More than nine months gone...

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Re: More than nine months gone...

Postby imaginatian » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:18 am

Give Phase One a break!

As a user for many years I suspect that the original iView code was not very good. I still use it on an old laptop and it's not very stable. A lot of the features you use were "bolted on" and this sort of software development eventually results in unwieldy and unsupportable code.

Then Microsoft got their hands on it. They would have re-worked some of the code to fit their own style but they did not re-write the whole application. So this only made a bad scenario even worse. I suspect the code Phase One bought is poorly documented so a lot of reverse engineering is required. I don't know if any personnel were part of the acquisition, but if not then Phase One would have had a harder job to do.

I suspect that Phase One will have had to re-write the code almost from scratch to take account of changing technologies and changing requirements. They were also busy on their primary application, finishing off the development and then supporting a major release of that. Therefore to get nothing out of them in "9 months" is to be expected.

If they appear "slow" to release anything then they are damned. If they rush release something then they are double-damned. I would guess that the first release won't offer major new functionality, instead providing stability, improved usability plus getting back up to date with standards. However the re-worked code will then be better placed to move forward.

This is all guess work, but as a software engineer myself it's an educated guess!

Ian
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Re: More than nine months gone...

Postby Larry_S » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:51 pm

Hi Ian,

As a user for many years I suspect that the original iView code was not very good. I still use it on an old laptop and it's not very stable. A lot of the features you use were "bolted on" and this sort of software development eventually results in unwieldy and unsupportable code. ...


I'm going to have to disagree with your here. That's quite a few 'guesses.' I've been a user since it was iView Multimedia. Then, I was a beta tester helping Yan Calotychos when he turned it into iView Media Pro, up until it was sold to Microsoft, and have had more than a couple of my suggested features incorporated into the program. I have seen first hand how well the original Media Pro development was done. Yan and his crew did an excellent job of creating a powerful DAM app way ahead of everyone else. It was stable, script-able, supported XML, and the team was very responsive to its users. It has been one of the most used programs in my workflow for the past 10 years. It was a well-built program for its day. Otherwise, it would not have been able to withstand both Microsoft and 3 years of basic neglect, and STILL be a useful app today (notwithstanding current bugs).

Short of lamenting about the obvious, foretold Microsoft debacle, and focusing on the existing Mac code base, I would say the real issue when it comes to upgrading is that it is a Carbon app on the Mac. The current version leverages practically no Cocoa technologies or Core Services and no doubt has a LOT of old, necessary-then Carbon cruft that needs to be dealt with to bring the program to a 'modern' Cocoa app state. I don't envy PhaseOne's workload in this regard; but I, too, am itching for an update. This is similar to why Adobe took so long to update their apps during the double-whammy switch of Carbon->Cocoa and PPC->Intel. That hurdle should have been crossed when Microsoft had the code, but now has to be done, if it is to be a viable option in today's Mac marketplace.

I hope PhaseOne does a good job, and once they have a reasonably stable new version, will stand behind the app with responsive support and active development. Until then, I'm withholding any criticism on an app upgrade that is no doubt quite difficult. (I just hope it happens soon! :wink: )

Larry
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Re: More than nine months gone...

Postby imaginatian » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:22 pm

It was a well-built program for its day.


My wording could have been better but experience has told me that for an application to just stand still it has to be re-worked or even re-written every now and again. It is this that has not taken place for several years. I develop software for a living although on mainframes rather than personal computers so don't know the ins and outs of different Mac O/Ss or chips, or the different versions of .NET on Windows. All I know is that software dates faster than you think. We have some functions at work that are on their 100th plus version. Most of these versions are for small changes but each one, while adding new functionality, has reduced the reliability of the code, made testing of it more difficult and made the support of it more difficult. Due to budgetary and time constraints not all of these changes have been fully documented etc further compounding the problem. I know we're not alone in how software development works in the real world - although few companies would actually admit it.

Microsoft's total neglect for the application probably means that a total re-write from the ground up is required. I'm sure Phase One have their own framework and tools for this kind of development, i.e. their house-style. That's what makes a development team. I'm sure the original iView team were the same, but within the limitations of the technology of the time. You mention they were very responsive, well I benefited from this for several support issues. However code designed well in the first place allows these sort of changes to be made more easily - in fact for what I do the design is probably more important than the actual coding. Good code for something badly designed is worse than bad code for something well designed - hopefully we'll get "good" on both sides of the equation.

I look forward to testing the new version whenever it arrives. I'm lucky in that for my workflow iView still stands the test of time and I prefer using it to Expression Media.

Ian
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Re: More than nine months gone...

Postby Larry_S » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:32 pm

Good code for something badly designed is worse than bad code for something well designed - hopefully we'll get "good" on both sides of the equation.


Nicely phrased, Ian.
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Re: More than nine months gone...

Postby Dudikowski » Thu Apr 28, 2011 10:08 pm

I dont know much about programming. Please explain why someone would buy a program if they need to spend a year to recreate it from scratch? Why not just make a new program with the same functions?
I can think of two reasons. The name IS the product. There are patents involved. I dont think those reasons fits this product tho...

I hate the wait and I hate to have 50 unscanned CDs and DVDs because InDesign CS5 previews can't be read. But what I hate the most is the silence from PhaseOne. This long silence can only mean one thing; the only thing they have to say is "we have no idea when we will release this". Saying this will make all clients switch to other software. I'll give them to the summer break. After the vacation we need to continue living in the second decade of the new millenium.

And now InDesign CS5.5 has been released too. So the worst case scenario is that they release something soon and we still cant read our work files because some bug with 5.5. That would be swell :?
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Re: More than nine months gone...

Postby imaginatian » Thu Apr 28, 2011 11:26 pm

Dudikowski wrote:Please explain why someone would buy a program if they need to spend a year to recreate it from scratch?


You've named some of the reasons. Intergration is another one. Microsoft bought iView so that it could be part of their Expression suite. However most web developers don't need their images catalogued in the same way as a photographer would so I think it was a poor decision by Microsoft. Or maybe it was part of a failed plan to compete against Lightroom and Aperture. Alternatively it might have been a spoiler, which large companies are quite good it - we don't really want it but we really don't want you to have it!

I expect that when the product is finally released - and I'm guessing it will have a new name, if only to lose the negative links with Microsoft - that it will have some level of integration with Capture One. Total integration would not be a good idea, as not all of us use or want to use this tool. Part of the delay could be in putting the hooks in place in Capture One so that it can link with the new software when ready.

As for a total re-write that's possibly an exaggeration! You don't need to re-invent the wheel to produce a wheel. Large chunks of the existing code will still be there, refined and updated, under the bonnet. It's just how it's all put together that matters. It will still be a wheel once it's complete. Of course it should be more aerodynamic and efficient and, to undo what Microsoft did, it should go back to being round!

The real issue with this type of software is the media it supports. iView got around the issue by relying on Quicktime to do most of the work. Most support cases with them started off by checking you had the latest version of Quicktime. Even then there were delays in supporting new cameras while Apple worked on an update. Microsoft sort of did the same when they introduced the WIC to get away from relying on a competitor's software. They pushed the responsibility back to the camera companies. You only have to read the press releases over the last few days for the new versions of Lightroom and ACR and Capture One. A big part of these releases is the support of new cameras. You're desperate for the software to support the latest version of InDesign. I don't need or want that. I would like support for my HD videos, but that could be a waste of time for you. The challenge for Phase One, and any rival company, is keeping up to date with the various media, and to try and keep as many of us as happy as possible. It's a big challenge for them all, and not everyone will be happy with whatever is released.

Ian
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Re: More than nine months gone...

Postby ykPete » Fri Apr 29, 2011 4:55 am

I saw the buggy code comment and felt obliged to comment. As a long-time user over many upgrades to system and computers, I'm fascinated how well iview keeps working. someone said buggy but I think that the current version is pretty good. Remember the days when a catalog would be corrupted. Not any longer. My setup very seldom crashes, and never has problems. (catalogs ~50k images, keep file size ~1 GB).

My hope is that they leave lots of hooks for linking to other programs and dedicate their effort to designing a great cataloging program. Really think out how to easily assign lots of variations in descriptors. Talk to people who intensively use the program and see what they need. This stuff is really in its infancy yet. Yan and crew were great to work with but got sidetracked bringing windows into the picture. However they should be proud that they created this.

What else? cheap enough that it can become a standard that my kids and friends can afford to use. Well linked to creating iphone, Ipad capabilities without needing to use iphoto. more versatile web publishing. Way more capable catalog set capabilities. applescript for ALL functions. And again, talk to your users. I've seen 1 survey and have never been approached for beta testing or my ideas. Anyway, I remain optimistic and hope that as we survived Microsoft, this will be OK too.

Peter
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Re: More than nine months gone...

Postby UCS308 » Wed May 04, 2011 9:59 pm

There is no reason other than being overly controlling not to provide users information about what is going. With this kind of software project it is crazy not to provide incremental releases and sneak peaks. I hate to keep saying this but it seems European companies are a little behind the curve on how to deliver software software for real users, you should look at Omnigroup and the development of OmniFocus as an example of how to keep your developers safe, your management happy, and your customers committed.

Clearly PhaseOne is capable of great innovation, but in all other areas it believes charisma is enough, it is not. Nor is past success.
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Re: More than nine months gone...

Postby Brentliris » Thu May 05, 2011 12:15 pm

Just a few thoughts after watching Expression Media blaze through 40 GB of photos without breaking a sweat..

The posters that are hyper critical are having problems with adobe InDesign files on DVD's CD's.. this is a very vexing situation.. The old code that is not yet updated gives problems.. Problems with various file types , I for one am interested in the program to organize my photos, so at first glance it seems to do this well..

A civil tone in the dialog, for special interest cases, showing som understanding of the work load involved in bringing the program up to date for it's core user base (photographers) would go a long way to keeping a positive atmosphere on this forum and help bring in new supporters..

To sum up, I'm not going to let the special interests case of InDesign compatibiltiy sour my impression of the programs strengths as it stands NOW for a job I have at hand..

Regards

Brent
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Re: More than nine months gone...

Postby Drew » Tue May 10, 2011 5:09 pm

Kind Regards,
Drew
Phase One
Drew
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Re: More than nine months gone...

Postby Jim MSP » Tue May 10, 2011 5:42 pm

Drew 1 wrote:http://www.phaseone.com/en/Online-Store/Media-Pro.aspx


At first glance through some of the videos -- This looks great !!

I'll probably upgrade tonight and let you know what I think.
Jim
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Re: More than nine months gone...

Postby jul7 » Tue May 10, 2011 10:05 pm

Hello
Thanks for this release but there is a big color issue with leica m9's dng :shock:
Please a minor update... :roll:
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Re: More than nine months gone...

Postby Drew » Wed May 11, 2011 1:46 pm

jul7 wrote:Hello
Thanks for this release but there is a big color issue with leica m9's dng :shock:
Please a minor update... :roll:


A support case and some examples would be a big help.
Kind Regards,
Drew
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Re: More than nine months gone...

Postby Raffi3 » Wed May 11, 2011 5:31 pm

I read this thread. While I am not a past EM /IView user, I was looking forward to an app to preview my C1 Raw files with adjustments, and do DAM features. I watched the videos, and then downloaded the trail..

I did the upgrade there was posted last night, and it was able to go through the folders I imported. but no thumbnails appear. Not even using existing thumbnails. (Not responding). I have yet to get it to work. Win7/64bit/16GBram/files on servers.

How do ACTUAL USERS report bugs using real world environments?

I have tried:
PhotoMechanic
FastStone
Babbler
iView Pro I think it was called years back?
Adobe Bridge
Lightroom
And now ACDSee Pro 3
Breezebrowser
and others
(there was another I used that was more geared towards photo journalists, I forget the name, maybe it was PhotoMechanic)


I create my folders manually, meaning that when I get a CF card and load it to my computer from a shoot, If it was weekend Family stuff it goes to the Family folder. Work that is portrait based it goes to the Portrait folder. Product shoots go to Product folder and all these have subfolders. I use a company name or client name subfolder, and project name below that. Family pix I use a Month/Year subfolder, Work related , and That really is a very nice way to organize, FOR ME. For other shoots, like outdoors public. I have made Landscape_Sky, Street_Motion, Plants_Animals, Objects_Macro..and more detailed breakdowns in subfolders, as these are not Date driven, or Client driven. Since I use Bridge and ACDSee, its hard for me to rate things...I do, but thats why I'm looking at EM, perhaps the ability to see adjusted RAW thumbs is the push for me to be patient with EM?

How does EMedia fit in? I barely got it to Import images to a "Catalogue" and it took hours(until last nights update). but yet to see thumbs.

WHY is there no folder structure? I would think it is one of the key features needed...why a "catalogue" structure?, This is what made me stay away from Lightroom.

I know this is likely not the app for me, BUT I am trying to understand what more is needed than something like ACDSeePro3? I actually like Bridge, but its slow and can't watermark the way I like, and needs to do basic resize or adjustments via Photoshop which makes it nice for batching, but I like the way ACDSee can do it within, AND the way it can "Export" to the folders you want in a smart way.

ACDSee does soo much...my ONLY problem is that it cannot read other RAW adjustments, as Adobe reads ACRaw of course, and ACDSee does have a raw converter within, and thumbnails reflect that. It reads PDF's, and Just about every file type there is.
What is EM offering that the other DAM's don't..other than adding complexity to everything by building catalogues and such. I know Bridge does scan each file and make its own"catalogue like" look up, and so does ACDSee add a database...BUT, its TRANSPARENT...you don't see it, or have to fuss with it. I am a photographer. I create images for press. That means I transfer to Computer, develop,edit, have a layout, proof, and print a proof. = ACDSee, C1/ACR, Photoshop, InDesign, AcrobatPro, RIP output, and or CD).

What do others need or do? How do others structure files? and why? HELP...I say and ask, and post, as I would like a DAM that can read and display the RAW files with their adjustments applied(Like Bridge does), and understand that EM will for C1 AND others like ACR(I hope I understood that right).

Thanks
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Re: More than nine months gone...

Postby Dave Heap » Wed May 11, 2011 10:20 pm

You've missed the whole point of Media Pro. The big thing about the Media Pro philosophy is that you are freed from the strictures of a folder structure, which imposes a single indexing system on your images. The file location, file name, folder structure are irrelevant to MP. All it needs this a unique path to know where to locate the file.

Instead, indexing is done by adding keywords, location, events, people, dates (file dates & capture dates are automatically added), GPS data if present or added, et cetera.

Then with a single click, you can instantly view all images meeting any criterion - date or partial date, keyword, location, state, person name .... With only a couple of clicks you can view sets of the union or intersection of multiple e.g. all photos of "Fred" from 2009 takes only two clicks. Four clicks gives you all photos of "Fred" with "Bill" from 2009.
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