Peter: you raise a number of valid questions. I will try to provide some insight and not sound too defensive because (frankly) I don't feel defensive about the console software development process.hollipe wrote:I was working in the car and paper industry where everything had to run very perfect and we had a big time pressure always.
On this engines and computers there were tens of thousands of parameters to adjust and it was always very complicated to handle it.
Therefore I cant really not understand, that you can´t bring up this simple 512DMX standard to a good desk and make it run uncomplicated and easy!!!!!
I've worked on software for many types of systems over the years including building HVAC control, high speed manufacturing inspection (where decisions have to be made in milliseconds) and train locomotive interfaces. In my experience, lighting consoles are by far the most sophisticated systems I have worked on. Why?
- The systems have "expected" functionality that must be followed ... unfortunately this "expected" functionality varies by geographical market and application. Therefore, the console needs multiple different operational sets to cover all these variants.
- The expected functionality is complex, in fact so complex that the user (even a sophisticated one) can't tell you how it is "supposed" to work, they can only tell you when it "doesn't work right".
- The interface users demand (screens, buttons, command line, etc.) are (again) complicated with no clear definition and no standard.
Having specialized in user interface design for over 15 years, I find your statement "Therefore I cant really not understand, that you can´t bring up this simple 512DMX standard to a good desk and make it run uncomplicated and easy!!!!!" all too accurate. However, I don't feel we have failed in our efforts, rather I recognize that the problems we are trying to solve are difficult.
If you think a lighting console is straight-forward to operate, then a cell phone should be trivial. They have been around for 20 years or so, why isn't the software easy to use and totally bug-free? Even more amazing (until the iPhone, in my opinion), why was the software so terrible? Why can't Motorola, Nokia, Sony Ericsson (and others) get it right?
These are complicated systems and the software design and feature set is non-trivial and constantly expanding. That doesn't mean we can't do better, or you shouldn't ask us for more, it just means we can't always deliver everything when we would like.
Regarding your sound desk comparison ... it frustrates those of us in the lighting industry that worldwide, approximately ten times the number of sound consoles are sold a year as lighting consoles. The sound console companies are able to spread their R & D costs over many more consoles than we can in the lighting industry and therefore have many many times the R & D budget as Strand, ETC, MA Lighting, etc.
... Now, a brief comment on the timing of this release ...
Horizon Control has released 10.6.2 to Strand who are working on putting it into production, updating web sites, documentation, etc. I would hope that process would complete this week (but not working for Strand / Philips, I can't say for certain).
Thank you for your input. We strive to provide a quality and feature-rich product to the marketplace and the feedback you and many others provide helps us move toward that goal.