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Posted: 9/8/2013
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If you are a professional developer, you will know what I'm saying below. This post it is not meant for you.

Now then, IF you are new to web development and are using software to code your templates, please be advised and forewarned:

All developers release test versions of their software. That's why some of it is free while under development. It helps them track down and eliminate bugs in various working environments on various machines, etc. We, as consumers, are warned of this by a system of software "versions" which is pretty standard within the industry.

Regarding versions of ANY software, the terms ALPHA, BETA, RC (which stands for "Release Candidate") and STABLE have serious and obvious risks involved for those who choose to use them. These versions come in the exact order you see above and generally, most developers follow this release path as they add features, correct and refine their software. You will note there is no "FINAL" version listed. That's because there never will be a final version of anything. Even with a STABLE version, you will have inevitable updates and fixes.

In short, if you use any of the versions listed above, you are taking a gamble on stability and the developer is not liable to you if something goes haywire. If you are faint of heart, lazy or do not have excellent coding skills, wait for the STABLE release version.

Now that you know this, memorize the following and life will be easier for you:

Never, Ever, NO HOW, NO WAY, (and if you forget) NEVER use anything but a "stable release" version of software in a production environment.

If you use anything other than a STABLE version, it is best to:
A) actually understand the code
B) know where to look when you find a bug and finally,
C) know how to fix it yourself if the need arises.

Why? Anything prior to a STABLE release carries a known risk and a long list of bugs that the developers become aware of on a daily basis and it could take a while for them to get to your particular "bug."

I hope this helps some of you who are griping and complaining about the latest release. It clearly states BETA version.

Have a great day and, if need be, re-download Artisteer's latest stable version of software.

Posted: 9/8/2013
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Quote Empowermom:
I hope this helps some of you who are griping and complaining about the latest release. It clearly states BETA version.

Most people around here understand the difference between beta, RC, final releases, etc.

I think, however, you've completely missed the point why people are griping. They are griping largely because of 2 reasons:

1) Bugs in were never fix...both in the code and in the exported themes. Part of this is the long gap between and 4.2 beta where Extensoft could have released a patch but didn't. After all, was released on February 21, 2013 and we got nothing until July 31, 2013.

2) Instead of fixing the bugs in, they decided to move onto 4.2. This release introduced a forced online exporting requirement while at the same time breaking compatibility with plugins like Templateer, which is critical to many Wordpress users.

For those who were tolerant in this reliance in online exporting quickly learned that it was a very bad idea because Extensoft suffered at least 1 and maybe 2 separate server outages within 30 days, which made it impossible for people to export their themes. Anyone who was on the fence on this issue quickly got pushed off.

At the end of the day, it's not so much Artisteer and their 4.2 beta release but the direction that the company is heading. People really don't like it, to put it mildly.

If there was another release between and 4.2 beta that corrected some of the more nagging bugs, there wouldn't have been such a great outcry.

At lease people could have made a choice to stick with 4.1 or move ahead with 4.2. Extensoft removed that choice where now it's stick with Artisteer or find a completely different tool.

So, to challenge another one of your assertions, downloading the "stable" version means downloading a version that has a number of significant bugs in the theme output. Not really much of a choice, is it?

In fact, people are also looking at "the other guy" and see a rapid release schedule as well as high responsive developer interaction through their forums.

Now, as a sidenote, the reason I'm using the phase "the other guy" is because Extensoft is blocking certain keywords. Even words like "comp3tition." Yes, I had to replace the e with a 3, otherwise, I wouldn't be able to post this.

Anyway, back to my point...I know of one example specifically where someone posted a comparison of errors within a theme generated by both Artisteer and the other guy. The other guy's software was generating many more errors. Within 2 days, an update was provided that reduced these errors to even less than what Artisteer was generating! Talk about service!

Imagine if Artisteer responded to these types of errors and bug by releasing a patch version within days. There would certainly be no griping.

That's what people want.

Posted: 9/8/2013
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A very concise, well-reasoned, and unemotional summary of the problem. I hope the Art folks read and understand what you're saying here.

With online exporting, the more you rely on Artisteer, the greater risk you take. Should Artisteer ever go out of business, then one would be forced to recreate from scratch every Artisteer-based client site one manages. I can't think of any reason why I would want to invest in such a risk.

Version 4.1 can help you develop sort-of-responsive, not gracefully degrading themes. I wish I had the expertise to overcome that and some of the other bugs in 4.1 but I don't (yet). So, as much as I have loved Artisteer in the past, I've had to cut and run.

Posted: 9/10/2013
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I never said they were perfect, I was explaining to people who are new or don't know code what the difference is in the versions when downloading.

I've been through the growing pains with Artisteer since their inception and still find it a highly valued piece of software in a rather large arsenal of software I maintain to build sites with.

That being stated, I have two questions for you:

Where are you getting "forced" online export? You can "Export" any template to a local file in the desired format (Joomla, Wordpress, Moodle, etc.) for testing on your own server before putting it into final production. The ftp feature is a convenience factor only (and not one I would personally recommend prior to testing offline).

Next, I'm not that hot on WordPress since I'm a Joomlaholic so I can't comment on the problems you speak of. What I can say without hesitation is that during the last 5 technology and plugins are advancing so rapidly it's hard for even hard core, hand coding developers to keep up with all that's out there. I dare say Artisteer is experiencing the same growing pains by trying to include all the "bells and whistles" for so many different formats and still keep a competitive edge. I can assure you the "other guys" have those same woes.

I do have minor problems occasionally, but I haven't had any that were insurmountable because I test, test, test before I publish.

As to "the other guy" you keep referring to, I am all ears and would like to see a comparison. You can send a personal mail to my listed name on the gmail server. And thanks for telling me about Templateer. I've been looking for something like that and will investigate it fully.

Have a great day, and sorry if I stepped on anyone's toes.

Posted: 9/16/2013
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OIC! I'm so "wired" these days with 5 computers, 3 laptops, 2 netbooks, 4 Droids, 3 pods and a couple other gadgets I am always online! Couple that with we are all networked in and synced with my crew. I spend as much time on IT as I do anything else with my family. That's what you get when you live on a farm in the boonies.

I agree that you should have total access to your software. A - d - o - b - e does that to one in the cloud but others don't have the option and if their software is down when you need it "yesterday" (such as last week) you are dead in the water. The storm "Sandy" taught many IT managers a great deal on that one last year.

Thanks for the info and the insights. Have a great day!