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Author Topic: Are We Addicted to "NEW"?  (Read 1966 times)

Renegade

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Are We Addicted to "NEW"?
« on: April 11, 2012, 01:36:42 AM »
Reading here:

http://www.donationc....msg284960#msg284960

Quote
^^ +1 for WhyReboot and the dev even dropped by some time back..

I saw a link to here:

http://www.donationc...10.msg46620#msg46620

Quote
I've done little with WhyReboot because it fulfills its purpose -- to tell you about pending file operations that are scheduled to happen after a reboot.  The methods used by Windows to control pending file operations have not changed as far as I know.  So, no need to update WhyReboot.

I've wondered this a few times - if a program does what it's meant to do, why bother "updating" it?

It seems like we're addicted to updates/new releases. Both as authors and users.

Do I have a skewed perception? Or is that about accurate?
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Josh

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Re: Are We Addicted to "NEW"?
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2012, 01:45:39 AM »
Let me give you my perception of this issue.

As a user, I evaluate programs based on a few categories such as functionality, ease of use, serving the intended function, and supportability (is that a word?). One of the key factors behind supportability is whether or not the author is actively involved in the project. I do not require updates for a program, but a lack of updates gets me worried since it could indicate a lack of support should an issue arise.

Let's say I invest 80 dollars into a productivity tool. After using it for a few months, I notice that a bug occurs when I perform steps X, Y and Z. Now, I go to obtain support and hopefully a patch. This is when I find out the author no longer supports the product or has just given up on it. In my eyes, an update, even if only to post to the homepage every few weeks, shows that the product is still alive.

No software is perfect, and there are ALWAYS bugs to fix. Updates do not necessarily have to mean new features, but it could reflect additional bug fixes. This level of support is more preferred, in my eyes, than posting updates to an application by adding features just for the sake of adding them. Do we really need a spell checker in an application launcher and does a book collection manager really require a DVD ripper?

In the end, updates are a good thing if done for the right reasons. Adding features, just because, is the wrong way to go about it. Keep up with maintenance and patching of an application and add features as your users show a genuine interest for them, or as capability gaps are identified.

barney

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Re: Are We Addicted to "NEW"?
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2012, 03:47:56 AM »
And then, there's the upgrade$ path.  Build a util.  Sell it.  Add something to it - maybe just cosmetic.  Charge for the upgrade.  Repeat as needed for financial comfort.

Mayhap we're not addicted to new, so much as encouraged to it  :(.

How many times have you seen an upgrade that was nothing more than cosmetic, with no functional value at all?  I'm not certain I can count that high.  Can you?

I'm minded of all the MS Office upgrades (just an example, not MS bashing).  The one constant was a restructured menu system.  No matter how good the actual software upgrades were - and many of them were very good - it took a month to find a particular element in the new menu system.  That was a standing joke in my last corporate venture - new Office, new menu to learn.

I don't mind paying for a legitimate upgrade, and I don't mind paying for new technology - assuming it is new - but I very much object to paying for cosmetic enhancements.

However, in answer to the original question:  No, I don't think we're addicted to new, I think we're trained to new.




lanux128

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Re: Are We Addicted to "NEW"?
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2012, 04:51:55 AM »
though not directly related, i was just reminded of this comic while going through the thread. :)

update_for_your_computer.jpg
• credits: http://www.stickycomics.com

Josh

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Re: Are We Addicted to "NEW"?
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2012, 05:30:33 AM »
Too bad the Linux aspect of that is false.

kfitting

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Re: Are We Addicted to "NEW"?
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2012, 05:46:31 AM »
I agree with Josh's assessment above.  Another related issue, however, is that a lack of updates shows that whenever the next windows comes out I could be screwed.  I understand this usually is not a huge issue, but you never know when (or how) a program will break on the newest OS.

Wether new features are added or not, I like to see bugs fixed (as Josh mentioned) and I like to know I'm set for the near future.  Seeing a lack of updates does not give me confidence for these two critical areas.

Also, somewhat related, I agree with the recent conversation on DC about import/export being absolutely necessary for most programs (within their genre).  This also is a huge factor in me even trying a program.

I look for consistent updates (or author activity) and import/export.  Without those... I usually dont even try a program, even if I think it looks impressive.

Edit: Forgot to add, while it sounds like I totally disagree with the OP assessment... I actually do think we are addicted to "new."  And I also agree with barney that we are encouraged by it.  One of the side effects of capitalism (through marketing).  The first 2-3 chapters of "The Harried Leisure Class" talks about how our sense of time has changed... I would like to try a "slower" time for a bit!

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Are We Addicted to "NEW"?
« Reply #6 on: April 11, 2012, 05:52:42 AM »
I agree with the "developer freshness" bit! When I was doing TreeDB surveys, one of the close contenders lost out because its web-book export code hadn't been updated since 2006. So here we are in 2012, sure the rest of the program had seen revisions, but that glaring lack of a feature fix (and it was flawed code to be sure!) struck home. The one I use now won in part because the developers also keep a forum, and it's not just a "black hole send us your comments".

Menwhile, since it's a broad question, we are definitely addicted to new: Look at the state of news and/or opinion reporting. If the news is more than a week old we go "ho hum!" Contrast this when (at least in the SciFi reprint market) Isaac Asimov's story Nightfall was reprinted for *30 years!*.

And my closing argument:
"Raise your hands those of you grumpy with Google. ... Good. ... Now raise your hands if you keep typing +1 to say that you like posts!"  :P

TaoPhoenix

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Re: Are We Addicted to "NEW"?
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2012, 05:57:20 AM »
The first 2-3 chapters of "The Harried Leisure Class" talks about how our sense of time has changed... I would like to try a "slower" time for a bit!

It got so bad at home hanging out on the computer that I turned off all my clocks completely except for setting an alarm for work. I just would stare at the marching time and get paralyzed by it!

Edvard

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Re: Are We Addicted to "NEW"?
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2012, 01:06:40 PM »
Quote from: lanux128
Though not directly related, i was just reminded of this comic while going through the thread. :)
Quote from: Josh
Too bad the Linux aspect of that is false.

Remember?  I fixed that:
http://www.donationc....msg244281#msg244281
« Last Edit: April 17, 2012, 07:46:23 PM by Edvard »

zridling

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Re: Are We Addicted to "NEW"?
« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2012, 01:59:32 AM »
Too bad the Linux aspect of that is false.

How so? I haven't paid a dime for anything on my Linux systems in almost six years. (Hint: You're doing it wrong, or else you're doing it wrong.)