The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

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redlers
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Re: The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

Post by redlers » Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:44 am

kjmatthews wrote:
suavito wrote:The beta is out for about a week!
It's been out for a week? I suppose this means I've been taken off the beta testing list.
No, you're not, but it DOES definitely mean that your address is not up-to-date in our records... Which tends to happen. This is true for other beta testers as well - do inform us of a change of address, because our beta list does not update itself :roll:

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Re: The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

Post by redlers » Fri Dec 10, 2010 2:45 am

suavito wrote:Could it be you are on the beta list with an out of use e-mail address? Spam filter maybe?

The release date of the beta was December 2nd, so I was referring to a real week and not a "long" week by the way …
Nice signature.

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Re: The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

Post by rpcameron » Fri Jan 21, 2011 8:15 pm

Now that 2.8 has been released, we can look and see how well Mellel's "road map" is being followed. The original list included the following features that were slated for inclusion in upcoming versions of Mellel:
  • Track changes and comments
  • Sorting
  • Embedded version/reader
  • Indexing
  • Interface
  • iPad version
  • Improvements to tables, images, text boxes, &c.
After checking out the new version of Mellel, I did see the sorting and track changes features (although I could not figure out how to add comments). And while I believe that track changes is a much needed feature, without support for OOXML (that's Microsoft's XML-based file format—i.e. .docx—which is used in current versions of Office) its utility is still limited.

Personally, I was most looking forward to indexing, table improvements and the revamped interface (none of which made it into the new release). While I know that my needs may not be representative of everyone else's, I feel that something ought to be mentioned about these items. I know that track changes was a big feature to introduce, but its implementation is lacking. This is mostly because of the interface, I believe. The list of changes was taken nearly wholesale from Pages, and while it is a good paradigm for Pages, it does not fit well within Mellel. The toolbar icon makes no sense, and unless you manually activate track changes and see the state of the icon change, there is no other connection to its function. Also, comments are missing.

Now that track changes has been delivered, can users expect future versions to continue to implement requested and named features?
— Robert Cameron

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Re: The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

Post by Timotheus » Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:11 am

I fully agree with rpcameron. Track changes are undoubtedly an important feature, but a. track changes in Mellel without flawless communication with Word (which leaves much to be desired) is of limited interest; b. track changes without a comments feature are definitely incomplete.

Like rpcameron, I was waiting for other things: indexing, first of all, and text boxes, and better table handling, and better footnote handling. But I guess I'll have to be patient one more time.

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Re: The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

Post by nicka » Sat Jan 22, 2011 8:47 am

track changes features (although I could not figure out how to add comments).
It's not there. I wasn't very interested in having track changes in Mellel, but now that it's there (and implemented with typical RedleX thoroughness, I have to say), I hope that comments are added next. When people say 'track changes' they mean both. Also I would think that there are going to be a lot of people who are surprised about all their styles disappearing when they use Mellel to add some changes to an rtf file.

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Re: The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

Post by aechallu » Sat Jan 22, 2011 4:57 pm

I fully agree with rpcameron and interface improvements are on the very top of my list. I'm concerned that better communication with word (ooxml and above all style roundtrip) is not in the roadmap.

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Re: The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

Post by nicka » Sat Jan 22, 2011 5:36 pm

2.8 is magnificent, of course. I'm very happy about unlimited undo, and I couldn't make the beta crash -- not even once. So I'm sure that the shipping version is as rock-solid as Mellel always has been. Impressive stuff, and I hope it is a huge success in the new App store.

But...

My wish would be that all the large projects are put to one side for a month or two in favour of a bit of consolidation, making small additions and adjustments to what is already there so that it is more useful and usable. For example, make the FindSet dialogue resizable and fix the weird truncation of text in the right panel (UI bug I reported some years ago).
Make a preference for the size of text in the bibliography reference dialogue so the text is not unreadably small on certain monitors for text at ordinary point sizes (UI infelicity I reported in 2007).
Cross-references are live links in pdf export, but table of contents entries aren't. Why not?
There's still no sensible way to get mixed upper case with small-caps. Etc.
And now we have track changes but without comments. Is there any other application that can do one but not the other?

Eyal has said that Mellel thrives and prospers through user recommendations. I used to actively recommend it as the only reliable way to do long documents on a Mac (short of learning LaTeX) and I still think it is, but I hesitate to evangelise these days because the little details are left unfinished or unpolished for so long.

</rant>

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Re: The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

Post by kjmatthews » Sat Jan 22, 2011 6:53 pm

nicka wrote:My wish would be that all the large projects are put to one side for a month or two in favour of a bit of consolidation, making small additions and adjustments to what is already there so that it is more useful and usable.
I think this is a great suggestion! If I might add my 2¢:
Correct the bug that makes headers and footers collapse when you type inside them (this was supposed to be corrected a couple of point releases ago) (http://forum.redlers.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2055)
Ignore all Bookends conditional operators and information between backslashes in the bibliography pane (http://forum.redlers.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2209)

I'm so glad to see that the Redlers are indicating that Mellel development will be picking up again. I am even more glad that I can undo beyond my last save!

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Re: The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

Post by ozean » Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:45 am

nicka wrote:My wish would be that all the large projects are put to one side for a month or two in favour of a bit of consolidation, making small additions and adjustments to what is already there so that it is more useful and usable.
Agreed, I would also really like that. Adding a few smaller features here and there, before going on to the next larger feature (such as indexing etc.). I would hope that preserving style names in RTF export is one of those small features – at least I would not expect it to be particularly complex.

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Re: The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

Post by nicka » Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:08 am

Ignore all Bookends conditional operators and information between backslashes in the bibliography pane (viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2209)
This is exactly the kind of thing I had in mind. I'm no programmer, but surely this is the sort of little change that couldn't take more than a day to code. And the gain in usability would be immense.

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Re: The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

Post by Eyal Redler » Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:09 am

Thanks for the comments and suggestions. We are aware that Mellel suffers a bit from going boldly forward with new features and neglecting to re-iterate and go back to fix/complete older features. This is a balancing act and I admit we could use a better balance.

Regarding reported bugs that are not getting fixed, it could well be that these have fallen through the cracks. If your on the beta list, don't hesitate to mention them again on the next beta cycle. If you're not, please join or at least send us a reminder. Note that complaints and problems that have been reported on the forum may have gone unnoticed or registered.
Eyal Redler
----------------------
Co-Founder and Developer at Mellel AAR LTD
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mellelwordprocessor
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/MellelRedlex

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Re: The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

Post by kjmatthews » Sun Jan 23, 2011 5:07 pm

Eyal Redler wrote:Regarding reported bugs that are not getting fixed, it could well be that these have fallen through the cracks. If your on the beta list, don't hesitate to mention them again on the next beta cycle.
Will do, Eyal!

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Re: The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

Post by simifilm » Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:33 pm

Roger wrote:
Cattus Thraex wrote: - automatically switching language speller when switching keyboard layout; a very useful feature for multilingual texts, e.g. if I use Romanian keylayout (including my custom one), it is logical to assume that the speller is also for Romanian; if I switch the language to Czech, speller should switch to Czech too. This is possible in Nisus, for example, if not using keyboard shortcuts, but the mouse. Perhaps more should be done here.
This is my number one feature request! A necessary convenience for a multi-lingual word processor. And it needs to be smart enough to to mark that section with that language, so that when you run the grammar/spell checker on the whole document, it checks each word/section with the designated language.
+1

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Re: The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

Post by donb » Mon Jan 24, 2011 10:45 am

I have to disagree about this. First of all, my experience with other programs (primarily Pages, Nisus, Mail) has shown me that Snow Leopard makes a lot of mistakes in recognizing the languages; I would not like to rely on it. Also, Snow Leopard is not good at recognizing languages for which it does not itself supply the dictionary. Unless Mellel were itself to supply its own dictionaries and spell-checking, a formidable task indeed!, it has to rely on OS X's provision for spell checking.

Don Broadribb

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Re: The state of the Mellel (a road map of sorts)

Post by Hans-Reinhard Koch » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:38 pm

Yes, 2.8 is great. It never crashed on me during beta testing. But also: I couldn't agree more with nicka:
nicka wrote: My wish would be that all the large projects are put to one side for a month or two in favour of a bit of consolidation, making small additions and adjustments to what is already there so that it is more useful and usable.
Since 2.7 we have wonderful means of picture placement within text. This was a long desired feature for me. But, alas, there is no way to add an (auto-numbered) caption (legend) to the picture. Without this the picture placement feature is useless for academic texts. And isn't Mellel siupposed to be the preferred word processor for academic writing?

Please, find a way to add legends to pictures!
Thanks & Regards!
Hans-Reinhard
Hans-Reinhard Koch, Bonn, Germany

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