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Message - DesignWorkshop Maintenance Announcement

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Posted by  Kevin Matthews on March 17, 2001 at 15:01:38:

Dear DesignWorkshop Users,

The steady policy of Artifice for some time has been to avoid pre-announcement of product releases. In general, we believe this policy allows all of us to focus publicly on making the best practical use of actual shipping products. Given the industry-wide challenge of making accurate predictions of software engineering schedules, this approach also helps Artifice keep quality first in our long term engineering processes. Also, though less important, in a competitive market it is sometimes important to hold our cards close.

On the other hand, accurate predictions of the future, if and when they are possible, can be very valuable for professionals using DesignWorkshop, especially in terms of planning your own business development. Judging from your feedback, we have reached one of those points where a glimpse of the crystal ball may be appropriate. Still, please understand that the following comments are projections of our intentions, not promises or even predictions. It's a glimpse into our crystal ball. Okay, hopefully that's enough disclaimers, so let's get to it.

First, due to small changes Apple has made to basic parts of the Mac OS between Mac OS 9 and 9.1, there is an intermittent problem with opening medium and large model files in DesignWorkshop for Power Macintosh. This makes DesignWorkshop increasingly impractical to use with files of 500KB file size and larger on Mac OS 9.1. For now we recommend that Macintosh users of DesignWorkshop stick with DW 1.8.5 on Mac OS 9.04.

We are also evaluating the reliability of DesignWorkshop running in the Classic environment of Mac OS X. (Any reports of direct end-user experience would be appreciated at ""). Our intention is combine the fix to the Mac OS 9.1 problem with any other fixes needed for Mac OS X, and to release an immediate maintenance update to DesignWorkshop.

We anticipate the rollout of this maintenance release will begin in approximately 30 days with initial distribution through the Confidential Owners area and the Club Classic zones of the web site.

Second, due to external and internal factors resulting in slower-than-preferred progress toward DesignWorkshop Next Generation, otherwise known as the great 3D design software in the sky, we have made a preliminary decision to release a deeper maintenance update, probably to be known as DesignWorkshop 1.9, in the general time frame of this summer, Summer 2001.

Frankly, work on DesignWorkshop 1.9 will push back DW-NG on a 1:1 basis or worse. I will be taking staff temporarily off our major long term project to provide this attention to immediate high-end user needs. We aim to strike a compromise allowing us to improve some critical productivity details for serious DesignWorkshop users on both Windows and Macintosh, while advancing some general aspects of the overall technology, while minimizing the adverse impact on our progress toward DW-NG.

The concept of DesignWorkshop 1.9 is minimalist. It is not intended to update the product image, or provide new marketing opportunities. It is intended to address a short list of very specific feature enhancements and deeper bug fixes, primarily in core modeling-related functions, which will provide disproportionately large benefits to people who rely on DesignWorkshop in their day-to-day professional practice.

Because of the inherent trade-off between DW 1.9 and DW-NG, the short-list of enhancements slated for DesignWorkshop 1.9 will be edited ruthlessly. That is not a pretty process to conduct in public, so while we very much welcome your feedback, suggestions, and expressions of your own sense of priorities, we would like to receive your specific suggestions privately, by email to "".

Thank you sincerely for all your support, recently and beyond.

Best wishes,

Kevin Matthews
Artifice, Inc.


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