SW2007 beta

...just wondering what the feeling is this time about beta....
You all as keen as mustard to participate? - your employer giving you time,
or are you just poking and tinkering at home out of curiosity?
Think you will try hard for a main prize? - everyone's going to look cool in their SW t-shirt at least...
Do you feel beta is delivering real results for users- maybe SW don't deliver despite the good work of beta testers??
Anything catch your interest in SW2007 that you are really hanging out for?
-discussion and random thoughts welcome....
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I used to beta since 2003. Not so harshly, as some of you guys, but still spent reasonable time on the new one. Results? Well...
1./ My IT guy went as far as to the CEO to get me out of the betas, saying, that these unfinished pieces threathen the stability of our system. Not talking about my workstation on which he hated the new and 'unauthorized' installations. 2./ Betas caused quite a few problems (add-ins, toolbar settings, and I am sure they also participated in the number of crashings, too). I does not have the luxury to be able to install the beta on a separate, dedicated workstation and to continue working on another box. 3./ I duly reported a _few_ errors. Not many, just a few per release. But they were quite serious ones and very stubborn ones as well - actually they have been so persistant that I (and you, and everyone) kept enjoying them for a long time. Some are with us even today. _None_ of them have been taken into consideration at all. 4./ Beyond getting into a dogfight with the IT guys every time I had to 'steal' a few minutes-hours-tens of hours to do betas, because obviously SW Corp forgot to honour my (and others') efforts... The Engineering Manager does not like betas straight away, and rightly so - we are doing quite a quantity of past-beta testing in the 'final' releases anyhow, wheter we like it or not.
So I decided not to participate in the beta-program any more.
John

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surface, Toolbox improvements. I look at Toolbox improvements as much needed and long overdue bug fixes. There isn't much I'd like to see more than a few general areas fixed, such as sketch relations, mates, and interface inconsistencies.
There will always be people to tinker with new software, regardless if it is profitable or not, people who just want to stay on top of what's new. I'm not sure the prizes mean much to folks (although I have to say I've gotten a lot of miles out of my 40 Gb iPod). I keep hoping that sending the message of finding tons of bugs will cause SW to do something differently than in previous releases. There are really only maybe a dozen folks that really turn in a lot of bugs with each beta, although there are a lot of people who download more out of curiosity than anything.
I think they get good information from the beta program, any dissatisfaction comes along the lines of what they do with that info. Bunches of beta reported bugs make it into SP0.
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I've beta tested the last two releases, and I really appreciate the opportunity. It's both a chance to make the software better and a chance to see what's coming. I get to test with my data--to use features and operations that I typically use to see if it works.
The prizes do (should?) mean a lot to me, but I can't compete with the "super" power users who rack up hundreds of beta points. I came in a respectable 17th (as a user with one year of experience and limited opportunity to beta test--mostly at home). All I got though was a t-shirt. I'd like some sort of drawing for the top 20 or 25 testers with each having an equal opportunity to win prizes.
I'll be there again this year.
Brian

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I honestly think, a years free subscription or the cash equivalent for the top 50 testers would be fair incentive.
John Layne www.solidengineering.co.nz

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I to have been beta testing since 2000 and like the ability to test my files with the new programs and help to make it a better program. I wish they would do the same thing that Cadkey did when beta testing. Cadkey gave everyone a seat of the new version for testing after it was released. You couldn't use that seat for upgrading to the next version but it was more than a T shirt.
John Layne wrote:

-
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I'll wait and see. Still on 2004. Too many file conversion problems on the released versions of 2006 to date. Too few benefits. A few functionality losses.
Looking at the 2007 presentation at SWW a lot of the enhancements seemed to be focussed on new users.
I'll have a look at beta just because SW puts in stuff that doesn't get communicated and I want to know what it is.
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How about the following for a prize structure? An Xbox or PSP is a non prize or disincentive to me and probably a lot of others. I propose a different prize structure.
1st - all reported problems fixed before release 2nd - all reported problems fixed before release 3rd - all reported problems fixed before release
Random prize - half the reported problems fixed before release
Since the number of points awarded is proportional to the number of problems, 2nd and 3rd are actually lesser prizes.
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Yeah, I could go for that. That would have more value than any piece of electronics they could come up with.
When I placed second, the prize was a Tivo. I don't have a television, so the Tivo wasn't going to do me any good. I asked to be given a lower prize, the iPod, and they said ok.
Still, the prize wasn't why I participated, there was no guarantee of getting a prize. I participated to get the bugs fixed, so I think Paul's suggestion would be terrific. It would be better for everyone involved, except the guy who wants an X-box (who would be able to afford one if he didn't spend 20% of his billable time working around bugs).
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I love the idea, but there is no way we could ever get SW to go for it. They can't promise to fix all of the problems before release and keep to any "reasonable" release schedule. Suppose one of the winners comes up with an obscure bug that won't be seen by many people, has an easy work-around, and is caused by some deep problem in the structure of the program that requires a huge rewrite?
Jerry Steiger Tripod Data Systems "take the garbage out, dear"
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Jerry,
A reasonable release schedule would be mid December for SW 2007. Now if they want to call it 2006+ and release in June that is another thing entirely. Just think about the poor CAD administrator that just implemented 2006 SP3.1 and now has to start testing 2007. For a new user this won't make much sense, but when a new release comes out models will be broken and need repair. Conversion will show up a lot of these, but time must be taken to fix the problems and learn all the new stuff.
Why not spend a few extra months at SW debugging before releasing it for beta? They have a lot of powerful tools for this. Heuristic debugging has its strong points provided a consistent base of users is found. I'm still pooped from 2006 Beta. Four rounds lasting months and then several months of use in the field and I still don't have confidence in the result.
I don't know, maybe I am just getting old and the years are passing by faster. Whew!
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"reasonable" release schedule
???
Hi Jerry - My vote for them and a "reasonable release schedule" - don't release buggy stuff to us, "the customer". I wish for only one baby step so that they (and we) do not have to ride the 6-9 month development roller coaster that they (and those foolish enough to follow) are perpetually on.
STOP NAMING IT AFTER THE YEAR and the expecation of yearly release might fade into oblivion!!! Nobody can do good work under constant time duress - nobody! And I bet you the folks who write that code are under duress - it comes thru in in the instability of each release.
Now really - they need to slow this baby down a bit and I do really believe that they have a drop dead release date and it is not likely negotiable, so it seems, that when the date drops, the code is released in spite of any remaining "bugs and inelegancies" that remain. Most of us "old" users (read "burned before") know enough not to jump on the sp.0 upgrade bandwagon. (oops sorry man I think I just started on a mini-tirade without answering the real question).
For beta, I will give them as much time as they will give back to me to help me debug the products that I design using their software. I think that it would not be much to ask for them allocate an engineer for a month or so to help me do some of my work. Haha - help them with beta? I will never give another second to beta testing their software (have in the past and did not get things fixed) - testing their software is _their_ job, not ours. How absurd would it be if someone designed a bridge and asked for beta testers to drive some heavy laden trucks over it to "beta test it for us"? I'm smiling here, but I equate the testing with this sort of mentaility - "you know, we might not have poured the footers too well and we need to see if it bridge can stand up and there also might be a crack in some of the welds and we also did not really look at the forces, so if you are not busy, would you mind giving it a go . . ." The good news in all of this - the bridge was opened on time. Ok the risks are different, but I think of the lazy bridge builder . . .
If our input is so valuable, pay for the time with cold hard cash, just like the rest of the world.
Actually _hire_ the ""top 50" and compensate them for their time - maybe $5k per person ($250k for testing). Then you could really get some output. Ok . . . it's a pipe dream . . . luckily I don't run the world . . .
Later,
SMA
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Your analogy makes me think of the Zilwaukee bridge in Saginaw, Michigan . Twenty years later and they are still adjusting, repairing cracks, adding expansion joints and making corrections to the sinking columns etc...Kinda like service packs. When You drive across the bridge it feels like a roller coaster ride on a warped track.
Kman

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I've been using SolidWorks for 6 1/2 years. Now, I only upgrade when I have to. Many longtime users feel this way, they're burned out. I have clients that still use 2004, and they're completely happy.
Best Regards, Devon T. Sowell www.3-ddesignsolutions.com

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I wish I had never switched from SW2004. It was the best overall version to date, in my opinion. I bet I didn't crash 10 times the whole time I used that version. Today, I crash about 10 times in 1-2 weeks. Also, SW2004 was very, very fast compared to today's standards.
But, once you take the leap down into the abyss, there's no way to go back. (later versions are nothing more than an abyss, aren't they?).
I have been using SW since '96. Those first several years were the good 'ol days when you applied a service pack and didn't have to worry about it breaking things. I don't believe that fear started until some point during SW2004. Or maybe it was SW2003. Can't remember.
--
Seth Renigar
Emerald Tool and Mold Inc.
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dans le message de

to
Seth, you're scaring me, we will be switching to '06 in may /june. Hope that SP4 will take care of the leftover bugs, and not bring too many... I still can call it off.
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Don't let me scare you too bad. SW2006 does have it goods points. I just can't think of any right now....
No, but seriously, there are some neat features and tools that were not present in SW2004. Some of them are great. Some of them are so buggy that they are not usable.
There are other buggy problems that are not new feature related, that is driving me nuts also though. For example I am having problems with sketches disappearing for no apparent reason. It happens both when I am editing a sketch, as well as out of a sketch with a sketch simply "shown". I am using a fully certified card and driver that I never had problems with prior to this release. I've heard of others having this same problem so I know I'm not alone.
Another example would be creating configs. When you create a config, the advanced options take on the settings of the current config, regardless of how you set them as you are creating it. You have to create it, them go back and edit it, in order to change the advanced options. If you did not know this, you might think you have these set like you want, but it may come back and bite you later on.
There are many, many quirky things (way too many to list). But somehow I manage to get things done (at the expense of time usually).
Whether or not to upgrade, probably depends on what you do, and if there is a real NEED to upgrade. I personally upgraded for a couple of reasons. Some of the new features are good enough to make me tolerate some of the quirks (without too much gripping). But the main reason is that I have customers that send me models in SW2006 format. Once they upgrade, it forces me to have to upgrade. It's kind of like a train. One leads the way, and all the others have no choice but to follow.
--
Seth Renigar
Emerald Tool and Mold Inc.
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dans le message de

Thanks for the answer. The first reason for upgrade is the coming of some new features that will be helpful. Almost tie, is the fear that if we miss too many releases, we might encounter big pbs translating our models. And it's a good time to put everyone in class for a couple (and a half) days. Teach the upgrade, recall best practices (thanks to SW NG), and discuss company practices.
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Jean Marc,
Consider carefully what this means. "Almost tie, is the fear that if we miss too many releases, we might encounter big pbs translating our models. "
We have SolidWorks files going back to the days when .prt was the file extension for parts. These files are in our vault. Given the problems that ALWAYs crop up when converting from one release to another and the fact that SW conversion utillity won't convert files under a PDM system it must always work with files from past releases no matter how far back. SW has to work year after year without requiring any rework for past models. If it does not, it is violating the data reuse assumption.
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Well, i think I would naively have checked them out, translated, and back in. I am surprised you are not concerned about performance hit, translating the files at opening. And if you have a reccurent translation error? --- Well I guess you have not.
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