Petition to get MSA memebrs access to late stage Betas

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Old 08 August 2013   #16
Originally Posted by littledevil: it is a charming idea, but it is also very unlikely that maxon will adopt it. the main reason (and generally the only one too) why companies do not permit open access to their betas for existing customers is simply protectionism. they fear that either other companies will steal their precious ideas/work or problems of their product are revealed to their customers before they have bought it.

I can only speak for CINEMA 4D here and say that this is not a valid reason. You are talking about a very few months of early access at best, this would have no real effect regarding protection against competitive development.
Revealing problems can be a problem, but a bit differently than you seem to think.
Revealing problems for customers that arise due to restructuirng, development decissions etc. means only a temporal shift, which is not realy a problem.
Problems that only arise due to the product still beeing beta can be a problem though. This makes the product and the company look bad for no real reason.

As for general stability, since the introduction of the crash reporter we have an ever decreasing number of crashes and freezes. R14 is so far the most stable version Maxon ever released and i'm sure that it will be succeeded by R15 once it is released.
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Old 08 August 2013   #17
Originally Posted by Srek: I can only speak for CINEMA 4D here and say that this is not a valid reason. You are talking about a very few months of early access at best, this would have no real effect regarding protection against competitive development.


I did never say that protectionism is a working concept. It does not work on any scale IMHO
and you can hardly find any rational reasons for it. However I am also aware, that a company
has every right to be as restrictive with their development as they wish to be. And that
customers do not have a 'right' or bought the 'right' to participate in a companies internal
development process.

But that does not change the fact that open betas are generally beneficial for a software
development process. Selling closed betas as as service to the customer is a lie. There can
be valid reasons for it ( open betas tend to cost a lot of money), but quality is not a reason
IMHO.
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Old 08 August 2013   #18
Originally Posted by Srek: I can only speak for CINEMA 4D here and say that this is not a valid reason. You are talking about a very few months of early access at best, this would have no real effect regarding protection against competitive development.


Another thing is time.

Even if you added in 3000 beta testers towards the last couple months of development, you still only have the same number of developers to perform fixes.

you would however need to hire someone new to handle the influx of bug reports (given any of the early adopters actually report issues.)

Maybe this could be handled by marketing though.
Just call the last quarter after release an open beta Watch the bug reports flow in.
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Last edited by chi : 08 August 2013 at 12:56 PM.
 
Old 08 August 2013   #19
Originally Posted by deepshade: Propellerheads do this with Reason (selected public beta testers). Everyone is aware that its not production ready and it does provide another layer of bug chasers. Personally think its a good idea as most MSA holders are more likely to test real world jobs (copies of) rather than just tinker.

Current beta testers test the application extensively with real world scenes (they are just regular users), that's where most of the bug reports come from.
Tinkering is also part of the process, of course, but hardly the majority of the testing that's done with each new release.
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Old 08 August 2013   #20
Originally Posted by fluffouille: Current beta testers test the application extensively with real world scenes (they are just regular users), that's where most of the bug reports come from.
Tinkering is also part of the process, of course, but hardly the majority of the testing that's done with each new release.


EH! - Perfectly neutral comment on the OP's subject, and you want to take it apart? Why?
 
Old 08 August 2013   #21
Oh my. I was just commenting/clarifying on what is happening behind the curtain on this tidbit since you seemed to imply no real testing was done (the tinker part). It wasn't an attack, I wasn't rude either, so please stop being overly defensive.
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Old 08 August 2013   #22
Originally Posted by Srek: As for general stability, since the introduction of the crash reporter we have an ever decreasing number of crashes and freezes. R14 is so far the most stable version Maxon ever released and i'm sure that it will be succeeded by R15 once it is released.


For me R14 has been quite crash prone but I don't always get to submit crash reports, partly as my work machine is not connected to the net, and typically when I use it I am working for clients and don't have time to stop, collect the bug files, transfer them to my other machine which is attached to the net and send them. Generally it's just a matter of taking a deep breath, restarting and continuing to work. Yes I realize that's not ideal for development but with deadlines being so short on many jobs that's the reality of how I have to work much of the time.
I just mention this as I don't think that you can solely judge stability by the number of crash reports submitted as I'm sure I'm not in a unique situation here. I also think it tends to depend on what kind of work you do in C4D. With rendering I hardly ever get crashes, but I rarely do that for clients (I typically send files for them to render) and with character rigging/animation tasks they seem quite common sometimes ( and no I'm not using plugins for those tasks a lot of the time these days). For me in general C4D is not noticeably more or less stable than other programs I use overall.

Cheers,
Brian
 
Old 08 August 2013   #23
Originally Posted by Horganovski: For me R14 has been quite crash prone but I don't always get to submit crash reports, partly as my work machine is not connected to the net, and typically when I use it I am working for clients and don't have time to stop, collect the bug files, transfer them to my other machine which is attached to the net and send them. Generally it's just a matter of taking a deep breath, restarting and continuing to work. Yes I realize that's not ideal for development but with deadlines being so short on many jobs that's the reality of how I have to work much of the time.
I just mention this as I don't think that you can solely judge stability by the number of crash reports submitted as I'm sure I'm not in a unique situation here. I also think it tends to depend on what kind of work you do in C4D. With rendering I hardly ever get crashes, but I rarely do that for clients (I typically send files for them to render) and with character rigging/animation tasks they seem quite common sometimes ( and no I'm not using plugins for those tasks a lot of the time these days). For me in general C4D is not noticeably more or less stable than other programs I use overall.

Cheers,
Brian


I'd wager it's more driver or graphics card related than CINEMA. R14 has been rock solid in all of my character rigging and animation work. I'm more likely to force quit a freeze than crash. And the Freezing is usually 1. Im sick of waiting for a slow scene to finish it's task or, 2. I've written a script or something with some bad logic that runs forever.

But I've found it more stable than R13, and much much more stable than Maya.
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Old 08 August 2013   #24
Originally Posted by fluffouille: Oh my. I was just commenting/clarifying on what is happening behind the curtain on this tidbit since you seemed to imply no real testing was done (the tinker part). It wasn't an attack, I wasn't rude either, so please stop being overly defensive.


I didn't imply anything of the sort - hence the retort. You read something into the comment that didn't exist and then decided I'd posted something that needed 'clarification'. Certainly an odd post. Was I rude - no. Did I tell anyone else how to behave - no. Did I comment on your post in a dismissive and superior manner - no.
 
Old 08 August 2013   #25
Originally Posted by xfon5168: I'd wager it's more driver or graphics card related than CINEMA. R14 has been rock solid in all of my character rigging and animation work. I'm more likely to force quit a freeze than crash. ...
But I've found it more stable than R13, and much much more stable than Maya.


All my drivers are up to data and I'm not using anything unusual in terms of GFX card (NVidia 580GTX on Win 7) so I'm not sure it's that.

Re Maya, well if you are working with Maya 2011 then I would agree, that was really buggy for me, but 2012 and 2013 have been very solid here, at least for animation/rigging tasks (once you start using Mental Ray it's a different story, heh). I've spent hours upon hours animating in Maya 2013.5 in the last few months and have had practically no crashes with it.

Cheers,
Brian
 
Old 08 August 2013   #26
Originally Posted by deepshade: EH! - Perfectly neutral comment on the OP's subject, and you want to take it apart? Why?

Might have been the pretty blunt implication that testers tinker instead of testing on real world projects.

I think what you see with an initial couple weeks of release is what you'd expect from early beta. You don't know the tools well enough to immediately use on a production and therefore end up tinkering anyways. The number of real world projects done in the first month with a brand new release is slim typically. From a production standpoint it's a huge risk to take and hard to explain to a client why your now a week behind be wise a bug corrupted your scene and you now need to redo that weeks worth of work be size you took a big risk. Honestly I always found it easier to take that risk in late alpha/early beta as alphas is early enough that a new feature can even be made to address an issue your having. This was the case for both hair and origin xrefs for me. In late beta it's simply bug fixing and if a feature doesn't quite do what you hoped it would be able to you are now up the creek as they say.

It's harder than one thinks and you also need a well suited project to test some things. Just because they paid for MSA doesn't make a person well suited to be a beta tester. I say so as an alpha/beta tester for 9 years with Maxon. And a tester of several other applications for short periods of time, often because I knew I wasn't meeting my minimum requirements for what makes a good tester on programs like topogun or final render for example. Now I work in large studios developing proprietary tools and see that even with a lot of extremely talented artists working all day on real world projects with the tools only a small handful of people are of any use In actually testing and reporting feedback. Most artists either aren't knowledgable enough to really understand the issue, or too smart that they simply figure out a workaround to meet the deadlines and never get the actual issue addressed/reported.
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Old 08 August 2013   #27
Originally Posted by LucentDreams: Might have been the pretty blunt implication that testers tinker instead of testing on real world projects.

I think what you see with an initial couple weeks of release is what you'd expect from early beta. You don't know the tools well enough to immediately use on a production and therefore end up tinkering anyways. The number of real world projects done in the first month with a brand new release is slim typically. From a production standpoint it's a huge risk to take and hard to explain to a client why your now a week behind be wise a bug corrupted your scene and you now need to redo that weeks worth of work be size you took a big risk. Honestly I always found it easier to take that risk in late alpha/early beta as alphas is early enough that a new feature can even be made to address an issue your having. This was the case for both hair and origin xrefs for me. In late beta it's simply bug fixing and if a feature doesn't quite do what you hoped it would be able to you are now up the creek as they say.

It's harder than one thinks and you also need a well suited project to test some things. Just because they paid for MSA doesn't make a person well suited to be a beta tester. I say so as an alpha/beta tester for 9 years with Maxon. And a tester of several other applications for short periods of time, often because I knew I wasn't meeting my minimum requirements for what makes a good tester on programs like topogun or final render for example. Now I work in large studios developing proprietary tools and see that even with a lot of extremely talented artists working all day on real world projects with the tools only a small handful of people are of any use In actually testing and reporting feedback. Most artists either aren't knowledgable enough to really understand the issue, or too smart that they simply figure out a workaround to meet the deadlines and never get the actual issue addressed/reported.


I'm sorry - in no way did I imply that Maxons beta testers 'tinker'.

To clarify - a totally open beta might be seen by some as an opportunity to 'tinker'. Those with an MSA are by implication more than just 'tinkerers'
 
Old 08 August 2013   #28
Thanks for the clarification.
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Old 08 August 2013   #29
Originally Posted by dataflow: you have to sell them your soul


I think I lost that when I bought AutoCAD back in college, I'll have to check the ToS. Luckily I met the king of Germany in a bar once, nice guy, gave me some advice on picking up women. That should get me in the R16 beta!
 
Old 08 August 2013   #30
Blender Foundation tests his software with the "world", and they handle this just fine...
 
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