Frustration

Author Message
Tester 08/21/2004 07:18 am
A few days ago I got hold of a copy of Offline Explorer, Enterprise Edition. I`m running a fully patched XP (no SP2 yet) with 512 MB of RAM.

Nice concept. I used BlackWidow in the past and thought I could give a test with OE.

Like BlackWidow, I found that to be a frustrating experience.

- The program crashed many times, causing me to loose my work. In some instances I can reproduce the crash at will (on one project, it will ALWAYS crash when getting missing files)
- The terminology used in the software is inconcistent. Why is it that all software programmers think they`re unique and label things differently? I guess the same reason why remote controls are always different from each other.
- What is the difference between "Resume download" and "Get missing files"? It is obvious to you, the programmer of the software. It isn`t to us. The help doesn`t help much.
- Why do I have to "suspend"? Why doesn`t that software just save its state automatically? I mean, guys, we`re in 2004, sloppy programming should be a thing of the past!
- Why can`t I change some options while it`s running? (e.g. "try all directories")
- Why do some operations just take forever? In several cases I had to kill the application (once when suspending to file, and right now when deleting project files)
- Why can`t that software properly handle sites with lots of files? It seems that after 100,000 there are some bizarre behaviour, crashed, memory overload, etc.
- Why are some of the very convenient features of BlackWidow not there? Do I have to wait for your version 8 to find what I need?

Damn. I`m really pissed off. This is your version 3 but it still behaves like beta software. When will you guys (I`m not singling you out, but rather the industry as a whole) learn to put quality before profits?

If you buy a TV and it doesn`t work as advertised, what do you do? You return it, get a refund, possibly sue the company.

And with your software, you expect me to give you money even if it crashes and does not behave as it should? DREAM ON.

C 08/22/2004 07:05 pm
Excellent man excellent that is what i wanted to say to this poorly programed software ........ it is very poorly programmed and not very well documented.......... a lot of irrelevent or better i should say confusing options ........
Defenestration 08/22/2004 09:06 pm
> Excellent man excellent that is what i wanted to say to this poorly programed software ........ it is very poorly programmed and not very well documented.......... a lot of irrelevent or better i should say confusing options ........

Sorry to hear you`ve had a bad experience with OE, but I think you`re being a bit harsh. Offline Explorer is the best offline browser bar-none, and has great support. It has it`s faults, but when Oleg knows of problems he will fix them quickly (often within a day or two if they are not too complex) and offer you the updated version, if you want it. There are not many (if any) companies that will do that!

Regarding your comments:

1) I would recommend Zipping up the project (if it is not too big) that is causing OE to crash and sending it to Oleg (support@metaproducts.com) so he can analyse it. You should also send him instructions on how to reproduce the problem.

2) Re. the inconsistent terminology, give some examples of what you think is confusing ?

3) While downloading a project, it is possible to either temporarily Suspend the download, or it can be suspended to a file (ie. the current state of the download is saved to a file). The "Resume Download From File" allows you to resume the download of a project you have previously suspended to file. Download missing files will check all links in a project and see if any files have not been downloaded. OE will then try to download these missing files.

4) You don`t have to suspend if you don`t want to. It just allows you to pause a download if you so wish. How is OE supposed to know when you want to suspend unless you tell it.

5) Re. the convenient feature that BlackWidow has got, which features in particular do you mean ?

I`ve got to go now so I`ll let Oleg answer your other points.

Oleg Chernavin 08/23/2004 09:05 am
I have a feeling that all these negative messages are from the same guy. :-)

Anyway, I just uploaded the newest version of Offline Explorer Enterprise here:

http://www.metaproducts.com/download/betas/oee1785.zip.

It should be much more stable and work faster.

I agree that we have too many ways to stop/suspend a Project download. They may sound confusing, but they were added to add much possible flexibility to the users. Perhaps I will have to change the Stop, so it would ask a user if he wants to keep the Queue state in a file for fast resume later or not.

Oleg.
08/23/2004 11:33 am
> I have a feeling that all these negative messages are from the same guy. :-)

Not all...
If you are speaking about "C" (?): Although "C" has written a lot of messages under other pseudonyms, i don`t think he is the same person as "Tester" ;-)
But nevertheless, Defenestration has already written some good points. And most questions from "Tester" are already answered in the Help file and the forum and there are good reasons why some things don`t behave as you would firstly expect (of course: crashes should be avoided). Sure, not all options are at once absolutely clear. But it is a hard thing to make it instantly clear to everyone. I like those many features; i don`t want to miss them. But you must take some time and have to study the Help file carefully. That`s the price, that you must pay; and: nearly every feature-rich software isn`t self-explanatory.

> Anyway, I just uploaded the newest version of Offline Explorer Enterprise here:
> http://www.metaproducts.com/download/betas/oee1785.zip.

Oleg, see my good will. Perhaps i`m helping the above mentioned guy too:
For some people it could be a little bit confusing, if you are posting links to the sofware in the wrong forum. Although "Tester" had made this small mistake first, you could add the other links.

I don`t know what software "C" is using (i assume, that he uses OE, because he has written mostly in OE-Forum). You gave him the link to OEP in the OE-Forum.

So, is there also existing a new OE-beta (please post it in OE-Forum, but i don`t need it)?

The newest version of Offline Explorer Pro (Beta) should be (correct me, if i`m wrong):
http://www.metaproducts.com/download/betas/oep1784.zip

The newest version of Offline Explorer Enterprise (Beta) is:
http://www.metaproducts.com/download/betas/oee1785.zip
Oleg Chernavin 08/24/2004 09:33 am
Yes, this is correct. Thank you! I really mix up forums sometimes. :-)

Oleg.