View Full Version : Serious issues with Quality Control

06-16-2003, 10:23 AM
Chuck, Deuce, et al:
I have been a loyal LW customer since 5.0. I have CDs or patches for 5.0, 5.5, 5.6, 5.6d, 6.0, 6.5, 7.5, 7.5b, and 7.5c

Although the advent of LW[6] was supposed to bring about feature parity between the core application (not 3rd party plug-ins, obviously) on both Macintosh and Windows platforms, I can safely say that this has not happened. I do not know whether this is a problem with your beta team, your development team, or your feature list, but the fact is that the current PC version of Lightwave works, and the Mac version doesn't.

7.5 was the last mostly functional version. 7.5b was a disaster, as we all remember. 7.5c was supposed to fix that and bring more feature parity, but managed instead to fix some things and break others. I understand that as a software developer you don't have the resources to test on every machine and OS combination. However, a number of the problems that exist in the various iterations of 7.5 exist in virtually every machine and OS combination, which points back to your QA department. You need to have your team test the full suite of BASIC functions before shipping a product. For example, the various commands for opening and saving from the File menu in Modeler should not cause a crash, but some of them do. This crash permeates many aspects of the LW extendability because it is an error with the core commands in LScript.

7.5c is not a functional update. Let me be clear about that. You need some basic training for your QA department, because they aren't making the grade. I spent $500 on 7.5, which didn't include tools IN THE MANUALS because of a well-known code loss. Do I have to spend another $500 on 8 to get a version of LightWave that includes the same functionality on Windows and Macintosh PCs? Do you think I will? I'm not so sure.

Let me suggest that you utilize the "update" feature in the installer, and fix some of the most outstanding issues with 7.5c before you start selling 8 to the Macintosh community. I personally am considering jumping ship after the last two rocky years with NewTek. I don't know if another product is any better, but I know where I stand here, and I don't like it.

06-16-2003, 10:58 AM
while my feelings are not as severe as mlinde's, I can be generally grouped in the same camp.

many of the industrial tools of mac LW are compromised by poor UI, bad implementation, a lack of understanding of the OS (the programming APIs etc...), bugs that are 10 + years old, miserable documentation, and I'm sorry to have to mention this... someone actually Losing the code.
These problems are being ignored to add even more features that dont work, I have to ask myself just how much is Newtek committed to shipping a product that actually resembles whats written on the box?
I am invested in LW, and it really frustrates me that Newtek IS NOT invested in LW.

companies live or die based upon the quality of their product. even though LW has in my opinion, the best renderer bar none, the compromises I must make, and the flawed, useless software I am faced with, is simply destroying the usability of LW.

06-16-2003, 01:25 PM
add another name to the list of "battered. weary and distrustful"
the only thing you can be sure of with a mac LW "upgrade" is
that productivity is gonna go into the can, and that there will be lotsa cursing
and swearing at high vol.

Newtek has persistantly practiced "Asleep at the wheel" mac programming for too long now. I know we are a small group compared to the PEECEE side , but either do it right, or quit doing it at all. there was a point, about the time of 7's release, that things were appearing to get better and there was hope, but all of the people behind it ran off to join the circus, and the spiral began its downward path again.

i "stopped" at 7.5 its the only version since 5.6 that "kinda worked" and i decided
it just isnt worth the trouble to go forward with newtek anymore, since to quote Mlinde "i know where i stand".

i am not the type to make official declarations, and i never thought anyone paid
attention to the mac side of this anyway, but i can tell you i do "vote" with my wallet, and as small as it might be, my $500 will be missed this time.
if i want to be treated like an idiot, i can just go to my mother-in-laws house, its free.


06-16-2003, 04:12 PM
we can always move to another package like maya who respect mac more, maybe apple will buy em out?

06-16-2003, 05:10 PM
LW7.5c was a right-off. I recommend that Mac users stick with LW7.5 for the time being.

I was very surprised that there was an OS9 version of LW7.5c. Newtek should drop OS9 support immediately to concentrate resources on OS X.

It's about a month to go until the Siggraph expo (late July). Maybe we'll be more informed by then... we get to see what Lightwave 8 will offer, and maybe also learn what the mysterious Luxology company is up to.

Is Luxology under contract to make the next version of Lightwave for Newtek?
Is Luxology making their own competing product?

I don't know the answers, but I think the next 2 months will reveal more.

06-16-2003, 05:15 PM
I'm aware of some 7.5b issues that were not present in 7.5a; but with 7.5c, so far as I have been able to determine reviewing postings here and on other forums and mailing lists and from what our test group can determine, there are no new bugs. Not every issue that originated in 7.5b was fixed, but nothing new was broken. If this is not the case, we certainly want to know about the specifics and would appreciate if those could be reported either here on the forums or to [email protected]

We are certainly reviewing our QA procedures, we've added a number of Mac beta testers in the wake of 7.5b, and we continue to recruit Mac testers and to review and revise our testing and QA procedures and practices. We are most certainly dedicated to continuing and to greatly improving our development of LightWave 3D on the Mac.

Please rest assured that we are most certainly not ignoring existing issues as we work on new features. We make every effort to address every reported problem, and if some have not yet been addressed, that does not mean we aren't working on it. One example is the case cited regarding the source code - it took a lot of time going through backup files now many years old, but we did in fact recover the source and compile the missing plugins for OSX.

Mac LW 7.5c is in fact being used successfully in film, television, print and visualization. A great many customers are indeed finding it usable and profitable for their work. We are most certainly willing to address any issues that you may have in making it work for you. Please post specifics of your issues here, or contact our technical support services at [email protected]

06-16-2003, 07:02 PM
Originally posted by Chuck
I'm aware of some 7.5b issues that were not present in 7.5a; but with 7.5c, so far as I have been able to determine reviewing postings here and on other forums and mailing lists and from what our test group can determine, there are no new bugs.

Chuck, I have tried to be clear and vocal in direct emails to you, deuce, the LScript mailing list, and the bug email address. Specifics with 7.5c:

1) Modeler no longer functions on certain Mac platforms.
I have not done enough research into this to determine if it is a processor issue (G3 v. G4) or VRAM issue (<16 MB VRAM) or something else. As I am not a member of your QA/beta team I am not going to spend more hours trying to track this down, but suffice it to say that a large number of Mac portables can't run 7.5c

2) Many LScript functions are DOA.
I know that LScript is developed outside (or it appears to be). However, shipping features (such as Load into Layer) with Lightwave based on LScript means it should at least work as well as the previous version. It doesn't. 3rd party LScripts like AutoCharSetup are dead, many LScripts (including the aforementioned Load into Layer command in modeler) that SHIP WITH LIGHTWAVE are dead. Basically if an LScript accesses any file, it doesn't work with 7.5c. Whether this is an internal QA issue or an external one is irrelevant to me. NewTek ships LScript and scripts with the software as installed features. In my mind, NewTek is responsible for those features functioning.

These are the first two issues I ran into. But since both of them are application crashing bugs, I decided to deinstall 7.5c and go back to a version that worked (7.5). I've worked in software development Chuck. I've never been allowed to release a product that had an application crash that someone else could replicate. The stuff with 7.5b was an oversight. Mistakes happen, and I defended NewTek because I know things can slip through the cracks. But TWO BUGGY RELEASES IN A ROW isn't acceptable. I don't have 7.5c installed on any of my Macs right now, just 7.5. I've paid thousands of dollars for this software, and I didn't pay that money so it would crash on launch or load, or to figure out workarounds for documented, shipping features. I paid that money for software that (at the very least) does what it says it can do in the documentation. That's all I want, for my money. Do it, or don't document it:

As far as posts with 7.5c issues, here's a quick look through:

On a side note, maybe you should consider qualifying hardware. Get your hands (or your testing team's hands) on the production models (or have the parts to interchange to make them) that are OS X compatible. Test your OS versions (there are really only 3 you could qualify: 10.1.5, 10.2.3 and 10.2.6) on those systems with the three primary video offerings (ATI AGP, nVidia AGP, ATI mobility on laptops) and put it on the box. If LW doesn't run with ATI cards, tell us. If it doesn't run on laptops, tell us. Oh, FWIW, as of today, here's a loose list:
Power Mac G3 (blue & white), PowerMac G4 (pci graphics), Power Mac G4 (AGP graphics) Power Mac G4 (Gigabit ethernet), PowerMac G4 (digital audio), PowerMac G4 (quicksilver), PowerMac G4 quicksilver 2002, PowerMac G4 (mirrored drive doors), PowerMac G4 (FW 800), PowerBook G4 (8, 16 & 32 MB vram), iBook (8, 16 & 32 MB vRAM), iMac (candy colors), iMac (flat panel), and eMac. Break it down more for the B&W G3 & PCI G4 as one set, AGP/Gigabit/digital audio as another set, QS, QS 2002, and MDD as a third set, and FW 800 as a fourth. That means if you can test ONE of the systems in each set, with both ATI and nVidia graphics cards, you've covered the desktops pretty well. One each of the vRAM set in the laptops would also work (an 8, 16 and 32 MB VRAM machine), and the 3 basic iMacs. You probably don't even need all 10 of these machines in house. If you beta team is worth it's salt these should all be covered.

06-17-2003, 09:45 AM
I have a thought.
this is for chuck, could this forum, be a bigger part of the QA process?
Many of the people in these forums are cranky and one might think by reading them that we are spoiled children, or severly dissatisfied customers.
But the reality is, we are very qualified to help you guys out, we are already giving you guys tons of helpfull feedback, and we are trying to be involved in making LW the best at everything.

we like the industrial nautre of Lightwave, and we each have something to contribute to the whole.

for my part i have been very active in the disscussion of the design problems facing Screamernet, platform issues, and UI design for the main apps. I have been literally giving away countless hours of free labor to newtek (of which i am Very qualified to do), simply because i believe in the product. my posts have been a little critical of late, but not because i dislike or have stopped using LW.
I have become critical because Newtek has focused on feature bloat, a common trap in software devlopment. resources that should be used to fix the problems in the foundation of the application are diverted to build features that exploit the problems and undermine the usability of the application. in the short term there are gains in marketshare, because the feature list expands, but because the fundamental Flaws are never addressed, it becomes obvious to users that these neato, whisbang features are a complete waste of time. then the kids jump ship to a competing product.

I am alarmed that Newtek isn't completely freaking out about the mounting list of gotchas and workarounds for Lightwave, it seems apparent to me that LW is slowly breaking apart. Isnt that alarming?


I dont think its too much to ask that Bugs are killed, features work As advertised, and software works without special workarounds (having to force quit screamernet? what the heck is that?) Before new features go on the drawing board. Like i said before you live or die by the quality of your product, and nobody, not even they guys making movies using LW will turn down stability and good design for new whisbang features.

06-17-2003, 09:51 AM
I feel it would help if screamernet was open sourced or sumtin like that.
NT community is the strongest, start explaoiting that. Look at the numbers of the mac forum compared to pc, we are here to stay, use us wisely.

06-17-2003, 10:48 AM
I've been re-reading through the threads this morning, and will see what I can sort out from them. Some things worth noting:

Sometimes the install can go awry, and some module will not work, such as Modeler. Getting the install to happen correctly will correct the issue. We're working on redoing our installers because they do seem to go awry too often.

To be certain that a given problem reported represents a bug and is not due to an install failure, we need incident reports that clearly represent a good install and yet show the issue to be present consistently on similar systems with the same OS. To determine that the issue is specific to 7.5c, we need reports testing the issue with both 7.5b and 7.5c, and clearly showing that the issues resides only in 7.5c, and is not due to an error occuring during installation. It may be that I'm just overwhelmed trying to read through so much at once, but I'm just not sure that what I see says that any of what's going on is new to 7.5c, rather than already being present in 7.5b and earlier or being due to a problem in installing 7.5c, other than perhaps some issues in LScript.

We're checking with Lukasz regarding the issues with ACS, and I've asked both our dev staff and our Mac beta group to review this thread and others here. We're also working with our contacts at ATI regarding driver and card testing.

LScript is developed by one of our staff programmers, and we have recently added beta testers chosen and assigned specifically for that aspect of the product.

As for this forum being a bigger part of Q & A, yes, by all means if we have some folks willing help pin down some issues, that would be great. A lot of what's already been posted will certainly be useful, but some things may need to be clarified a bit further as to the nature of the problem. And I'll keep reviewing things so that I can see if I'm missing the forest for the trees. Please be patient, as my marketing staff duties involve several time-critical projects that are taking up major portions of my workday. But I'll do my best...

06-17-2003, 11:12 AM
this is why I moved from Mac to PC here at work, things do seem to work better.

I'm starting to think many people (sadly) believe it's a make or break time for LightWave this year.

Let's hope LW8 makes us eat our words!


06-18-2003, 10:28 AM
Don't panic! :)

I've moved the last couple of messages from this thread to a new one, Mac Bug Workshop, as the start of an effort to work through and confirm issues in Mac LightWave in an orderly fashion.