ForumsSoftware ← Rant: it's almost a year without fixing Aalto issues

Hello, Randy!

It's almost a year since I have reported two annoying Aalto issues:
1) impossible to use computer MIDI keyboard import
2) disappearing patch menu issue
Both of the issues were reported in March 2014. You have reproduced both and answered: "I am working on updates for both Aalto and Kaivo to ship ASAP. This is an important issue."

Then you said: "This is fixed for the next update." in May 2014
Then you wrote: "I'm on a push to get this out within the next couple of weeks." in September 2014

So, January 2015 is at the end, and the issues are not yet fixed (With many other issues reported on this forum)... ;(
Or, they are fixed, but the build with fixes is not yet released to public.

I'm pretty sure you are busy enough crafting Soundplane and developing another member of Aalto/Kaivo family. There is no doubt: new Aalto/Kaivo release will not disappoint us adding new features, but why don't you release quick bug fix builds (without adding new features)? Why there were no, say, 1.5.1 and 1.5.2 builds before 1.6?

If there is a reason for this? Why should we wait for a year for bug fixes?

Thank you!

Hi Valery,

This is a totally legitimate rant. Also a very polite one, so thank you for that.

I've heard similar feedback from a few people over the last month or two. I'm going to take it to heart and put some effort into speeding up my release schedule.

I appreciate the reality check from you. One thing I am not good at is project management. One reason bigger companies don't let you talk to developers is that they are always saying stupid shit like "this will be done in a couple of weeks." I have to work on that.

There are a few things getting in the way of more regular release that I can improve. The most fundamental is my own tendency to do more development instead of releasing. As I get more customers of course I'm getting more feature requests and more bug reports than I am used to. I have a hard time wanting to do a release with any known bugs. So as new information comes in from customers, it sends me back to work instead of releasing. While I didn't have as many customers this was not a big problem, but now I'm going to have to improve my project management and postpone some things to come back to later.

One purely technical thing I can do is spend some time making the release process easier here. There are too many steps to release a plugin here and not all of them are automated. Everyone knows this is a bad idea. You should be able to hit one button to build and test and deploy whatever you are working on, so releasing is not a multi-day chore. One thing I'm doing in the next version (1.7) that will help is getting rid of the stamping step I thought was so cool, and moving to a keyfile system. Then I can release more quickly, and also send out licensed betas without going through a long release process.

Another technical thing is working more with branches in my source code control system, so I can fix bugs in the previous release version while working on improvements. This is fairly basic housekeeping stuff, but I've been in the bad habit of just banging everything out in the main branch. For example, my library underlying Aalto and Kaivo has undergone a really major refactoring over the past few months that will be a big improvement for performance. But I should be able to do work like that while keeping maintenance builds of the older, working system happening.

And yeah, I do a lot of different stuff, as you mention. This is OK up to a point but If I'm going to sell software, I owe it to my customers to update it on a more regular basis.

As far as the Aalto update, last week I sent a beta to a handful of people who reported bugs and I'm dealing with one serious bug that only appears on Windows. Release should be very soon. Afterwards I'll take some time to put systems in place that help me release more regularly.


Randy, thank you for your prompt reply and (especialy) for taking the points of my message into account.

Dear Randy:

Thanx for your acknowledgement, and insight into your work.. When Emagic owned Logic, they were more straight forward about issues.. When Apple, up came that Iron Curtain.. where they would keep you in the dark, and sometimes even delete negative posts about Logic. They would ever admit a mistake or shortcoming..

So your directness and honesty is a refreshing change..