In a world populated by software releases retarded (Leopard, iLife 07) and known vaporwares, it would be nice to have an idea of the release of one of my most waited updates in Mac OS X software : DevonThink Pro.
Is it going to be ready in 2007? in the second quarter, the third, the fourth?
I ask it just by curiosity, and because I’m waiting hardly for that “transparent” architecture of 2.0 stated by some of the forum participants: the fact that DT2 is not longer going to “hide” it’s library inside the DT file, but instead it would use the same Finder structure -aka separate the database file from the resources library, as iTunes or iPhoto.
I’m waiting also for a refined user interface. I’m a researcher and a designer, so I appreciate a lot the core features of DT, but I really don’t like some of the icons and buttons, and I think that the 6 view interface is clumsy. As a design opinion, I think you should obtain inspiration from Apple’s pro applications, like Aperture. That way you are in the right middle of style and functionality, as Aperture interface is based in grey and black, is very neutral and it concedes the user attention to the content.
Thanks a lot and congratulations for your great work.
Apple’s postponement of Leopard to October, 2007 will likely delay version 2.0 to late 2007 or early 2008.
I’ve got Aperture and I like it.
But people who live by Mac OS X consistency would be appalled by Aperture (and the other Apple Pro apps) as the UI is very un-Mac-like. If I wish to display an image full-screen, I press “F”. To zoom the image, press "Z’. And press those keys again to toggle to the previous state.
I’m reminded of a remark by David Pogue. Pogue praises UI consistency, except when an inconsistent approach is really more intelligent and should trump consistency.
Aperture and the other Pro applications are not general purpose. The user works inside them to do a limited – albeit very powerful – set of operations.
DT Pro, on the other hand, does a great deal of interaction with the OS and with other applications, so “Macness” is desirable.
But I think DT Pro’s approach to changing the view size of documents is intelligent. The command to change apparent size is Control-Command-Up/Down Arrow. This works for all of the document types displayed. That’s internal consistency. The user doesn’t have to remember different keystrokes for different document types.
As a joke I was going to summarize what I thought Bill might post in response to the suggestions in this thread.
Bill beat me to the punch, but his reply was predictable.
DEVONThink works great for Bill.
Vauge references suggest Apple should develop more like DEVONThink.
Support for Apple core technologies is put off till some unidentifiable point in the future.
I purchased DEVONThink for my entire company, so I cast my vote in favor of DEVONThink as a consumer. However, I sure wish the DEVONThink crew would put a halt to these same tired posts, although they can be entertaining in their long-winded and all too predictable emptyness.
I think Apple does a pretty darned good job with OS and software design. I mentioned Aperture’s UI because when I’m using it I have to forget the “standard” Mac OS commands for many operations. But when I’m running through a lot of photos, those single key commands do speed things up.
We’re breathlessly waiting for Leopard to settle down and get stable. It’s got lots of promise.
Yep, DT Pro does work great for me. That doesn’t mean that I think it’s perfect. When I need to do something that isn’t built-in, I can usually find a kludge to let me accomplish a task. One of the things I’m really looking forward to is the set of query operators and syntax already available in DEVONagent. I can accomplish almost everything the future version 2.0 queries will let me do, but the current search operators require me to do some things in multiple steps, involving replicating search results to a new group and performing sequential searches. That’s a kludge. It requires me to rummage around the tools in DT Pro and figure out how to get a job done. Kludges can be very powerful, but elegance goes out the window.
Kludges will always be with us. No matter how powerful and comprehensive a database application becomes, someone will need to do something that’s not a built-in operation.
I kinda of figured that 2.0 would be delayed. Only makes sense.
Current DTPO verison works great for me as well. About the only thing I am really hoping for is exactly what Bill mentions above and what I posted recently in another topic: similar search operators as in DA. I don’t get to wrapped up in UI issues, myself, but some of the suggestions I’ve read over the months are not without merit. My only real complaint is not having the time to really explore the power of DTPO. For example, I still need to research what Concordance is. In time.
And thanks to Bill, I use “kludge” at least once a week in everyday conversation.
I really miss spotlight integration, and if the wait for this is perhaps a year off, i have to ponder alternatives. thats not a threat, by no means, just please someone officially advice if the next version is “about to enter beta any time” or “perhaps sometime 2008”.
if the latter i have to rethink a few things
drives me crazy having to look for things two places
I am just pondering here, but with so many different things talked about for enhancements to DT, does it really need to be tied into Apple’s lagging behind?
Why does an updated UI, an open folders approach, a URL system, better searching, etc., etc., have to be tied to Leopard? Is there some specific technology in Leopard that this is all depending on? It sure doesn’t seem like it.
Why not forge ahead, and work on enhancing DT 2.1 for incorporating Leopard technologies?
I can’t speak for the DT folks, but I’ve seen in other forums that Leopard changes a lot of the internal operating system services. Those services will break if you attempt to run Tiger code under Leopard.
DT obviously uses the Apple web engine, text engine, and PDF package, plus probably other stuff that is less visible. Making the contents of packages visible to Spotlight – as 2.0 is planned to do – also means that DT needs to be compatible with the Leopard version of Spotlight, and needs to handle it gracefully if operating system hooks change DT files from outside of DT. That’s a lot of potential compatibility problems.
Add to that the likelihood that DevonTech, as a relatively small company, is somewhat constrained in their ability to throw resources at things, and I’m not in the least bit surprised by the need to hold DT 2.0 for Leopard’s release. Otherwise, you’ll have users throwing fits when their brand-new copy of DT breaks 3 months after they bought it, thanks to the Leopard upgrade.
I have to agree with danzac here. Leopard is going to have a lot of new features, but Leopard is not going to break the stuff that already works in Tiger. Spotlight integration, real smart folders, tagging, etc. are all features that can be developed right now using Tiger.
Can some Devon people explain why we need Leopard for DT2.0? Open database (so Spotlight integration and less memory print) is something promised and being waited for about two years now and it is definitely a Tiger technology. Can’t we have at least that while waiting for Leopard? What happens if Leopard delays again!
Bill can speak for the developers. He’s an employee of the company and interacts with them on schedules – I’m not sure why it’s specifically necessary for them to respond themselves. They do respond when they feel a need to – but I think specifically asking them and pushing Bill’s response aside is rather callous.
As for the ability to have multiple databases requiring Leopard – I doubt it’s as simple as that. It’s likely a general re-architecture is in the works (well, we know that’s the case) – to enable Spotlight access for one thing. It’s likely this re-architecture will enable other things like multiple DBs open at the same time – you get many benefits from one improvement. Making a simple tweak so you can have multiple DBs in 1.4 may not be worth the effort, if it’s a “hack” that will differ from the solution that comes in 2.0.
I want to see 2.0 as much as the next guy – there are many things in 1.3 I wish were addressed (see my previous requests on tagging, drag dock, and other Yojimbo-like features), and in fact have pulled my PDFs out of DEVONthink and am now using Yep to manage those (as it gives me tagging), but I’m resigned to accepting that the release schedule “is what it is.” If Bill says the timeline has slipped to late 2007 or early 2008 there’s not much I can really do but accept it. Little snippy replies such as yours when you’ve been told the truth are, well, unnecessary.
Callous and snippy! Wow, you sure can read a lot of emotion out of a simple question. Bill’s first post in this thread said it “will likely delay” implying some ambiguity, and in my first post I said I appreciated Bill’s comments.
I’m just trying to get a read on what the official word is, so take it easy, read the whole thread, and quote the right part in your reply too
Sorry, Danny, but I agree with CatOne. Many of your queries tend to be naggish and pushy, especially on the topic of version 2.0. You need to lighten up. I have never understood the point of asking any company when a product will be out. What, we want to make sure the release date doesn’t conflict with an important appointment? There’s an old saying in the writing and publishing business: It takes as long as it takes. Let’s stop harping on this very old topic. It’s not going to make 2.0 appear any faster. End of my sermon, and let’s not get into a flame war over it.
Callous, snippy, naggish, and pushy. I’ve built quite a reputation for myself
I can, perhaps, understand the naggish part for other discussion threads, people always sound a little more forceful in print than in person but I simply asked some questions in this thread so I really can’t understand the adverbs used to describe my queries. I’ll be happy when 2.0 comes out, but I’m quite happy with DT now - otherwise I wouldn’t be frequenting the forums and regularly telling others about it. But that doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to be curious about its future, as I have some stake in it — namely much of my research. So I, and many others, are allowed to enquire about its future even if some don’t see the point.
And while it isn’t conflicting with an appointment per se, its release will actually mean an overhaul of how I file my research - something that I will need to schedule in ahead of time. And frankly, I’m excited about it and just get a little bummed when I hear it is delayed.
But since 2 of you now have mistaken sincere questions for callous comments I should probably assume that the developers and perhaps Bill read them that way as well. I in no way intended any disrespect- I wish these developers all the best and am sorry if I was rude, so I guess I’ll stop asking. I never was good at playing the harp, and I would lose in a flame war with you Howarth, because I have Baptist roots and we’re pacifists