Look what Apple did!

Have a problem? A question? This is the place for answers from other Express users.
gke
Posts: 8
Joined: 2004-11-14 05:55:16
Location: Russia

Post by gke »

Let there be no mistakes; the last thing I would want the Nisus team to do is hurriedly put out untested software. I guess what I wanted to say is that I think software is often priced ridiculously low in comparison to hardware. In terms of their significance for my work, the value of a good word processor is higher for me than that of a printer, but the latter costs about 7 times as much as the former, which strikes me as an imbalance, which cannot but have an impact on the capacity of software being developed in the sense that non-industry standard software like NWX is often being developed on a shoestring. In my view a market niche exists for a high-end, higher-cost word processor on the Mac, which could be developed at a faster rate because of the greater influx of capital from license sales. But perhaps these two things are wholly unrelated, and just appear to be related from an outsider's perspective.

Gijs

blurble
Posts: 11
Joined: 2004-10-13 01:09:27

Post by blurble »

My impression is that software has become much less stable over the years. As more and more features are shoe-horned into applications, the more unstable they get.

Developers face a tough choice. Users get upset if updates don't come along in a timely fashion, but of course releasing too often will compromise stability if testing is time-restricted. Even if users will not use any of the new features, they seem to demand new versions just for the sake of having something new.

Some developers also push out new versions so they can claim upgrade fees.

I suspect that the now-widespread trend of releasing beta software to ordinary users is intended to soften up the market - to get them used to bugs so that they do not complain so loudly when the release version has lots of problems.

Fireball1244
Posts: 20
Joined: 2003-04-25 10:49:48
Location: Dallas, TX
Contact:

Post by Fireball1244 »

midwinter wrote:Is it possible that Apple is trying to split the difference between Word and a page layout application? At any rate, I bought it (mostly for Keynote) and I'm interested in seeing what it's like. I'm an academic writer in the humanities, so my needs out of a word processor are fairly meager—I need text-edit with headers, footers, and footnotes. Tables are a plus, but in the end aren't a deal-breaker (I use them for my syllabi, but I don't have to). The ability to convert effortlessly between footnotes and endnotes (like Word will do) is an amazingly cool feature that saves me boatloads of time when different journals require footnotes or endnotes.

It seems to me that the emphasis on styles in pages is an attempt to really push styles to the forefront, especially for users like me for whom they're more or less a mystery. Hell, it wasn't until I started using NWE that I ever messed with them.

In the end, a word processor is a word processor is a word processor, and they differ only in terms of features and usability. What I'd like to see, as I've said before, is for NWE to rethink word processor user interface to recognize that, often, people need to move back and forth between multiple documents—that, in other words, it is inefficient for a writer to have multiple windows open just to work on one document. Hell, earlier today I had 7 document windows open, all so I could work on a single document. This is a huge opportunity for a company like Nisus.
Nisus should look at the Ulysses program from Blue-Tec and how they handle bundling together interrelated documents.

Nisus needs to beef up the Document manager. Make it look like iTunes -- selectable folders of related documents on the left, lists of files on the right, etc.

midwinter
Posts: 333
Joined: 2004-09-09 18:07:11
Location: Utah
Contact:

Post by midwinter »

Fireball1244 wrote:Nisus should look at the Ulysses program from Blue-Tec and how they handle bundling together interrelated documents.

Nisus needs to beef up the Document manager. Make it look like iTunes -- selectable folders of related documents on the left, lists of files on the right, etc.
I said a few weeks ago that I'd like to see something like this.

JVerity
Posts: 11
Joined: 2005-01-20 07:09:16
Location: South Orange, NJ
Contact:

Post by JVerity »

I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Pages actually is, under the hood, a new, updated version of ClarisWorks/AppleWorks - a WP package that I actually liked and have used extensively for many years. It is - or was - small, fast, efficient, and offered all the features I happened to need as a journalist. Pages' templating seems very much in the tradition of CW/AW, which has a strong following in the schools market.

Now, if only Apple/Claris had invested in, versus killing, in return for $150 million from Microsoft, its wonderful, much-loved, and widely admired Emailer program. Even the current Mail still falls short in many ways.

midwinter
Posts: 333
Joined: 2004-09-09 18:07:11
Location: Utah
Contact:

Post by midwinter »

JVerity wrote:I wouldn't be surprised to find out that Pages actually is, under the hood, a new, updated version of ClarisWorks/AppleWorks - a WP package that I actually liked and have used extensively for many years. .
I'm pretty sure that Pages is a re-up of an old Next set of applications.

Ryan
Posts: 211
Joined: 2005-01-31 14:36:45
Location: Portland, OR
Contact:

Post by Ryan »

A few comments about Pages:

First of all, Pages is no spin-off of Keynote. I spoke with the lead engineer at Macworld Expo, and he had nothing to do with Keynote. Using the program, it's apparent that the two really do take different approaches (with some similarities -- e.g. the templates/themes and the Inspector).

Second of all, in my limited use at the expo, I was very impressed by Pages' layout capabilities (though it has a few setbacks; check out http://www.macworld.com/2005/01/news/pa ... /index.php ). The word processing aspect of it felt fine, but that was chiefly because I'm comfortable with the Cocoa text features (as found in NWX and TextEdit). It didn't have all that much beyond TextEdit for my word processing needs. It uses styles, but no more elegantly than does NWX, and it lacks the graceful word counting. Some things it does have that are advantageous to the writer is a table of contents feature, text wrap for graphics (useful even if I'm not making newsletters or whatever), and pretty good Word import (I shudder, but other people use it).

An important thing to consider is file format. Since NWX uses RTF, it is automatically readable almost everywhere. The Pages file format is a custom package, a folder with many files in it. The layout is then in XML within this package. Obviously, both have their advantages, but it's something to consider.

Just a few thoughts.

Ryan
www.r-blog.com

minux
Posts: 7
Joined: 2005-01-28 09:54:45
Location: Washington D.C.

Post by minux »

midwinter wrote: I said a few weeks ago that I'd like to see something like this.
What do you specifically like about it?

Michael
Yours truly,

Michael

Post Reply