, glad to hear LW is still planned for Q4. I'm really looking forward to both 8.5 and 9 (well... 9 moreso seeing as how I already bought the upgrade, but 8.5 will give me something to start teething on).

operation
09-28-2005, 08:46 PM
I wish to read more posts from developement team: It's good to know what's going on.

I want from them to be more involved in the forum. Is it too much asking ?

Can you udpate the road map posted during the Siggraph, this way will be able to focus our features requests as we did when we have seen the 8.5 and 9.0 previews?

spigolo
09-29-2005, 01:05 AM
I'm very happy to read and see that Newtek has changed the way to communicate with their audience!
Being informed about the developement and future plans is very incouraging for people like us who have invested in Lightwave most of their work chanche.
It makes you feel followed by a partner.
I hope the the workflow enanchements will be a key goal for the lightwave developement team and that lightwave will become again the leader application in 3d.

Please go on like that!!!!!!!!!!!!!

starbase1
09-29-2005, 03:44 AM
Thanks for bringing the buzz and excitement back to LW! And I hope that your avatar image is not indicative of what the developemnt schedule has done to you! :thumbsup: :D

MooseDog
09-29-2005, 03:57 AM
I'm very happy to read and see that Newtek has changed the way to communicate with their audience! Being informed about the developement and future plans is very incouraging for people like us who have invested in Lightwave most of their work chanche.
It makes you feel followed by a partner.

seconded :agree: , thank you jay :thumbsup:

colkai
09-29-2005, 05:13 AM
I wish to read more posts from developement team: It's good to know what's going on.
I want from them to be more involved in the forum. Is it too much asking ?
Lemme see? They are in Beta testing for LW8.5 they are producing LW9 and enhancing it, in order to get it out for us.
Yup, I'd say it is too much to ask.
The more time they spend explaining what they are doing and where they are going, the less time they have to work. On top of which, history having a habit of repeating itself and all, I'd wager they'd get no reward and plenty of grief if what they said didn't sit well with some people.
For me, let the dev team stick to developing, leave it to the "public face" to give us the heads up on how things are progressing. Just indeed, as Jay has done here. :)

richgrafx
09-29-2005, 05:21 AM
Thanks for the update. I wish there were periodic updates just to keep the user base excited. Just this small bit of info has made me want to pull out my wallet and pay for the upgrade.

Emmanuel
09-29-2005, 06:29 AM
I agree with colkai 100%.
A programmer rarely explains things so that I can understand it :)

Tiger
09-29-2005, 11:38 AM
Nice reading...very inspiring :)
Just received Vue 5 Infinte :D
:lightwave

lardbros
09-29-2005, 01:04 PM
The reason the response to Lightwave at this years Siggraph was so "incredible" is because the work that Newtek has pulled off for 8.5 and 9, even more so, is simply breathtaking. I read through the feature list of 9 again (for the 20th time) and every single feature is just a HUGE leap forward for LW... Jay and the team, if you were down my local pub... It's my round again guys! :beerchug:

Rabbitroo
09-29-2005, 09:29 PM
I'm only looking forward to [9] at this point. Disappointing that OGL performance doesn't look like it's going to improve (OGL 2.0 not withstanding) until the [9] release when most of the core routines can be upgraded.

-K

operation
09-29-2005, 11:42 PM
to Colkai / Emmanuel:

Newtek is not any more in one situation of confience. Newtek must make more efforts to keep its users.

This is why it is necessary to communicate to reassure the users (to not migrate).

The marketing speeches are not enough any more. Customers are waiting and asking more from Nt (for some reasons : everyone has his own personal reasons).

I invested in LW (like some Studios or freelancer),It cost money (I use it on a purely professionel basis - not an hobby for me) and I cannot allow investment without knowing what's going on.

Newtek did understand! why think you that Jay Roth posted this newsletter?

As you can read it people are satisfied to have news.

I can understand that it is not interesting for you, but when this software is a working tool which is a master piece in your pipeline. It is very important to be informed.

Don't forget that CGI is an industry. There are other tool on the market: Newtek.

Since the departure of the old dev. team, Newtek did understand a lot.
Communication is one of them !

The confience returns, it is necessary to continue. I do not ask Nt to post the LW's sourcecode.

But the broad outline, I need to know if LW will be able to fulfill the requirements of my customers.

Lightwave cannot do everything, I am obliged to use other softwares, but I remain faithful and tries to advance the software.

There is no aggressiveness in my post, just an explanation. :)
Read other posts, customers are happy to have those kind of news ;)

T-Light
09-29-2005, 11:55 PM
Colkai-

For me, let the dev team stick to developing, leave it to the "public face" to give us the heads up on how things are progressing. Just indeed, as Jay has done here.:)
Well said Sir.

Have to say I'm chuffed to bits at Jay's piece, can't believe we're only at the last day of the third quarter and 9.0 is almost in beta. Amazing :D

Keep up the good work guys. :thumbsup:

colkai
09-30-2005, 03:02 AM
to Colkai / Emmanuel:

Newtek is not any more in one situation of confience. Newtek must make more efforts to keep its users.
Yes, but your asking the developers to keep us informed, that I think is both unrealistic and to be honest, kinda pointless.
Let me explain.
I am, and have been since 1977, a software engineer / developer, I can tell you precisely what I am doing and what I have done, however, I am likely to tell you this (as Emmanuel pointed out) in such as a fashion as to be 100% correct, but with very little use. Why? because I am a developer, I see logic flow, I see file interconnection, I see user validation, you get the picture?
For example, I have a piece of code, I know what files are updated, what it expects as input, but when a user asks a question, I am probably the last person you'd want to anwser it.
e.g. USER: "so, If I input XYZ, does this mean I can get the ODPM figures for the FDR1 out to the stations for cover strength analysis?"
ME: "err... well, it updateds CILFDR and the GRPLV file, but only if X is 1 or 2, is that any help?"

You see, just because you write the code, does not mean you understand the manual procedure in which this is used, nor can you assume the user will work in the program how you expect. We've had some very stange user ideas in the past, some have led to "features" in the code we didn't know existed, others have led to spectacular crashes.
This is the nature of software development, this is the nature of seeing the logic. I don't NEED to know how it all works as a whole, my only concern is that my chunk of logic behaves as expected, within coding criteria and according to spec.

So, to cut a long story short, give me a reply from someone seeing the overview, such as Jay or Chuck, something I can relate to as a user. Of course, I'd be fascinated to here the techhie side of things 'cause I'm that way inclined, but will it help me understand what features I can enjoy, doubt it.

MonroePoteet
09-30-2005, 10:25 AM
Newtek is not any more in one situation of confience. Newtek must make more efforts to keep its users.

This is why it is necessary to communicate to reassure the users (to not migrate).

The marketing speeches are not enough any more. Customers are waiting and asking more from Nt (for some reasons : everyone has his own personal reasons).

I invested in LW (like some Studios or freelancer),It cost money (I use it on a purely professionel basis - not an hobby for me) and I cannot allow investment without knowing what's going on.

Newtek did understand! why think you that Jay Roth posted this newsletter?

As you can read it people are satisfied to have news.

I can understand that it is not interesting for you, but when this software is a working tool which is a master piece in your pipeline. It is very important to be informed.

Don't forget that CGI is an industry. There are other tool on the market: Newtek.

Since the departure of the old dev. team, Newtek did understand a lot.
Communication is one of them !

The confience returns, it is necessary to continue. I do not ask Nt to post the LW's sourcecode.

But the broad outline, I need to know if LW will be able to fulfill the requirements of my customers.

Lightwave cannot do everything, I am obliged to use other softwares, but I remain faithful and tries to advance the software.

There is no aggressiveness in my post, just an explanation. :)
Read other posts, customers are happy to have those kind of news ;)

operation:

I would appreciate it if you would stop trying to set yourself up as the spokesperson for the entire user community.

You say: "Newtek must make more efforts to keep its users" when you SHOULD say "Newtek must make more efforts to keep me as a user."

You say: "This is why it is necessary to communicate to reassure the users (to not migrate)" when you SHOULD say "This is why it is necessary to communicate to reassure me (to not migrate)."

You say: "Customers are waiting and asking more from Nt" when you SHOULD say "I am waiting and asking more from Nt."

Note the difference in each case. You are only stating YOUR opinions, but you make it sound like you represent the entire user community. Whether intentional or not, please stop trying to use the political clout of the entire user community to further your purposes and leverage your expectations.

You're certainly welcome to state your opinion, but it's only YOUR opinion. I'm just as much of a "user" and a "customer" as you are, and I don't accept you as my spokesperson.

mTp

P.S. Oh, by the way, Newtek knows there's competition. Please give them a LITTLE credit for intelligence!

Jim_C
09-30-2005, 10:35 AM
Any chance we could get a nice statement/roadmap/guide posts/heads up from programmers, marketing, custodial staff, anybody.. over on the VT side?
re: VT->HD/HDV

Just wondering....

Thanks
Jim

hrgiger
09-30-2005, 10:57 AM
Thank you MonroePoteet. I wanted to say something similar but picking out my socks for the day seemed more interesting then making the same old tired argument. It's the same old tired doom and gloom bit. Strange, considering that Lightwave, and more specifically, the effort from Newtek, has not looked this good in the last two to three years.

MonroePoteet
09-30-2005, 11:59 AM
hrgiger: you bet, thanks for the support.

mTp

byte_fx
09-30-2005, 12:29 PM
Less than twelve hours (CDT) left in Q3 and still no 8.5 upgrade patch - just more rhetoric about it's pending release.

Newtak makes great products but I'm fed up with their bogus statements regarding release schedules.

I'll believe 8.5/9.0 exist when they're actually shipping.

byte_fx

lardbros
09-30-2005, 01:01 PM
Come on... it's not the end of the world is it! If it's a day or a week late atleast it will be a day/week more stable. It doesn't bother me. I am looking forward to it, but would rather Newtek miss a release date by a few days than release something right on the hour they say they will, but it be less than perfect.

UnCommonGrafx
09-30-2005, 01:05 PM
I almost fell over when I read this a third time. Great use of dry wit.
{I sure hope I got it.}

Brilliance in simplicity.



Less than twelve hours (CDT) left in Q3 and still no 8.5 upgrade patch - just more rhetoric about it's pending release.

Newtak makes great products but I'm fed up with their bogus statements regarding release schedules.

I'll believe 8.5/9.0 exist when they're actually shipping.

byte_fx

starbase1
09-30-2005, 01:32 PM
I guess you have never worked in software development - it's simply not possible to timetable bug fixing. If they miss by a week or two that no big deal if its stable and packed with goodies when it arrives. It's not like you are even expected to PAY for this release!

But this kind of whining really can do damage. Because the only way to avoid this kind of situaion is not to give target dates, or feature lists.

I really feel sorry for these guys, they are pestered and pestered for whats coming when, and when they give their best shot, they get hammered... Before they have even missed the date...



Less than twelve hours (CDT) left in Q3 and still no 8.5 upgrade patch - just more rhetoric about it's pending release.

Newtak makes great products but I'm fed up with their bogus statements regarding release schedules.

I'll believe 8.5/9.0 exist when they're actually shipping.

byte_fx

colkai
09-30-2005, 01:45 PM
Abso-fraggin-lutely Starbase, couldn't of said it better. :)
I am not expecting to see LW8.5 in the next 7 days, never mind 7 hours. Bug testing is, well, a total PITA. So it will arive when it arrives, if that is earlier than I expect it to, well... Shiny! :D

kcole
09-30-2005, 01:58 PM
I guess you have never worked in software development - it's simply not possible to timetable bug fixing.
Actually, it is possible. There's an entire branch in the software industry that makes release dates regularly, year after year - tax software. As someone who has worked many years in software development for major tax software companies, I can tell you with certainty that it is possible to make solid, stable, critical-bug-free software, on time, on budget, and with great regularity. It takes a great deal of rigor and restraint, from the development team, but most especially from the business management team. That, and many, many sleepless nights. :D

That being said, when release date slippage is allowable, it is sometimes the right choice. It just irkes me how release date slip is the default these days. NewTek is by no means alone in this.

mkiii
09-30-2005, 02:03 PM
Colkai
LOL.... but I'll bet that it ain't stopping you checking the DL page every 5 minutes tho' matey :p


..'cos it ain't stopped me, and I do work in a software dev team.

Chuck
09-30-2005, 02:07 PM
Doesn't look like we'll be able to put it up today, folks. We're still completing the final testing.

hrgiger
09-30-2005, 02:08 PM
Is this the pre-final testing or the final final testing?

kcole
09-30-2005, 02:09 PM
Great news, Chuck! (No sarcasm intended)

Sounds like you're quite close, which raises my hopes for a new toy next week. :santa:

Plus, it saves wear-and-tear on my F5 key for the day. :)

starbase1
09-30-2005, 02:40 PM
Well, lets just be glad we aren't talking about Microsoft products then - despite all their resources they have been known to miss release dates by years... And still release with more bugs than a jumbo bumper fun pack of termite mounds...


Actually, it is possible. There's an entire branch in the software industry that makes release dates regularly, year after year - tax software. As someone who has worked many years in software development for major tax software companies, I can tell you with certainty that it is possible to make solid, stable, critical-bug-free software, on time, on budget, and with great regularity. It takes a great deal of rigor and restraint, from the development team, but most especially from the business management team. That, and many, many sleepless nights. :D

That being said, when release date slippage is allowable, it is sometimes the right choice. It just irkes me how release date slip is the default these days. NewTek is by no means alone in this.

kcole
09-30-2005, 02:43 PM
Good point. In fact, Microsoft's foray into tax software was (insert shocked gasp here) quite late to release. They only lasted one year.

toby
10-02-2005, 03:37 AM
Actually, it is possible. There's an entire branch in the software industry that makes release dates regularly, year after year - tax software. As someone who has worked many years in software development for major tax software companies, I can tell you with certainty that it is possible to make solid, stable, critical-bug-free software, on time, on budget, and with great regularity. It takes a great deal of rigor and restraint, from the development team, but most especially from the business management team. That, and many, many sleepless nights. :D

That being said, when release date slippage is allowable, it is sometimes the right choice. It just irkes me how release date slip is the default these days. NewTek is by no means alone in this.

Isn't tax software like 10 times simpler than 3D software? And a much higher profit margin I'll bet too -

byte_fx
10-02-2005, 05:20 AM
I guess you have never worked in software development - it's simply not possible to timetable bug fixing. If they miss by a week or two that no bigTo those of you that mentioned the difficulty of deal if its stable and packed with goodies when it arrives. It's not like you are even expected to PAY for this release!


Actually I have worked on software development - for Lightwave among others.

Mainly adapting and tweaking LW 4.0z to work like LW 5.6 minus the bugs and oddities. It was done because 5.6 was pretty much hosed and the mods to 4.0 made a much more usable and stable package.

It certainly is difficult to predict how long a project will take and NT's upgrades tend to be expanded enroute to completion - which is good.

So why does NT continue making promises on release dates? Like I said - just keep us informed of planned changes but don't give any release dates until it's been locked down and they're just waiting for the cd's to be produced.

byte_fx

kcole
10-02-2005, 08:21 AM
Isn't tax software like 10 times simpler than 3D software? And a much higher profit margin I'll bet too -
You'd be surprised. It really depends on how deep the software is. Software that's used in professional offices is generally more complex than that sold on the shelf in Best Buy. I've worked on both.

How do you define complexity? In my most recent company (let's just call them a really big tax company), the main tax engine was quite a large project. Lines of code? Several million. Number of programmers? Well over 100.

As I said before though, if your business allows, sometimes pushing the release date is the right thing to do. However, blanket statements amounting to "it's impossible to ship software on time" are patently false. It boils down to asking how badly you need to make that release date versus all the other factors. Since tax software development knows they MUST release on time, decisions are made early to cut any feature which places any doubt into the release schedule. Of course, if NewTek made similar choices, they would be so far behind their competition in features, we'd all be using Maya.

hrgiger
10-02-2005, 10:57 AM
You'd be surprised. It really depends on how deep the software is.

It's more than just the amount of coding. You have to consider the math and the methods as well. I'm sure that the tax software is not using linear algegra, BSP trees, trigonometry, and matrices to solve problems.

kcole
10-02-2005, 11:07 AM
Again, you'd be surprised. Just as not all of 3D software coding is higher level math, not all tax software logic is "Line 14 = Line 13 + Line 12". :) That's not really the point though, as (speaking generally) the things that hold up software releases are rarely related to the core logic designed by the team's PHDs.

I've striven to ensure my comments aren't misinterpreted as a jab against NewTek, saying very clearly that moving release dates is sometimes the best option, and noting that the market for 3D software is focused more on innovation rather than hardened release dates. LightWave is an excellent product, and their product team has shown a high level of competence and sound judgement for releases (especially of late). I trust that they're again making decisions on release dates with the benefit to users foremost.

Gui Lo
10-02-2005, 11:58 AM
I agree with byte_fx. Another upgrade and its features are enough for most users. Giving features for LW9 and setting upgrade deals and purchase deals tells us that NT expects it to be released soon.

A messege saying that its gone to gold disk or the file will go onto the server in a few days is sufficent.

Not to be snotty and I do appreciate a solid app but the release dates given so far have been kinda meaningless and i'd rather not have them.

toby
10-02-2005, 01:37 PM
I've striven to ensure my comments aren't misinterpreted as a jab against NewTek, saying very clearly that moving release dates is sometimes the best option, and noting that the market for 3D software is focused more on innovation rather than hardened release dates. LightWave is an excellent product, and their product team has shown a high level of competence and sound judgement for releases (especially of late). I trust that they're again making decisions on release dates with the benefit to users foremost.
Not accusing you of attacking, I just think it's an improper comparison - in addition to having a dozen different program types under one app (rendering, Lscript, plugin integration, volumetrics, IK, particles, surface editor, object deformation, image processing, OpenGL, etc.) that are all expected to work together perfectly, 3D apps are used for countless different tasks: architectural, character animation, print, TV, games etc., and are expected to be able to re-create anything in the universe, plus anything the human mind can dream up!

And we've both alluded to the probability that NT has far fewer programmers ~

kcole
10-02-2005, 02:06 PM
Having far fewer programmers is not inherently an advantage or disadvantage for making release dates. Siting the specific complexities of a 3D app to show greater complexity than a tax app is like saying blue whales can't possibly be large animals because they don't have four legs and a trunk. Assuming tax software has one use - 'doing taxes' is like saying 3D software has one use - 'doing 3D'.

Complexity is there in both cases, else there would be no need for so many programmers and so many, many lines of complex code. Tax applications must interface with a myriad of systems, many of which are designed and written by separate companies. Have you seen the tax code our wonderful congressmen "simplify" nearly yearly?

My bottom line is that there are no inherent advantages to tax software development which magically allow them to make release dates when other industries don't. It's necessity, pure and simple. They make sacrifices to hit their release dates because they have to, no other reason. Thank God the 3D industry doesn't have the same constraint, else we'd all still be designing for Povray in a text file edited with edlin. :)

MonroePoteet
10-02-2005, 07:02 PM
My bottom line is that there are no inherent advantages to tax software development which magically allow them to make release dates when other industries don't.

Sorry, but there is. Tax code is written for humans by humans. Tax requirements must be "set in stone" in a timely manner to allow people to manually fill out their tax forms by April 15th, and even late revisions are well defined and clearly communicated. Tax applications are basically a big spreadsheet with some "wizard" style walkthrough interfaces, no more. The algorithms are linear, the math is simple, the relationships are well defined. No one needs to know calculus to fill out their tax forms (yet!).

On the other hand, 3D applications try to realistically simulate the physics of our universe, which consists of innumerable non-linear, polynomial, non-deterministic algorithms operating simultaneously in realtime on an infinite multiprocessor.

Just *slightly* more complex than filling in the blanks on a Schedule D. It's like comparing a child's tricycle to an aircraft carrier.

mTp

toby
10-02-2005, 07:47 PM
I really think you're trying to compare apples to oranges here. They are completely different kinds of software in different industries.

kcole
10-02-2005, 08:04 PM
Tax requirements must be "set in stone" in a timely manner to allow people to manually fill out their tax forms by April 15th, and even late revisions are well defined and clearly communicated. Tax applications are basically a big spreadsheet with some "wizard" style walkthrough interfaces, no more. The algorithms are linear, the math is simple, the relationships are well defined.

All I can say is you really don't know much about tax software. Really, if you're interested in the deeper sections of tax logic, you can spend several years becoming an enrolled agent, and then come back to me saying that they're still 'filling in the blanks'. To say that regulations are written ahead of time and delivered in clear form is quite funny to someone with experience in this. :) In fact, much of tax logic is interpretation, not following instructions.

I've seen a raytracer written in a few hundred lines of code and running in Flash. Does that make Lightwave simple? No, not hardly. And just because a single taxpayer can fill out their 1040EZ over the phone doesn't make tax software simple either.

The effort of maintaining several million lines of code and managing over 100 developers is no less trivial than writing a 3D renderer. However, complexity is not the key factor in on-time releases. Is Duke Nukem Forever a vastly more complex game than Halo 2? No. Yet one is released and the other vapor.

I'll grant you that 3D software has some specific complexities that define the category, but 3D software is not the only software that misses release dates. Operating systems, games, spreadsheets, utilities, video editing, etc - they all suffer from the same fate. What's more likely? Every single software category is "more complex" than tax software? Or, tax software has a hard date and so MUST ship on time?

Let's just agree to disagree and all look forward to a smooth 8.5.

MonroePoteet
10-02-2005, 09:33 PM
I apologize for belittling tax software. I have no right to judge something with which I'm not intimately familiar.

BTW, I'm not sure I agree that tax software hits a "hard date". The software I used last year had an automatic update feature which checked the Internet for updates, correction and revisions. If I remember correctly, it downloaded an update on April 13th (OK, OK, so I'm a procrastinator when it comes to taxes!). So, although it had been "shipped" months earlier, it wasn't actually done yet. Automatic update methods allow sliding the release date without the associated bad press. I guess the "hard date" was when I pressed SUBMIT for E-filing.

mTp

kcole
10-02-2005, 09:48 PM
No apology needed! When I took my first job at a tax software company and looked at the size of the team, I thought they were nuts. :)

There are several hard dates for the software, the first of which is the initial ship to retail (for box products), and the initial "peak" software for professional outlets. I've worked in several different industries doing software engineering and development. The standard mantra holds true accross them all - you can have your software feature-rich, stable, or on time - pick any two. When it comes to LightWave, I'll take the first two any day. :thumbsup:

starbase1
10-03-2005, 07:21 AM
Yes, thanks kcole for the explanations, your points are well made.

I have worked as a programmer in a bank, and for consumer software. The finance applications tend to benefit from much more clearly defined requirements. (Which are shared mostly, even by competitor organisations). If you are working on a CHAPS system or a SWIFT system there is negligible room for manoevre in the functionality of the core, (though plenty of room in the management and interface side).

In order to meet the deadlines in places I have worked for financial software you typically end up with a minimum of 3 months slack built into the schedule, and new features are fiercely resisted.

The business community are also fiercely conservative. We still have several hundred customers using 286 PC's running DOS over 300 baud accoustic couplers! They say it works and does what they want, so why change it? For international transfers telex lines are still the most popular method in some parts of the world - 75 baud!!!

At the cutting edge of graphics software innovation is seriously valued as the best way to get one up one the competition. And the result is that all the best graphics software is a bit of a mix and match, with things that work in completely different ways, (e.g. ray tracing, hypervoxels, 1 & 2 point polygons), all bodged together. I'm amazed it works as well as it does!

So we are all orking on the bleeding edge, and having great fun poing it! :D :D :D

belseth
12-16-2005, 06:36 PM
Hi. Given the fact the fourth quarter of 2005 is basically up when should we expect 9.0? I talked to a tech guy three months ago that indicated early december but that came and went with no word. There's several features I desperately need given Lightwave isn't compatible with several softwares I use at this point. The worst case being Zbrush. I hung on this long but I'm starting to have vaporware fears. I preordered Messiah but after three months of delays cancelled the order and never looked back, still haven't tried Messiah. I'm trying to hang on but Lightwave in many ways is starting to fall behind all the other packages. Most of what I'm waiting for has been availible for some time in other animators. I'm hoping for some fundemental changes in 9.0 because already Modo completely blows away the Lightwave modeller and even if I stick with Lightwave I doubt I'll use the modeller for anything other than rigging. We're starting a new series of half hour cartoons in January, already started in truth, and I committed to sticking with Lightwave since it was supposed to have the upgrade by now. Just wondering if I shot myself in the foot.

belseth
12-16-2005, 06:50 PM
A thanks from me as well. What concerns me is they seem to be falling seriously behind everyone else. Features I'm desperate for are availible and have been availible for some time in all the other major packages. I backed off on animation for several years and didn't upgrade my 6.5 until 8.0. What was most shocking was the learning curve wasn't bad at all. Hadn't really changed that much in two releases. There were features added but it was still fundimentally 6.0. I'm hoping for more of a ground up with 9.0 but that remains to be seen. There's days left in the quarter and Newtek is dead quiet so I'm starting to assume another delay in the release. This could be devastating to me. I really need better support for things thing sub pixel and 32 bit formats. The more a company plays it close to the vest the more I smell vaporware. Tell us it'll be another month so we can plan for it but don't keep saying the fourth quarter when we're nearly gearing up for the new years eve party.

lardbros
12-17-2005, 02:37 AM
But, surely it was a bit of an odd decision basing your production of animation on a new release of software?? Why make the first hurdle an almost impassable one? If you needed something that LW didn't offer at the time, then another program would have been the answer surely?

Anyway, it won't be dalayed more than a month in my opinion... and if it is, they will need to give us a reason!

LW9 isn't vapour-ware... it WILL appear, just a matter of when.

hrgiger
12-17-2005, 04:56 AM
Which is worse....Vaporware or basing business decisions that rely on what could turn out to be Vaporware? I would say the latter.

richgrafx
12-17-2005, 07:58 AM
speaking of good business decisions, i think it is time for a progress update from Mr. Roth

to delay software releases is common and understandable but to delay notifying customers of such delays is not good business

i hope i am wrong but this seems to be following the same pattern as the lw8 release

toma
12-20-2005, 02:54 PM
come on… did any of us seriously thought 9.0 could be released before march 2006 ? (I don't have any clue why march but it is the time frame that came to my mind when NT first said LW 9 will be out during the 4th quarter)

:D

toma who likes surprises…


edit :

Back in september I preordered two LW 9 upgrade anyway just in case it helps NT to stay on tracks… LW is the tool I use and even if it lacks several features I know it is still the most efficent tool for the job I do. But I use some spare time to roughly evaluate other packages and I have to say that it is Fprime and unlimited render node that makes me stick to LW…:chicken:

toma
12-20-2005, 03:47 PM
http://forums.newtek.com/discus/messages/2/38613.html?1044913090 :devil:

:goodluck:

(from the Newtek Forum, feb 2003)

awrieger
12-20-2005, 07:28 PM
http://forums.newtek.com/discus/messages/2/38613.html?1044913090 :devil:

:goodluck:

(from the Newtek Forum, feb 2003)

Lol. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

I like these two posts towards the end, the first by none other than Larry:


I sort of see Lightwaves roadmap like this:
LW7(Good) ----> LW7.5(Better) -----> LW8(Betterer)



"LW7(Good) ----> LW7.5(Better) -----> LW8(Betterer)"

nice one. at least it wasnt "betterest".

LW7(Good) ----> LW7.5(Better) -----> LW8(Betterer) -----> LW9(Betterest) ;)