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FistOfFury
Newbie


Joined: 22 Jul 2004
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2004 6:21 am   

zmapper keeps crashing = poor sales
 
It's extremely unstable. It crashes EVERYTIME I use it. I haven't really had a good chance to actually see what it does, or even learn about how to use it, because it keeps crashing everytime I use it. Well, I don't know about you, but who wants to pay for something that keeps crashing or really unstable?
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Vijilante
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Joined: 18 Nov 2001
Posts: 5182

PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2004 9:58 am   
 
Perhaps you could provide a reproduceable method to cause these crashes. Then the problem could be examined and fixed.

Remember that zMapper is still in beta. zMapper remained in beta status for this long because there was a lot less interest in it then Zugg expected. Meaning it still does not have enough beta testers to find all the bugs and achieve a public status.
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Rorso
Wizard


Joined: 14 Oct 2000
Posts: 1368

PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2004 10:52 am   
 
Vijilante wrote:
Perhaps you could provide a reproduceable method to cause these crashes. Then the problem could be examined and fixed.

Remember that zMapper is still in beta. zMapper remained in beta status for this long because there was a lot less interest in it then Zugg expected. Meaning it still does not have enough beta testers to find all the bugs and achieve a public status.

People generalize, don't they? When I was younger I was attacked by a few dogs, and since then I have been afraid of dogs. I can't help it as the feeling immediately comes. If one dog-like creature attacks you, wouldn't you then be careful with future dog-like creatures?

Similarly if one of Zuggsoft's products explodes when opened, wouldn't you be a bit careful with other Zuggsoft products? When I first opened zMapper it crashed really well. The result was that I uninstalled it and after 30 days the demo period was over. Of course I didn't try out future versions because the demo period was over. Even if a new version with the demo period reset would be released I would be hesitant.
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seamer
Magician


Joined: 26 Feb 2001
Posts: 358
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2004 12:54 pm   
 
A better solution would be to list system specs, and to check out the MS Jet/MDAC updates to see if they are applicable, starting with zuggsoft.com/data
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2004 5:31 pm   
 
If you are going to be hesitant to use products that crash or have bugs, then you shouldn't use Beta products.

I could be like other companies and never release anything until it has been "finished" and heavily tested. If that was the case, zMapper probably would have never been released at all, and you certainly wouldn't be seeing any of the Alpha releases of Zeus or eMobius.

Instead, my software strategy is to release products early to get them into customers hands for those who want to take the time to test the software. This allows me to gather feedback on what the customers really want from their software. But this also requires a different kind of customer who is willing to help work with the software developer to test the software. It requires a lot more patience. It is not for people who just want shrink-wrapped products.

Honestly, I expect people who are beta testing to just buy the product. If you just plan to play with the product while it's free and stop when the 30-day demo is over, then you are not the kind of customer that probably should be beta testing products.

Also, if you don't understand how to properly provide enough details to reproduce a problem or crash, then you should also not be beta testing software.
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Rorso
Wizard


Joined: 14 Oct 2000
Posts: 1368

PostPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2004 6:05 pm   
 
Zugg wrote:
If you are going to be hesitant to use products that crash or have bugs, then you shouldn't use Beta products.

I could be like other companies and never release anything until it has been "finished" and heavily tested. If that was the case, zMapper probably would have never been released at all, and you certainly wouldn't be seeing any of the Alpha releases of Zeus or eMobius.

If I remember it correctly weren't there a time when some people said zMUD was very buggy without testing the new version?

I think Zuggsoft is nice because it releases beta versions. One should remember that it is the users which find many odd bugs which probably wouldn't be found by yourself.

Quote:

Instead, my software strategy is to release products early to get them into customers hands for those who want to take the time to test the software. This allows me to gather feedback on what the customers really want from their software. But this also requires a different kind of customer who is willing to help work with the software developer to test the software. It requires a lot more patience. It is not for people who just want shrink-wrapped products.

You also pay for the product, and you can't be certain if it will ever go beyond beta status. Like zMapper has been beta a long time now.

Quote:

Honestly, I expect people who are beta testing to just buy the product. If you just plan to play with the product while it's free and stop when the 30-day demo is over, then you are not the kind of customer that probably should be beta testing products.

I enjoy beta testing but you still have to buy the product. Especially when the software is in alpha you won't have much idea if the software is going to suit your needs, or expectations.

Quote:

Also, if you don't understand how to properly provide enough details to reproduce a problem or crash, then you should also not be beta testing software.

Which also suggests that you shouldn't buy beta products in that case.
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2004 12:00 am   
 
Yep, what you said is all true. I don't expect people to buy a beta product unless they plan to help beta test. The advantage of paying for a beta product is that you get to participate in it's development and you usually get a price break. But yes, you are buying it on faith that it will eventually be useful to you (unless you are just buying it to support Zugg Software, which some people also do).

In the case of zMapper, it works perfectly fine for a lot of people. But it has not been tested on as many different system configurations and is much more sensitive to problems with MDAC installations. It also tends to work better on computers with Windows XP and all the latest service packs, rather than Windows 98 or older versions of Windows. So, for some people it works fine, and for some people it doesn't. That's why it's beta software.

But in general, even if a product is *not* a Beta Version, I'm still going to ignore any reports like this that don't even provide any details on reproducing the problem. This applies to zMUD, zMapper, eMobius, or whatever. Over in the Beta Forum there is sticky topic that links an article on how to make useful bug reports. Without the version of the product, the version of Windows, the exact error message, and the steps to reproduce that error, reports are going to be ignored.

Hey, at least this person tried it before buying it. The people that *really* annoy me are the ones that just buy it before even trying it and then complain if it doesn't work.
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Backu
Novice


Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 36
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2004 4:27 pm   
 
Uhm.. Zugg? Just a quick question here... but what point is it to be a beta tester, and go through all the frustrations of having it crash, and detail the process so it can be replicated if that user is going to have to pay just to use it once you do have a final version?
I know.. I make no sense, but that's me.

I would beta-test if it was worth my while to document everything. Not trying to be mean, or try to get free software from Zuggsoft.. Christ, I bought zMUD twice and lost 1 of the keys (which happened to be bought from you guys, not from eLicense (the #-#-#-# key type)). But to beta test, have to reformat your system should a crash of the software crash more than the software, just doesn't make it worth the time if I'm going to have to pay for the software once I've done 'my work' on it, ya know?
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Kjata
GURU


Joined: 10 Oct 2000
Posts: 4379
Location: USA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 11, 2004 6:22 pm   
 
Well, you are overlooking a simple fact, you beta test because you want the software to be the best it can be. If it is something you expect to use and buy, then you might beta test to ensure that all the bugs you would encounter when using the product are fixed. Also, specially for software from Zuggsoft, you provide feedback about how development is going and what you would like to see added/changed, and the developer will hear your suggestions and be able to do something about it when the product is still at a stage where it can be more easily changed. However, most important of all, you beta test just for the satisfaction of helping the developer make a better product so that everyone else will enjoy it too.
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Zugg
MASTER


Joined: 25 Sep 2000
Posts: 23377
Location: Colorado, USA

PostPosted: Sun Sep 12, 2004 4:14 pm   
 
Also, beta testers almost always get to buy the product at a discount compared to the eventual public versions. Ask around in the beta forums if you want, but I think most of the beta testers have been pretty happy with the deal they have gotten and with how they have been treated and respected around here. But as Kjata said, a lot of beta testers don't care about the money, they just want to try to make the product better for themselves and everyone else.

I just wanted to distinguish beta testing on this site from a recent trend with other companies where users/customers just think that a "beta test" is a way to get free versions of the software before anyone else. Just look at the experience of most MMORPGS to see what I mean here...most of those people involved in betas have no intention of filing good bug reports or helping to improve the software...many just want to play for free and cancel their accounts as soon as it goes public.

That's very different than the type of beta testing we do here.
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Varenuha
Beginner


Joined: 28 May 2002
Posts: 10
Location: Estonia

PostPosted: Sun Jan 02, 2005 9:32 am   
 
Is here any work done recently on zMapper at all?
Would here be some term when it leaves beta status and becomes public?
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