I'm not singling out Rhet, but there are several ideas embodied
in this paragraph that bear comment:
If someone from BareBones does pipe in, it's usually to say
"We're never going to add that feature. See previous post..."
This compares poorly to several other indie-Mac software lists
I'm on (such as the forum for Leap and Yep, both excellent
applications: http://www.ironicsoftware.com/) where the
developer is happy to get feedback on what users actually want
and participates in the dialogue.
Let me start off by saying no matter what I, or another Bare
Bones representative says, a large number of people will be
unhappy. For years we said "Thanks for the feedback, and we'll
consider adding this functionality". Then, email every time we
shipped an update we'd get a "reminder" email, asking why the
feature wasn't in that version. Other people waited and waited
for the feature to arrive, but it wasn't going to. I thought
that was unfair.
Now, if a feature request has a known disposition, we generally
share that answer. Nested folders? No. If you _have_ to have
that feature, you will be better off elsewhere. Does this
compare "poorly" with other companies? I don't know. I prefer
the honest answer, whether it makes people happy or not.
Another assumption (again, not picking on Rhet) is that
implementing every feature request is a good idea. If you take a
step back and look at the types of requests people make, with
rare exception (nested folders, smart collections, better tag
management) they are particular to the requester's existing
workflow. The "one feature I have to have" is not the one
feature you have to have, or Charlie has to have, or probably
more than a couple people have to have.
The implied assumption that tends to go along with almost any
request is that adding feature X doesn't increase the complexity
of Yojimbo. That is untrue.
In a past life, I spent countless hours helping novice Mac users
find the files they had lost, because they had no idea where
they were saving, or because they saved all their files in the
Word folder, and when they updated Word, lost everything. The
average computer user is overwhelmed by choices, and as simple
as this sounds, every feature or menu item represents a choice.
By no means am I the authority on simplicity vs. complexity, but
our goal was to make Yojimbo powerful, yet simple to use.
Another interesting belief carried by most power users (and I
include myself in this group) is that they are representative of
all users. This can't be farther from the truth.
Everybody on this list sees the mailing list posts. I see those,
and tech support inquiries. There are more support inquires than
there are posts on this list. Way more. I can assure you that
everyone on this list is head and shoulders above most customers
writing in for help.
If you made it this far, thanks for reading. As your reward, a
summary of the popular requests, and their status:
Nested folders: Sorry, no.
Smart collections: Yes, near the top of the list.
Better tagging interactions: Nearer the top of the list.
Stuff nobody has asked for: At the top of the list. And before
anyone asks why stuff nobody asked for is higher up
"one feature I have to have," remember, nobody asked us to
write Yojimbo, either.
Updates to other Bare Bones products: What do you think
doing since the last Yojimbo update? :-)
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