Fred, I wasn't defending the practice of people shipping buggy software.
I was merely pointing out it happens a lot and I don't think it merits
the talk about "...violates the ethic of..." What, are you going to sue
them? Read the EULA. Read any EULA. The most you'll get is your money
back for the product, but you'd probably have a hard time with that if
you've worked with it for years and have successfully churned out

They are criticized, pretty harshly at times on this forum. It's
probably worse for here (as opposed to an individual calling in with a
problem report) because if you or I find a problem, we ALL learn about
it and possibly get upset about it. They can see how severe the problem
is by the noise it generates. We did get 6 service packs out of them,
right? Yes, I suppose we could use a 7th, and that might be a good
reason for Altium to hire an entry level programmer to study the 99SE
code base and try to fix problems. This person would be basically in
isolation and not dealing with the new, changing DXP code base. I think
it would be a fairly inexpensive way to get a SP7. (Especially with the
glut of engineers and programmers who are currently out of work right

Ah, you're an embedded designer and yeah that's a completely different
thing. I have released several embedded designs with firmware and they
stay on for months and years without problems. Windows programming is
another story. Your code is extremely dependant on many other people's
code and their code is changing right underneath you. I'm surprised it
works at all sometimes.

I have device programmers that work on some machines and not others. I
have a soundcard that works in one PC and it has distortion in a
different PC, but the motherboards and CPUs are identical. They have
different video cards, but why should that make a difference? It
shouldn't. Why does Protel work well for me and not Jami? Hell, I don't

I accept buggy software (to a point) because I need to get work
accomplished AND buggy software is better than no software. Yeah like I
want to hand tape a PCB. No bugs there, right? Slow as hell though and
no DRC. No thanks. See why I accept some bugs? The bugs in Protel are
not great enough of a problem to get me to either: 1)change vendors
(cause I've been there and other stuff has bugs too, just a new set I'm
not used to yet, 2) hand tape boards.

Shipping software with bugs: "IT'S WRONG!" There are you happy? Yes I
know it's wrong, you know it's wrong, and I bet Altium knows it's wrong,
but they have to balance the bugs they know and the ability to survive
and come to a decision every time they want to ship something.

How many years did it take for Protel to get from P99 to P99SE-SP6? Was
it 3 years? Let's see if you were the CEO of Protel at the time and
decide to implement your grand-canyon-sliding-scale. Say for this
example they had 10000 customers and we were all thrifty folks so we all
decide to buy the app early full of bugs for $1600. That's $1.6 million.
So they collect 1.6 mil, and their programmers grind away for 3 years
getting it to SP6. I'm not sure where you live or work or how much you
make, but around here (prior to dotbomb) that wouldn't cover an
engineering team of 10 for even 1 year. (with all the standard business
overhead, not just salaries)

Your dev team would have outrageous turnover, no one would have a grip
on the code and even with the paltry $400 'ATS' which I haven't even
added, you would still have revenue so low it wouldn't sustain the
operation to get to SP6. Nice job driving that company into the ground.
Hey but at least your customers love you. 

Have you used tools from Altera, Xilinx, etc? Besides for device
support, have you ever wondered why there are so many releases? I was
tearing my hair out with the Visual DSP tools by Analog devices last
year. They crashed several times a day, until I learned what procedures
to avoid. I'm glad they had a service pack, but regardless, I NEEDED
that buggy code to get my DSP work done and debugged. Yes, I have an
embedded DSP that has run for over a year without a crash. Yes, bugs are
bad, but not surviving is worse.

I'm not being an advocate for Protel or any other vendor that has bugs.
I'm just willing to accept them if I know in good faith they are trying
to fix them. 

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Fred A Rupinski [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]] 
> Sent: Saturday, September 07, 2002 11:18 AM
> To: Protel EDA Forum
> Subject: Re: [PEDA] DXP - Crunch time?
> Tony, I sense you are trying to be fair-minded to Altium, who 
> appears to be mired in a difficult situation regarding DXP. 
> Nevertheless, you may want to consider that you are doing us 
> all a disservice by defending the practice (which I consider 
> unethical) of developers foisting buggy software on their 
> customers. Altium/Protel has been (and should be) praised for 
> their good work; on the other hand, they must be held to 
> account, and criticized, for burdening their customers with 
> onerous software difficulties.
> Of course, the user information in this Forum is of great 
> value, especially to me, since I am not a PCB specialist, but 
> a development engineer who uses 99SE to provide clients with 
> prototypes and developmental PCB designs. I contribute to the 
> Forum when I can. My comments are meant to drive home the 
> point that I expect quality software from Altium. To quote 
> you, "The overall spin of DXP has been so bad, I think it's 
> scary from their point of view and if it were me running the 
> show I'd be listening very closely to this group."
> In response to your questions and comments, I've inserted 
> some additional dialog below.
> Regards,
> Fred A Rupinski
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Tony Karavidas" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> To: "'Protel EDA Forum'" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> Sent: Friday, September 06, 2002 6:16 PM
> Subject: Re: [PEDA] DXP - Crunch time?
> > Fred, have you ever developed s/w? Every company I know 
> releases known 
> > bugs into code with exception of anything that would cause death or 
> > destruction. They are categorized and prioritized and 
> weighted against 
> > quarterly statements, product announcements, etc.
> I've been developing software for many years in an 
> engineering context, mostly for equipment, industrial 
> processes, medical electronics, controllers, etc.. I always 
> thoroughly test my work and remove all the bugs I find. 
> Contrary to your experiences, I've had dealings with no 
> client that accepts "known bugs" for use in his products. A 
> few of my clients were genuinely desperate to eliminate such 
> bugs as they became known.
> > I don't think ANY engineer wants to release with known 
> bugs, but they 
> > are forced to do it. Sometimes troublesome functions are cut out to 
> > meet a ship date, and in the process of cutting them out, something 
> > else
> > *might* get corrupted.
> I perceive a mindset here that I don't subscribe to and that 
> I can't fathom, namely, the predisposition of so many people 
> who tolerate (sometimes even
> defend) the status quo regarding acceptance of RELEASED 
> software with known bugs. Of course, the vendors' "lobby" is 
> strong, as is evidenced even in this Forum. But, thankfully, 
> customers who value their integrity and finances resist. I 
> recall some contributors suggesting that the Forum 
> collectively could write a substantially bug-free package 
> superior to 99SE. Bless them, even though they dream.
> > I'm not saying it's right, I'm just saying it happens a lot.
> Perhaps you should stand tall and loudly proclaim, "IT'S WRONG!".
> > Your suggestion to sell DXP for $1600 to new customers is almost 
> > absurd. Sure, it would be nice to buy it for $1600, but do you 
> > realistically think the company could survive? We'd all be screwed. 
> > With the exception of ATS going away (I doubt that will happen), I 
> > think the other idea floating about ATS being extended until a 
> > reasonably bug free version of DXP is released would be decent 
> > possibility.
> You miss the point. Consider the following hypothetical schedule:
> Pre-release ...........       $400/$1600 (Full of bugs)
> Pre-release, SP1...       $400/$1600
> Pre-release, SP2...       $800/$3500
> Pre-release, SP3...       $1200/$5400
> Pre-release, SP4...       $1600/$6600
> Release..................       $1900/$7800 (Proven, 
> substantially bug-free)
> Only the PRE-RELEASE software is sold discounted to customers 
> who are made fully aware of "known bugs". The price increases 
> as the product improves. The final "proven" package is sold 
> at market price. Those who bear the burden of  early 
> financial exposure plus helping test and develop buggy 
> software benefit by getting the "proven" package at no 
> additional cost. The ethics issue becomes moot. Altium 
> maintains a cash flow that increases as the product is 
> improved. Those who wait for the final release and buy at 
> market price get a "proven" package. I think Altium would be 
> motivated and is up to delivering the goods. Win-win-win-win!
> So far as being "screwed", many of us have had that 
> experience via 99 and 99SE. Why do you think, "The overall 
> spin of DXP has been so bad"?  If Altium goes under because 
> of inability to deliver solid, professional software, I would 
> not be screwed, because I won't buy it. But anyone who pays 
> $7800+ for buggy software would be screwed royally.
> ATS clearly is for fools who don't mind parting with their 
> money by paying for "a pig in a poke". Or maybe some large 
> company departments have extra money they have to burn to 
> assure next year's allocation. Not for me -  I'm interested 
> in solid software tools to aid me in my work!!
> > > -----Original Message-----
> > > From: Fred A Rupinski [mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]]
> > > Sent: Friday, September 06, 2002 10:19 AM
> > > To: Protel EDA Forum
> > > Subject: Re: [PEDA] DXP - Crunch time?
> > >
> > >
> > > Based on the reports submitted to the Forum (see TK 
> below), the DXP 
> > > Demo is not ready for formal release, but seems meant to 
> serve as an 
> > > extension of the Beta Cycle. I wonder if this violates 
> the ethic of 
> > > not exploiting customers by allowing known bugs into a formally 
> > > released package. At the very least, Altium should recognize 
> > > customer exploitation not as creative, but rather, destructive 
> > > marketing.
> > >
> > > I know of a CAD developer who offered the PRE-RELEASE 
> version of his 
> > > latest 3-D software (probably at the same development 
> stage as the 
> > > current DXP) at a DEEP DISCOUNT. Everyone knew they were, 
> in effect, 
> > > not only helping to finish the development of the 
> software, but also 
> > > providing the developer with needed cash flow. Their 
> reward at the 
> > > end of the line was the final solid full RELEASED PACKAGE at no 
> > > additional cost. It seems to me that this is a win-win situation.
> > >
> > > Now I wonder what would happen if the DXP package currently under 
> > > development were offered at $400 to current users and 
> $1600 to new 
> > > users who buy it now with full knowledge of existing bugs and who 
> > > are guaranteed the solid, fully debugged "final" package at no 
> > > additional cost. The price would increase with each SUCCESSFUL 
> > > "service pack" until the package was deemed SOLID, and 
> then it would 
> > > be sold at full price.
> > >
> > > So far as ATS goes, well..... ATS should simply go..... away!
> **************************************************************
> **********
> * Tracking #: 5121FD5F9C4B5649BC5B8404B08CB2E56DF8DF48
> *
> **************************************************************
> **********

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