In case of emergency…

For all things Mellel

Moderators: redlers, Eyal Redler, Ori Redler

kcjimmyk
Already downloaded the guide
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In case of emergency…

Post by kcjimmyk » Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:21 pm

I don't know if speculation is allowed on this board so I will phrase this in the form of a hypothetical question.

First of all I have used Mellel for about a year, I think, and I love it to death.

On the other hand I used to use a program called "MindWrite" and loved it also. When they went out of business and Mac updated to a 32 bit processor, and MindWrite was not 32 bit "clean" I was left with several years worth of totally useless files. That was a totally "bad burn" if you know what I mean.

I export all my documents to RTF and PDF but neither of these solutions maintain List levels (which I use constantly). Therefore, If (G*d forbid) Mellel should no longer be here, do I have any recourse? I could certainly view my documents, but modifying them would be an almost insurmountable task.

If this question is inappropriate please feel free to delete it.

Jim

ealvarez
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Re: In case of emergency…

Post by ealvarez » Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:26 am

I might not be the greatest expert with Mellel but, for my experience, there is no way to preserve the list levels. I'm not sure either if we may expect that it could be compatible with another software one day as Redlers do things their way (it gives us a great tool but there are some caveats, as this one). Your best chance : that they stay in business... or not use list levels! :wink:

kcjimmyk
Already downloaded the guide
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Joined: Sat Sep 12, 2009 3:10 pm

Re: In case of emergency…

Post by kcjimmyk » Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:49 am

ealvarez wrote:I might not be the greatest expert with Mellel but, for my experience, there is no way to preserve the list levels. I'm not sure either if we may expect that it could be compatible with another software one day as Redlers do things their way (it gives us a great tool but there are some caveats, as this one). Your best chance : that they stay in business... or not use list levels! :wink:
Good advice, thanks, I thought that would be the answer (aarg). Maby I could put everything in an auto-title and export tp opml?

I would hate to have to switch to Nisus, but I got burned really badly with the MindWrite thing. I have been overly cautious since. But I will not stoop to Word!!!

macula
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Re: In case of emergency…

Post by macula » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:18 am

I wouldn't blame anyone who felt that they seem to be getting out of business... No updates, no forum posts, no news...

Timotheus
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Re: In case of emergency…

Post by Timotheus » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:02 pm

Neither woud I, macula!

This forum used to be a very lively place; but it isn't anymore. Ori Redler used to take part in discussions about all kinds of things; but now he clearly dedicates his time to other things. There used to be a periodic newsletter; but there isn't anymore.

What a difference between this forum, and the fora of Scrivener, Bookends, Nisus, Devonthink, Launchbar, 1Password etc. etc., where the developers are always around and ready to answer, to discuss, to help!
X.12.6 – Scrivener > MMD > LaTeX, Mellel, Nisus; Bookends; Devonthink; Lightroom.

gpolberd
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Re: In case of emergency…

Post by gpolberd » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:13 pm

Of course, the problem is that other WP's don't have the combination of Mellel's functions: named markers, the ability to shift self-defined sections in an outline panel, hot-key switching between languages and their associated fonts, etc. If Mellel goes (and the silence is depressing), it's a great loss. Word's outlining capabilities are mediocre, Pages has no cross-reference function, Nisus has no outline panel. What are scholarly writers to do if the Redlers stop developing their product?

Timotheus
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Re: In case of emergency…

Post by Timotheus » Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:19 pm

For Mac-oriented scholarly writers who don't want to use Word (or Word-like applications like Open Office), there are only two alternatives to Mellel: Nisus and Papyrus. Both are good and have a wealth of features, but both also have a very similar shortcoming, which for many scholarly writers is untolerable: their insufficient way of managing footnotes. A Nisus document with many footnotes becomes unworkably slow; and the present version of Papyrus isn't able to produce footnotes that span across two pages.

In addition, as far as Papyrus is concerned, it should be noted that this application has two versions, a German one and an English one, the first of which is much more advanced than the second. So it's not just a matter of localization.
X.12.6 – Scrivener > MMD > LaTeX, Mellel, Nisus; Bookends; Devonthink; Lightroom.

Eyal Redler
Co-founder
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Re: In case of emergency…

Post by Eyal Redler » Wed Jun 23, 2010 12:05 am

Hi Everybody,

We are aware that the long silence is worrying but rest assured that we are:
1. Alive and well (not that we would mind being able to deliver more updates and be more responsive in the forums)
2. Working on Mellel 2.8 and beyond.

We make it our policy not to discuss the upcoming features before we know that the feature is working beautifully and is close to being ready for the public.

Regarding the post that started this thread. We have no plans of going out of business. Even in the case we would wish to retire we would certainly do our best to ensure that Mellel continues to be developed by some other commercial entity or even as an open source project. In addition to that, Mellel saves its documents in an xml file whose format is documented and available to everybody. 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), we are certainly open for suggestions here.
Eyal Redler
----------------------
Co-Founder and Developer at Mellel AAR LTD
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/mellelwordprocessor
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/MellelRedlex

Timotheus
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Re: In case of emergency…

Post by Timotheus » Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:28 am

Thanks, Eyal, for your answer. It's good to hear that you are alive and well, and that work on Mellel is going on.

But: why this long silence? Why this complete absence of newsletters? Why this absence from the forum? Why again this slowing down of the development process? There is a whole community which counts on you, and which (in my case at least) feels let down!

The first three or four years of Mellel's existence were a period of quick and often fascinating development. There were lively discussions on this forum, and Mellel's future looked bright. Then there came a period in which things slowed down. Ori explained later that this had been due to personal circumstances, but that in the meantime certain problems had been overcome, and that development would again be quick and fascinating.

But the opposite has been the case. The last serious update dates back to september 2009, and was in some way an incomplete update. There were floating images and there was wrapping of text around images, but there were no text boxes, which had been promised but hadn't made it to that update. That's perfectly normal of course, but in the meantime nine months have passed, in which neither text boxes nor any other substantial new feature has been added.

Seeing how things have gone in the last three years, and noticing this prolonged and very eloquent silence on the forum, my conclusion can only be that in at least part of the staff the enthousiasm of the old days, the iron will to make Mellel by far the best and most complete word processor for the Mac, has gone, perhaps forever. Therefore: why not some fresh blood in the staff? That would definitely do good to the company!
X.12.6 – Scrivener > MMD > LaTeX, Mellel, Nisus; Bookends; Devonthink; Lightroom.

rpcameron
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Re: In case of emergency…

Post by rpcameron » Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:09 am

Eyal Redler wrote:… Mellel saves its documents in an xml file whose format is documented and available to everybody.
I don't recall ever having seen Mellel's XSD or other schema published. The closest that has come has been Steven/Stephen Still's HTML converter, which was created through a culled XSLT. In addition, nowhere on the Redlers site is the Mellel XSD available.

I would love the ability to be able create my own XSLT for Mellel's files, however I am unable to without creating my own test file that includes most all features of Mellel.

Yet, I am in total agreement with Eyal that Mellel's XML format does indeed make the "emergency" of Mellel being abandonware quite obsolete: XML allows the user to create their own XSLT to morph their original document into any format. The only advantage that (La)TeX has over XML/(X)HTML is its excellent hyphenation/typography, which has awesomely improved with HTML5/CSS3.

Once CSS3 becomes standard, its text and ruby modules will finally cover most every edge case that multilingual writers encounter. Perhaps ePUB 2.1 will encompass more HTML and CSS than it currently does to allow for proper typography across languages, beyond 2.0.1 and Adobe's poor implementation in their Mobile Reader software used in a large number of eReaders at present.
— Robert Cameron

ealvarez
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Re: In case of emergency…

Post by ealvarez » Thu Jun 24, 2010 6:19 pm

Timotheus wrote:Thanks, Eyal, for your answer. It's good to hear that you are alive and well, and that work on Mellel is going on.

But: why this long silence? Why this complete absence of newsletters? Why this absence from the forum? Why again this slowing down of the development process? There is a whole community which counts on you, and which (in my case at least) feels let down!
Fact is, when I decided to go with Mellel, a reason was that I was feeling that there was an alive community... and an alive software development. It's stimulating to have an idea where the software development goes, to have a road map. I may do the same choice today but I would be more cautious as we have no ideas where things go.

An exemple of a active development : http://visualdatatools.com/DataGraph/Ve ... index.html ... an active log of the changes made!

dstay
Got the auto-title mojo working
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Re: In case of emergency…

Post by dstay » Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:26 pm

I renewed my license a while back, wanting to support further development, now I am a bit disappointed regarding the rate of new releases.
There really should be more communication from the developers.

Mart°n
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Re: In case of emergency…

Post by Mart°n » Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:56 pm

I agree with most of the people here and find Mellel’s development too slow and the information from the developers too few. We all know, that some features require longer periods of time than others and that Mellel’s complexity grew over the last few years, but the percieved „silence“ tend to frustrate and discourage your users.
While recommending Mellel to other users two years ago was a no brainer, today I often think twice if I even mention Mellel to others because it’s not clear what one would get. In the past, you’ve payed one price for three, then two years of great updates. And if there was a problem or an often requested feature, you could bet to see this feature some months from now appearing in a shiny new version of Mellel.
Today, you can’t even be sure to receive one major update in your “free updates period” and you couldn’t bet on new features to arrive within a reasonable timeframe. On the other hand, Nisus Writer and Pages receive constant updates and both offer a feature set that makes them the better choice for a lot of users. I won’t give up on Mellel because of some unique and great features not to be found elsewhere, but the old spirit and enthusiasm is not there anymore.

I hope it will revive and bring us some great new versions of Mellel. :D

I also would like to see the official MeXML documentation.

Best wishes

Martin

redlers
Site Admin
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Re: In case of emergency…

Post by redlers » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:07 pm

Timotheus wrote:Thanks, Eyal, for your answer. It's good to hear that you are alive and well, and that work on Mellel is going on.

But: why this long silence? Why this complete absence of newsletters? Why this absence from the forum? Why again this slowing down of the development process? There is a whole community which counts on you, and which (in my case at least) feels let down!

The first three or four years of Mellel's existence were a period of quick and often fascinating development. There were lively discussions on this forum, and Mellel's future looked bright. Then there came a period in which things slowed down. Ori explained later that this had been due to personal circumstances, but that in the meantime certain problems had been overcome, and that development would again be quick and fascinating.

But the opposite has been the case. The last serious update dates back to september 2009, and was in some way an incomplete update. There were floating images and there was wrapping of text around images, but there were no text boxes, which had been promised but hadn't made it to that update. That's perfectly normal of course, but in the meantime nine months have passed, in which neither text boxes nor any other substantial new feature has been added.

Seeing how things have gone in the last three years, and noticing this prolonged and very eloquent silence on the forum, my conclusion can only be that in at least part of the staff the enthousiasm of the old days, the iron will to make Mellel by far the best and most complete word processor for the Mac, has gone, perhaps forever. Therefore: why not some fresh blood in the staff? That would definitely do good to the company!
Well, the long silence is totally my (Ori Redler's) fault... I'm the one who wrote more in the past and writes less now. There all sorts of personal reasons for that - none of which are of interest - but this was the end result...

As to some fresh blood -- well, there is some, which you'll witness in how Mellel's look changes in the near future.

One note of importance: it DOES get more difficult, over time, to add features and at the same time keep Mellel as fast as it was without the extra "burden" of those features. Over the first three years or so, we needed to spend just some of our time on keeping Mellel as fast as it was. As features are added, this takes more of our time and, well, slows us a bit.

redlers
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Re: In case of emergency…

Post by redlers » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:08 pm

Mart°n wrote: Today, you can’t even be sure to receive one major update in your “free updates period” and you couldn’t bet on new features to arrive within a reasonable timeframe.
This is something we will take care of... It is indeed unfair.

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