A few comments on my SyntaxEditor evaluation

SyntaxEditor for Windows Forms Forum

Posted 11 years ago by Bart Read - Red Gate Software Ltd
Version: 4.0.0262
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Hi there,


So far I've not really done much more than download the SyntaxEditor and plug it into a couple of controls in the VS 2005 designer. It certainly looks impressive, however there are a couple of comments I'd make:

(1) The installation process seems initially simple, but having to manually add the controls to the toolbox is a bit lame, particularly because when I followed your instructions exactly they all ended up buried in the "All Windows Forms" section. Could you consider automating this in the installer please?

(2) The trial dialog. I know you have to have one. I know you have to protect your intellectual property, and I know you don't want people to steal your software, and this is all fair enough. We have similar problems, I know how it is... but does it REALLY have to pop up quite so often?!?

It pops up:

- Every time I open my project in Visual Studio.
- Every time I build my project.
- Every time I add the SyntaxEditor control to a form.
- Every time I add any user control that incorporates a SyntaxEditor control to another form.
- Every time I run my application (this one I don't mind so much).

Sometimes it pops up underneath the Visual Studio window. The first time this happened I thought VS had hung and killed it via Task Manager. Very annoying.

How about something like the following:

- Pop up the dialog on the first occurrence of any of the above in your VS session (not including the last one, for which I can accept that you'd need to pop it up every time).
- Every other time you would normally pop it up, check how much time has elapsed first and don't pop it up again if it was popped up less than 24 hours ago in the current VS session. This gets around the problem of cheeky people who just leave VS open forever with the software in trial mode.

The thing is, after 14 days it's going to stop working anyway, right? So as long as the user periodically sees the trial dialog it doesn't really matter. Also, since you're trying to encourage people to hand over their cash, is winding them up beyond all recognition really the best way to do this? Whilst I'm calm and relaxed now, a few short minutes ago I was about ready to stab someone or something.

Anyway, I just wanted to share these things because they might give people a negative impression of what actually appears to be an impressive product.


Thanks,
Bart

Comments (4)

Posted 11 years ago by Bart Read - Red Gate Software Ltd
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Actually it pops up twice when I click Run/Debug in Visual Studio: once during the build (if needed), and once when the application starts.
Cheers,
Bart
Posted 11 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA
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Hi Bart,

Thanks for your comments, it's always helpful to hear things from an end user's perspective. Let me reply to your comments.

1) Actually we just implemented a toolbox item installer for our WPF controls installer that we released yesterday. And I believe the same concept can be applied to Windows Forms controls as well so we'll try and get this in soon.

2) The problem here is with how Visual Studio manages things. For instance, we store a static property once a nag screen is displayed so that it only shows once. This works great at run-time. However in the designer, I believe Visual Studio creates new app domains for all those scenarios you mentioned, thus wiping out our flag and making it show more often.

So how to make this better... perhaps we just relax it so that there are no popups in the designer since we are unable to determine if a popup has already been displayed due to the above reason. If we turned off designer popups, you would still see them at run-time mode and that is probably plenty annoying enough, right? :)

As for the compilation, that part is out of our control because when you compile, Visual Studio again is creating a new app domain and flagging it as run-time. When you subsequently run the app, yet another app domain is being used and therefore you would see a new popup when a control is first used.

I think the best we can do for you is to disable popups at design-time. You will still receive them at compile and when you first use a control at run-time. What do you think?

Although here's a tip for getting rid of the compilation one, remove the licenses.licx entries. You only need them when you finally do have a license because that is what tells VS to include license data in your app. But for the eval, you can remove them and the popup shouldn't show then.


Actipro Software Support

Posted 11 years ago by Bart Read - Red Gate Software Ltd
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Great, thanks for the quick response, and thanks for the tip about compilation time.

Your suggested fixes for design time sound pretty sensible to me. I've never delved any further than working with DTE in VS so had no idea it was creating and destroying AppDomains to do all this stuff. That does sound like a bit of a nightmare. Guess the best thing to do is pop up the dialog once on startup and then set up a timer (evil I know) that fires 24 hours later and pops up the dialog again, just to discourage people from using it forever. Although OTOH if you get it when you open the application anyway maybe it doesn't matter so much. I realise all of this is a pain one way and another, and there's no ideal solution.

I'm hoping that after the Christmas break I can persuade James to buy me a license. :) It's working great so far. I have it plugged in to our new Exception Hunter tool as an experiment. I just need to customise the rendering of the caret line, put in a few indicators, try to get it to pick up the VS editor font somehow or other (I feel an evil hack coming on), and we're all good!


Thanks,
Bart
Posted 11 years ago by Actipro Software Support - Cleveland, OH, USA
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While we're doing all these changes I think another thing we will do is extend the evaluation period up to 21 days so customers can have an additional week of evaluation.


Actipro Software Support

The latest build of this product (v2018.1 build 0341) was released 3 months ago, which was after the last post in this thread.

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