Who moved my cheese?


#1

Recently there have been quite a few posts here along the lines of “I miss features X and Y”. Rather than individually addressing each one of these as they come up, let me take a shot at responding to this issue in general. This post has turned out to be rather long, but I hope it is informative.

First of all, in about 90% of these cases, I agree with you as far as missing feature X or Y. I didn’t put a feature in Panorama if I didn’t think it was a good thing! There are a few features that in retrospect I think were a mistake, or at least poorly implemented, but those are very few and far between.

So with very few exceptions, nothing has been deliberately removed from Panorama X. But Panorama X is very different than every previous Panorama update. Instead of taking the existing code and adding new features, the code for Panorama X is completely new. None of the old code was used. (This was an absolute necessity because the old code was based on old Apple technology that will soon no longer be available.) So every single feature in Panorama X had to be completely rewritten from scratch. So far, that’s taken somewhere in the neighborhood of 12,000 hours. So what you see today is what could be accomplished in that number of hours. I estimate creating Panorama 1 thru 6 took somewhere between 35,000-50,000 hours. The programming tools today are much better than they were 30 years ago, and hopefully I’m a better programmer, but it’s simply not possible to 100% recreate 50,000 hours of work in 12,000 hours.

Courage

Recently Apple removed the headphone jack from the iPhone 7, and said the reason was courage. A few years ago Apple dumped the ability to run PowerPC software without ever even announcing it, even after the fact. A few years before that Steve Jobs held a funeral for Mac OS 9.

My point is that Apple has been known to dump old technology without notice, and without announcing any reason (or at least any good reason). I’m really surprised that the old technology that Panorama 6 is based on hasn’t been dumped already, but it is sure to happen, and probably with no notice at all. If Panorama X didn’t exist, at that time Panorama 6 users would be missing every feature of Panorama, not just a few.

Since I started working on Panorama X, I’ve felt that I was in a race against the day that Panorama 6 stops working – an unknown date, but one that is sure to come. On that day, Panorama X needs to have every required feature so that users can continue to get their vital work done. Most of you are depending on me to make that happen, and I take that responsibility very seriously. Along the way, there are some features in Panorama 6 that are very nice, but aren’t absolutely necessary, and are perhaps difficult or time consuming to implement. In some cases it has been necessary to set these features aside for possible implementation in the future. This does not mean that these features have been discarded or will never be included in Panorama X. So please don’t take it personally if something you really like isn’t available at the moment.

Progress

By now, some of you have been working with Panorama X for over a year. During that time you’ve seen a lot of progress. The plan is to continue with this rapid progress for months and years into the future. So if a beloved feature isn’t currently implemented, take heart, more good things are coming – lots of them. On the other hand, please have patience – Rome wasn’t built in a day, and Panorama X won’t be either. If a feature isn’t critical, or there is already another way to accomplish what it does, it may not appear for months or years.

Ultimately Panorama X is never going to 100% duplicate every single feature of Panorama 6. That is simply not possible, even in an unlimited amount of time. There’s going to be some disruption in this transition. But that disruption is far, far less than what it would be if Panorama X didn’t exist at all.

I am confident that Panorama X is headed in the right direction. Every month is a new record for increasing usage of the program – this month usage has jumped over 30% from September, which was up 15% from August. And the engagement on this forum is tremendous. But Panorama X certainly hasn’t arrived at a point where it is “finished” (not that it ever will), So I’m going to wrap up this post and get back to work!

Jim Rea
President, ProVUE Development


Miss the "Record Procedure" and "Split Window" on Data Sheet
Dumbing down of software