Open Letter to Rev: Quality Is Job #1 (Vista Install)
wjm at wjm.org
Fri Oct 20 14:59:14 CDT 2006
> [...] The new installer cleans up a lot (saves a lot of time and
> headache) and a lot of bugs have been fixed.
No way you'll get me to agree with you on the Installer issues. I can
demonstrate on a clean XP system all the specific issues I mentioned with
respect to install and uninstall. I've seen the problems on multiple
computers of mine. Friends I've cajoled into trying Rev have seen the same
thing. In the release notes, I do read about some bugs being fixed (most
having been introduced in 2.7.0), but overall the experience has been less
> I was not aware of any claims that 2.7.4 is ready for Vista.
As with prior releases of Windows, application compatibility is one of the
most important, core concerns of Microsoft's development team. In general,
well-written applications that work on Windows XP will work on Vista.
(Device drivers are a different issue.) I can mention several programs
released two, or even seven to ten years ago that function properly.
Notably, this includes Revolution 2.6.1, which installs and works just great
> It was not clear how much of the testing involved Vista. Those tests are
> good to have, but should not count against 2.7.
The only Vista-related item was the installer. Logically: I couldn't
install, ergo no testing under Vista. All the other comments refer to
running the new Rev releases under Windows XP. If the Vista problem was the
only issue with the Rev 2.7.x series, then I wouldn't necessarilly mention
it. Or my post would be, "Windows Vista Compatibility?" or something like
that. But in the context of general installer flakiness this is just one
more nail in the coffin.
The Vista item is on the one hand "minor" (or "forgiveable") but on the
other hand important to include and "counts against" Rev because it is a
concrete example of software that is a "step backward" -- somehow less
compliant with operating system requirements. The old version 2.6.1 works;
2.7.4 does not. It's like the canary in the coal mine, if you will, that
exposes poor programming/testing. Just what are they doing differently that
causes it to break?
> I was not aware that Vista was even available as a final product.
This is a red herring. Windows Vista has been available in various forms for
public (not to mention, developer) testing for several months, since before
2.7.0 was released. The current "release candidate 2" build is publicly
available for download from
Microsoft has been mailing DVDs of the new operating system to anyone who's
asked since Beta 2 (end of May). The whole point of an extended beta program
is to get developers ready... to give them time to migrate their code or to
give the OS maker important pre-release feedback. Apparently Rev has not
taken advantage of this window.
Basically what you're saying, Stephen, is that we should expect Rev will be
starting at "square one" with Vista in one-to-three months, when it's
released to retail. Don't forget that you and I and others on the list are
(nominally) software developers, and Rev is the tool that we use. How can we
make *our* software Vista-ready if the platform we depend on is lagging
Other software developers, large and small, have been releasing updates that
mention Vista compatibility enhancements as part of their usual release
cycle. Why hasn't Rev? Isn't this supposed to be a cross-platform
This is just one more reason not to pay for the "update pack" until Rev gets
it right. Wait until the product is stable under XP. Wait until it works
under Vista. Wait until it "takes advantage" of Vista. Then wait for the two
or three releases that it will take to iron out the Vista-related bugs.
(But, don't hold your breath. I can only assume their complete lack of
regard for Vista support indicates this will be a long time coming.)
Finally, if you believe it is so outrageous to contemplate that Rev should
be well along with Vista compatibility by now, you can snip out the brief
comment about Vista from my original post. Pretend I didn't mention it. It
wouldn't change a thing.
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