'Apple Has a Poor Track Record ... On Dot Zero Releases' [Updated]

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Final Cut Pro expert Larry Jordan spoke about the upcoming release of Final Cut Pro X in April at the London SuperMeet LAFCPUG, a Final Cut Pro usergroup meeting. FCP.co has the video and transcripts. He had a lot to say, and if you're a Final Cut Pro user it's well worth watching.

Larry Jordan
One part in particular caught our eye, however. Larry claims Final Cut Pro X won't be ready "for professional use" upon release. What's he mean? Is the next version of Final Cut bad? Missing features? Nope.

It might be "common knowledge" among Apple fanatics that revision A products are to be avoided. But not everyone knows this. Final Cut Pro X has been rewritten from the ground up. Not a single line of code made the transition.

Whenever you've got something which is that big a re-write, stuff gets changed, stuff gets left out, stuff gets added later because they can't get it all re-written and I guarantee you that on day one when the dot zero release ships it will not be ready for professional use.

Apple has a very poor track record of perfect dot zero releases. So for those of you saying: "this is without a question the second coming, I'm going to bet the ranch, I'm buying this the day it's released and God help me I'm plunging forward whether it's ready or not" -- I want your clients.

I think there is only one company on the planet that could rethink non-linear editing like this. I think it's Apple. It's not ready for prime time. First it's not ready because it isn't shipping, then when it is shipping it's time for us to experiment.

Good advice for anyone, referring to any software. The first release is always an adventure.

UPDATE: As commenter Duane Martin points out, these comments were made at a LA Final Cut Pro User Group conference in April, not the London SuperMeet, which is next week. Additionally, Larry tried to walk back some of his statements in a blog posting today.

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121 months ago

Better include Google and it's perpetual Beta, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Sun, Linux, Sybase, SGI, Autodesk, Corel, etc.


Exactly. It IS good advice. For Final Cut, Lion, iOS 5.... and every NON-Apple product too. It’s true of every software release. Or hardware. Or non-computing industries, like car models... It just makes sense: things improve over time, and mass real-world usage is always a larger and betetr test than any internal testing could ever be. Therefore, every revision will be better than the last. Therefore, the first will be the worst! So let other be the guinea pigs.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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121 months ago

Better include Google and it's perpetual Beta, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Sun, Linux, Sybase, SGI, Autodesk, Corel, etc.


Some of us still remember Apple's horrible 10.3.0 release and the mess it made of firewire (https://www.macrumors.com/2003/10/30/apple-addresses-panther-firewire-issues/).
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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121 months ago

Exactly. It IS good advice. For Final Cut, Lion, iOS 5.... and every NON-Apple product too. It’s true of every software release. Or hardware. Or non-computing industries, like car models... It just makes sense: things improve over time, and mass real-world usage is always a larger and betetr test than any internal testing could ever be. Therefore, every revision will be better than the last. Therefore, the first will be the worst! So let other be the guinea pigs.


Gospel truth dude.

Still, I like being the guinea pig. Good experience. Helps you identify and understand the failures and thus improve.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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121 months ago

"I want your clients"?

I don't care if he's a god at whatever he does...that's pretty damn arrogant.
Besides...who has a perfect track record for software releases? No one. If no one took the chance...to step forward and get the product...then the imperfections would never manifest, and no one would get to refine the product.


(hypothetical conversation with this jerk)
"I want your clients."
You can pry them from my cold, dead fingers.


That was simply another way for Larry to remind professional editors that relying on brand new product without first learning it & it's limits could be costly if it causes them to mess up a job. He wasn't being a jerk or arrogant, he was being very pragmatic.

As for your hypothetical conversation. The point Larry was making is that he and other sensible people won't have to pry your clients from your cold dead fingers if you fail to deliver. The clients will search out a more reliable supplier.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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121 months ago

Do you mean that Apple is just as crappy as Google, Microsoft...etc?
i thought everything Apple did was better than all those companies:confused:


Radicals are very insecure people.


No. This just means that no company in existence has been successful in releasing a .0 update after a major revision without breaking a few things. In this case, it's a complete rewrite. You'd have to be completely ignorant to not expect a few problems, no matter who's doing the rewrite.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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121 months ago

Better include Google and it's perpetual Beta, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, Sun, Linux, Sybase, SGI, Autodesk, Corel, etc.

I love it when the die hards do this.

This article has nothing to do with any of those companies. He is talking specifically about FCP.


[Apple has a very poor track record of perfect dot zero releases.]

Apple does a great job for the most part.

Who in the industry has a track record of perfect or close to perfect dot zero releases?

Nobody but Apple also carries around the attitude that their stuff is always perfect. Thats the issue. Perception.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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