Author Topic: SlickEdit 2008 - Is upgrade from 2007 worth the cost?  (Read 14351 times)

jkwuc89

  • Senior Community Member
  • Posts: 199
  • Hero Points: 6
SlickEdit 2008 - Is upgrade from 2007 worth the cost?
« on: April 03, 2008, 01:31:08 pm »
I downloaded and installed the trial version of SlickEdit 2008 on my Windows PC.  I also read the "New Features" page for SlickEdit 2008 and my initial take on this new version is that the new features don't justify the upgrade cost of $129.00 (for me, the upgrade cost could be as high as $250 if I decide to also upgrade my Mac OS X version).

A truly native OS X version of SlickEdit 2008 would have been a no-brainer for me with regards to upgrading.   ;D
Unfortunately, that is not part of this release.

With regards to the new options dialog, perhaps I did not spend enough time inside of it but my initial take is that I prefer the old way.  This is greatly influenced by the fact that I am familiar with how the "old way" works so I don't spend much time finding the settings I need to tweak.  Regardless, I would not consider this new feature a motivating factor for upgrading because I rarely spend significant time inside the options dialog.  Once I get things configured, I leave the options alone.

So, what do other SlickEdit 2007 users think?  Have you downloaded the trial?  If so, what do you think?  What features are compelling enough for you to justify the upgrade cost?

ehab

  • Senior Community Member
  • Posts: 285
  • Hero Points: 15
  • coding with SE is like playing music
Re: SlickEdit 2008 - Is upgrade from 2007 worth the cost?
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2008, 01:47:37 pm »
you beat me to post such a topic : ) ... i also had the same question in my head and then i posted in a similar thread

http://community.slickedit.com/index.php?topic=3175.0

regards
ehab

Ding Zhaojie

  • Senior Community Member
  • Posts: 194
  • Hero Points: 37
Re: SlickEdit 2008 - Is upgrade from 2007 worth the cost?
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2008, 02:40:32 pm »
I don't think the upgrade cost is worth, too. But I found sth. interesting in the trail version:

Here are some codes from message list:
Code: [Select]
namespace se.messages;
class MenuItem {
   _str m_callback;
   _str m_menuText;
   MenuItem ()
   {
       m_callback = '';
       m_menuText = '';
   }
   ~MenuItem () {}
};
class Message: se.lineinfo.LineInfo {
    public void makeCaption ();
    public boolean goToCodeLocation ();
    public void removeMarker ();
    public void delete ();
    ...
};

Classes, methods, inheritance!! I think the Slick-C macro system is the biggest upgrade in v13, although it is not very meaningful to common users.

forbin

  • Community Member
  • Posts: 10
  • Hero Points: 1
  • "Never design a system without an 'OFF' switch..."
Re: SlickEdit 2008 - Is upgrade from 2007 worth the cost?
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2008, 04:22:16 pm »
Instead of waiting for versions that are "worth it" and then upgrading, I would recommend that you buy the annual maintenance plan --- that is well worth the cost.

As long as your maintenance plan stays active, it covers all upgrades during the period, even the major ones!  It also gives you access to customer support (actually very knowledgeable, helpful, and prompt).  I'm probably forgetting other advantages here.

I learned this lesson from hard experience.  I was on their maintenance plan since version 1.7  [yikes!], but let it lapse for 2-3 years due to a career change.  When I went back to designing software, I had to do the upgrade and reinstate the maintenance plan, so it didn't really save me any $$ and I had to do a version leapfrog.  (Easy to do unless you have a lot of your own macros, and I've customized my SE setup a lot over the years!)

It is so much easier and cheaper to stay on the maintenance plan, and it's easier to get support (community-based or from SlickEdit corp.) when you're not using a back version.


[ObDisclaimer: I have no relationship with the makers of SlickEdit other than as a very pleased long term customer.]

jimlangrunner

  • Senior Community Member
  • Posts: 360
  • Hero Points: 31
  • Jim Lang - always a student.
Re: SlickEdit 2008 - Is upgrade from 2007 worth the cost?
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2008, 06:01:48 pm »
It was worth it to me.  The ongoing improvements to nits and overall usability are worth the expense.  I wouldn't want to pay the full price each year, but the maintenance is certainly worthwhile.

(I still get annoyed when I think of the annual updates vs the new cost.  Dammit, it should have been clear the first time I bought the product that support would be worthile and that there would be value every year.  After Microsoft's "Software Assurance" burning so many folks, annual fees would scare anyone.  And I don't use telephone support.)

The overall experience, the flexibility, and the ongoing commitment to making the product work well for people writing code are admirable, and makes the annual maintenance fee (a token, really) an easy pill to swallow.  Now I'm willing to sit back and let them deliver.  The updates I have seen have been worth the price so far.

Ralph

  • Junior Community Member
  • Posts: 3
  • Hero Points: 1
Re: SlickEdit 2008 - Is upgrade from 2007 worth the cost?
« Reply #5 on: April 16, 2008, 08:16:17 am »
I don't know. SlickEdit isn't my primary IDE - I use IntelliJ for Java development. But I prefer SlickEdit for editing XML, text files and even Java files that aren't part of my projects. I get a free license for IntelliJ for my open source work and my employer pays for a license for work stuff. I've been using SlickEdit for at least 15 years and am still on V9. I looked into upgrading just because my version is 4 years old even though I never have any problems with it, but justifying spending $450 of my own money for the Windows/Linux bundle is just way too expensive. My last upgrade in 2004 was $206 (I still have the receipt!) and even that was tough to justify. $90 per year (today) just to download a new version whenever I want just doesn't make sense to me. That still would have meant the upgrade to 2008 would have cost me $360. I guess I'll have to wait another 2 years just so I can come out ahead.  :(

thefrogger

  • Community Member
  • Posts: 38
  • Hero Points: 2
Re: SlickEdit 2008 - Is upgrade from 2007 worth the cost?
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2008, 04:04:49 pm »
(Dammit, it should have been clear the first time I bought the product that support would be worthile and that there would be value every year.  After Microsoft's "Software Assurance" burning so many folks, annual fees would scare anyone.  And I don't use telephone support.)

Absolutely! It may be clear to long time users of the product and to SlickEdit corporate that the maintenance contract is a worthy purchase, but this is not the case for first-time buyers. After being burned by CodeWright's support contract, and without the knowledge that program updates not only happen each year but cost more than the price of the contract, it's far from obvious ahead of time that the contract is a comparatively good deal.

The problem for users who didn't initially buy the contract, is that it's expensive to 'jump in' later on. We're left with the feeling of a no-win scenario as we contemplate the options of:

Paying $229 for the 2008 upgrade.
Paying the $139 upgrade each year.
Accepting the use of an old version for an extra year, and extra hassles of version leapfrogging and reduced ability for support.

How are we supposed to avoid the feeling that we're being punished for something that wasn't made clear to begin with? Or the feeling that SlickEdit deliberately hides these issues in order to extort extra money from its customers? What other motivation is there for not disclosing the details of the upgrade costs up-front, and not providing any mechanism for joining later on without a major penalty?

Please consider better disclosure to your new customers, because it's very frustrating to be in this position, and unhappy customers are not in anyone's best interest.

I hope you can also consider a revision to your late-join maintenance policy to make it less painful to recover from this situation. I simply cannot understand why we aren't allowed to back-pay what the maintenance contract fees would have been, or get a reduced-cost upgrade+contract bundle, or any policy that acknowledges our worthiness as customers. The current policy rewards only those who either researched or otherwise knew or guessed that the maintenance fees would be worthwhile, as opposed to rewarding all of the customers who buy your product. Because what other difference is there between the person who bought the contract with the program, versus the person who is willing to pay the same back-dated amount (even though he didn't receive the benefit of extra support during that period)?

buggyfunbunny

  • Senior Community Member
  • Posts: 233
  • Hero Points: 4
Re: SlickEdit 2008 - Is upgrade from 2007 worth the cost?
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2008, 04:43:29 pm »
Not to be too cranky, or conspiratorial, but there is now a BUT with regard to the question.

During the v13 beta, there was some speculation that SE was looking at a subscription costing approach; the FLEX thing and all.  This was deflected by SE responders.  A couple of weeks ago, I happened to read the Plug-In board, and found that it no longer exists and has been replaced by Core, at subscription.  I suggested that this fact be placed on this board, so that folks would know that the Pilot Program is running.  So far as I can see, it was not.

I am not sure how a future switch to subscription costing affects a decision today.  It could go either way:  don't bother to re-up on maintenance if v13 doesn't have something important to you in the hope that when it does you can get on subscription with a fresh start and less expensive total cost; re-up in the hope that those on maintenance will get a better price when the switch happens; don't re-up because you would never abide a subscription; re-up in the hope that SE will continue to support maintenance users at the maintenance cost in perpetuity; and so on.

SE does seem to have evolved into a Gates-ian organization; worker bees excepted.

ScottW, VP of Dev

  • Senior Community Member
  • Posts: 1471
  • Hero Points: 64
Re: SlickEdit 2008 - Is upgrade from 2007 worth the cost?
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2008, 09:30:34 pm »
@thefrogger: I assure you there is no malice or intent to punish. Instead, those who pay the annual Maintenance & Support fee are rewarded by enjoying the lowest cost of ownership for staying current. Perhaps we could do a better job of publishing our upgrade policy, and I'll talk to the web team to see what we can do. Our sales team is always happy to discuss these matters with you and can answer any questions you have.

@buggyfunbunny: Yes, we have switched to a subscription-only model for our Eclipse tool. This model makes the most sense for that product in the Eclipse environment.

Companies are like people: neither are perfect. We make mistakes and try to learn from them. We always appreciate input and constructive feedback. Please give us the benefit of a doubt before you go calling shenanigans.

sbaker25

  • Community Member
  • Posts: 7
  • Hero Points: 0
Re: SlickEdit 2008 - Is upgrade from 2007 worth the cost?
« Reply #9 on: April 23, 2008, 04:38:32 pm »
I certainly won't accuse the company of any malicious behavior or "shenanigans"... but I too was bitten by upgrade policies.  Way back in the day, there were no bundles so I had to buy a Windows version and a Linux version separately.  I believe it was at version 9 that bundles were introduced.  I asked to upgrade to the bundle based on my ownership of both the Windows and Linux versions but was told that wasn't possible.  I was only able to upgrade the two independent packages or buy the bundle new.  I thought this was unacceptable, so I stuck with what I have - version 8.0.

I've talked with SlickEdit reps multiple times over the years about the upgrade barrier that was presented to me, but the result was the same - I have to buy new to get back in the game.  It seems ridiculous now, but back when versions 9 and 10 were being released, I really thought it was unfair that no incentives were afforded to me as an existing customer to upgrade.

When I first bought SlickEdit (I think version 5.0 is the first one I bought), I'm not sure if maintenance even existed.  The first time I was told about it was when I had the v11 trial.  If I ever buy SlickEdit again, I will certainly buy the maintenance because it is a good deal.






thefrogger

  • Community Member
  • Posts: 38
  • Hero Points: 2
Re: SlickEdit 2008 - Is upgrade from 2007 worth the cost?
« Reply #10 on: April 23, 2008, 05:17:10 pm »
I'd like to comment that it was not my intention to accuse the company of deliberate malicious behavior. The perspective I was trying to portray, and wish I had communicated it better, is that since the company isn't trying to punish me and yet this is how I felt, it's a good indication that a communication problem between the company and some of its customers exists.

Posting my unsoftened feelings was an attempt at accurately portraying how the upgrade policy can be interpreted from the other side, with the lack of info to the contrary. Those kinds of feelings rarely come across well in email, and I apologize for any ill feelings caused by the post. Hopefully the above clarification makes up for it somewhat.

The other perspective, is that I certainly would have bought the maintenance and support contract had I known the details about this being the lowest cost option. The combination of those details being undisclosed, and the significant cost factor of joining up later after we find out, is a very real cause of grief.

I had talked privately and politely to the sales team and was told there were no other options other than the ones outlined in my post, but there also seemed to be no acknowledgment of the non-disclosure problem. Therefore BIG THANKS to ScottW for his understanding, and willingness to discuss the issue with the company. I am comforted that it is at least being considered now.

--
John Harris

mwb1100

  • Senior Community Member
  • Posts: 143
  • Hero Points: 13
Re: SlickEdit 2008 - Is upgrade from 2007 worth the cost?
« Reply #11 on: April 23, 2008, 08:11:20 pm »
it's a good indication that a communication problem between the company and some of its customers exists.

I'd tend to agree that some better communication on the SlickEdit site would be helpful.  Some of the areas that I found less-than-clear when purchasing:

  • the purchase price includes no upgrades.  It's common (though admittedly not universal) that initial purchases include the equivalent of a 1 year (or some time period) maintenance contract.    This information is on the website, but it takes a little research to make sure that that's the situation.  I think for me it first came up when I added SlickEdit to the cart.  This should be easier to determine before I've stared down the path to checking out.
  • there's no information about upgrade costs without maintenance.  In fact, I end up on the regular purchase page if I navigate the links indicating that I want a major version upgrade without having a maintenance contract.  I think it would probably result in more maintenance purchases if the cost to upgrade were easily comparable to the cost of maintenance.
  • there should be clear information on how to get maintenance and what the costs are if you let it lapse (or don't purchase it initially).

Ralph

  • Junior Community Member
  • Posts: 3
  • Hero Points: 1
Re: SlickEdit 2008 - Is upgrade from 2007 worth the cost?
« Reply #12 on: December 18, 2008, 07:05:04 am »
So I bought a MacBook Pro. Now I have Linux, Windows and OS/X. Today I needed a good diff/merge tool. My first thought was Visual SlickEdit since I've used the tool for years. I ran into the same problem. $299 for one system or an unbelievable $649 for all 3 systems. The irony is that I use IntelliJ on this machine which is free since I'm entitled to an Open Source Developer license from Jetbrains. So now I'm off to find a diff/merge tool from someone else.

forbin

  • Community Member
  • Posts: 10
  • Hero Points: 1
  • "Never design a system without an 'OFF' switch..."
Re: SlickEdit 2008 - Is upgrade from 2007 worth the cost?
« Reply #13 on: December 18, 2008, 03:11:55 pm »
I think I have a solution for the SlickEdit folks that would make a lot of users happy, and bring more maintenance contracts in as well. 

SlickEdit ought to run a major web-and-email "upgrade amnesty" campaign.

Anyone who is not currently on maintenance, and who has EVER purchased a version of the standalone SlickEdit application would be eligible to simply purchase a maintenance agreement and "get back in the family."  No other fees for this one-time shot.  They would receive the electronically transmitted version of the latest version, for WHATEVER platform(s) they desired --- one platform for every platform they've owned a version on.  (This would encourage those to come aboard who have changed development platforms, instead of locking them out of the offer.) 

After "coming aboard," the existing policies would apply in subsequent years.  Renew the maintenance, or lose it.

This would take a bit more bookkeeping on SlickEdit's part...

Every previous customer who falls into the above category could receive amnesty ONE time.  SlickEdit should leave this "door" open long after the campaign ends, i.e. more or less =permanently=, BUT each customer realistically should be allowed only ONE amnesty "event". 

This allows SlickEdit to show generosity and understanding, and to better educate their past and future customers as to the benefits of the maintenance agreement... yet it doesn't allow customers to be lazy or to find a "backdoor" for getting cheap upgrades all the time.  (We don't want SlickEdit "giving away the store" because that would cause the company to falter, and we want them continuing to support and improve the product!)

I hope someone from SlickEdit's management is reading this.  It will take some work to "get it right", but, properly done, this could be a major win-win situation, and a =huge= PR win for SlickEdit.


[ObDisclaimer: I'm currently on the maintenance plan and wouldn't benefit from this.  I'm not a SlickEdit employee or contractor, past or present.  Just a user who's been with the product since version 1.7]

forbin

  • Community Member
  • Posts: 10
  • Hero Points: 1
  • "Never design a system without an 'OFF' switch..."
Re: SlickEdit 2008 - Is upgrade from 2007 worth the cost?
« Reply #14 on: December 18, 2008, 03:28:42 pm »
PS: I just realized I wrote something unclear.  I wouldn't expect that someone could buy a single-user, single-platform maintenance agreement under the amnesty plan, yet get 4 different platforms just because they had licenses for these platforms some time in the past.  I can see 1-for-1.