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symko
02-29-2008, 11:31 AM
This is a note that I feel the need to just get out of my system. I am a Mac user. Always have been, always will be. If, like me, you use a Mac, you know I am part of the cult. I’ve been using Lightwave since it was on an Amiga running from the Video Toaster. When I bought my first Mac back in the day I had to change 3D apps until LW was released for the Mac back with version 5, as I recall. I like Lightwave…heck, I like it a lot. I think the choice of text interface over icons is better. Normally I like icons, but in the 3d world it is so difficult to translate technical terms into icons. Maya makes me cross-eyed. I also like the price. I get more bang for my buck. I get a good return on my investment. I’ve also spent a lot of time/money in books, videos, etc trying to learn as much about the software as possible. I prefer to learn one 3d app really well, as oppose to making a red, shinny ball over and over again in 4 different apps.

However, I have been very frustrated (as others in this forum) with the past few versions of LW for the Mac. Most of my gripe is how poorly LW “runs” on most Macs. To start, on most of the Macs I use it on, when I quit Layout or Modeler, the software ‘unexpectedly quits” when I tell it to quit! It seldom does any damage, but none the less… it’s weird. Next up, the Hub. I like that LW is split in 2 apps. It makes the interface easier… but it is very nice to have dynamic updating between the two via the Hub. Can we make it work? OPEN GL problems. You know, depending on what kind of graphic card you have you get weird drawing issues on the screen, like giant tridents! Over all stability is a problem at times. Double clicking an icon from the desktop most likely will not open your file. There was also an issue at one time when click into a window to enter data ( like the numeric panel in Modeler) the curser would jump to the first input instead of where you click. That always drove me nuts! Since 9.3 I’ve noticed less of this.

My point being, I think for the price, LW does a butt-load of stuff and has great flexibility for its users. Creating 3d content for clients, however, is a big process. A plethora of hours goes into creating these images. So I guess I would rather have a stable, bug- reduced, version of LW 9.5 than a version that has a bunch of new features that I may not use, or even care to try out because it crashes my machine. Heck, if Newtek said to me that they have LW running stable and consistent on the Mac platform, and everything actually work right, I’d pay for the upgrade. Yep, I love you so much, I’d pay to make it run better. Not every one would agree with me on this, but I’d rather have a nice stable version of LW, then spending more cash on buying another app, and taking the time to train myself on it.

(To clarify, I would pay an upgrade price, not actually pay the salary of all Newtek employees to make it happen. I’d send them a card though. And maybe a box of chocolates.)

PS: the main reason for me writing this is because two days ago I was saving my scene file and LW crashed and the scene was zero-k. Not good. I had backups, but still loss time.

loki74
03-01-2008, 12:15 AM
Valid points, all...

But either I'm just really lucky, or I'm not pushing the software as much as I should be, because I've never had any sever problems with LW... I have had weirdness jumping between modeler/layout (losing textures is very frustrating...).

Of course, I don't doubt that there are many problems, as you are not the first to raise these issues. I imagine NT is really busy getting the 9.5 stuff squared away in general, and as is the usual situation, the Mac problems will have to wait. It's frustrating, but I think it's less frustrating than having to deal with Windows... of course, the complaints are still valid.

Tell me, what is your opinion of combining Modeler and Layout into one app with different environments? I REALLY like this idea. A:M had it this way, and it was one of my favorite things about that program... but it's Mac issues were way worse than LWs! x_x

symko
03-01-2008, 05:15 AM
I wouldn't say I'm pushing the software, by any means. My stuff if pretty basic, compared to the work of others.
I also use LW on many different Macs: PPC, INTEL, older and spankin' new. And they all have some special problems going on.

I've never thought much about merging Modeler and Layout. Probably because from the programing aspect it would require rewriting everything from the ground up. Like I said, I've been using the app for a while and I guess I'm just use to it split. However, it would be great to adjust the revolutions of a lath in the numeric panel and make it key over time, without making a morph. Actually, and this is a big stretch, one great feature I would LOVE is to make shapes in the Modeler dynamic. So if I make a sphere and want to add more sides, or less sides, three days later, i can click the sphere and adjust sides on the fly, any time. Most other apps have features similar to this.

But... I'd take a nice stable app first. Then get fancy.

(Hey NewTek team... I've got a box of chocolates just waiting.)

eblu
03-01-2008, 06:36 AM
PS: the main reason for me writing this is because two days ago I was saving my scene file and LW crashed and the scene was zero-k. Not good. I had backups, but still loss time.

symko,
what would you say if I told you that Newtek could have avoided your file saving woe with 1 line of code? maybe 15 minutes of work on the developers' part, as long as their original code was in SOME kind of usable shape.
What would you say if i told you that I have been trying, IN VAIN, for about 3 years, with vents alot like this one, to get this change made?

here is the code you need to write once you have the scene file as a bunch of text:

[sceneFileTextObject writeToFile: pathToFile atomically:YES];

see that bit where it says YES? it can take either YES or NO as values.
if it is NO, then the file will save to disk immediately with no safety net. if LW happens to crash you lose everything (exactly like what happened to you... a zero k file).
If you say YES, then the OS will very happily, Make a New temp file, write out all of the new data, change the name of the old file, and then change the name of the new file to the name of the old file. finally it will remove the old file. this way... if LW crashes during a save, you lose ONLY the changes you made, NOT the whole thing.

This is all automatic, free to developers, and works like a charm. I am mystified, over why Newtek didn't get right on that Several years ago.

Chilton
03-01-2008, 08:34 AM
This is all automatic, free to developers, and works like a charm. I am mystified, over why Newtek didn't get right on that Several years ago.

Wow, that's a lot of brackets :devil:

I'm not going to get into how LW works under the hood, or did at any one point in the past, because that's just company policy. But I'll tell you that this same code had to work on the CFM and Windows versions, and that saving files wasn't as high of a priority as fixing the other bugs that plagued the app when I came on board.

I'll do my own venting about the 'old days' of LightWave some other time. I was a LightWave ***USER*** prior to 9.0 (when I came on board), and I remember a very different product than this gold standard I've been hearing about lately. And that is why I ultimately did a lot of my own work in our competitors' apps. Things are different now, and between the AppleScript capabilities of LW and the true commandline screamernet, I am pretty happy with the app we have. I'm not so happy with some specific bugs in 9.3.1, but 9.5 is a chance to fix all of that, and it's free to our existing users. So join the Open Beta, things will be better there.

Back on subject, in every large cross-platform app I've worked on, the file I/O code is typically not too platform specific, and the reasons are never the same. I'm not saying if it will always be like that, I'm just answering why it was like that in the past.

We spend a lot of time supporting CFM for the Mac, much more than I think anyone on the team would like, but we do it because we realize our users still rely on legacy plug-ins. Cocoa and CFM don't mix.

-Chilton

symko
03-01-2008, 09:06 AM
Wow. I have no idea what CFM is. I think Cocoa has something to do with my Mac. Actually, over here in the North East, Cocoa is what we drink in the winter time. I'm enjoying a cup at this moment. Yum.

I just registered for the 9.5 Beta and look forward to trying it out. If my giant-supersized-mega-tridents go away, I'll be sending chocolates.

Chilton
03-01-2008, 09:51 AM
Hi Symko,

I can tell you that the mega tridents problem probably will still be in there in the first release of the Open Beta, but it's high on our list of things to fix. It's a problem specific to a particular graphics card (possibly a specific chipset, but that's not clear right now).

Do you have an iMac?

-Chilton

hard8
03-01-2008, 10:14 AM
I have all of those problems (except the trident thing) and then some others that I've outlined/

Good post Chilton. It's not really a rant to what what you paid for.

Now if someone from NewTek would actually read this and pay attention, but I don't think they will if they haven't gotten it together since v. 5.5

symko
03-01-2008, 03:08 PM
Chilton,

Yes I do have an iMac. I had posted this problem on another thread back when I first got the iMac in October. I have this card: ATI,RadeonHD2600

I managed to fix most of the modeler display issues by turning off Legacy OpenGL. (I think that's what fixed it. I was check/unchecking a bunch of stuff so I'm 100% positive)

Layout is a pain still. I have to shut off tridents and displacement maps display funny when the object is active/selected. When the objects is not selected, it displays fine. It's weird that it's only objects. Camera and Lights are fine.

Why the hell are we posting on Saturday? I'm going to a movie.

eblu
03-01-2008, 03:09 PM
hard8... buddy... uhhh... chilton IS from newtek. he's one of the MAC developers working on Lightwave.

chilton,
I know you mean well, and I know Newtek has limited resources to bring to bear on the "todo" list. And I know that perhaps you've been thrown into someone else's mess, and now you're sorting it out. But c'mon. I remember waiting a year for the LW team to rewrite a lot of LW in order to clean up some of the sloppy coding so that we could start moving forward. Are you telling me that, with My multiple bug reports on this IN hand, nobody felt that they could branch the I/O and spend half an hour writing something... if not platform specific, at least something that is actually responsible, or robust?

the Cocoa example i put up, is the simplest form of a fix for the problem, but the problem is almost as easily fixed on the CFM side of things, and I know that you know it. save a temp file first, if it saves properly, rename the old file, name the new file to that of the old file, and then delete the old file. what is that? 3 more lines of CFM code? (CFM, for the kids not familiar... is the shorthand Chilton is using to refer to the LW release that is non-universal binary... the backwards compatible one that works with all your fancy plugins) I simply do not understand why this miniscule amount of robustness Never made it into LW Layout... And don't take it as any kind of attack on you or the current team, its just very annoying to tell someone you use professional software and then try to stick up for it, when it eats your files, because some guy decided 15 years ago, that the most basic saving algorithm will do for everybody.

btw : your buddies over at APE used a picture of you (apparently with your permission) in their latest rant/blog. can't tell what your doing, but they obviously think they made a joke.

Chilton
03-01-2008, 03:56 PM
Hi Eblu,

That pic is absolutely used with my permission.

Paul Lara took that pic of me shortly after I started working at NT, in response to a few posts about how NT didn't care about the Mac, etc. So there I am, showing off the wicked Apple kit put together by NT :devil:

I kid you not, we'll address the file I/O stuff on the Mac very soon.

-Chilton

kopperdrake
03-01-2008, 04:02 PM
So speaketh the dude :)

Danic101
03-01-2008, 04:43 PM
btw : your buddies over at APE used a picture of you (apparently with your permission) in their latest rant/blog. can't tell what your doing, but they obviously think they made a joke.

Got a link for us?

Chilton
03-01-2008, 04:52 PM
Here's the original...

http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55693

-Chilton

kopperdrake
03-01-2008, 05:03 PM
Rofl

hard8
03-01-2008, 05:53 PM
hard8... buddy... uhhh... chilton IS from newtek. he's one of the MAC developers working on Lightwave.



my mistake. I mistook Chilton as the OP.

that's good to know that there are NT devs on the board.

while he's here, I got a another issue that is really making life hard....

sometimes after a F-9, all of the drop down menus in Layout stop...uh.. dropping down. I can't do things like save, or change parameters.
Anyone else get this?

BigHache
03-01-2008, 06:48 PM
Chilton,

From what I've been reading around, the aluminum iMacs have a fair amount of flaws with their video cards. Much more so I believe than with the previous gen. of iMacs.

symko
03-01-2008, 07:07 PM
hard8, I also have the same problem. Sometimes my menus lock up.

Chilton
03-01-2008, 08:11 PM
Hard8 and Symko,

That problem stems from an OS-level notification that isn't getting back to our app. The problem is that our app knows it's in the foreground, the OS knows it's in the foreground, and the window manager thinks it's in the background. So our calls to create the popup menus 'fall on deaf ears'.

We create the popup menu, our app thinks the menus exist, and that you can see them. You cannot see them, but LW doesn't know that. So the menus keep working, even though you can't see it. Yeah, it's fun.

The answer for the short term is to command+tab out of LW and command+tab back in. The window manager 'catches on' when you do that, and everything should be back in working order.

It's something we'll be addressing in 9.5.

-Chilton

symko
03-01-2008, 08:28 PM
Thanks for the tip. I thought I was going to have to get really good at shortcut keys!

JeffrySG
03-01-2008, 09:11 PM
The answer for the short term is to command+tab out of LW and command+tab back in. The window manager 'catches on' when you do that, and everything should be back in working order.
It's something we'll be addressing in 9.5.-Chilton

Cool... I didn't know about that solution. Thx Chilton! It's good to know that it's being looked at for 9.5. Cheers!

mykyl
03-02-2008, 04:39 AM
I also have one of the new iMacs and saw that menu issue. Good to hear the workaround.

Cheers

Mike R

-EsHrA-
03-02-2008, 04:51 AM
we need a chilton-like clone on the pc side of lw.
i appreciate all the posts you make and openness of communication.

:)

mlon

kopperdrake
03-02-2008, 05:31 AM
He's ourrr preciousss...sneaky peeceee hobittsiss...

Giacomo99
03-02-2008, 08:27 AM
Without wanting to bore readers with too much detail, it's become apparent while setting up my new Mac Pro that OS 10.5 has a number of small-but annoying issues--especially in the area of Permissions. I've spent quite a bit of time on the phone this week with tech-support (both NewTek and others) trying to get everything sorted.

Leopard is a little buggy, and NewTek shouldn't be blamed for that.

eblu
03-02-2008, 11:06 AM
giacomo99,
what? buggy you say? heaven forbid!

seriously though, message me with your symptoms. I've been working in LW with leopard since both were available. perhaps I can help.

Giacomo99
03-02-2008, 02:30 PM
eblu-

Thanks, but the only persistent problem right now is with saving presets. Everything else involved Leopard denying permissions when moving files or installing software--for now, everything's worked out.

I'll be sure to complain loudly if I need help in the future. ;)

mrpapabeis
03-03-2008, 04:26 PM
Chilton,

Have to ask...

Don't expect an answer.

Has 9.5 fixed the "Only save seven control points" issue with the Spline Control plugin?

GP

Chilton
03-03-2008, 05:24 PM
Hi,

I'm sorry, I don't know off the top of my head. I don't think it was a Mac specific problem, though. If you ask in the other forums, you might get a more accurate answer.

-Chilton

LW_Will
03-04-2008, 09:32 AM
Hey, have you guys all been doing the upgrades? OS X is at 10.5.2 currently, and they have released a patch for (at least partly) problems with the ATI cards. (Think that was a problem because of the new chip set for the ATI cards, btw)

You can see how frustrating for Clinton this must be, if he fixes a "problem" with the app, then it is really fixed by a patch to the system... all the effort, let alone time, is lost.

I haven't had any problems with LW as described. I did to a full upgrade to Leopard, dragged my system folder to another volume and wiped my HD, so maybe that is part of the problem.

Just trying to help...

symko
03-04-2008, 08:06 PM
LW_WILL,
Thanks for the hint. I just upgraded to Leo and did get the ATR update and my 'display' problems seem to go away. No more GIANT Tridents, and no funky polygon artifacts in modeler.

Now... I've got a new problem. i'm not sure when it happened, but if I click the desktop or go to another app, when I click back on LW or MODELER, it takes about 10 seconds for the app to react and start to function. I noticed this last week, but I had a large scene and thought it was a delay due to the size of the scene. Oh well. I can live with it for a bit. This is not the same problem as the drop down menus not dropping. Chilton gave us a tip to fix that the other day.

Chilton
03-04-2008, 08:23 PM
Hi Symko,

I am thrilled to hear the giant trident and polygon issues are fixed in the ATR update. I haven't had a chance to test that personally, and frankly didn't think it would fix it.

That slow reaction time is due to an absolutely stupid event problem we'll be addressing in 9.5.

-Chilton

Glendalough
03-05-2008, 05:17 AM
...

You can see how frustrating for Clinton this must be...

So it's not just Obama that's pissing her off!

But seriously...


...I just upgraded to Leo and did get the ATR update and my 'display' problems seem to go away. No more GIANT Tridents, and no funky polygon artifacts in modeler....

I'm on the Mac Pro with the ATI card and just wondering has this update helped with the display problems on this machine as well or caused other problems? Meaning, is it safe to upgrade? Has anyone here done it on the Mac Pro?