Author Topic: Time to say goodbye...  (Read 8115 times)

Hero2Zero

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Time to say goodbye...
« on: December 02, 2008, 02:56:35 pm »
When I first talked my boss into buying SlickEdit 6 for our team we were all greatly impressed with the features and abilities of the software. We bypassed Borlands Java suite for this one piece of software. Good choice in my opinion.

When we upgraded to v. 7 and I had an issue where the software would crash hard in Window$ if I typed particular HTML term into the editor (<SCRIPT *CRASH!!*, LOL) I called the support telephone number and an actual factual developer got on the phone and helped me solve the issue within minutes. Excellent!

When we upgraded to v. 8 the price for the software upgrade had risen considerably. When we had an issue with the software on certain versions of Win2K if certain video drivers we installed. I sent an email to the support address and received a reply that since we hadn't spent enough $$ for a support subscription of some sort, SlickEdit support would be unable to help me. So sorry.

I (and two others of the team) upgraded to v. 9 the price point again had risen. My boss began to ask questions about costs as other members of the team were having various issues with the software. Again I had to inform him that since we had not paid for a large support contract (notice the term had moved from "subscription" to "contract") that we were pretty much on our own as even support email was out of bounds.

I (not we) upgraded to v. 10. Another price jump. This came out of my own pocket. ouch!

I begin to see a trend...    ???

Skipped v. 11. Costs too much for the upgrade.  :-\

Skipped v. 2008. Costs too much for the upgrade.  :'(

I guess its time to say goodbye. I'm sure that soon now some change will happen that will cause my last working version (v. 10) to be outdated and break completely. Since I can't wait for that to happen before looking for a new IDE as I don't want to be suddenly unable to work, I have to start looking around now. Maybe Eclipse or Netbeans...?

Sorry Slickedit. I am happy for the success the tool has gained over the last several years and regardless of how some of this may sound I really do love the editor. I'm going to miss it.

chrisant

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Re: Time to say goodbye...
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2008, 08:06:54 pm »
It's a thoughtfully written post.  There's no need to give out negative hero points for that.  Let's not discourage folks from offering candid feedback that is courteously and respectfully written.  ;)

I see two key points in the post:

1.  For this user (and coworkers) the price point of SlickEdit has risen high enough that it is too difficult to justify.  Perhaps the perceived high price also raises expectations of stability, perhaps a higher degree of robustness would make it easier to justify the purchase for this user.  One possible takeaway for the SlickTeam might be that some additional investment in QA could increase sales (I'm just trying to interpret the original post, please don't flame me ;)).

2.  It's another example of a corporate customer not purchasing maintenance and support contracts, despite the lower cost.  One possible takeaway for the SlickTeam might be that there is an opportunity to both increase sales and avoid erosion of market share by studying how corporate customers make purchasing decisions -- both small and large businesses, which probably make purchasing decisions differently -- and somehow adjusting the licensing plans to be more attractive to a wider array of corporate customers.

The original poster shared feedback about his or her experience, and it's valid feedback.
I added back a positive hero point to offset one of the negatives.  :P

buggyfunbunny

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Re: Time to say goodbye...
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2008, 09:07:24 pm »
_If_ there were a complete vi(m) plugin for either Eclipse or NetBeans or Intellij, I'd would have likely toddled off, as well.  The support that still hasn't happened is the ability to handle more than two languages per file.  In the java/framework world, this really is no longer a luxury.  I've been wondering who SE think their target customer is?  If I had to spend most of my day doing Spring or Hibernate or... , SE would no longer be possible. 

mwb1100

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Re: Time to say goodbye...
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2008, 11:28:48 pm »
I believe that a large part of the problem (if SlickEdit Inc. considers it a problem) is that the need for maintenance and the benefits of maintenance (or rather, the drawbacks of not buying maintenance) are not particularly clear in the information readily available on the website.  See my previous post on this:

http://community.slickedit.com/index.php?topic=3189.msg13674#msg13674

Tim Keating

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Re: Time to say goodbye...
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2008, 04:40:53 am »
For the first time when I recently upgraded, I actually shelled out the extra dough for maintenance.

I figured, hey, if they are releasing a new version every year ANYWAY, this way I get support and my next upgrade is effectively $60 instead of $140.

Honestly, I think they should just let you buy maintenance at any time. I skipped a version a while back, so SE ended up getting $140 after 2 years; I would have been glad to pay $120 SOONER and not skipped the version.

I also wish it was cheaper to crossgrade. I'd love to be running the mac version when I'm working over there, as well.

TK

ScottW, VP of Dev

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Re: Time to say goodbye...
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2008, 07:59:48 pm »
Good feedback. We do appreciate it. I joined the SlickEdit team during the v9 development cycle, so I can't comment on anything before that. Each year we try to make sure the release contains enough fixes and enhancements to justify the maintenance and support cost. We charge an industry standard 20% for that.

For $60 per year, this is the best way to make sure you are getting the latest updates and access to excellent customer support (yes, the product support team reports to me as well  :) ). We believe this is a reasonable cost to stay current with the primary tool a developer uses to write code, even if you don't use product support. Only you can decide if that is true for your situation.

We do have to restrict access to product support to those who are paying for it. As you might imagine, there are costs associated with maintaining a team of people who can troubleshoot these kinds of problems. But I think you'll find that we are also pretty good about answering issues on the forums without regard to whether you have purchased a maintenance and support contract. Plus, we have an oustanding user community who often provide great answers before we have a chance to respond (blatant attempt to curry favor with the community,  ;)).

Below is a list of key features by version. Each release contained more features and many, many bug fixes and minor enhancements. Personally, I'd have paid the full upgrade price just to get Comment Wrapping. I can't tell you how many times I have editted a block comment and had to reformat the block by hand--ouch! I'm not trying to be a salesman, here. I just want to share a little of our perspective.

Version 13
Message List
Adaptive Formatting
New Options Dialog
Enhanced Generation of Doc Comments
Clipboard Tool Window
Quick Brace/Unbrace
URLs as Links

Version 12
Dynamic Surround
Files Tool Window
Code Annotations
Preview Tool Window
Class Tool Window
Find Symbol Tool Window
XML and HTML Word Wrap
Copy and Paste in Color
Enhanced Key Binding Dialog
Java Project Improvements
Line Ruler
Color Picker
Drag and Drop Support for KDE and GNOME
Microsoft Windows Vista Support

Version 11
Comment Wrapping
Code Templates
Enhanced Search and Replace
Auto-Completions
Regex Evaluator
Auto-Generation of Javadoc and XMLdoc
Additional Quick Refactorings
Vim Emulation
Improved Font Support on Linux
Ruby Support
J# Support

Version 10
Updated UI: dockable windows, auto-hide windows, new icons
Subversion Support
Quick Rename
Numerous Debugger Enhancements: mixed mode view, watchpoints, hex view
Java Live Errors
Organize Imports
JUnit Support

Version 9
Backup History
Surround With
Update Manager
Dual Monitor Support
Full-Screen Mode
Codewright Emulation


We continually analyze our pricing to try to provide a good value. This gets particularly challenging in the multiplatform cases. Some of our platforms, which shall remain nameless, take a disproportionate amount of time and energy to support. But we believe that providing a product on these platforms is really important to many of our customers.

Please keep posting this kind of feedback. I'll make sure it finds its way to the appropriate people. My responsibilities have more to do with product functionality than product pricing, but I try to make sure these viewpoints are represented. Sorry to write so much, but this is an important topic.

thefrogger

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Re: Time to say goodbye...
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2008, 05:31:01 pm »
For $60 per year[...]

Kudos and Thanks to the pricing dept for reducing the $90 contract fees down to $60. I think that's a reasonable price for keeping one's primary development tool up to date.

I also noticed the following language on the web site when adding version upgrades to your cart:

"Major version upgrades currently cost $139.00. Avoid more expensive version upgrades by purchasing Maintenance and Support annually."

I'm not sure if this info is new or not, but extra Kudos are given if this was recently added as well. It's perfect, and exactly the kind of disclosure I was asking for awhile back, to let new purchasers know that the M&S contract is in fact the least expensive means for keeping the product current. (I ordered my initial version by phone, and didn't have the benefit of this disclosure either way).

These are both excellent steps towards the worthwhile goal of getting most of your customer base signed up for M&S. The only remaining barrier to some, is the one-time $139 ($199 overall) cost to buy back in if the M&S wasn't initially purchased. I've seen the recent one-time amnesty posting, which I'd obviously love to have, and I'd like to propose one other alternative for you to consider.

SE could provide a reduced-cost upgrade pricing in the final months of a version cycle. Not only does this make sense from the standpoint of getting a smaller amount of time to enjoy the benefits of the upgrade, but it provides two important incentives to the user who is waiting on the sidelines:

- reduction of the one-time cost to get current
- avoiding some version leapfrogging challenges if they're currently only one version out of date

It would make a great Christmas or first-of-the-year special.

--
John

ScottW, VP of Dev

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Re: Time to say goodbye...
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2008, 06:44:36 pm »
Yes, I think the language on the website was added after feedback from customers. I'm glad that helped. Thanks for the great feedback!

Ralph

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Re: Time to say goodbye...
« Reply #8 on: December 25, 2008, 09:04:02 am »
It is great that it says that when you upgrade. It would be even better if when you go to your registered versions page there would be some sort of upgrade offer no matter what the registered version(s) is/are.  I'm still not happy that after being a SlickEdit customer for many, many years that I am forced to pay full price for the product  as if I'm a brand new customer. It would be even better if SlickEdit offered open source developer licenses as many other software vendors do.