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So what's the status

I'm evaluating CD for use on a bunch of my sites. I like the idea of a desktop solution rather than installing stuff on the server. I've tried many server based CMS solutions. I've tossed out a lot of them for different reasons and I'd like to move to a desktop solution. So I installed CD messed around with the templates and generally liked what I saw. However, I'm not likely to play with everything that I might need over the years in a few weeks. That's where I look for direction and active development on the application. I also don't want to start using yet another product that has no future.

So, I drifted here. At the bottom of the page (at least for now) is a long discussion about the lack of information on the direction of CD. It seems to have lasted about a half of a month and generally concluded that there might be nothing happening in the future for CD. This was the opinion of various posters. What worries me is that a thread lasting half a month and containing more comments than any other has no response from FC.

I also took a look at citydesknews.com and the last entry is from May, it's now August.

So, FC, what is the status. I don't want a list of features you are working on, I don't want an expected release date, but I want to know this product is being worked on. It seems that the last version of CD was released almost a year ago. That's a really long time.

If I plunk down $300 because it currently fits my needs that's fine. But I don't want to have to plunk down $300/year and go through the hassel of learning a new system and moving all my content to a new system when I realize after a year that there are bugs that will never get fixed, another system does all CD does and more, etc.

Thanks

Bill Nalen
Thursday, August 05, 2004

Thanks for the comments... Rest assured we're hard at work making our software the best it can be!

Michael H. Pryor
Fog Creek Software
Thursday, August 05, 2004

Correction: There has not been any news from Fog Creek since December 24, 2003. The rest of the “news” is from users of CityDesk.

Jorgen B.
Thursday, August 05, 2004

Also, if it's true that they would rather do one release a year because more new stuff can be added and they believe in adding only the functionality that can be put in and checked before the release date and they believe in adding functionality only when the bugs from the last addition have been worked out, then isn't there a list of all the new functionality that has been added in the last 12 months that is fully functioning and checked? I understand not wanting to release a list of planned features because those might not make it in, but there must be something new that's been added in 12 months that is going to make it in the release.

Also, all the talk about a simple schedule and tossing out functionality that can't make it in before the release seems to counteract the message about not giving a date. Surely after all the talk about having a schedule means that  the developers working on it have some sort of schedule?

Part of getting users to buy something is to let them know it's a viable product. I'm sorry, but a one sentence reply in a forum does not counteract a site with no news updates in 6 months, no new release (even for bug fixes) for 12 months, and a half month thread talking about the product being dead.

I like the product and this is probably the only thing holding me back. I don't think there is much more that I would want CD to do, but I will not buy (especially at $300) a product that is the last version they are making. Communication about what's going on is key to keeping users excited about the product.

For instance, right now I'm using .Text for my site. I like it and it works pretty well for what I want. But there's basically been no information about where the project is heading, when updates are going to be available, what's going into the next versions, etc. I even spent the time installing it and writing some docs for it, and with no information coming out of the developer, I'm searching for other solutions.

Bill Nalen
Thursday, August 05, 2004

Thanks for the clarification.  As you know, our policy is not to discuss future release dates or future features.  We want our customers to be happy with the software they have purchased, not a promise from us for features which may exist in the future.  Download CityDesk, try it out... If it fits your needs then we'd love to have you as a customer.  I understand your comments, and I'm glad you shared them.  Right now we're hard at work building our software for the future and rest assured that we're going to be around for a long time.

Michael H. Pryor
Fog Creek Software
Thursday, August 05, 2004

”…software for the future…” Wow! And I thought that getting rid of some of the already known bugs was aiming a bit high. Now we just have to wait for the future.

BTW notice that CityDesk is not mentioned anywhere in the answers so I guess that the status is Status Quo meaning that if you work your way around the bugs and stay away from “Normal View” CD is still the best in it’s field.

Unfortunately there is no known bugs list – perhaps this is part of Fog Creeks strange customer strategy too – so you have to find your way around by yourself. Good old Trial and Error seems to have won over FogBugs here.

Jorgen B.
Friday, August 06, 2004

So for FogBugz I saw a policy on the site where it says if there's a bug, the user actually talks to a developer and often times receives a patch that day. However, what I'm hearing is the there are known bugs in CityDesk and users never receive a patch and there is no list of known issues.  Is this correct?

Bill Nalen
Friday, August 06, 2004

No, that is not true.  We have an internal database where we keep track of bugs in CityDesk.  We also receive crash reports automatically from the field if CityDesk crashes.  I'm not sure what you're talking about in regards to patches for FogBugz, but we use the same system for FogBugz that we use for CityDesk.  When problems come up we offer workarounds here in the discussion forum.

Again, I have to say that we want you to try our software out and if it fulfills your needs, then we'd love having you as a customer.  If it doesn't, then we understand and in the meantime we'll be here coding away, trying to improve it.

Michael H. Pryor
Fog Creek Software
Friday, August 06, 2004

First of all most of the griping on this board comes from a few users. Perhaps half dozen. While many of the issues they're griping about are real CityDesk is an immensely useful product in it's current state.  The CityDesk is dead talk arises from the same small number of people.  Fog Creek has consistently stated that CityDesk is under active development and that a new version is coming.

I think that the lack of bug fixes for version two is due to the areas which are most troublesome being substantially rewritten and Fog Creeks deciding to spend their time and effort on the rewrite rather than fixing bugs in code that will be replaced.  There's a post somewhere from Joel about this philosophy; I don't have time to search for it now.

Ken McKinney
Friday, August 06, 2004

Thanks Ken, point taken. I bet there's a fair number of users who are happy and never come here to comment on things.

Bill Nalen
Friday, August 06, 2004

According to this Joel *never* rewrites: http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000069.html

Matthew Lock
Sunday, August 08, 2004

Uh no.. He says never  toss your code base and start over, that's different.

Ken McKinney
Sunday, August 08, 2004

Given the realities of software development, you can hardly blame FC for remaining somewhat mum on the status of CD development. I would give these guys a break. CD is a good product, and I am sure that the next version will come when it is ready.

I have been very happy with the product, and FC has done right be me, both with support questions, and with free updates.

Robert Pawlak ( www.chessassistance.com )
Saturday, August 14, 2004

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