This is encouraging, an update to 8.0.28 Manifold 8 http://www.manifold....tes/updates.htm It's been 8 months (Oct 2011 to June 2012) since the last update. I was losing hope. However this new update has some performance improvements along with the regular fixes so that's a good sign development is continuing.
I'm still on my self imposed exile from participating in the official Manifold forum given the change in tone in how the forum is moderated. I was banned for posting what I thought was useful info for implementing Manifold IMS, but I inadvertently mentioned the name of non-Manifold software/service (Hamachi ,there I said it again).
It is almost five years since version 8x was published.
I do not share your view that it is encouraging. That they have released a series of bug fixes, is hardly cause for celebration. It just indicates that the company is not quite dead. That they have done this suggests that a new release is not imminent, as there would be little purpose in doing it if it were.
Something looks like it has gone badly wrong inside this company. Feel free to pick 'n mix from the following possible reasons:
- A global recession and lack of financial support from banks and venture capitalists.
- Bad management
- An over ambitious premature and unexpectedly time consuming development strategy of the technically very challenging objective of parallelisation of software a use multicore CPUs and GPUs, that is aiming to be revolutionary when it should have been evolutionary
- Only supporting hardware and software of one GPU manufacturer is a decision that perhaps now haunting them. Picking the wrong GPU hardware manufacturer and it proprietary programming language and API to support , in Nvidia over AMD and its support for open standards, when it should have hedged its options and developed software that supported use of GPUs from both manufacturers. Nvidia has had numerous technical problems with and has been barely able to manufacture its Fermi and Keplar generations of GPUs Manifold System 9x parallisation was intended to reliant on, whereas AMD's latest GCN GPUs are available volume from date of release. Additionally, Keplar GPUs have very poor DP FLOPS performance compared to AMD GCN GPUs which thrash Keplar at DP and SP benchmarks. The lavish praise heaped on Nvidia by Manifold Software suggests that Manifold Software may have taken development money from Nvidia for the former to develop its software to run on Nvidia's GPUs, perhaps with the caveat that it would not develop or delay delopment of its software to run on AMD GPUs and Fusion APUs.
- Loss of senior development staff.
- Lawsuits over patent infringement
- GIS development is no longer their core business and priority
- Other, unknown.
Also, Manifold Software's development strategy is one that it is a very risky one for the following additional reason. The company receives numerous submissions from users about what they would like to see in the next version. From these submissions it picks some that it will incorporate. Some of these submissions are technically trivial others are very complex. Manifold Software has openly stated it does not employ developers with anything other than a background in computing and mathematics. Very worryingly, it does not employ developers with backgrounds in GIS generally, earth or environmental sciences, surveying, cartography or remote sensing etc etc which risks a systemic failure to understand in depth what is being asked for. Why something has to be done the way requested and not another. Because of the paranoia of the business, there is no feedback discussion with the user community during development and especially those that have submitted suggestions, about how the suggestions are going to be/being implemented. There is then a great risk that after a great deal of time and money has been spent developing a submission, that the end result is not what is required, is implemented in a non-standard and unverified way, does not meet user expectations or produces an incorrect or questionable results. This is especially true for scientifically complex proposals, where there is an established, verified, standard and/or scientifically correct way to process information, and if this is not followed, the results are unacceptable, period. Even then, even if done right, the GUI design for providing new feature might then suck.
Edited by NicKV, 01 July 2012 - 03:58 AM.