Stiv

A short first impression...

32 posts in this topic

They say you only get one chance of first impression. And boy did Synergy 2 have the worst first impression ever.

There are literally zero configuration options, nay, literally zero things to do, except move screens around. The whole thing either works on it's own or doesn't (in my case). As a power user, this is fucking awful. I literally have to pray to gods things work on their own instead of being able to set up ports, pass through connection through my router, etc. Supposedly it's picking up my old 1.8 setup? So why on earth does it not work with that one? That worked perfectly 5 minutes ago before I installed the new version.

It is obvious you are trying to cater to the idiot users, but idiot users are NOT your target audience. Power users are. It's right there on your fucking web front page - programmers, sys admins, MRI techs. Your generic Apple fanboy (who is the target audience of this kind of approach) is not someone who will be considering this kind of software.

Sorry for the language, but it's been a long day and I am very, VERY disappointed with what's one of my most favourite pieces of software.

Is this really the direction you're going to go with? This dumbed down version? I'm considering requesting a refund just to make a statement.

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2 hours ago, mkveezy said:

I like the direction.   Happy to have paid my 15 dollars and see how this evolves.   It's not working for me currently in corp environment, but will be brilliant in other places where I use it more.   'magic' config is the right strategy, both for your core users AND for power users..... just because you CAN navigate confusing port config menus, doesnt mean you WANT to - keep up the good work.

For those that don't like the beta - roll back.   If you are annoyed that you have to roll back - reconsider being a beta tester.

I like mucking in ports, but that is me. I am odd that way. But I like the new updated UI, so it is not a drab gray.

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9 hours ago, Onoitsu2 said:

I like mucking in ports, but that is me.

There's definitely edge cases that would require this (sysadmins blocking ports, other applications using those ports, etc). So it's likely we'll add that option and may others at a later stage.

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12 hours ago, mkveezy said:

For those that don't like the beta - roll back.   If you are annoyed that you have to roll back - reconsider being a beta tester.

It's not about not liking this beta. I don't like this dumbing down of the whole thing. Why not just have "advanced" option that gives you all the options that we have now in 1.8? What's wrong with that approach? You can still have your "magic" approach, but leave the options open as well.

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41 minutes ago, Stiv said:

Why not just have "advanced" option

Our strategy is: simple first, advanced later.

This is because the simple UI will help most of the people (and solve most of the issues), and advanced will solve edge cases (which may already be solved by a simpler UI).

Don't worry, advanced settings will be there... when we're ready to add them.

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Hi Nick...long time fan and promoter of the Synergy. I'm really happy to see some additional investment. Unfortunately, I have to agree with the trending argument here. The oversimplified approach combined with the fact it simply doesn't work makes me question the viability of the product. While I do think an always-on, config-free approach is ideal, I really don't see it as feasible given the complexity of the use case scenarios. I do not trust the apparent architecture. It crashes if it cannot talk to your servers at startup. I don't want a cloud dependency and I don't want your servers notified every time I reboot. It does not work (for me presently) and I will be reverting to the old version now...hopefully I can try again in a few months with better results but if the invasive architecture doesn't change, I expect not.

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Agree with JasonS. I'll continue to work with the betas, but we really need this to work without any external dependencies and with a reasonable ability to configure the software. There are a number of scenaria where Internet connectivity simply doesn't exist but we still want to use Synergy.

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The general rule of thumb: If something doesn't work as you'd expect or if it crashes, assume it's a bug and tell us about it so we can fix it.

57 minutes ago, JasonS said:

It crashes if it cannot talk to your servers at startup.

That's a bug, it'll be fixed in beta5.

57 minutes ago, JasonS said:

I really don't see it as feasible given the complexity of the use case scenarios.

Could you give me an example? I can't use vague information to make a decision.

16 minutes ago, jml said:

Internet connectivity simply doesn't exist but we still want to use Synergy.

Are you likely to configure a brand new Synergy instance without an internet connection present? If so, please could you describe this use case?

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It happens.

- "Dark sites" encountered in military / government work often don't have connectivity.
- Often, labs / data centers either eliminate or severely restrict Internet access.
- Over-enthusiastic corporate firewall policies and net-nannies can raise havoc with external sites.

So Synergy really shouldn't _rely_ on external connectivity. Optional, sure. But not required.

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15 hours ago, jml said:

- "Dark sites" encountered in military / government work often don't have connectivity.
- Often, labs / data centers either eliminate or severely restrict Internet access.
- Over-enthusiastic corporate firewall policies and net-nannies can raise havoc with external sites.

So Synergy really shouldn't _rely_ on external connectivity. Optional, sure. But not required.

Excellent use cases!

I actually have a plan for manual mode, now seems like a good time to reveal it. I believe there should be a hidden manual fall-back mode that only becomes available if everything goes wrong. It kind of reminds me of this scene from the HHGTTG (2005) movie...

Handing over manual control. Good luck!

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"I believe there should be a hidden manual fall-back mode that only becomes available if everything goes wrong."

Might be a better choice to allow the user to select whether or not to use Internet connectivity at install time. I've seen several packages which don't react well to black-hole internal firewalls; the only real alternative is a timeout of some sort, which can be a bit hokey. I doubt if it'd be that much of an inconvenience to ask the customer -- you could default to "Use internet connection" while presenting the choice -- but I know I'd sure feel better if I was confirming that some package I was installing would be allowed outbound access.

Cheers...

 

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On 9/27/2017 at 3:05 AM, Stiv said:

It's not about not liking this beta. I don't like this dumbing down of the whole thing. Why not just have "advanced" option that gives you all the options that we have now in 1.8? What's wrong with that approach? You can still have your "magic" approach, but leave the options open as well.

Hope it didn't appear I was singling you out.....   I like the dumbing down for my purposes - I'm a developer , I want the thing to just work.  My biggest complaint with the current stable release is that I always had to 'fiddle' depending on what location I was in.   I'm looking forward to 'just works' when I fire up devices at whatever random location I am in.

Your suggestion is fine however - have advanced options if needed - sure!   Sounds like we will get it.....

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On 9/25/2017 at 2:22 PM, Stiv said:

 

It is obvious you are trying to cater to the idiot users,

 

And, just because I like thing to 'just work' for my own convenience - does not make me an IDIOT user - in fact I doubt a software like this is even on the radar of any IDIOTS....

 

HMPPHHHH

 

:)

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Im my scenario I have a sys admin that likes to block things like non common egress ports because he feels that is how you form security, ergo why I have a dedicated apipa network for synergy to run over between my corp laptop and my personal/external testing mac mini. Granted getting both machines on our guest network would eliminate the need for egress to work for licensing etc.

Having a manual ability to control IP Interfaces it listens on ( to avoid a service on the corp network become visible to a scan ),

the port it uses ( self apparent ),

and ability to paste a license key ( I understand that this could lead to some piratation which is just sad ) to authenticate should license confirmation not be able to reach out over Internet.

 

Just some ramblings from a fan.

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Requiring Internet access to confirm licensing (and combat pirating) is indeed a sad state of affairs. If that's the _only_ reason Synergy needs to dial home, though, I'd say there's got to be a better way. 

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Agree with the sentiments above.. 30 day Grace and online activation I can make a plan with. Low level networking control is vital for my uses.. I need to be able to control interface and port used at minimum

 

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On 27/09/2017 at 1:24 PM, Nick Bolton said:

Are you likely to configure a brand new Synergy instance without an internet connection present? If so, please could you describe this use case?

I run a recording studio which only gets connected to the internet for program updates. If I have to have Synergy dial home every single time I boot the computer, it's useless to me because it means I would have to have my internet running the minute I boot up those systems.

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"we'll add a manual mode that will be available via an advanced settings screen."

Perfect. Thanks!!!!!

 

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1 minute ago, jml said:

"we'll add a manual mode that will be available via an advanced settings screen."

 

However, this won't come until Synergy 2.1. A bit like how Microsoft reintroduced the start menu in Windows 8.1. We know that people are going to want manual mode back, but first, we need to focus on auto-config in 2.0 (as it'll make life easier for more people).

We will always aim to please the majority, before trying to please the minority.

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9 minutes ago, Nick Bolton said:

Actually, it has nothing to do with licensing.

After a lot of research, we concluded that cloud-based config was the most reliable and seamless way to connect your computers. Previously we used Bonjour for zero-configuration networking, but it comes unstuck in many cases. You shouldn't use beta4 as an example of cloud config performance because it has a huge flaw that is actually not related to the cloud part of the system. Don't judge it until you've seen it working properly. We're replacing the whole networking layer to solve this issue, which will be released in beta5. You're going to see a massive improvement with our new dynamic networking layer.

For edge cases where users can't connect to the cloud (or don't want to), we'll add a manual mode that will be available via an advanced settings screen.

@Nick Bolton And I assume troubleshooting guides will be worded better than beta4? xD

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3 minutes ago, Kelvin Tran said:

And I assume troubleshooting guides will be worded better than beta4? xD

Yeah. It's a bad example of a troubleshooting guide. That was a quick fix to work around bugs, it was not meant to be permanent.

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