When will Panorama X feature X, Y or Z be available?

From time to time, there have understandably been questions here (and off-list) about when certain features might be available. It may be hard to believe, but I’m as frustrated as anyone (probably more) at the amount of time it takes at every step of the process. I can assure you that everything is being done as rapidly as possible, this stuff simply takes a lot of time (see the classic book “The Mythical Man Month” for a great take on this).

In the past sometimes I have provided time estimates, and sometimes I haven’t. At this point in time I’ve decided that I’m not going to try to provide any time estimates or predictions. Instead, I’m just going to concentrate on getting the work done.

I can provide a general roadmap for how I see the rest of 2017 going. I have two top priorities, in order:

  • shipping a viable 1.0 (actually it will be called 10.0) version
  • shipping the server version

I said I wouldn’t provide estimates, but I do very much hope that both items on this roadmap are complete or very nearly complete by the end of 2017.

Let me elaborate a bit on what “shipping a viable 1.0” version means and doesn’t mean. What it means is that

  • Panorama X will be in a state that is a productive tool for most Panorama 6 users,
  • Panorama X will be a productive, learnable tool for new users.

It does not mean that Panorama X will initially include every capability that Panorama 6 had. I know that will not be met with universal enthusiasm and acclaim, but I think I have some significant precedents for this path. For example, early releases of OS X definitely did not have all the features of Mac OS 9, which Apple gradually added in over the course of time. Another similar example was Final Cut Pro X, which initially did not have all the capabilities of Final Cut Pro 7. Even for a company with the resources of Apple, a perfect transition wasn’t possible (and in some cases, for example Aperature->Photos, they didn’t even try).

I know that some of you will need or want to continue to use Panorama 6 for a bit longer, and that’s fine. For the time being, I’m still using it myself for server related tasks. But I believe that Panorama X is very close to being a productive, learnable tool that many users need and want right now, and it needs to be available to them, especially for use on the latest Apple software (I’m going to write another post about how Apple announcements at WWDC affect Panorama).

Continuous Development

Many of you have been Panorama customers for decades. In the past, a major software release was a big break point. We’d duplicate thousands of floppy disks or CD’s, and there wouldn’t be another update for a long time, sometimes for years. Panorama X isn’t going to be like that. I expect it to be more like the way web apps are updated, with incremental updates appearing every few weeks. In other words, I expect the pace of upgrades to continue after the “golden master” release just as it has for the last couple of years. So shipping a “viable 1.0” version isn’t going to represent any change in the development process, it simply is going to mean that you’ll no longer need an invitation to an early access program to be able to get the software. If the 1.0 release is in July, there will almost certainly be another release in August, and then another in September or October, etc. Right now I’ve got an internal roadmap with enough work for at least 2-3 years, some of it related to bringing forward remaining Panorama 6 features, and some exciting new features and platforms.

I’m looking forward to all of the great discussions we’ll have on this forum about all of these topics. On the other hand, not too much discussion, because as you know – I’ve got a lot of work to do! (P.S. on that, thank you so much to everyone that has pitched in with answers here on this forum, we all know who you are!)

Jim Rea
Founder, ProVUE Development