Good, could do a lot better

tatami's Avatar

tatami

10 Dec, 2018 03:34 PM

I’m a long-term devotee of Path Finder who was disappointed with the lack of development of version 7 over time. I was excited when news of version 8 broke and had high hopes. I tried it out and was disappointed at various aspects (I’ll come to these) and very put off by the bad experiences and negative feedback on this forum.

I decided to switch to ForkLift in combination with Dropzone, which I’ve been using since mid-April. I’ve found Dropzone to be flawless. I like ForkLift, and it certainly scores over Path Finder with its integrated FTP functionality plus it feels really stable. But it’s not nearly so customisable as Path Finder and I do have a problem with its user interface: I struggle to see the active tab (I’m using it in dual-pane mode). So I’ve been trying out the point updates to Path Finder to see how it’s developing.

A few days ago, I finally decided to upgrade my license even though lots of users on this forum are clearly having problems with the app and there’s been huge frustration.

So far, Path Finder has been behaving pretty well for me. I haven’t had any crashes, I’ve not noticed it hogging massive amounts of memory, and it hasn’t lost my Favorites or settings – yet. I’m keeping my fingers crossed and wondering how many users out there have had a relatively trouble-free ride like I have? I’d love to hear from you!

I guess it’s the nature of a support forum that it gets dominated by users who are experiencing problems so it’s not easy to gauge what proportion of the user population is being bedeviled by bugs. Perhaps it’s actually quite a small percentage. And, just to be clear, I’m in no way suggesting that there haven’t been some major issues. There have and, I'd say, they've been very poorly managed.

Based solely on my own needs and experience, here’s my take on the good, the bad and the ugly.

The good:

  • Amazing customizability.
  • Excellent dual-pane browsing.
  • Good, functional layout of windows (I can easily spot the active tab, the path navigator, etc).
  • Hopefully, a much more robust foundation for future development.

The bad:

  • Drop Stack has taken a big step backwards. I’m hoping that normal service will be resumed sometime in the near future. In the meanwhile, I’m using Dropzone instead.
  • The disappearance of drawers is a big loss. I welcome the introduction of modules but really need to be able to open and close them. Having to dismiss and restore them is just ridiculously tedious and time-consuming.
  • The continued lack of FTP client functionality after such a long time is disappointing (I'm using CloudMounter for the time being).

The ugly:

  • I appreciate Jordan’s continued and polite efforts to respond to queries and requests for help but I think he could use a bit more help himself. Too often, it feels like users are palmed off with lame or vague answers.
  • The lack of any indication of a development route map (presumably there is one?). It would be so helpful to be given a picture of where Path Finder is heading, some key milestones and dates by which we can see specific, well-known issues dealt with and new functionality introduced.
  • The absence of a version history (there’s still one for Path Finder 7) so those who, like me, might be hesitating about committing themselves can keep an eye on developments.

In other words, the really ugly stuff all stems from a lack of transparency and openness combined with really poor communication. This is such a pity because there's so much scope to get users on side. Everyone here wants Path Finder to succeed.

  1. Support Staff 1 Posted by Path Finder Sup... on 12 Dec, 2018 11:54 AM

    Path Finder Support Team's Avatar

    Hi Philip,

    Thank you very much for your detailed feedback. 
    I will make sure to pass it down to our developers. 
    We appreciate your continuous support. 

    Regarding the key points you outlined: 
    * Drop stack new behavior and drawers being gone is something we consider re-working. The short-term priority was assigned to fixing existing issues. Having done that, hopefully, we will get back to implementing new (or good old PF7) features. 

    • I may not be the one objective here, but I believe that one issue comes from another here, the lack of development route map results in vague answers. For quite some time there were attempts to establish better communication between the developers and support team but they never brought the expected results, unfortunately. 

    • The version history should be available, too, no doubts here. Currently, the recent changes are available in the app only, whenever you update. 

    You are right that everyone here wants Path Finder to succeed. Everyone includes us, too :) 
    Please feel free to write us back should any additional questions arise. 

    Best Regards,
    Jordan 
    Path Finder Support Team

  2. Path Finder Support Team closed this discussion on 12 Dec, 2018 11:54 AM.

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