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Thread: So what's really changed in 2015?

  1. #1
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    Default So what's really changed in 2015?

    I've been using Netobjects Fusion off and on since about 1997. It was a great product in its time. However, in the last few years I've spent money on upgrading/supporting the product and I've been stung just once too often by paying for a product that doesn't deliver.

    All my websites nowadays are produced using a content management system like Joomla or Wordpress and my interactive “ebooks” are generated from HTML code in an excel spreadsheet. NOF would be an ideal way to generate and manage these websites, but there are still many serious limitations (and design flaws and bugs that have never been addressed, except perhaps for a few tweaks and performance improvements here and there).

    I've written to Steve and the technical support several times, but my queries have always been ignored. Once my posts were deleted. I hope this one will remain. The wikipedia article on NOF doesn't really address the particular short-comings in terms of today's CMS and database-driven websites.

    Before I upgrade (again), if you've been using NOF 2015 please could you let me know if the various data objects and static pages problems have been fixed. For example, after creating a connector object can you subsequently edit, change and remove fields? Can you connect seamlessly to the latest MS Office data files (Excel 2013, Access, etc.; previously you could only connect to dBase and Foxpro and Excel 97 files)? Does NOF 2015 support the full UTF-8 multilingual character sets (Thai, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Russian, Greek, Hebrew, Arabic, etc.), and formatting of fields and contents in the static or database-driven dynamic pages, etc.

    I’d also like to know what support and integration there is for/with CMS’s like Joomla, Wordpress, etc., not to mention HTML5-based media and complex language character sets. The NOF 2013 “upgrade” didn’t address these omissions in NOF XII, and the core functionality (and flaws) of managing components still dates back from around ten or more years ago (e.g. the OLE connector still lists dBase files, but no Excel macro-enabled files).

    I've searched and searched but still can't find a release list of all the changes and bug-fixes that have been implemented since NOF2013. Is it included as a text file in the upgrade? Or can anyone list the most pertinent changes/bug-fixes/improvements as you come across them on this thread?

    Many thanks. I'm expecting to upgrade if it's worth doing so, else if it's just another bug-fix release (like NOF 2013 was for XII) then I'll skip and wait until a "proper" upgrade in the next year or so.
    Last edited by orish; 03-19-2015 at 02:45 AM.

  2. #2
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    the Win8 Metro tile look has gone, that alone is worth it

  3. #3
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    I took the plunge and upgraded from v10.
    Huge installation issues which I finally got sorted - no thanks to NOF (non existent) support.
    Still no CMS and still no responsive design for tablets /phones etc. they are really lagging behind here.
    One or two nice features (carousel gallery is nice and easy)......but really I expected more.

    I am evaluating other products as there still seems to be many buggy issues - and the support is really really diabolical.

  4. #4
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    gprit, I also would have thought that auto-resizable websites would be a standard feature, considering that, nowadays, one has to design sites for large-screen monitors as well as tablets and smartphones. I usually buy a responsive template for joomla/wordpress. I'm disappointed that the NOF developers' priority seems to be on the somewhat amateurish front-ends (carousels, spinning wheels and whistles) rather than on fundamental architecture.

    Supporting AJAX is good (and necessary) and, I suppose, HTML5 media components (it's quite basic in 2013 but hopefully more sophisticated in 2015??) A proper implementation of external (and internal) dynamic and static data sources is essential for most websites nowadays - but this doesn't seem to have improved at all since NOF7. (The ODBC connector in v. 2013 still cannot connect to modern files likes Excel macro-enabled spreadsheets *.xlm, and the only databases are dBase, which was obsolete 10 years ago, and very old versions of Access *.mdb. This used to be NOF's unique and strongest feature and it seems to have been abandoned. I also have problems with complex, non-Latin characters. The support for UTF-8 doesn't seem to extend to the page designer. I sometimes have to type the text elsewhere and then copy & paste into the text box.)

    It's nearly there, but never quite complete and up to date. I suspect the developers enjoy tweaking stuff, but are bored with the basics and don't want to rewrite the old code. For me, responsive design, design & management of external data, full support of HTML5 media-handling, and true UTF-8 support is where the focus should be. The rest can wait. One reason is that NOF strongest feature is to embed code as a single element. So anything I want that NOF doesn't support (properly), e.g. youtube videos, can be incorporated using a code element in a text box or region (another strong feature of NOF). The only problem with this kind of workaround is that you lose WYSIWYG design, but that's sometimes okay.

    I now have only one product that I continue to maintain using NOF, an old ebook that is generated from data kept in an Excel spreadsheet. All my other websites are in Joomla, and my multimedia interactive ebooks are now produced in Excel (strange but true), which generates the HTML tags in the right places (along with responsive bootstrap code that I "include" as a script). I don't get WYSIWYG but it's quick and accurate.

    Netobjects: please incorporate these features in this or the next version. NOF should complement CMS products like Joomla/Wordpress not try to compete with them. The absolutely best feature of CMS platforms is that you can integrate third-party extensions easily and seamlessly, from a different WYSIWYG editor to a full-featured database-driven customer-and-product management system with built-in e-commerce and payment facilities.

    NO tech support hasn't replied to my queries about a change-list from v. 2013 to v. 2015 (I've written three times). So without knowing how NOF 2015 has improved, I'd rather spend my annual $75 "upgrade" fee on Joomla templates and extensions.
    Last edited by orish; 03-30-2015 at 03:38 PM.

  5. #5
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    There is a new bugfix/update 1 and this is the change log:-

    ================================================== ===================
    This updates a single installation of NetObjects Fusion 2015. Multiple installations
    are strongly discouraged as they introduce potential problems in NetObjects Fusion 2015
    functioning correctly. If you have manually modified any resource files associated
    with NetObjects Fusion 2015 this may also introduce problems. Please correct either of
    these issues prior to updating.
    ================================================== ===================

    NetObjects Fusion 2015 Update - Build 15.00.0000.1050

    • WEBFONTS: When restoring .ZIP backup that contains webfonts that were not included with NOF, install and register new fonts
    • WEBFONTS: Default "always publish" flag to FALSE
    • ANALYTICS: Use asynchronous code for "classic" Google Analytics
    • UI: Suppress Javascript exceptions in internal browser (e.g. Google Analytics)
    • PUBLISH: edit and publish TITLE attribute for form fields
    • PUBLISH: publish ALT attribute for form buttons
    • PUBLISH: fixed W3 validation errors for new form <input> types when publishing as HTML5
    • PUBLISH: publish ID attribute for hidden form fields
    • PUBLISH: do not publish TITLE for <form> container DIV
    • PUBLISH: do not write entries for image links in sitemap.xml
    • SNIPPET: include object ID in snippet editor caption
    • SNIPPET: include header markup when publishing snippet that is inside of MLR
    • PUBLISH: fixed W3 validation errors related to <meta> tags and HTML5
    • UI: made some comboboxes taller (e.g. site options charset, text style)
    • CSS: Fixed issue publishing CSS files where decimal values (e.g. 0.5) would lose fractional portion (e.g. published as 0.0).
    • PUBLISH: User-created tables now published with alignment CLASS (e.g. nof-block-center, nof-wrap-right)
    • PUBLISH: Filter out unsupported <meta> elements when publishing as HTML5. HTML5 tags are now closed.
    CAROUSEL: Fixed initial draw of images when carousel is inside of MLR

    Quote Originally Posted by orish View Post
    gprit, I also would have thought that auto-resizable websites would be a standard feature, considering that, nowadays, one has to design sites for large-screen monitors as well as tablets and smartphones. I usually buy a responsive template for joomla/wordpress. I'm disappointed that the NOF developers' priority seems to be on the somewhat amateurish front-ends (carousels, spinning wheels and whistles) rather than on fundamental architecture.

    Supporting AJAX is good (and necessary) and, I suppose, HTML5 media components (it's quite basic in 2013 but hopefully more sophisticated in 2015??) A proper implementation of external (and internal) dynamic and static data sources is essential for most websites nowadays - but this doesn't seem to have improved at all since NOF7. (The ODBC connector in v. 2013 still cannot connect to modern files likes Excel macro-enabled spreadsheets *.xlm, and the only databases are dBase, which was obsolete 10 years ago, and very old versions of Access *.mdb. This used to be NOF's unique and strongest feature and it seems to have been abandoned. I also have problems with complex, non-Latin characters. The support for UTF-8 doesn't seem to extend to the page designer. I sometimes have to type the text elsewhere and then copy & paste into the text box.)

    It's nearly there, but never quite complete and up to date. I suspect the developers enjoy tweaking stuff, but are bored with the basics and don't want to rewrite the old code. For me, responsive design, design & management of external data, full support of HTML5 media-handling, and true UTF-8 support is where the focus should be. The rest can wait. One reason is that NOF strongest feature is to embed code as a single element. So anything I want that NOF doesn't support (properly), e.g. youtube videos, can be incorporated using a code element in a text box or region (another strong feature of NOF). The only problem with this kind of workaround is that you lose WYSIWYG design, but that's sometimes okay.

    I now have only one product that I continue to maintain using NOF, an old ebook that is generated from data kept in an Excel spreadsheet. All my other websites are in Joomla, and my multimedia interactive ebooks are now produced in Excel (strange but true), which generates the HTML tags in the right places (along with responsive bootstrap code that I "include" as a script). I don't get WYSIWYG but it's quick and accurate.

    Netobjects: please incorporate these features in this or the next version. NOF should complement CMS products like Joomla/Wordpress not try to compete with them. The absolutely best feature of CMS platforms is that you can integrate third-party extensions easily and seamlessly, from a different WYSIWYG editor to a full-featured database-driven customer-and-product management system with built-in e-commerce and payment facilities.

    NO tech support hasn't replied to my queries about a change-list from v. 2013 to v. 2015 (I've written three times). So without knowing how NOF 2015 has improved, I'd rather spend my annual $75 "upgrade" fee on Joomla templates and extensions.

  6. #6
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    Is this all that has changed between NOF 2013 and 2015? This looks like a minor bug-fix, not a major upgrade worth $75?????

  7. #7
    Senior Member chuckj's Avatar
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    No.. those are the changes to the release version of 2015 contained in Update 1 to 2015.
    Chuck Joslin
    www.BeyondFusion.com
    PHP & MySQL development with Fusion
    Fusion support for AllWebMenus (Likno) Contact me for custom AWM menus for your sites.
    Tutorials and Forums

  8. #8
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    OK Chuck thanks. But the original question remains unanswered: what are the changes and bug-fixes implemented in 2015 cf. the final release of 2013?????

    I suspect the reason why it's being kept secret and not published by NO - or answered on this forum - is that there are very few real changes. It may be a minor update (of a minor update from XII to 2013). And I resent having to pay $150+ for updates when they should be included for free as part of the original purchase. (Or... as I've stated elsewhere... I'd be happy to pay a reasonable annual fee, $30 say, for up-to-date "maintenance" releases.)

    Do you know? And if so, would you be willing to divulge this information?

    I notice also that you develop extensions for NOF. Would you be able to extend (or rewrite) the data component to connect to the latest Excel .xlm (macro-enabled) files, with format-enabled fields, and subsequently edit, add, delete and re-arrange the fields after creation? [NOF 2013 can't do any of this]

  9. #9
    Senior Member barbara0701's Avatar
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    Orish, open your eyes:

    http://netobjects.com/ > Whats new in NOF 2015

    It may be a minor update (of a minor update from XII to 2013)
    Minor Update? A new HTML output? NOF 2013 laid the basis for responsive designs, and NOF 2015 added some important features and bug fixes. Give them (NetO) and us a break, and start complaining when you really have informed yourself. If you wanted a CMS, responsive, WYGIWYS, perfectly customable Software you should look elsewehere.. All of them have pitfalls and you have to make compromises everywhere. 74 Dollar incl. VAT? Big deal?

    I could never complain of a lack of support here. If nobody answers it's perhaps because the question has been answered right in front of your nose.

  10. #10
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    Hi Barbara, I tell why I am complaining. I didn't just spend $75, I spent hundreds of dollars on NOF, each time hoping that the issues that didn't work in my current version would be fixed. As far as I know they still aren't! I still cannot connect to modern data sources: I have to export my data to old versions of Access or Excel (and I mean really old versions, like 10 years old). If I want to add a new field to a data source, I have to create a brand new set and copy the entire design across to a new page and delete the old "static pages". It's a mess.

    As far as I could tell, the HTML output hasn't changed much. I still have to go into the code with a bulk search & replace editor to fix the invalid code that NOF generates automatically (and which I have no control over).

    I don't do anything new in NOF 2013 that I couldn't do in NOF 10, except that the 2013 interface is a bit faster, more robust and I can work with very large tables (which was a nightmare in NOF 10).

    I still can't always type in complex fonts: I often have to type in my text using Word and then copy & paste into NOF.

    Come on, these things should have been fixed by now...!

    And yes I have looked elsewhere. I no longer design my websites exclusively in NOF. I use Joomla or Wordpress. I only use NOF to generate a set of pages that I then incorporate into a CMS product, or to produce HTML-based multimedia ebooks. (Although, even then, my last project was written in Excel with the HTML code generated by using formula such as "<h1>"&C2&"</h1>". And then I add in bootstrap code to make it responsive.

    And the way I overcome some of the limitations of NOF is to use unformatted data fields that have pre-formatted code in them that has been generated using my database software (such as: The <i>big</i> <span style="color:blue">elephant</span> is cute.)

    It's not that hard (I'm not even an HTML or CSS programmer), so I don't understand why NO haven't got their finger out and finished their product before moving on to the sexier stuff. I would have been happy to pay for that. I resent paying for an upgrade that's not an upgrade and where not all the bugs & flaws have been ironed out.
    Last edited by orish; 04-01-2015 at 12:33 AM.

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