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hrgiger
09-10-2006, 10:44 AM
Are the updates talked about at Siggraph (Modeler OGL improvements, new motion blur, etc...) going to come to us in an update, or will they be put in the public beta first? I guess I was a little unsure of how this continuing beta program was going to work, if it applied to point releases as well....

I know this is a bad question, but I don't suppose Newtek can give any idea of when those updates might show up, can they?

ufo3d
09-10-2006, 11:49 AM
pls release a bug fix version asap, the "modeler can't luanch" is dxmn annoying, someitmes it does not work even I delete the hub config file. -0 is a workaround, but I need tweaking objects between modeler and layout always

Phil
09-13-2006, 07:52 AM
From memory, the statement was that OB was to become the delivery system for LW updates in future. To be honest, I would have liked to have two parallel systems :

stable : 9.01
beta : 9.1

to be used. If you want stability, you pick up the 9.01 release and if you want shiny new features, and the resultant bugs, you grab 9.1. I don't think NT have the ability to cater to this at the moment, though. It would be nice to sidestep the potential minefield of OB without losing the (hopefully frequent and substantial) bug fixes.

More importantly, I'd like to see hotfixes restored for cases of major breakage. Rather than having to wait for the next full update, complete with shiny features, to be made available as 'beta' or 'stable', and then take a risk of having even more problems, just give me the bug fix as a hotfix for the current stable version and allow me to continue working.

This worked very well with breakage in LW 5.5, for example. Hotfixes were quite common and very much appreciated. For plugin issues, hotfixes would seem to be trivial. For the main program, I guess it depends on how well organised the code, and NewTek, are.

Kurtis
09-13-2006, 08:52 AM
Jay's announcement was that all releases will go through an open beta process before their official release. The update mentioned at SIGGRAPH is in internal beta now. It will be released to open beta when that process is through.

Kurtis
09-13-2006, 09:49 AM
We never said the new update would only be new features. As a matter of fact, I can't think of a single update, including v9(.0), that the new development team has done that has not included fixes. No one in this team has downtime. If they aren't working on a fix, they're working on expanding existing features or adding new ones.

Darth Mole
09-13-2006, 10:13 AM
I'm kind of in agreement. Yes, new features are lovely, but LW isn't short on 'features'. It's just that some of those features aren't used much because they're unstable or just downright broken.

I've said it elsewhere, but the most useful feature at this time would be rock-solid stability - which also includes working with third-party developers to make sure that their existing products work well with LW9. (I've just bought a plug-in for LW which is presently unusable becasue of changes in the SDK. So that's money well spent.)

I'm sure other will disgree, but I wouldn't want to add a whole new character animation system (for example) on a foundation which is still prone to crashes and lock-ups.

Perhaps a user-wide poll is in order?

blondimage
09-13-2006, 10:37 AM
I'm waiting for a render on fprime so come on, lets spice it up!

And what about fprime? HMMM?

Thomas M.
09-13-2006, 11:15 AM
Never mind fPrime. Bug fixes are much more important considering the current state of 9.0. Honestly I would appreciate if Kurtis could give us a clear statement about 9.0.1. New features, as much as I will love them, are absolutely uninteresting at the moment. CCs, nodal bugs and all the other stuff which is annoying or not working correctly cried out for an update 4 weeks ago. I'd love to see some movement here, instead of waiting for 9.1. It's hard to not be a whiner these days as much as one likes to keep it positive and optimistic.

Cheers
Tom-***

blondimage
09-13-2006, 11:29 AM
Little point in asking Kurtis.

If you 'whine' too much you get put down with a comment like "not many go on the forum, so where's the problem".

...er has my render finished yet?...

hrgiger
09-14-2006, 02:55 AM
Kurtis did not put anyone down on this thread.

What bothers me though is that Newtek announces things at Newtek like they are coming very soon to Lightwave and you have no clear idea of when they might happen. Like they announce, just so they can have something to announce. Last year, I believe it was 8.5 that Newtek said will be available right after Siggraph. I don't remember how long we had to wait for that one.

9.1 or whatever this update will be was announced and it sounded like these were improvements that were coming soon to Lightwave... They are still in internal beta, which means they will probably go through at least a couple months of regular beta which means these improvements won't be seen until what? Beginning of next year? But then we don't know because we don't know how long they will even be in internal.

Frankly, I'm tired of hearing about what I will have. Just give me a heads up a day or two before you actually release something. I know that the team is working hard and I'm thankful and I'm happy about the direction Lightwave is headed in. But I think that Newtek needs to rethink their promotional announcements.

Phil
09-14-2006, 03:50 AM
1) What would be good would be to have a 'roadmap to release' once the update hits internal beta. At least then we would have some idea of when it would hit OB. The internal-OB-release flow is.....fuzzy at the moment.

2) What is also fuzzy is how one can roll back to 9.0 if 9.1OB adds to, or otherwise alters, the config files. The last thing I want to face is a problem in OB and have no option for easily and quickly rolling back to 9.0 - LW should be looking after the config files not me! I don't want to have to screw around blowing away configs and rebuilding menu structures - in fact, it would be handy to have the customisations kept in a separate file outside LW9.CFG or LWM9.CFG so that they can be shared and managed more easily.

3) The advantage of the plugin model is that you can and should update plugins without needing a whole development cycle to take place: NewTek should be able to provide hotfixes for, say, Nodal without requiring a full update cycle.

I really, really hate the current situation, though, where a bug in a shipped plugin, no matter how easy it may be to fix, requires that everyone affected wait for an entire update cycle to get that fix (see PSD exporter for a good example). OB doesn't help with this at all, especially with no firm delivery date, and no allowance for bug severity.

I don't expect everything to be stable all the time, but I do want bug fixes to be made quickly, and out of cycle if needed. The modularity of LW should be helping this, but it isn't happening.

9.0 remains, overall, a fine upgrade. The support and maintenance side needs a little work, though.

Thomas M.
09-14-2006, 05:18 AM
Well, it's really hard not to loose one's face if you have to beg all time long for a bug fix. Annoying. Why does it take two month to release a bug fix if we did get 2-3 OBs per week? Only because it looks sad to the press and public if a company releases to many bug fixes after the release?

Phil
09-14-2006, 05:47 AM
It has been mentioned, that future OBs will have a seperate install procedure that safely installs them alongside your current version, with seperate configs. If this holds true, well, we'll know when the next OB hits us.

I don't recall that, but will be happy if it is true. I'll be even happier if the separate configs import the customisations from LW9 and then adapt around those ;)

Constantly recustomising things gets old quite quickly; OB for 9.0 was a bit of a grind at times due to this. WinMerge helps, but is no substitute for a less braindead approach to UI within LW itself :)

Kurtis
09-14-2006, 07:58 AM
It has been mentioned, that future OBs will have a seperate install procedure that safely installs them alongside your current version, with seperate configs. If this holds true, well, we'll know when the next OB hits us.

Maybe my faulty memory, but when was that announced? That would be true for full point versions, like 9.0 and 10.0, but I don't recall hearing anything like that about incremental updates.

Kurtis
09-14-2006, 07:59 AM
Kurtis: Any official :newtek: word on the issue of 9.01 fixes VS. the 9.1 fixes + new features (and possibly all new bugs, leaving us with yet another period of instability and broken tools) ?

I've brought this thread to the attention of management. I'm not in a position to say if it will happen in the future, but that won't happen at least for this first release. It's a little late in the process to go back and separate out all the code to do something like that.

T-Light
09-14-2006, 08:25 AM
Neverko -

Hmn, I might very well be wrong about the installer business, sorry if that's the case, I shall spank myself silly and have no beer tonight
I thought I'd read it too. Not going to those extremes though, no alcahol on a Thursday night???:thumbsdow That's taking punishment too far :D

Cheers Kurtis, good luck with getting this bad boy to us in as speedy manor as poss :thumbsup:

Kurtis
09-14-2006, 08:38 AM
For those that may be concerned about project compatibility issues between update versions and may not be familiar with the process, you can easily have multiple versions of LightWave on the same system, even if they are multiple versions of the same release cycle that have the same names for the config files. Do the following.

1) Install again, specifying a different folder during the process
2) Create new shortcuts to Layout and Modeler in the new "Programs" folder.
3) Open the properties panel for each shortcut and add " -c" (space minus c) and the path to where you want the new config files to reside on your hard drive to the end of the "Target" line, for example: " -cC:\LightWaveConfigs\v9.x".

Personally I keep several versions installed, and redirect all the configs to their own version-specific folder (as shown above), so I have them all separated but in the same location.

The real thing to be careful about when running multiple versions is that you only have one open at a time, and you manually close the Hub if you're going to switch versions. Having the Hub for one version (say [8]) still open when you launch another version (say v9) can cause some stability issues.

Thomas M.
09-14-2006, 08:51 AM
Well, if I understood Kurtis correctly there won't be a 9.0.1 update as after the release the main attention has been payed to 9.1 and the current code won't allow a bug fix as it's to advanced in terms of 9.1?

Could probably be the case that we won't see an update before November. Autsch!

P.S.: Thanks for passing this info forward to us and to pass this thread forward to your colleges, Kurtis. But isn't NT aware of all the issues folks out here are complaining about for month? It's not like anybody was moaning all the time, but the way the bug complaints section and the feedback from developers are working now is a bit disappointing towards users who post all the bugs they stumble upon.

Kurtis
09-14-2006, 09:40 AM
Little point in asking Kurtis.

If you 'whine' too much you get put down with a comment like "not many go on the forum, so where's the problem".

...er has my render finished yet?...

Not at all. I, and NewTek, don't dismiss people relating issues they are having just because they are on the forums. All I've asked is that people keep in mind that just because people are talking about an issue on the forums doesn't mean that all users are experiencing the same issue or even that all users on the forums are experiencing the same issue. It's human nature to assume that your experience reflects the experiences of everyone, but there are some that forget that this is not necessarily the case and take claims of how widespread an issue is to an unrealistic extreme because they see others in the forums discussing it.

NewTek takes all comments from our users seriously, but even if a number of people report experiencing an issue, we have to weigh that against how many registered users there are for LightWave, how many are experiencing the issues, and what other issues are affecting users and how many. There is a review process that happens several times a week about reports that come through the various forums (in addition to this one) and through [email protected] and [email protected] and figuring out the best way to prioritize them to be addressed.

Phil
09-14-2006, 09:46 AM
For those that may be concerned about project compatibility issues between update versions and may not be familiar with the process, you can easily have multiple versions of LightWave on the same system, even if they are multiple versions of the same release cycle that have the same names for the config files. Do the following.

1) Install again, specifying a different folder during the process
2) Create new shortcuts to Layout and Modeler in the new "Programs" folder.
3) Open the properties panel for each shortcut and add " -c" (space minus c) and the path to where you want the new config files to reside on your hard drive to the end of the "Target" line, for example: " -cC:\LightWaveConfigs\v9.x".

Personally I keep several versions installed, and redirect all the configs to their own version-specific folder (as shown above), so I have them all separated but in the same location.

The real thing to be careful about when running multiple versions is that you only have one open at a time, and you manually close the Hub if you're going to switch versions. Having the Hub for one version (say [8]) still open when you launch another version (say v9) can cause some stability issues.

The problem is that this still leaves you SOL when dealing with third party addons and customised interfaces. I don't know many people who leave the 'Additional' menu on the interface, for example. Most have purpose or alphanumeric sorting of the addons.

Keeping this up to date with new addons for 9.0 is tough enough, but when you start talking about the possibility of having 9.0, 9.1 and beyond all simultaneously installed, and possibly with separate config files, it gets rapidly beyond a joke.

What would be much more useful would be to have third party plugins and also UI customisations stored in specific files. In that way, you would have the same addons and customised UI for each of 9.0, 9.1, etc. with no effort at all. Customisations made in 9.0 would be shown in 9.1. This doesn't fix addons specific to 9.1 appearing in older releases (where they won't work), but at least gets rid of a lot of the irritation with the current system.

Kurtis
09-14-2006, 09:56 AM
Could probably be the case that we won't see an update before November. Autsch!

The open beta process will go on for each release until we reach a point that the majority of the feedback is that the product is ready, even if it means determining that some items will need to be held for a future release to avoid delaying the current release any longer. Once that happens the product will be officially made available to the public. There will likely be some cases where the process may go on for longer than expected, and there will likely be some cases where the process may not last long at all.

Keep in mind, everyone that is a registered owner of LightWave v9 will be able to access the Open Beta builds as soon as they are made available and they have consented to the terms of the Open Beta NDA. Those users are welcome to start using the new update immediately, or wait until the official release. It is completely up to the user.

Kurtis
09-14-2006, 09:58 AM
The problem is that this still leaves you SOL when dealing with third party addons and customised interfaces. I don't know many people who leave the 'Additional' menu on the interface, for example. Most have purpose or alphanumeric sorting of the addons.

Keeping this up to date with new addons for 9.0 is tough enough, but when you start talking about the possibility of having 9.0, 9.1 and beyond all simultaneously installed, and possibly with separate config files, it gets rapidly beyond a joke.

What would be much more useful would be to have third party plugins and also UI customisations stored in specific files. In that way, you would have the same addons and customised UI for each of 9.0, 9.1, etc. with no effort at all. Customisations made in 9.0 would be shown in 9.1. This doesn't fix addons specific to 9.1 appearing in older releases (where they won't work), but at least gets rid of a lot of the irritation with the current system.


Unfortunately, I can't provide a solution myself that works for everyone. All I can do is make a suggestion that may work for some for now. If you haven't already, please be sure to send your suggestions to [email protected]

Thomas M.
09-14-2006, 10:44 AM
Kurtis, please don't get me wrong. I don't want an OB for 9.1 (well, I do), I just want a stable 9.0(.1). As it looks right now the bug fixes for 9.0 won't be on their way until 9.1 arrives, either in OB or as a gold release. That's why I'm complaining. And from my point of view people having issues here aren't a minority, but reflect the state of LW in a pretty good way. How many users out there bought LW as hobbyists and never complain because they don't know where or never even run into problems because they don't use LW often?

Cheers
Thomas

Kurtis
09-14-2006, 11:04 AM
Not saying that every group reporting issues is a minority. Just responding to the generalization by blondimage. I don't even know if the issues being reported here are a minority or not, I'm not a part of that group. Just saying that those people have a better view from the top than anyone else.

As to the comment about hobbyists, this forum has approximately 64,500 members, and only 9 people (including myself) are participating in this thread, so I would guess that the number is probably similar to the number of people that are working professionally and just aren't affected by these issues in the work they do.

Not trying to downplay anyone's concerns. Issues you face are as serious to you as issues I face are serious to me. Just trying to give everyone some perspective as to what the dev team faces when prioritizing the progress of LightWave.

blondimage
09-14-2006, 11:52 AM
Hi Kurtis

I don't want ot carry this on for too much longer. But "the generalization by blondimage" was made because my observation of the response by you to users of fprime. Remember that recent fiasco? In the end all was resolved with a public joint statement, but earlier on in that thread.... was another story.

That's all Kurtis. I'm relatively neutral, but I do read some of the threads that concern me and NTs response.

Regards
Clinton

Kurtis
09-14-2006, 12:05 PM
I figured that was what you were referring to. And since you brought it up, I felt I should comment on it. There were a number of people commenting on it, but it was not a majority of users, or even a majority of the forum members as some were claiming. You'll notice I didn't shut down that thread (although I did close a redundant thread and asked everyone to keep the discussion to a single thread), and I didn't shut down this thread either.

The FPrime threads were not started until after NewTek had closed for the week. I was posting on my own time, and it was not my place to make a joint statement on behalf of NewTek and/or Worley, but NewTek recognized it as enough of a concern that we did discuss it and the CEO of NewTek made several posts on the topic over the weekend.

All I was asking there, and here, is that people keep in mind that a thread on the forums does not necessarily indicate the true extent of user affect on an issue in either direction. The Dev team will make their decisions based on overall feedback to NewTek, which is much greater than just what appears here.

I will stop commenting on the subject here, as it is hijacking the true nature of this particular thread. You are more than welcome to contact me directly if you would like to discuss it further.

blondimage
09-14-2006, 12:11 PM
No worries.