Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

Knowledge Base
Terry's Tips
Darren's Tips

Release plan citydesk 2???

Dear Joel,

Please give us some information when to expect either the new Citydesk 2.0. I like the idea of radio silence, but I think the power of the idea is to be there when people need it and surprise them with the unexpected. Not to let the initial enthousisasm of Citydesk 1 users die...!

I see speculations and hints for CD 2.0 already for a year, yet nothing has been released. Please give us a month or even a quarter in which you want to release it. It would give me and others like me something to look out for; even if we don't know exectly what it will be.

Adriaan van den Brand
Sunday, March 2, 2003

I agree with Adrian. This so called radio silince is becomming a boomerang soon to hit Fog Creek. I don't care how long it takes to have the CD2 ready - if there ever is to be one - but I'm beginning to feel a bit like a fool comming to Fog Creek's pages again and again hoping for some sign of intelligent answer to all the information flowing from this forum to Fog Creek. I can see from Joel's private pages that he's still alive, so I realy think he should honor this forum with a bit of information now.

Jorgen Brenting
Sunday, March 2, 2003

I wonder...

From Fog Creek's point of view, does this negative PR amongst existing users really have that strong of a negative effect?

Let's say CD2 really is all that (and there's no reason for people on the inside to think it isn't), then all this negative attitude we have may be replaced with "I had no idea it would be this good, that was certainly worth the wait."

And people who try CD2 as their introduction to Fog Creek certainly won't know about what happened here.

Personally, I think that if there wasn't a message board, and if we weren't used to the occasional feedback from Fog here, nobody would be upset. We've been trained to expect feedback and the sudden lack of feedback is what's bothering us. We're like cats complaining that meowing in front of the same door no longer get us fed, or more to the point, only gets us the same kibble when we've learned that one day they'll give us real meat.

I think the problem with the Mout Wide Shut policy is that Joel didn't follow it himself early on and leaked some information about the follow up version. He explains, in detail, what's wrong with that himself.

But I'm sure mine won't be a popular opinion.
Sunday, March 2, 2003

You may be right, Mark Taw – except we're not cats we're concerned users.

Jorgen Brenting
Sunday, March 2, 2003

Yes, it does harm CD and FC. We are users.

I am in a similar business to FC. We get a ton of users from word of mouth, and this is also how I found about CityDesk.

Bad word of mouth spreads farter, faster and stronger than does good word of mouth.

I can fully understand not wanting to do a MS and over PR - or even not wanting to do any PR.

But this total Black Hole is quite destructive to the software business.

Bog Creek might be a better name.

Chad Z. Hower
Sunday, March 2, 2003

Ah, bad word of mouth press... Now that is a concern I can understand. Negative press, especially about customer service can drive people away. Not that their customer service is bad, but a reputation for unresponsiveness is basically the same thing. The one area - leaking information about future releases - can carry over into the other - fulfilling customer needs.

About the cats comment, I simply meant we were used to action (a) leading to reaction (b). We complain, bugs get fixed, or new features get promised. So we continue to do (a) and a lack of (b) has us thinking something is wrong with the world. All animals are subject to this kind of thing.
Monday, March 3, 2003

I hope citydesk 2.0 will be worth the wait. But my feeling is:
- it would be much better if Joel had kept his philisophy of 3 month updates on Citydesk 1.0 (with some bug fixes and minor improvements)
- I and a lot of people around here, have an * urgent * need for something with slightly more functionality than Citydesk 1.0

Adriaan van den Brand
Monday, March 3, 2003

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

Another company dealing with this issue is for the product Outpost from ? There's been quite a bit of discussion on their boards about the lack of any release for many months, and the long awaited 2.0 version.

Robert Cowham
Monday, March 3, 2003

I fully agree with adriaan.

I'm currently evaluating the best way to move  some of my static-managed sites to a low-end CMS.

Even if I feel much better with the conceptual model behind CD (data on the desktop, static HTML generation) than with the one of some server side products as movable type or Pmachine, not knowing when we can expect a 2.0 release (and will it be a direct release or a beta test ?)  is a serious concern, because many of my requirements are not met with the 1.0 version. So I could be led to choose one of the server side CMS mentionned above  if I've no better visibility on the CD's future.

More minor releases and bug fixes between two big versions could have reassured me. The "radio" silence could let me believe that we are still far from a new release.

observation : joelonsoftware is currently managed under an 1.0.7 version, the version we use is 1.0.31, but the 1.0.7 figure hasn't moved for a while...

A second highly related question: with the new anti-spam system in the forum, we don't know anymore if some people who answer the questions are from fogcreek customer support or not (sometimes we have news from MHP...)

Some times ago, there were regular answers of FC people on this forum. Now these answers seem to be scarce (but perhaps they are not ? how to know ?). What does that mean ? What could that induce in user's minds ?

vincent benard
Monday, March 3, 2003

Huh? Who told you Joel on Software is 1.07? I think that's just an old template in there. The version I use for Joel on Software is just the last thing I compiled, whatever that is...

As I have said many times and will say again: if CityDesk is not suitable for your needs now, I really don't want you to stop your projects and wait for 2.0 -- move on and use another tool. I'm sorry if I lose a customer because I don't have a feature, but it's better than losing a customer because I promised something and didn't deliver it.

Once again: we are hard at work on the next version of CityDesk; as mentioned earlier, Unicode is our highest priority; we do not want to do frequent releases because the very act of releasing a new version eats up 3 months to 6 months in beta testing, etc.

Joel Spolsky
Monday, March 3, 2003

"if CityDesk is not suitable for your needs now, I really don't want you to stop your projects and wait for 2.0 -- move on and use another tool."

That's true... he has said that before.

I for one have been learning PHP, but not becuase CityDesk doesn't suite my needs as-is, it's because I need server side interaction & CityDesk will never suite those needs.

At the same time, I continue to use CityDesk where appropriate, and will probably use it as a pre-processor for my PHP stuff.

CityDesk still rocks as-is, imho.
Monday, March 3, 2003

Well, here's the deal. They _did_ promise something, and that was _some sort of update_ every 3 months. So, after not hearing anything for nine months, I _have_ moved on, to a tool which better suits my needs.

Still, it would be nice to be able to sign up for some sort of an update to find out when the next version _does_ come out . . .

I'm just happy I didn't buy the professional version in the hope that an update would come . . .

Ul No
Tuesday, March 4, 2003

And in the mean time we are stuck with bugs..........

It does not take 3 months to update, and fix minor bugs. Most of the open bugs I have seen are simple fixed. Others more complex, but certainly not a 3 month fix.

Users are even willing to beta test a bit themselves. We're not talking about software to operate the space shuttle here...

Chad Z. Hower
Tuesday, March 4, 2003

So "Ul No" - what system have you moved to?

Robert Cowham
Thursday, March 6, 2003

Jorgen Brenting said>> I'm beginning to feel a bit like a
Jorgen Brenting said>> fool comming to Fog Creek's pages
Jorgen Brenting said>> again and again

Yes, me too.  I check the citydesknews site two or three times each week waiting for news of v2.  Could we have an updates email list please?

Mark Major
Sunday, March 9, 2003

This thread makes me wonder:

Why are "we" (the people who wait so anxiously for 2.0 version - i'm in the group) so impatient ?

Why so many expectations for "just a software"  ?

Don't we expect too much from this 2.0 version ? Is there a risk of deception ?

Are some of you so impatient with the next release of others products ? Are there others softwares that bring you to the same state of impatience ? Is it a general behaviour of software customers, or is it exclusively related to citydesk ? Or is this the result of Fogcreek/Joel communication strategy ?

In my case, it's the first time I feel so impatient with a software release. Even the wait for new versions of dreamweaver, or things like that leave me relatively indifferent. Why is it different with CD ?

Is there some magic here ? Is there a therapy ;-) ? Or is it just good marketing  ?

Vincent Benard
Tuesday, March 11, 2003

I actively wait because v2 looms over many decisions I make about how to relate CityDesk architecture to my site architecture.  I only need little improvements in CityScript functionality to save me workarounds, plus later redesign and revisions to every CityDesk article.

The deficiencies are small, the workarounds are dull and the wait is long.

Mark Major
Tuesday, March 11, 2003

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home