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... "as a parting gift"

"we're going to stop selling the Home Edition altogether and as a parting gift we'll upgrade every existing Home Edition user onto the Professional Edition."

Oh dear.  Any thoughts on the future from home users commiting articles to CityDesk?

Mark Major
Sunday, July 27, 2003

Unless it's gets dramatically changed during the current renovations they'll be left with the Starter Edition, their imagination and hopefully some ingenuity. If they have all three - they'll get by :)

Dave
Sunday, July 27, 2003

We'll have to see how things look once the new product is rolled out. The new CD may be within the price range of Home Edition users but I wouldn't hold my breath. Like all other decent development tools it would appear they're aiming at the 'Enterprise' level. In reality, again we'll have to wait and see, I expect most of them will end up looking here again.
http://shawcable.tucows.com/htmledit95_default.html

Bummer, eh?

Dave
Sunday, July 27, 2003

I doubt it. Enterprises aren't practical enough to use CityDesk. They want to blow millions of dollars on consultants and big-iron CMSes. I think that Joel's customer base consists mostly of clued-in smaller shops, consultants, and home users. He will take care of them, no doubt.

Israel Orange
Sunday, July 27, 2003

I expect you're right. I recommend CD, a lot, and I'm looking forward to continuing to do so. We'll see what's what very soon I'd expect. An excellent product that's worth every cent.

Dave
Sunday, July 27, 2003

Yep. They'll be replacing CityDesk with a few million dollars of licensed products & custom scripts where I used to work.

www.marktaw.com
Monday, July 28, 2003

I moved straight from the Starter Edition to Professional, just a few weeks ago. If I had gone with the Home Edition I'd have saved over $200 and ended up with Professional anyway. But who knew? I didn't want to worry about file size limits and pay to upgrade to Pro. at some future date.

The extra $200+ bites, but I don't begrudge FogCreek the money; I decided Professional was worth it to me when I bought it, and it hasn't lost any value or anything.

JackHammer
Monday, July 28, 2003

Woops, I didn't see the earlier thread here:
http://discuss.fogcreek.com/CityDesk/default.asp?cmd=show&ixPost=8137&ixReplies=18

Sorry if I posted on the wrong thread, I obviously don't keep up with this forum enough.

JackHammer
Monday, July 28, 2003

I did some complaining here about the 500 file limit, so it may seem sour that I'm unhappy about the recent strategy/free upgrades announcement.

My concern has always been for the future of site data I've fed to CityDesk.  Before, the limit was 500 files, now there's the prospect of no future fixes.

I'm sure Fog Creek know what proprietary means.  Here's a relevant definition from dictionary.com:-
"a product not conforming to open-systems standards, and thus one that puts the customer at the mercy of a vendor."

I'm not saying I want to be using CityDesk in 20 years time.  Just that it'd be nice to see a clear path to 5 or 10.

Mark Major
Monday, July 28, 2003

Mark Major,
I'm sure Joel can answer your question more authoritatively than I can. I'm just going on what I've read of his writing here, as well as what I've used of his products.
Joel is essentially offering you a free major version upgrade, combined with a free edition upgrade. One that, to me at least, promises to be close to bug-less. And has no limitations on size. As for a clear path to the future, 3rd-party utilities like Copyboy offer you an off-ramp, with a little work, if you choose to get off Fog Creek's train. It doesn't sound to me like, as Dave Winer likes to say, Joel's trying to "lock you in the trunk". If you are so concerned with non-proprietary formats, use an open source alternative. For you to trust Joel with your data and then gripe that he might not be so worthy of your trust after all, when the new version and product segmentation isn't even out and finalized yet, is premature, don't you agree?
I really, really hope I get to use Joel's high-quality stuff in 20 years. That would be amazing.
No one is going to make you give up the copy of CityDesk that you own now. Not today, nor in five years. The only choice that you are going to have to make is, will I pay Joel for some more features from a point release? Or do I stick to what I have now?
As for "no more fixes", no way that's true. Several bug-fixes came out for version 1, even before they decided to do a major point release for free. I'm sure, by the end of its lifecycle, that there will be essentially no real bugs remaining in CityDesk 2.0

Israel Orange
Monday, July 28, 2003

Mark;

I'm really trying to understand by what you mean when you say "now there's the prospect of no future fixes." We are going to continue to enhance CityDesk for the forseeable future, we're just not going to sell the hobbled 500 file version any more. And to protect existing customer's investments we're going to upgrade every customer to the Pro version for free.

Proprietary or not, it would take about 5 minutes to make XML templates using any schema you like for the purpose of exporting data from CityDesk to any other system that accepts XML input. Our database is in the standard Jet format. Libraries for accessing Jet data from code are shipped with every copy of Windows, and almost everybody has Microsoft Access which uses Jet as its native format. I can't think of any less "proprietary" way we could implement CityDesk, other than picking one arbitrary competitor and using their format, but that would limit CityDesk to their feature set. Since the whole reason we created CityDesk was that we didn't like the limitations of the products that were already on the market, artificially limiting ourselves to the feature set of one arbitrary competitive product just so that we could claim to have an "open" file format which would be probably less open than what we have now would be a lose-lose situation.

Joel Spolsky
Monday, July 28, 2003

Hi,

So there's to be full continuation of CityDesk, then everything's fine.  CityDesk news talked about giving home users a 'parting gift' and going upscale.  Doesn't this suggested a limited future?

Perhaps proprietary wasn't the perfect word.  However, if CityDesk was just about making XML files, then I wouldn't be using it.  My *raw data* is recoverable without CityDesk, but it was the svelte *solution* that I purchased for long-term use.

Anyhow.  I got the idea that I was investing in an excellent program with an even better future.  I hope events will unfold to be as simple as that.

/Mark

Mark Major
Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Mark - Home users become Pro users. So the home users have a future... as pro users.

get it? home users are't going away, they're becoming pro users.

www.marktaw.com
Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Yes, and the cost to keep our software updated is Quadrupled*?  Beginning winter with v3.

* Based on the current Home:Pro pricing ratio.

Mark Major
Tuesday, July 29, 2003

I see what you're getting at... but I'm not worried.

The 1x -> 2x upgrade was free. The Home -> Pro upgrade is also free. With all the stuff they've been giving away to their customers I'm sure they're be more than fair in the future as well.

To quote Fog Creek: "We don't want your money if you're not amazingly happy." I think they intend to keep us Amazingly Happy.

www.marktaw.com
Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Dear Mark Major, Why not just say "No thank you" if you have such trubble accepting a fine gift? Why all this crying?

Jorgen Brenting
Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Like I said:  I got the idea that I was investing in an excellent program with an even better future.  I hope events will unfold to be as simple as that.

Mark Major
Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Well, you did Mark. No reason to believe it is not so. And you were one of the early adopters, too. Doesn't that feel good? ;)

Christian Schilling
Wednesday, July 30, 2003

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