Still no multiple databases?

Got your notice of Devonthink Office and upgraded immediately. The email thing was big for me, but I am investigating the rest.

I have discovered that one is still restricted to a single open database…


Multiple concurrent databases will be a feature of version 2.0.

And 2.0 will be available in 2006? 2007? 2008?

As much as I love DEVONtech, the vapor of future products can sometimes get to my head – in a bad way. It would be better to say “We’re planning that feature for a future release” and leave it at that. You send the message that you’ve heard the request and that it is on the list, but don’t get anyone’s hopes up.

By telling me that it’s planned for 2.0 gives me just enough information to be anxious but too little to provide me any reality-check.

So, until you’re ready to release a schedule or a roadmap of features, please stop teasing us with promises of “2.0.”

On the other hand, many people, myself included, love being told what is on the horizon.

If you don’t want to know, don’t read the post :slight_smile:

But that’s my point. Is 2.0 on the horizon? You’re assuming it is because, well, I don’t know why. Any official proclamation from DEVONtech people isn’t on the horizon until we can actually see the horizon. Just saying someing is 2.0 isn’t helpful.

Until recently, I had imagined that 2.0 was the top priority for the coders at DEVON. But no, I now discover that Office was where they were spending their time. Is anyone working on 2.0 right now, or are they doing an update to DEVONagent? Or some other new, unannounced product? What if 2.0 won’t be available for six more major upgrades (after 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.7, 1.8…) – would you feel like you were mislead by Bill’s comment?

Would you be miffed to discover that 2.0 isn’t planned for, say, at least two more years? I would. And do you know whether or not this is the case? I don’t.

Look, the DEVON products are awesome. I buy them. I use them. I love them. But the DEVON guys suck at two things: documentation and accurate development roadmaps. They’ve been talking about 2.0 since at least 2004.

It is nearly 2007 and I don’t know when 2.0 is coming. I don’t want to be told about features that will be unavailable for another three years. That’s not “on the horizon,” that’s cruelty.

Actually all of this is true. We’re working on DEVONagent 2.1, on the final DEVONthink Pro 1.3 (with and without Office) of course, on the database & search engine of V2 and on a new product :wink:

All that, and you’re still not going to give us any timeframes? Arhhh! You kill me! This is exactly the information that I can’t possibly use!

Look, I’m not trying to get you to reveal all the deepest, darkest industrial secrets of DEVONtechnology. You should keep your magic close to the vest. But you shouldn’t go dropping nuggets like this without some context. It raises questions.

For instance, what will be in 1.3? Will it be an exciting upgrade (native Mellel support?) or a yawn? When are you planning on making this available? Before the end of 2006? Q1 2007? Q4 2007?

Do you have a goal for DEVONthink v2 release? Are you on track to hit that goal?

I was a product manager at a software company for many years. I know how this works. And I know that “working on” something without at least one fully-dedicated resource is more talk than action. Intention is not work. So unless you’ve got at least one engineer focusing on v2 almost exclusively, please don’t pretend that it is a real company priority.

Do I sound bitter? Sorry about that. I’m annoyed, but not bitter. And hoping for some real substantive information soon.

But why do you need this information? This shouldn’t make a difference for your everyday work until the stuff will be available.

Sorry, not quite. Esp. with the multiple-database-issue.

For my paperless office, I started using Yep/Pik/Kip/whatever-it’s-called, simply because I always ended up shoving my invoices into some research database that just happened to be open. So now I can at least have my office database (in yep) and one other database (in dt) open. Had I known that it’s only one/two more months till v2, I might have waited.

But even now, I’m not satisfied. I use 3 to 4 database simultaneously, so before every addition to the DBs, I have to check which one is open, close it, open the proper one, add my stuff, close it … sorry, but PITA

About the Spotlight-indexing: I don’t mind spotlight, it’s good enough for me, in general. But, esp. since I can’t have all my databases open at the same time, it’s very annoying that I don’t have an overall-search-tool. So, is it worth looking into alternative search engines? Shall I wait?

Or shall I just look for an entirely different solution?

Sorry, had that on my chest for quiet a while …

No hard feelings, cheerio,

You’re right, of course. I don’t need to know. My complaint is when you (or Bill) say, “It’ll come in 2.0” as if that’s an answer. It’s not. It’s mockery. It is an answer to get users off your back without giving any useful information.

(For the record, I don’t complain about other software release schedules because I don’t care about other software release schedules. But DEVONthink is very important to me. So I only get passionate because I love DEVONthink so damn much.)

Hi, terceiro. I’m sorry if it has seemed to you that we were treating users in a mocking or dismissive way – that’s not at all what’s intended.

Christian and Eric started with a vision of what a document management/information mining system could do, and that vision is still very much apparent. It’s all about the information.

Christian is a craftsman in the true sense. He writes good code and he makes incremental improvements quite often. So I never have needed to worry about working with alpha or beta versions in doing my own work projects. But a lot of code has been written since the early version of DEVONthink, and it’s not bloat. As I recall, the early versions of DEVONthink ran less than 4 MB uncompressed. The most recent beta of DT Pro on my drive takes 27.1 MB file space, and the current beta of DTPO takes 129 MB. Most of the added bulk of DTPO is the OCR module, which is itself much larger than the DT Pro code. :slight_smile: (One reason the OCR module is large is that it can handle many languages and fonts, so it has rather large built-in databases and conversion procedures.)

Perhaps we shouldn’t talk about version 2.0, but we are excited about it. It will involve a new database structure, and will be able to seamlessly copy/convert existing databases to the new structure. The new database structure will interact with Spotlight (personal comment: I wouldn’t be impressed by this if it merely let Spotlight index database contents). It will allow multiple concurrent databases. And – most importantly IMHO – it will likely set a new standard in searching capabilities for Mac document managers, as Christian recently hinted. And some other important features as well.

“No wine before its time.” Sorry, that’s the best schedule I can talk about.

But have you noticed that the existing DT Pro keeps getting better and faster every few months or so?

The release of DTPO is in response to numerous requests for the OCR, mail archiving and Web server features, which are useful for people who receive lots of paper (lawyers are an example) lots of email (often including attachments), and who need to maintain, with a very simple setup procedure, searchable document collections via a network. Credit Annard for the coding to tie in the OCR and develop the enhanced email archiving. Christian, in his typical laid back way, noted to me that it took him a week to do the Web server. These enhancements aren’t a significant diversion from the development of DTPO 2.0, as they will be a part of that package, as well.

Sometimes it isn’t just moving forward that is important, it’s feeling the wind in your hair. I don’t see any need for getting hot under the collar, but it does seem that a clearer timeline or slightly clearer communication on this front would be of benefit to some, and to DEVONtech’s image. Of course, timelines are apt to trip you up occasionally (longhorn, anyone?). :wink:

Yeah. Original plans were for 2006 release of 2.0.

But it pays to keep an eye on where Apple is going with OS X, among other things.

I don’t think we’ll try to match Microsoft on development times, though. :slight_smile:

I am new enough to DTP that a great deal of the history is lost on me. I have been getting on the forum almost daily since I purchased last month and read all the new posts. I am dutifully trying to learn the program and the system. I purchased at the recommendation of the site in order to better integrate GTD methodology. I have since been overjoyed to find that I can and should use DTP for so many other things. I have also been introduced to Scrivener and Mellel. A closet user of EndNote I have also been directed to Bookends - I have yet to try but with the holidays coming I should have time. I have quite a way to go before I can fully integrate DTP and DTA into my workflow and style; using it to store my financial data - brilliant!

I am a bit stymied by the manner in which the documentation for the tool is presented, the video tutorial is nice but would like to see more. The forum is nice, but very clunky in getting around and finding information in a logical progression that would accelerate my learning the software. While I see this deficit as a focus on the DT staff I cannot help but also think that we in the user community have a responsibility to come thru on this as well. I would be willing, as a newbie with the vision to see the power at my fingertips but just not sure how to get there yet, to sit on a documentation group that could comb the archives as well as develop and eventually publish a better set of documentation. I would envision something akin to the way the Linux community has functioned almost from the start. I would not seek any form of monetary remuneration for this effort from the fine folks at DT, but would rather see my efforts as a way to further the objectives of the software. My compensation would be in the form of better documentation, better access to how other users utilize the software and then the ability to transform their models to my system. Better documentation would then allow the user base of the software to grow perhaps even exponentially, thus providing greater incentive to the DT staff to roll out requested enhancements. Win win for everyone.

The thread here about 2.0 is somewhat puzzling to me, but not something I have not already seen. I am an economist and I work in healthcare. I use a tool that allows for operational benchmarking across a database of some 500 other facilities in the US. It is frustrating as hell to use most of the time. It was ill designed and they are very slow to make the changes that the user base is crying for. Funny really, we have been crying for about 4 years now and the tool is no better than it was at the start. None of us switch because we have no other real choice. They have tried to calm us by publishing a roadmap of their plans, but that lasted all of about 6 months before they reneged on that. Their problem has always been promising us something and then not delivering it when promised. So they have become very gun shy about making promised, to the point now that they make none and thus deliver none.

My point in telling you all that is to lead to this. I would love to see DT publish a roadmap that lists the issues being addressed, both at the present time as well as in the future - in a specific place and not requiring gleaning of multiple posts. While dates would be nice I am sure it is an issue with developers as to miss a date becomes a problem for everyone, perhaps target quarters would be good enough? If a project needs to get delayed, then so be it, you just tell us and move it to the updated slot. Move an issue enough times and it can serve as a flag to everyone to perhaps be reevaluated. The key issue from my perspective as a user is communication and if I may I believe that is what “terceiro” is trying to get at. Telling us 2.0 is the target for something and not giving us a frame of reference causes the frustration you are seeing here, IMHO.

The relatively short time I have had DTP has nonetheless shown me some great potential. I am constantly making notes to self on ways to use the software that will benefit me in my professional, academic and personal lifestyle. I am also constantly amazed at the abilities of the DT staff and your user base, I am simply suggesting that you tap us to your benefit and ours as well as develop a communication plan that fits with your project management goals.

yes, yes, yes. Well said, crhooker.

I do deeply appreciate the patience of Bill and Christian and others with whinging users (like me), and I restate that I only whine because DEVONthink is so wonderful to start out with.

Gruber has some good perspective on the very issue I’m raising [1]. My feeling about 2.0 is almost exactly as he describes OmniFocus. DEVONthink 2.0 is vaporware. Every time any member of the DEVON staff says that something will be in 2.0, my vapor-hackles go up and my stomach clenches.

Pay close attention to Gruber’s distinctions between vapor and lies. I’m not saying that 2.0 will never ship, or that you’re lying about its capabilities. But I am saying that giving vague promises and then slipping release dates – and then shipping other products! – impinges on your credibility.

Does 2.0 have an updated target date? I’m not asking you to share it, but it would be helpful to give a broad timeframe. Any software project that can’t be narrowed down to (at least) a three-month window for completion is too poorly defined to be considered in progress. If you’re not making real progress toward a defined goal, then stop telling users about what might, someday, if we’re lucky, be in the software.

If I were a marketing consultant for DEVONtechnologies, I would make sure that you have clearly defined engineering goals and have specific target deadlines. Then I’d be sure that the (exceptionally active) user base was on board – even excited – about the next release. Which is, for DEVONthink Pro, 1.3. According to Christian, that is what’s next. Why oh why oh why taunt your user base with promises you can’t fulfill – or can’t fulfill for the foreseeable future?

The question at the beginning of this thread was about multiple databases. The honest answer – as far as I can tell – is that multiple-database support is at least two releases away. So, the correct response is “We have that slated for a future version, still in planning stages.” (Someone will say that it’s not just planning stages because there’s actual code written. But, again, it’s not in development until there’s at least one dedicated resource and a firm target release date.)

I appreciate Christian’s perfectionism. I appreciate the hard work that obviously goes into DEVON apps. I just want honesty. Forget transparency, but do please be honest. And honest means not saying you’re working on something unless – right now – you have dedicated resources making progress, and have a defined date for completion. Anything else is just screwing around.

And, just to be sure that this is received in the right spirit. I love and use DEVONthink every day. I have no complaints about the product. It is a great product. I recommend it to friends and strangers. I brag about it to my PC-using colleagues. I get excited every time I see a forum post by Bill or Christian because it holds the promise of revealing another amazing, yet undiscovered feature.

I should shut up and let you get back to work, but I do hope that I can convince you that customer-facing comments about future development is a dangerous area that require more diplomacy than you’re currently using.


Let’s call a halt to any further comments on 2.0, by everyone.

We have enough to do to learn to work well with current DT products.