The life cycle of software — as exemplified by Photoshop — is:
- A new program with an unfamiliar UI but incredibly useful features attracts a devoted following.
- The devoted followers evangelize the product they love to more people. For a while.
- The developers stop adding new features that anyone cares about and add a subscription model when people stop buying new licenses.
Here’s what I want(ed) from Ulysses:
- Better ways of managing images. E.g. the ability to browse all images within a given “folder” and update, export, replace, rename, or locate them.
- Simpler ways to create custom styles. E.g. the ability to make a document style-guide compliant for a given purpose (such as APA).
There’s other stuff but it’s much lower priority.
Instead what we get is a subscription model and no new features I care about. Indeed, the announcement on the Ulysses web site explains how the subscription model allows them to offer a free trial while the blog post on the subject tells me that they didn’t take this decision lightly, but nowhere do I see anything that helps me — someone who has paid for the iOS and Mac versions and hasn’t seen any useful features added in years. But I do get a discount for subscribing to a product I already fucking paid for.
No thank you.
Post Script: out of a sense of hopefulness and fairness and not wanting to be horribly wrong, I downloaded the new version.
The discount for existing owners is 25%. I.e. $30/year vs $40.
I found one nice bug fix — if you search for something and then edit a file found by searching, it doesn’t whisk the file away and lose context if you delete the search term while editing.
Also there’s a nice new feature — inline image previews. Long overdue but also not that well-implemented.
I emailed Ulysses support and whined a bit along the lines above and was told that adding table-of-contents generation, a table editor, and an image editor were high on their “to-do” list, and if I subscribed I could vote for features.
(I noted in my reply to their reply that I don’t want an image editor. I have image editors. I want image management.)
So, I’m kind of torn. I like indie software developers. I like Ulysses quite a bit, despite its sluggish progress. $30 isn’t much money (although it is, ugh, a subscription).
I’ll think further on it.