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MouthWideShut

Another in my ongoing series of telling Joel how to run his business...

The problem with MouthWideShut is that can lead to two negative outcomes:

1. As time expands, so does the Customer's assumption of how many new things will be included in the next release. This can only lead to disappointment; or (worse)

2. As time expands, so does the Customer's impatience as all these new wizbang things are introduced by other products. It decreases the incentive to remain loyal.
There's a lot of neat stuff happening out there -- Movable Type, for one -- and the apparent incentive to switch increases every day.

There is a lot to be said for "release early and often", especially in beta mode. I'm sure there are plenty of folks on this list who would test and feedback quickly, efficiently, and smartly.

BTW, here's my offer to beta-test any releases of CityDesk.

Amos
Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Agreed.  If CityDesk 2.0 doesn't come out before my trial version locks me out, I'd rather go to http://www.pmachine.com.

If CityDesk 2.0 does go into beta (and I'm a beta tester) or release before I'm locked out, I'll most likely buy it.

I think I'm quite near the limit.
http://www.daliblume.com/citydesk.xml

So hurry, FogCreek, hurry!

David Blume
Tuesday, February 25, 2003

a) P Machine is server side (I think), CityDesk is client side. There are a million server-side content management packages out there, but only one CityDesk.

b) There is a lot to be said for "release early, release often." This is known as the Microsoft Release philosophy. On the other hand, take a look at the Apple 'cloak of darkness' world-shattering innovative releases that were completely unanticipated. Which would you rather be?

c) CityDesk 2.0 is likely a complete re-build of the engine, so incremental "dot releases" which may help alleviate this problem are more difficult for what will become a legacy (but still supported) application. I'm guessing, once released, it will 'rock your world.'

d) Are the people complaining about the lack of features the same as the people who were applauding CityDesk when it first came out, or a new set of people? If this forum didn't exist & Fog was just a corporate monolith without Joel & without a forum, would you still be complaining?

e) CityDesk still runs my site just fine. Learn the limitations & move on. Don't lament what could-have-been. I'm very happy with the ease with which I can create & modify templates.

f) Joel has said that CityDesk 2.0 is the one they're gonna start advertising far & wide so they want to be sure it's perfet before they release it, rather than releasing an imperfect version early.

www.marktaw.com
Tuesday, February 25, 2003

f) Didn't Joel actually say that CityDesk 3.0 will be the one they advertise widely?

Darren Collins
Tuesday, February 25, 2003

"... our strategy for CityDesk is to avoid massive PR until 2.0 is out"

from:

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/printerFriendly/articles/PickingShipDate.html

tk
Tuesday, February 25, 2003

PR seems to be an unknown frase at Fog Creek right now - the word 'fog' becomming more and more relevant. But really, what's the problem guys? Use CD1 and be happy. If there ever is a CD2 you can be even more happy.  Adrian and marktaw and others has said what needs to be said long ago: Fog Creek Joel (I think he is alone, poor man, struggeling with CD in his bedroom) give us some indication that you have read about the bugs we write to you about and give us a hint that it is worth the effort staying around a bit more. That's all. Over and out. I'll be back if there ever is a CD2, and I still love CD1.

Jorgen Brenting
Tuesday, February 25, 2003

I agree: we need some sign that the Foggy Creek Boys hear what we are saying.

David Burch
Tuesday, February 25, 2003

I stand corrected, TK. See what having kids does to your memory?!

Darren Collins
Tuesday, February 25, 2003

I would like to say that I agree that there needs to be more communication.  I would like to be told outright that the next release is being worked on, what is being planned and a brief status.

I do agree with Joel that I would rather be surprised than let down, but I do not like feeling left in the dark especially after all the .com busts.

I think a good solution would be somewhere between Mouth Wide Open and Mouth Wide Shut--maybe a Whisper, Whisper But No Promises.

David Burch
Tuesday, February 25, 2003

"The most important goal for us as a software company next year is to ship a series of new releases of CityDesk. The primary goal is to provide answers to the people who have said to us: "I like CityDesk, but I can't use it for my application because x." For example: "I like CityDesk, but my site appears in Japanese and English, and there are a few places where CityDesk doesn't preserve Unicode properly." Or, "I like CityDesk, but I need more flexibility in scripting so that I can do x, y, and z with my site automatically." Overcoming these x's is the easiest way to improve sales. The great thing about having customers and listening to them is that we get this kind of information, and we don't have to speculate about what features would be neat, and we don't do things just because some programmer thinks they would be fun. Read Strategy Letter III to see what I mean. (By the way, we've already got a Unicode version of CityDesk "in the lab" which is how I publish all the translations, but it's not quite ready for prime time.)"
- Joel on Software, December, 2002

There you go. Fog & Joel listen & are planning on delivering a series of releses this year.

www.marktaw.com
Tuesday, February 25, 2003

This rings true to me and I actually find it encouraging in relation to CityDesk.

"Good Software Takes Ten Years. Get Used To it."

http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000017.html

tk
Tuesday, February 25, 2003

1. Release early, release often is more of an open source model than an MS model. The MS model is vaporware :-).
2. Apple -- hasn't produced anything earth-shattering in decades. I-pod? Rio with a hard drive.
3. I'm looking for a good set of tools, not a messianic, faith-based experience.
4. Posting a "monthly" update note to the discussion board would be appropriate. "Hi, we're working on it. We just nailed this. We're toiling on this right now."

Not that I doubt Joel's integrity or responsiveness. David's recent experience proves that. Two-way communication would be nice, not just pontificating from Joelonsoftware.

Amos
Wednesday, February 26, 2003

One thing about Apple is that they tend to produce new rabbits from their hat at the big yearly bash. At least you know the timing of the next announcement even if you might not know what it is!

Robert Cowham
Friday, February 28, 2003

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