losing a customer?

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namsupo
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losing a customer?

Post by namsupo » 2015 Feb 27, 07:18

Looks like the ribbon wasn't such a great idea :)

http://www.xyplorer.com/xyfc/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=13460

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Re: losing a customer?

Post by nikos » 2015 Feb 27, 08:27

well you win some you lose some :)

it is funny how psychology works in some people. Here's a typical exchange I am having recently

angry customer: I can't believe I'm having to pay for the upgrade
me: you don't have to pay if you don't want, just keep using your older version as bought
AC: no I'll just switch to another file manager
me: but you liked xplorer2 until yesterday!?
AC: yes but I'm switching anyway...

given that all filemanagers charge for upgrades, it doesn't make any logical sense but it happens nevertheless :shrug:

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Re: losing a customer?

Post by Kilmatead » 2015 Feb 27, 08:28

Many users around here have multiple licenses for "competing" file managers - it's perfectly normal, and non-prejudicial. Others like to attach allegiances to software and conceive their usage as being more important than it really is... that's a little weird, but they're usually the scary types that only come out after dark anyway. :D

The userbase always ebbs and flows in strange ways (people claim it's about functionality, but it's like buying a refrigerator: in the end they are all the same), and as the desktop is slowly being put to death by MS, it becomes a little more obvious given the smaller user-base to work with.

And the ribbon wasn't an idea so much as it was a gimmick, just as it was with MS from the beginning. Again, the people who like it read more into it than is actually there, and the same with the people who don't like it - everyday we look at ourselves with yesterday's eyes, for humans learn slowly, testing the waters as we go. It did, after all, take millennia to escape the savannah on foot. :wink: Most of human consciousness is not really what it seems - and the decisions we make about what is important are as fluid as yesterday's values.

How often have we seen (when walking down the street) the sight of a man who is desperately trying to remember the reasons he got married in the first place? It's written all over his face, etched in his movements, furtively hiding behind the eyes, an emotional proximity that is sometimes supporting, sometimes debilitating. Choosing software is the same thing - though usually less expensive, and certainly less taxing on the brain.

I will leave it to others to "compare functionality" in these kind of things - there are things I like in XY (as there are in other managers) that x2 does not have, but I've never been the type to think I'm entitled to anything just because I bought a license - I believe in the water and stone approach - for in everything exists the sound of inevitability, not least our own coiled mortality and the poverty of relationship between human need and human perception.

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Re: losing a customer?

Post by Tuxman » 2015 Feb 27, 14:53

Given that XY lost me as a customer and German translator (I was suddenly banned and completely removed from their forums for disagreeing with the developer's political opinion; if I was still younger, I'd add "lulz" here), this makes it a +/- zero, right?

That said, I can't see the point. "Boo-fucking-hoo, my favorite file manager has got an optional new feature I don't like, please let me come in", well, all file managers I've found so far have features I probably won't ever use - I still installed some of them, mainly running SpeedCommander with xplorer² these days. "One tool, one purpose", indeed, but quite every file manager (except freeCommander which obviously can only do the "I'm available for no money" thing well enough to compete) does a different thing better than others; document previews, image thumbnails, browsing large folders, SFTP, ...

At least I appreciate the sudden turn of preferences, seeing customers seeking light and lean applications instead of full-blown Do-It-Alls. The mobile paradigm of "you can't multi-task anyway" seems to have its good parts.
Tux. ; tuxproject.de ; Windows 10 x64
registered xplorer² pro user since Oct 2009, ultimated in Mar 2012

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Re: losing a customer?

Post by drac » 2015 Feb 27, 20:51

Over many years I have used a number of file managers. When the one I had been using made (yet another) upgrade full of bugs while not fixing previous bugs (Powerdesk) I looked around for a replacement and found X2. It was FAR better than PD, more features, more customizable, easier to use and it came with a great support forum.

When the new version of X2 came out I was faced with a dilemma. I am not a ribbon fanboy. I could pay for an upgrade whose major new feature was one I would not use (I also am not a big user of searching - one of X2's other strengths) or I could look around for something else. Certainly I could have (and do) just use my no longer current version of X2, but the forum for this or any product tends to focus on the current release. This can make one feel "left out".

My new file manager is also great. It is better than X2 in some areas but not as good in others. The forum is very active and provides good support (of course they have nothing like Kilmatead). I chose to get a different product rather than update because, when faced with spending more money for something that was not giving ME increased value in features I used, it SEEMED smarter to try out something else - even though I was NOT unhappy with X2.

I am posting all this to give you a look into the mental processes of a user - maybe like the one you describe - who makes a decision that does not appear reasonable to you. I think the outcome was great for me - I now have two good file managers with a lot of common functionality but also each having strengths the other does not. It certainly would have been cheaper to stick with X2 but I DID get perceived value from acquiring the new product that I would not have had by using the old version of X2 or even by upgrading to V3.

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Re: losing a customer?

Post by namsupo » 2015 Feb 27, 22:52

Tuxman wrote:Given that XY lost me as a customer and German translator (I was suddenly banned and completely removed from their forums for disagreeing with the developer's political opinion; if I was still younger, I'd add "lulz" here), this makes it a +/- zero, right?
Yeah I've been banned from the XY forum as well, and had my posts deleted. Seems that Don really doesn't like any dissent :) Luckily Nikos is much more relaxed.

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Re: losing a customer?

Post by Kilmatead » 2015 Feb 27, 23:37

So, that's:
  • Nikos: 0
    Competitors: 2
    Tuxman and namsupo: 0.5 each (for political refugee status)
    Kilmatead: 0.00001 (for entertainment value)
drac wrote:I am posting all this to give you a look into the mental processes of a user - maybe like the one you describe - who makes a decision that does not appear reasonable to you.
Interestingly enough, it's surprising what a single "added" functionality can do (this is the part Nikos doesn't always understand well).

Another piece of software Drac is familiar with, the superlative backup imager Macrium Reflect, recently released a new paid-upgrade version (V6). Now imaging backup software is not very sexy. It's also not very prone to too many "must have" new features because - let's face it - if it works, it works, and everything else is just silly user-preferences. I bought a license for Reflect back when it was in Version 4... so when 5 came out a few years later, I looked at the new features and said "well, there's nothing here for me" - yet I purchased the upgrade to 5 anyway simply because it was cheap (well under €20 at the time) and, as Drac mentioned, it wards off that feeling of being "left out". But essentially I was a stupid user who just went along with the trend - why did I pay for something that not only didn't, but probably couldn't offer anything "new" to me?

So a few years later and now version 6 comes out - I look at the upgrade price and it somehow managed to magically double in the intervening years, so I said to myself, "feck this for a game of soldiers, this time there's no way I'm upgrading, they got their free €20 quid last time for nothing, so I'll skip this one." But - as these things happen - I had to at least try it. Weirdly enough, it did have a major new feature which impacted me directly and was genuinely a "new" thing. The first time I used it, it did in 2 minutes what used to take over an hour, and my initial reaction was very simple: "Macrium, please have my babies!- or, better yet, let me have yours!" Since I'm male, the science is going to have to wait a little while for the second one, but it was one of those "instantly sold" moments that I don't get very often. But more importantly, the underlying message here is that the price of the upgrade became instantly irrelevant, simply because of a single feature.

Now file managers can't really claim that sort of thing - even when they add "new" features they really are nothing but glorified bugfix editions where the proprietor randomly decides it's going to be a "paid" update rather than a normal one simply based on a predictable formula: Length of time since the last version change -> Laziness -> and the fear of a vanishing marketplace. The actual "features" themselves are largely irrelevant to the majority of users who basically don't even use many advanced features in the first place (it's funny how many people say that).

The one thing that users of file managers do have though, is the unknown "hope" that something new will come along, or that their little pet-peeve will be eradicated. If you actually look through the changelogs of the major file managers for the last few years none of them have introduced anything that's "really new" - just variations on a theme where the command names have been changed so people don't immediately notice who is "copying from the others", who is "catching up", and who is "slowing down".

XY (not to be picky, but it must be mentioned) has many strengths but one absolute failure that makes it untenable as a serious commercial product: x64 "support" that is implemented in such a weird "work-around" way as to be considered downright comical (by anyone who understands the shell enough to look closely) that it borders on foolishness and false-advertising. The dev is understandably defensive on this point, mainly because he knows it's indefensible from any realistic point of view. If it weren't for that, he'd have a fine (if slightly "schlitzy") mainstream product. :shrug:

One of the "best in the field" (in terms of user-options and configurability), Dopus suffers from the same perennial problem it's always had - seriously overpriced, seriously bloated, and a nagging feeling of "there's something not quite right here, but I don't know what it is" that follows it around. It also seems to have a "paid update" about every 6 months, for reasons even more arbitrary than everyone else's. (To be fair, it's not "every six months" but it certainly seems like it, and with no possibility of a lifetime license, it's a strange proposition to buy into.)

In the interests of fairness, I am also quite capable of badmouthing x2 (Ribbon? Schmibbon!), but considering we already have political refugees in our midst, Nikos would ban me just out of spite, and I'd have to defect to one the other products, which is not as exciting as it might have seemed in my youth. Besides, it would take poor Fred a year off his retirement just to delete all my silly posts. :wink:

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Re: losing a customer?

Post by namsupo » 2015 Feb 28, 01:00

Yes XY's big failing that it will never be able to surmount is that it's written in VB6. Luckily for Don most of his users seem unaware of this, or at least unaware of the implications of software being written in an unsupported, outdated language that despite many pleas and petitions from its loyal user base will never be updated. Until Don is able to commit himself to rewriting XY in a more modern language (a big undertaking to be sure), it will forever be trapped in 32-bit land with all the kludges and workarounds that entails. Interestingly about this time last year Don announced that he was going to spend 2014 re-writing it in VB.NET, but after a month or two that promise was quietly dropped along with many of the other grandiose promises he has made but not delivered over the years.

Not to drag this thread too off-topic (since it started about an X2 user defecting to XY), but to quibble with your Dopus comments : it's certainly the most expensive of the major file managers but "over-priced" is a subjective statement. Ferraris are overpriced compared with Subarus but many people still find value in them. I went out to dinner last night with my wife and the total bill was about three times the price of a Dopus licence - every thing is relative. Its paid upgrade cycle is about every 2-3 years, not 6 months, and the last paid upgrade certainly added a lot more than a ribbon (Sorry Nikos :) ) That's not to say it is perfect, and X2 (and even XY, from what I can see although I have stopped using it and just keep an eye on the forum for amusement) have features it does not, and vice versa, but again it all depends on what your needs are.

Basically I find all the wars between the various file managers and their users rather amusing but fundamentally pointless. It's like the Mac/PC wars of the 90s or going back, Amiga/Atari wars of the 80s. If you find a tool (be it software or hardware) that works for you, great, stick with it. Don's users obviously find value in XY despite the fact that it will only ever be 32-bit. Opus users find value in it despite the price (and it's been around longer than practically all the others, so obviously the price point works for them). Other people find value in other things. It doesn't mean we can't all just get along!

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Re: losing a customer?

Post by Kilmatead » 2015 Feb 28, 02:13

Aside from questioning what kind of wine you and your wife apparently order in restaurants (so we're not talking a Burger King date, here :wink:) you're right: "overpriced" is subjective, except as I pointed out one of the most common statements users love to make is "I don't actually use most of the advanced features" - which means the multitudes of refinements which largely populate changelogs are not likely to apply to any given "majority" of users. If people really just want Q-Dir or Exp++, etc, why do they buy things they probably don't fully understand, let alone ever be likely to use? While we all dream of being rock-stars or zen-like dog-trainers (what, you don't?), I would find it difficult to believe most users imagine that one day they'll become "power users" who can dissect "structured scrap clips" with the best of them. :D (At least, I hope they don't - somebody has to be leftover to repopulate the planet after we've all imploded from our own esoteric knowledge-based self-importance.) Which is to say that Dopus is overpriced for the majority of prospective punters - there is undoubtedly value there, but most will only ever "feel" it (that's marketing for you), they'll never actually "see" it. That said, people often seem oddly satisfied with "feelings" rather than substance, so perhaps it's a more pathological compulsion than logical one. :shrug:

Don't get me wrong - I never said Dopus had anything wrong with it aside from a bloated lack of focus - it's a very interesting entity and caters to a wide audience from simple to advanced in a more naturalistic way than x2 (with its more plain and old-school technical "think for yourself" approach) will ever do. But I can still never shake that feeling that there's just "something not quite centred" about it. Perhaps it's nothing but a byproduct of my own pathology. :D (Or a questionably 43MB installer that isn't even dual-bitwise.)

And no matter what you say, its upgrade schedule is way out of whack with perceived-reality - and the lack of even a seriously-overpriced (as it would have to be) "lifetime license" is just unreasonable in my opinion. Compared to (the admittedly glacial) x2, they feel like the EA Sports of file-managers: Madden 2014, Madden 2015 and a half, Madden 2016 and three quarters.

In any event, I have often thrown Dopus in Nikos' face and he eternally sends back huffy emails asking if "that programme" can do X, Y, or Z. It's an amusing game we play at least once a year, and his sullen scowl and cloistered mutterings about "superficial glitz" are often dark enough to scare all the small children in all the villages from a given geological radius. :D

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Re: losing a customer?

Post by namsupo » 2015 Feb 28, 02:42

It sounds like you and Nikos have an interesting relationship :)
And no matter what you say, its upgrade schedule is way out of whack with perceived-reality
According to it's wikipedia page:
Opus 6: 2001-06-18
Opus 8: 2004-10-04
Opus 9: 2007-04-27
Opus 10: 2011-04-30
Opus 11: 2014-03-03
I make that four paid upgrades in 13 years (I'm not sure what happened to Opus 7 in that lot).

Anyway can we get back to teasing Nikos about the ribbon? ;)

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Re: losing a customer?

Post by nikos » 2015 Feb 28, 07:19

namsupo wrote:last paid upgrade certainly added a lot more than a ribbon (Sorry Nikos :)
you are inches away from getting banned mister :)
that's another divide between users and developers, what to you seems "just" a ribbon, or "just" a docking framework with autohiding panels, takes a lot of work to deliver. Look around you how many other file managers have all the GUI goodies that xplorer2 has. What can be added to xplorer2 without making it everything and the kitchen sink type?

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Re: losing a customer?

Post by Kilmatead » 2015 Feb 28, 11:38

nikos wrote:...what to you seems "just" a ribbon [...] takes a lot of work to deliver.
But what practical functionality does it provide? Any? You yourself said in the changelog that it's nothing but a glorified toolbar which should be thought of "as a plain menu mode for the less initiated." [That's a direct quote from the horse's mouth!]

To most people it was never going to be anything other than one more thing to turn off, having been put off by having MS jam it down their throat in Explorer. Users don't care how much work it takes to add (developer-admitted!) fluff, they want to see at least a limited recognition of their requests (not just their bug-reports) - if anything they want you to make them feel like power-users without actually having to study the minutia of NTFS like the rest of us (who just do it to keep you honest). Does the ribbon do that? No. It's just a developer adopting the nonsense from Explorer that everyone is trying to get away from (!) by using an alternate file manager in the first place!

The ribbon is not something to headline, it's something to throw in when you're bored and you don't feel like adding anything useful.

I'll grant you that not all users are "power users" and so not everything needs to be aimed in that direction, but simple extensible things like the ability to set a keyboard shortcut for user-commands to replace built-in functions (<Ctrl+F>, etc) would have made the already extant (and customisable) toolbars in x2 feel more homogeneous (so the already powerful user-commands don't have to be limited to mouse-people) instead of being needlessly shunted to second-class.

Time spent figuring out a way to make ordinary users want to discover things like user-commands (which most don't use in the first place) would go a long way to empowering them. Instead they just get that vague (and not unjustified) feeling that you're heading in a direction that's lackadaisical and doesn't really reflect the user-base as they wish to see themselves reflected. (Sheep don't want to be treated like sheep, they want to be treated like stallions, even though they know in their hearts they're happy just being sheep.) Building a better file manager is as much about psychology as it is about functionality.

:shrug:

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Re: losing a customer?

Post by Kilmatead » 2015 Feb 28, 11:48

namsupo wrote:I make that four paid upgrades in 13 years
I did say perceived-reality not actual reality (people like me have a "loose-affiliation" with what people like you call "time"). :D A few years ago when x2 had its first paid-update in 10 years, people got all up in arms about... well, whatever it is people get excited about. This time the backlash is much quieter - and as evidenced by this thread, more proactive. I find these trends curious.

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Re: losing a customer?

Post by namsupo » 2015 Feb 28, 12:54

I find your desire for a "lifetime licence" of the software you use kind of curious. Doesn't that just lock you in to the one product indefinitely? If an update comes out that you really don't like (because, say, it adds a ribbon :roll: ), if you've already invested in a lifetime licence you're kind of stuck. Keep using the same product even if you don't like it that much any more, or throw it and your investment away and buy something else. I much prefer the flexibility to decide whether to upgrade a program when a new version comes out, or stick with the one I have. And none of the sums of money involved are truly significant in the scheme of things. £20 here, £30 there, once or twice a year upgrading various things, it really isn't worth (at least in my opinion) fretting about.

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Re: losing a customer?

Post by nikos » 2015 Feb 28, 13:01

Kilmatead wrote:But what practical functionality does it provide? ...f "as a plain menu mode for the less initiated."
you are answering your own question. It is making the extensive set of commands more palatable for the less advanced user. There are more less advanced than super-advanced users. So the market is bigger in the direction I'm taking things ;)

and don't forget the fashionistas that they need to get whatever is hot

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