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Max Version 5: Please, I'm not a beta tester!


July 29, 2008 | 3:01 pm

Hello,

I decide not to own Max five for the moment.
I’m very disappointed.

It is not about round corner etc.
The new way to thinking max environment is C74’s choice, and is probably the best evolving way for Max.
I can believe this, and I can imagine what an effort it asked to the crew.

The problem is I am not a beta-tester.

I want to have a cogent documentation.

I want coherence in the different sections and windows that constitute the whole integrated documentation.
If a feature doesn’t exist, please don’t put in the doc, and please put in everything that exists.

I want that all elmts in the documentation, exist in the software and work in my patch and be feasible.

An example:
I need to copy portion from the reference in the clipboard to paste in my patch. It seems essential, do not? If I can’t, so I work with HTML version and I don’t need the integrated one!!

Moreover, Why this impossibility to run Max5 patch in lower versions??? How can we work if you don’t ensure compatibility?
Is it a commercial or a political decision?
I can’t believe it from C74.

Finally I want vivacity from my main software, v5 is really too slow.

At this time I prefer to run after the pdf and the html files, and patch in black and white, because Max 4.6 is really, really efficient.
It asked me 4 years to "build" my technic and my velocity, I refuse to restart from the beginning if the tool is not bedrock.

So I’ll be patient, because I trust in tomorrow.
Thank for reading.

K.

July 31, 2008 | 10:50 pm

No Comment ? Perhaps I’m wrong.

August 1, 2008 | 9:20 pm

perhaps… it’s hard to accept to unlearn things…

On 31-Jul-08, at 6:50 PM, Derrick Giscloux wrote:

>
> No Comment ? Perhaps I’m wrong.

August 4, 2008 | 3:59 am

This backwards-compatibility thing is just the usual necessity of moving forward with most software. Reaktor 5 patches don’t always work well in Reaktor 4 especially when they first released Reaktor 5. ProTools 7 documents don’t work well with ProTools 6,5,4,etc.

Just think about it and I’m sure you’ll understand: the newer versions of software include functionalities which do not exist in the older versions of software. How do you create backwards-compatibility for functionalities that did not exist in the past? It’s difficult without actually going back into the past and turning Max4 into Max5. You might as well stay in the present and create Max5 and then worry about getting everyone who wants to live in the past caught up gradually once you can get your entire plan realized as best you can.

For your documentation comment, I’d say it’s likely to be something that was overlooked and will be bettered in the future. But it is a harder job to create the integrated documentation in the first place, so it was necessary to focus on that hardest part and then worry about the smaller functionalities once users give it a try and complain about them to bring them to attention. At least, now, if you want to copy the text from the html version of the docs, you have a link from the integrated docs, whereas before, you had to have a .pdf open at the same time and you had no links and everytime someone wanted to edit it, they had to generate the entire .pdf document rather than just one single xml/html page that could be loaded into a folder of the whole set.

Think of it this way: if a country’s government has put into place oppressive systems of legislation that control the dissemination of information, the people will be one-step behind in learning how to overcome their own oppression which increases faster than their awareness of it is allowed to grow. If, however, they overthrow the government and declare it incompatible with the will of the people, they can then bring information dissemination under their own control and create their own government that is conducive to their growth and evolution as opposed to being destructive towards those ends.
Their new system of government, however, will become incompatible with the mindset and will of the oppressed generations of the past. Similarily, the Max5 way is a revolution against the sterile and archane methods of Max4(which, by the way, was not going to keep up well with all the changes made in MacOSX and intel-duo machines).

Things are getting better: instead of being overwhelmed by the darkness in the shadow of a single tree, you just have to climb that tree to see the grand forest that lays before you.

August 5, 2008 | 7:20 am

On Mon, Aug 4, 2008 at 5:59 AM, raja wrote:

> Think of it this way: if a country’s government has put into place
> oppressive systems of legislation that control the dissemination of
> information, the people will be one-step behind in learning how to overcome
> their own oppression which increases faster than their awareness of it is
> allowed to grow. If, however, they overthrow the government and declare it
> incompatible with the will of the people, they can then bring information
> dissemination under their own control and create their own government that
> is conducive to their growth and evolution as opposed to being destructive
> towards those ends.
> Their new system of government, however, will become incompatible with the
> mindset and will of the oppressed generations of the past. Similarily, the
> Max5 way is a revolution against the sterile and archane methods of
> Max4(which, by the way, was not going to keep up well with all the changes
> made in MacOSX and intel-duo machines).

I fear this comparison to the oppressed rising up and overthrowing the
oppressors is a bit off the mark. There was no democratic consultation or
mass movement to lead the changes in Max 5, instead, it was imposed on us by
the dictators in the offices over there in San Francisco. Albeit with the
stance of a benevolent dictator, one who knows what’s best for the rest of
us.

I’ve been quite surprised by the number of bugs that have shown themselves
since the release of Max 5. And I thought it was rather ‘tongue in cheek’
to be boasting of the hundreds of bug fixes that had been made for one of
the updates. It’s not as though these are hidden bugs that only show
themselves in rare moments, the vast majority of the bugs appear to be
common or garden issues that I would have thought should have been picked up
in the pre-release stages, those stages where the real beta testing went on.

I feel Cycling made a mistake to trumpet the advances of Max 5, which,
important as they may seem, are really only cosmetic changes in the end.
Why wasn’t there a public beta stage? Some admittance that there was going
to be a period of six months to really get the product up and running? If my
memory serves me well there was a beta phase after the release of Max 4 (or
the last major update). I, for one, feel that having paid up front, I
should be entitled to feel that I was paying for something that was
roadworthy, not a product that needed to be left in the garage only to be
taken out for test runs on the weekend. Have you seen the number of posts
on the forum where users appear to have gone back to using Max4 for the time
being? Back to the land of the ‘sterile and arcane’.

Viva the oppressed generation!

pelado

August 5, 2008 | 7:45 am

Quote: pelado wrote on Tue, 05 August 2008 09:20
—————————————————-
> On Mon, Aug 4, 2008 at 5:59 AM, raja wrote:
>
> I feel Cycling made a mistake to trumpet the advances of Max 5, which,
> important as they may seem, are really only cosmetic changes in the end.
> Why wasn’t there a public beta stage? Some admittance that there was going
> to be a period of six months to really get the product up and running? If my
> memory serves me well there was a beta phase after the release of Max 4 (or
> the last major update). I, for one, feel that having paid up front, I
> should be entitled to feel that I was paying for something that was
> roadworthy, not a product that needed to be left in the garage only to be
> taken out for test runs on the weekend. Have you seen the number of posts
> on the forum where users appear to have gone back to using Max4 for the time
> being? Back to the land of the ‘sterile and arcane’.

I don’t want to be a knee-jerk reactionary, but unless you can provide some reasonable descriptions of show-stopping bugs that have brought your ability to use Max 5 to a grinding halt, I am going to have to assume that you are simply exaggerating on a general theme for dramatic effect. I think I’ve read maybe 1 or 2 emails from people who couldn’t do their work in Max 5 due to some obscure bug (which we have generally fixed in a timely fashion). On the other hand, I’ve talked to many, many people who are using Max 5 just fine to make sophisticated, complicated and functional patches.

Every piece of software has bugs, some bigger than others, and no one has ever claimed that Max 5 is bug-free. When people provide bug reports, we go to a lot of trouble to get stuff fixed and updates released as soon as possible and in good faith. Max 5 is definitely roadworthy, though, is overwhelmingly stable and performs quite well. If you are experiencing problems, your best address is support@cycling74.com — try it! Send us a patch that shows something broken. Simply saying "it’s broken!" doesn’t help us, doesn’t help your fellow users and it certainly doesn’t do much about getting your problems solved.

Jeremy

August 5, 2008 | 9:23 am

pelado wrote:

"I fear this comparison to the oppressed rising up and overthrowing the
oppressors is a bit off the mark. There was no democratic consultation or
mass movement to lead the changes in Max 5,"

This is not off the mark, there is no need to compare a company with a government. If you live anywhere in the first-world, and I’m sure you do if you have access to a computer to read forums like these, then you know a company as small as Cycling’74 doesn’t IMPOSE anything on anyone(i think you are guilty of a grave exaggeration here).
Rather, Max5 can be compared to a system of disseminating information which can free people if they know how to use the tool wisely(which is what my allegorical reference was really about). There would be no democratic consultation because Cycling’74 has no power over you(or are you admitting to your own self-imposed utter-dependence on 4.6? maybe you should develop your own software for a change rather than building your life around others’?). You are free to download 4.6 and keep using it, this is more than other companies do when they choose to update their software to be congruent with changing technologies such as MacOSX and intel-duo compatibility.

I read the forums about 20 times every day in order to help people with their problems and I see many many more complements about Max5 than I do complaints.

If you put your criticisms in a gentlemanly fashion before Cycling’74, they will always do their best to hear them out and fix what’s reasonably asked. But you have not done so here at all. It’s true, though, my language could’ve been less confrontational. You’ve got me there ;)

August 5, 2008 | 2:54 pm

On Tue, Aug 5, 2008 at 9:45 AM, Jeremy Bernstein
wrote:

> Simply saying "it’s broken!" doesn’t help us, doesn’t help your fellow
> users and it certainly doesn’t do much about getting your problems solved.
>

I didn’t mean for my message to be interpreted as saying the software is
broken. Rather, I was making the point that there were heaps of bugs in Max
5 that I was surprised to see creep through, and raising the question of why
not have a public beta for a while to iron out the minor irritations that
(inevitable or not) made it to the first releases. I recognise that Cycling
is a small company and certainly don’t want to belittle the effort that any
of the workers put in. But there’s also a large community of well minded
Max users that want to see the product develop further, expand and gain more
and more users. I would like to include myself in that community. We are
also a resource that I sometimes feel could bring more to the product and
helping catch minor bugs before the final release of Max 5 is one example of
how we can be utilised.
I am using Max 5 and haven’t regressed to Max 4. I’d also add that I expect
to keep on using it. The remark I made that some others appear to have gone
back to Max 4 was, I think, a valid observation, even if not empirically
tested.
raja:

This is not off the mark, there is no need to compare a company with a
> government. If you live anywhere in the first-world, and I’m sure you do if
> you have access to a computer to read forums like these, then you know a
> company as small as Cycling’74 doesn’t IMPOSE anything on anyone(i think you
> are guilty of a grave exaggeration here).
>

I was simply following your allegory through which I felt was, as I said,
off the mark and inappropriate. I probably wouldn’t have replied to this
thread had you not used words like government, oppressive, revolution,
control and ‘will of the people’, together with this statement:

"it was necessary to focus on that hardest part and then worry about the
> smaller functionalities once users give it a try and complain about them to
> bring them to attention."
>

I may be guilty of some exaggeration (as Jeremy suggested), but believe me,
I value Max deeply and only want to see it succeed further.

pelado

August 5, 2008 | 6:22 pm

Fair enough. I’m probably being too defensive and I used the government-oppression-rant in a humorous/cocky way forgetting that, in writing, it may actually sound insulting because people can’t hear the tone of my voice or the smile on my face which would show how I laugh at myself while coming up with it. My apologies.

I’ve been sending bugs i find and even requests for changes straight to support@cycling74.com and they’re pretty responsive. Hope you’ll do the same so we can get the app to a state where everyone can be happy.

August 5, 2008 | 6:50 pm

I downloaded the trial.
I started converting patches and testing them.
I was thrown off by the font issues and immediate performance hit.
I purchased Max5.0, figuring it was sort of inevitable to move on.
I completed converting all the elements of my performance patch.
I attempted to use my performance patch, but found the performance poor and crashes inevitable.
I reverted to 4.6 for a performance.
I went over the 5.0 patch to try and see if I could improve it.
I prepared to use my performance patch in 5.0 again for a show, but it crashed repeatedly while just "idling."
I used 4.6 for the show.
I decided that the only reasonable way to know a patch was 100% 5.0 friendly was to build the entire patch from the ground up in 5.0
I’m still using 4.6 for shows.

So, not a very useful analysis, but exactly what was referred to.

Where are my bug reports?
Well, I’ve been told not to submit actual crashlogs for windows.
The patch itself is a big, sprawling performance patch. Where to begin? Without building every piece from the ground up in 5.0, I can’t be sure something isn’t a little bit off. My OpenGL patches have always crashed more often than when I run old-timey GL-less video, so maybe all the interface elements moving that direction has just put my graphics card over the edge. With that in mind, I’m pretty much resigned to having to get a new, faster computer to run Max 5.0 in hopes of getting results that are the same as 4.6 from a pure performance perspective. I do notice that most of the people that seem to have real issues with Max 5.0 and performance are Jitter users. I don’t see any reason that these speed issues would improve, so throwing faster hardware at them might help.

August 6, 2008 | 9:12 pm

I share the opinions of those are disappointed with the current status of MAX5. I paid full price, expecting a product that was ready for widespread public use. I’ve experienced many crashes while developing patches, but fewer once I get them to run. Speed is a major problem, and I am running on a fast dual core Intel PC.

The most disappointing problem is behavior that makes it extremely difficult to develop workarounds. Sometimes when I make very simple changes to an object, the changes do not take effect upon leaving edit mode (locking the window). Instead, the patcher must be closed and reopened. This makes it very difficult to experiment with workarounds.

I’ve been programming since FORTRAN II, with procedural, object-oriented, and "visual" languages, and MAX5 does not compare favorably to most of the languages I’ve used. I can only hope that it eventually reaches a more mature state so the users can derive some value from their investment.

Best regards,
Michael

August 6, 2008 | 9:20 pm

why is this thread on the jitter list? I thought there was a Max list…

Bart

On Wed, Aug 6, 2008 at 5:12 PM, Michael O’Bannon wrote:
>
> I share the opinions of those are disappointed with the current status of MAX5. I paid full price, expecting a product that was ready for widespread public use. I’ve experienced many crashes while developing patches, but fewer once I get them to run. Speed is a major problem, and I am running on a fast dual core Intel PC.
>
> The most disappointing problem is behavior that makes it extremely difficult to develop workarounds. Sometimes when I make very simple changes to an object, the changes do not take effect upon leaving edit mode (locking the window). Instead, the patcher must be closed and reopened. This makes it very difficult to experiment with workarounds.
>
> I’ve been programming since FORTRAN II, with procedural, object-oriented, and "visual" languages, and MAX5 does not compare favorably to most of the languages I’ve used. I can only hope that it eventually reaches a more mature state so the users can derive some value from their investment.
>
> Best regards,
> Michael
>

bartwoodstrup.com
vodstrup.com

August 6, 2008 | 10:33 pm

It’s o.k. people need to vent. Although "newdendrite" seems to not really know Max that well to begin with(if you read his other message about "All Windows active") and it seems like some people would like to jump to conclusions before giving it a real try, these forums are pretty free so it’s all good.

It would be more commendable, though, if there were more specifics to what people were saying. Otherwise, upon reading something generalized like this:
"Sometimes when I make very simple changes to an object, the changes do not take effect upon leaving edit mode (locking the window). Instead, the patcher must be closed and reopened. This makes it very difficult to experiment with workarounds."

one could draw the conclusion that the person is talking generally in order to avoid criticism about their specific use of the object/patch. I personally have never had this problem with any object in Max5, so I’m willing to bet, "newdendrite" needs to put away the FORTRAN and try harder to learn Max5 properly before passing any judgments.

August 6, 2008 | 11:04 pm

livixuv wrote:
"so I’m willing to bet, "newdendrite" needs to put away the FORTRAN and try harder to learn Max5 properly before passing any judgments."

i see the point of what you’re saying but maybe we could be a bit more welcoming to new members?

August 7, 2008 | 1:34 am

Thanks, RabidRaja. The community might consider being a bit more welcoming to those who are willing to persist with max. I won’t argue programming skills, but I have been using max since the incarnation under X on a NEXT machine. I’ve spent many, many hours with v4 — enough to earn the right to criticize. If better doc’s were available, there would probably be fewer reports of problems. The current documentation is substandard at best.

And here’s one for you, livixuv:

Do a clean install of XP on a dual core PC, followed by an install of MAX5. Go to examples/max-tricks/send-receive-tricks/ and start "send-receive-hoard-#0". The crash is immediate. Here we have an example provided by the developer that will not run under XP. Now tell me that’s a function of my programming skill.

Best regards,
Michael

> i see the point of what you’re saying but maybe we could be a bit more welcoming to new members?
—————————————————-

August 7, 2008 | 10:31 am

Just trying to reverse the bad vibe …. So don’t take it
personal … as I am talking about my quasi-total positive Jitter
experience so far…

So please ,
Spare me the criticism , even more if you’re just going for small
patches here and there, just a couple hours a week.
I have got to the point where I do some pretty serious (and exciting)
Jitter app development using Max5 , and it’s been fast, stable, plus
it looks darn good… I work with Max fulltime (you know how we like
to run patchcords from point to point non-stop for 12 to 16 hours a
day ). Here, I am talking about building complete systems , like VJ
performance setups, realtime VJX modules, multi-displays permanent
installations. Thats what you can actually built with Jitter. At
least I do it. So the point is : I love the 5 just as much as the 4.

And to those you use the terms : "to those who are willing to persist
with max.", I answer that Max5 is one of the few programming
environment I feel lucky to use ( in the sense of : Wow! that’s a
cool way to do things and not everybody codes like that) and I
somehow haven’t found (yet) another graphical way to build computer
programs that would fit me as well as Max… Come on people , it’s
just like LEGOs, and I feel like a kid building spacecrafts every
time I start a code session. Plus, since I started with Jitter, I’ve
always found my way around limitations, and I have to say that it’s
probably the only way you’re actually going to learn how to be a
better Max programmer . It’s not persistance, nor resistance, nor
reluctance, that we need to apply to Max, but : effort, creativity
and total commitment (ok, that too much, not) . But trust me that in
the end, if you’re really into it, It will pay off (litterally!).

Salut !
– JS

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