In case of emergency…

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gpolberd
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Re: In case of emergency…

Post by gpolberd » Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:36 am

Dear Ori,
There are many who are fans of the program, as you can see, but unless things turn around very quickly and pronouncedly, there won't remain much hope for its future. Your active engagement—announcements, postings, etc.—is crucial for Mellel's future. It makes people excited and confident that things are moving forward as they should. I, for one, hope things change for the better, and permanently, very, very soon. I've never wanted to use another program but I've started to wonder if I'll need to learn. Please, please don't make that necessary. :)

Garret

vinesy
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Re: In case of emergency…

Post by vinesy » Fri Jun 25, 2010 3:15 am

Hi all,

I haven't paid for the latest update because I have no need for the features new to 2.7. However, if there was a roadmap of what's coming up I would gladly pay for the upgrade because I would know it was funding development.

Recently I was working on a long document for a lecture series. I decided to use iWork Pages because I could put comments in the margin to prompt my own thoughts as I spoke using the students' handouts. While this was effective, the document became painfully slow to navigate as it grew more complex and I began to yearn for Mellel... except that there is no comments function in Mellel. The point I'm making is that you have the highest quality product; but are being outpaced by others who are developing faster. I'm hoping you guys will be able to catch up on certain relevant areas of functionality, but I won't see the need to contribute financially unless I have an idea of where things are going. I suspect there are others like me.

Timotheus
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Re: In case of emergency…

Post by Timotheus » Fri Jun 25, 2010 6:55 am

I know that it’s Mellel’s policy not to announce new features and not to make promises until it’s certain that these features really work, and that these promises can be maintained. And as such, of course, this is a very honourable strategy.

But this strategy can also be very counterproductive. When the reasoning always is “when it’s ready, it’s ready”, the danger is that there will never be ready anything.

Most of us have targets in life: targets that for some reason must be honoured. In my opinion Mellel too should set itself TARGETS, clear, hard TARGETS. But unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be in the nature of the present staff to set itself hard targets.

And yes, it’s true of course that when an application becomes more complex, the developing process becomes more complex too. But this is a very meagre excuse for heavy delays in the development as such. Tinderbox is a very complex application; yet there are frequent updates; and the same holds true for Bookends, DevonThink and many other applications.

And Mellel definitely needs a stable representative on its forum. If Ori for personal reasons is not in the position to be this representative, so be it. But let then somebody else take his place; and let him / her be there, every day, to answer, to discuss, to arouse enthousiasm, to explain why Mellel is great, and will be even greater in a very near future.

Some years ago Mellel’s strength was simply in the quality of the application, and in the promise it seemed to contain for the future. But in the meantime much time has passed, and Mellel’s headquarters don’t seem to realize that now their strength has come to lay, to a certain extent at least, in the weak sides of the competition. Nisus WP is a good application, but it has serious problems with documents with many footnotes; and this is the kind of document many users of Mellel frequently produce. And Papyrus for some reason I shall never be able to understand has no up-to-date English localization. But when Nisus will have overcome certain problems (and something tells me that a major update is on its way), and when Papyrus will have finally decided to address not just the German speaking part of the world, but the global community, then things will become difficult for Mellel.

So it’s definitely time for a new spirit, for new plans, for a drastic break with certain bad habits of the recent past. TIME FOR A CHANGE.
Last edited by Timotheus on Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.
X.12.6 – Scrivener > MMD > LaTeX, Mellel, Nisus; Bookends; Devonthink; Lightroom.

macula
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Re: In case of emergency…

Post by macula » Fri Jun 25, 2010 1:27 pm

Like many fellow Mellel users, surely, I am very pleased to see that these issues have been brought up, and even more so for the developers' admission that there are some serious problems to be addressed in terms of customer relations and product roadmap.

Many of us rely on Mellel to do our life's work—we "live in" Mellel for long hours every day—and the lack of activity is a serious source of insecurity: Can we rely on this tool in the long term? Will it be supported? Will it be improving as our needs change?

I have often considered switching to Nissus and would have done so already were it a bit more capable in handling footnotes.

Aside from the scarcity of updates and the disappointingly quiet forum, it is distressing that even longstanding, objective bugs are not addressed with minor updates: For example, the ruler of the Title Flows Editor is still incongruent with that of the document window itself. Considering the number of hours it took me to set up my title flows properly, and to eventually realize that the problem was with Mellel rather than my own understanding of it, I find it offensive that such a blatant bug is left lurking for months.
Last edited by macula on Fri Jun 25, 2010 11:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.

aechallu
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Re: In case of emergency…

Post by aechallu » Fri Jun 25, 2010 7:44 pm

I share the concern of other users about the present and future of Mellel. These are things I would like to see (beyond any specific feature):

1) more of a two-way user-developer relationship: frequent point releases in reaction to user comments (a-la-bookends, or in open beta form a-la-scrivener), and more communication in the forum.

2) change the payment model to an upgrade for each major release version. This way the developers have the incentive to perform (i.e. come up with Mellel 3, 4, etc.), instead of counting on an implicit stream of income from license renewals (a cycle that must be broken anyway).

3) I understand the developers' point that coding at this point is more complex, and that likely explains a lot of the delay in releasing new versions. Still, there are things that can (and need to) be outsourced: icons and some elements of UI design, and the development of XML-based import/export features.

kcjimmyk
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Re: In case of emergency…

Post by kcjimmyk » Sun Jun 27, 2010 2:40 am

When I originally posted this, I wasn't so much concerned about new features, I can live with the features already present, I would simply like to know if there will be someone around to keep the program compatible with future OS updates. That was my problem with MindWrite. It was seen again with the release of Snow Leopard in many programs.

Jim

suavito
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Re: In case of emergency…

Post by suavito » Sun Jun 27, 2010 8:08 am

redlers wrote: As to some fresh blood -- well, there is some, which you'll witness in how Mellel's look changes in the near future.
That's sensational news almost hidden!

Months ago when I first took a glance at the then new kid on the block, PageHand, I thought: Wow, this look but with all the functionality and stability of Mellel, that would be it.

Hopefully "near" in the "near future" really means—near. I vaguely remember you mentioned something about an improvement of text exchange between programs, first of all Scrivener, coming "next summer". And even considering that we all live in different places of this planet with seasons coming at different times of the year—it was about last summer but still no news in this field.

It's still them bloody girlfriends, Ori, isn't it? ;)

gpolberd
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Re: In case of emergency…

Post by gpolberd » Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:16 pm

suavito wrote:
redlers wrote: As to some fresh blood -- well, there is some, which you'll witness in how Mellel's look changes in the near future.
That's sensational news almost hidden!

Months ago when I first took a glance at the then new kid on the block, PageHand, I thought: Wow, this look but with all the functionality and stability of Mellel, that would be it.

Hopefully "near" in the "near future" really means—near. I vaguely remember you mentioned something about an improvement of text exchange between programs, first of all Scrivener, coming "next summer". And even considering that we all live in different places of this planet with seasons coming at different times of the year—it was about last summer but still no news in this field.

It's still them bloody girlfriends, Ori, isn't it? ;)
Suavito,

I'm sorry, this ungenerous suggestion, given the lack of any knowledge of Ori's life, is frankly unnecessarily assertive, and I imagine for some perhaps a bit insulting. Let's be careful.

Garret

rpcameron
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Re: In case of emergency…

Post by rpcameron » Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:52 pm

gpolberd wrote:
suavito wrote:It's still them bloody girlfriends, Ori, isn't it? ;)
I'm sorry, this ungenerous suggestion, given the lack of any knowledge of Ori's life, is frankly unnecessarily assertive, and I imagine for some perhaps a bit insulting. Let's be careful.
Garret, while I understand your admonishment, I believe the comment was made in jest. Back in 2008 Ori posted that the introduction of 2 girlfriends into the lives of 2 of the coders had slowed development of Mellel. I read this comment as a tongue-in-cheek joke referencing past release delays.

Did someone get something else from the post?
— Robert Cameron

suavito
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Re: In case of emergency…

Post by suavito » Sun Jun 27, 2010 6:58 pm

Yes, rpcameron is right, that's how I meant it. I was referring to that old posting of Ori's and I had no malicious intent whatsoever!

If Ori or Eyal feels offended of course I will remove my posting immediately!
The finger is the most popular bird.

gpolberd
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Re: In case of emergency…

Post by gpolberd » Sun Jun 27, 2010 7:42 pm

rpcameron wrote:
gpolberd wrote:
suavito wrote:It's still them bloody girlfriends, Ori, isn't it? ;)
I'm sorry, this ungenerous suggestion, given the lack of any knowledge of Ori's life, is frankly unnecessarily assertive, and I imagine for some perhaps a bit insulting. Let's be careful.
Garret, while I understand your admonishment, I believe the comment was made in jest. Back in 2008 Ori posted that the introduction of 2 girlfriends into the lives of 2 of the coders had slowed development of Mellel. I read this comment as a tongue-in-cheek joke referencing past release delays.

Did someone get something else from the post?
Patrick,

I know what the reference was to. I remember the post. My concern is not that Ori or Eyal would be offended but that women who follow these fora might feel irked at the suggestion that women can get in the way of a man's more "important" business. Relationships can "get in the way" in general, but the stereotype emphasizes one gender's impositions than the other. I know we want everyone to feel welcome, so I thought I should mention that we might want to be careful, that's all.

Garret

kcjimmyk
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Re: In case of emergency…

Post by kcjimmyk » Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:21 am

C'mon, let's keep on topic. This is very important to me. If something doesn't happen soon I will be switching to Nisus, even though I don't want to.

I will not be caught with my "shorts down" again.

Jim

kcjimmyk
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Re: In case of emergency…

Post by kcjimmyk » Thu Jul 01, 2010 5:26 am

BTW WTF is the "near future"? A year, a month, a week?

nicka
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Re: In case of emergency…

Post by nicka » Thu Jul 01, 2010 10:14 am

Good to see that there is still a lively community around Mellel and that the Redlers have plans for Mellel's future. As other contributions to this thread have stated, Mellel is still the only software with certain features that many of us find vital.

Eyal wrote:
We might also add more export formats which may focus more on getting the content and meaning of the document rather then the appearance (which is what RTF and especially PDF are all about)
I think this is a great idea. Two thoughts:

1) if Mellel's XML format were documented then other people could write convertors to LaTeX, rtf, doc, docx etc. etc.

2) I think that rtf with named styles (particularly paragraph styles) is probably the best way right now to transmit content and meaning. It's the only near-ubiquitous, documented, semantically marked-up format for text documents (to my knowledge). But export to doc or docx with named styles would do almost as well because other applications can convert between these three formats. The main thing is some way of exporting from Mellel that preserves style names.
rtf is not just, or even mainly, about preserving the appearance of text documents, but about storing the text with the meaning that is important to any sort of structured writing: what is a top-level heading, what is a second-level heading, what is body text, what is a blockquote, what is a footnote, an endnote, a page header, a page footer. Mellel's rtf export preserves the last four pieces of information but obliterates the first four.

gpolberd
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Re: In case of emergency…

Post by gpolberd » Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:42 pm

kcjimmyk wrote:C'mon, let's keep on topic. This is very important to me. If something doesn't happen soon I will be switching to Nisus, even though I don't want to.

I will not be caught with my "shorts down" again.

Jim
Jim,

I didn't think asking that we be careful about how things were said was "off topic," certainly not for those in the community who might have been offended. It would have mattered to you had you been, I'm sure.
In response to your query, only the Redlers can say when Mellel will be developed further and with what features. Progress, as they have admitted, has been slower recently. The best thing to do, obviously, is to ask them directly (support@redlers.com or redlex@redlers.com) about the implementation of the features you require and then decide.

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