Please Keep Swatting The Basic Bugs - B4 New Features

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I like the new features in 13.1 - however SnagIt (Windows) has been brittle and unstable for us for the past several versions - crashing suddenly when adding call-outs and ruining the image being edited in the process. Some things improve with each release, but other issues have never been solved and/or new bugs pop up. We still feel SnagIt is the best software out there for screen captures (so we continue to use it vs. something else) however I'm going to respectfully ask the developers to do what I ask practically all development teams of all types of software we work with.. PLEASE... get the basics right/solid/stable before - or at least in concert with - the development of new features.

New features can potentially be good additions to our toolset - but not if the program crashes or behaves in unexpected ways. 13.0.3 was more stable than 13.0... but it still occasionally blew up without warning, and when it did would wind up costing us an hour or more time to get back to where we were when it happened. That hour lost is not billable to our clients, and costs us (and every business) more than the SnagIT license cost initially not once, but *every time* it happens. That is not trivial - and I don't think software developers fully understand the impact when their applications don't work as-advertised. EDIT: Here are just a few of the common issues we've been dealing with for the past several versions. Tech support advice has not been helpful and is usually "remove and reinstall" which does not solve anything but does create even more unbillable hours.

1) Unexpected Crash/Freeze when editing/adding call-outs : By far the worst issue - Not fixed as of 13.0.3

2) Losing all "QuickStyle" settings: Another total time sink.. since version 10 or so. Takes second place - Not fixed per 13.0.3

3) Text not fitting/staying in call-outs and/or not finishing as-entered. Better as of 13.0.3, but required a two-step text entry process prior to that (waste of time... uneven results)

4) Annoying re-sizing of images added from the library (open at 15-20% of actual size... require 2-3 additional 'clicks' every time... regardless of settings. (waste of time)

If it was a machine tool on the shop floor costing us dozens of hours of re-work, it would be on the trash heap in a hurry and at worst, if it happened to enough users the manufacturer would have a legal or financial problem on their hands. Software developers get away with it because it's so easy to blame a particular environment or user and never really isolate the root cause, and we all have to click "OK" to a EULA that releases developers of all liability for everything. But in the case of SnagIT - I've personally been using it for years and installed on a variety of laptops and desktop computers.. the problems encountered have not been specific to my user environment (and we're technologists too - not clueless noobs) . So PLEASE -- take this seriously. Do whatever you can to make your software as stable and bulletproof as it can be. Fix the recurring problems BEFORE creating new features. We don't expect miracles (it is software after all), but make stability/reliability your Job1 - and a higher priority than a new auto-background fill or some other gizmo that might save five seconds when editing an image. That five seconds saved is small potatoes compared to losing hours of work because of some random crash/freeze-up, or having to deal with time-wasting work-arounds. Thank you for listening.
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Joe Stoddard

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  • frustrated (but optimistic)

Posted 3 years ago

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Randy Wilson

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Thank you Joe for a very reasonable and timely contribution which I am pretty sure will resonate with many concerned users. Development that does not address known and reported bugs does not deserve to be termed development, and still worse replacing well tried working approaches with bugs that involve users in spending non-billable hours is hardly sustainable. My pet gripe which I posted several months ago and rejected by the developers concerned a) the excessive time needed to finalise a captured video  and b) similar time to save the captured video. This because TechSmith could not understand how important a time-saving feature allowing users to input a capture period to match the known length of the original. Or it was because they said this was a feature of Camtasia - I don't see this as true. The time saving can be as much as 2 hours.
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Chris Larson, Snagit Technical Product Manager

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Official Response
Thank you for speaking up. My first question is: Have you reported these bugs to Tech Support?

Reproducibility of bugs is the biggest challenge we have when trying to fix reported issues. As soon as we can reliably reproduce a bug, we can then track it down and fix it. In order to reproduce bugs, typically we need more context than we get from posts on GetSat. That's why reporting them to our Tech Support team is the best avenue to get them fixed. They will ask what most people don't think to supply (which is fine, it's not your job :) ): we'll try to gather the steps, the version of Snagit, the OS, relevant hardware specs, and the expected and actual behavior. An image/GIF/video of the issue is fantastic as well. (Using our new Capture Info Effect for showing information about the system and captured app is targeted at this very problem)

The worst thing that we can hear is that there is a bug that causes users to lose work. Those issues immediately go to the top of our list of things to work on. We certainly understand the importance of making sure Snagit is stable. People are using it every day to do great work. We are really proud of that. And we work to fix anything that we've found (or has been reported) that could put that in jeopardy. We will of course try and reproduce reported issues ourselves. But many times we can't reproduce them, even after having multiple devs and testers looking at them. So that's why we could really use your help if you know how to make the issue occur again. Or even a general idea of the steps it takes to make an issue occur so that we know where to look and dig deeper.

The other types of issues you've described (3 and 4) are also bugs we take seriously. Improving your workflow and reducing wasted time is what Snagit is designed for. #3 should be fixed like you mentioned, but let me know if that's not true. #4, I'm not clear as to what you mean. Is it the "Always Shrink to Fit" option that's causing you to have to resize every time?

If so, you can uncheck that and it shouldn't require extra clicks. But I'm not sure that's what you are referring to because you said "regardless of the settings." If you have more details, I'd be happy to have our team look into it.

And to your main point, we do have a focus on improving the stability of Snagit. We have a team where that's their primary focus. And we also need to continue to keep Snagit relevant by meeting new needs and creating new functionality as well, so we have others that are focused on that effort. We will continue to try and improve our process internally and I really appreciate your comments.

Thank you.
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The worst thing that we can hear is that there is a bug that causes users to lose work. Those issues immediately go to the top of our list of things to work on.

I don't agree with this. Of course it is not good spening time and losing the work. But what is just as bad if not worse is forcing users to work in a specific way that takes them a hell of a lot longer to do something than would otherwise be the case.
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In fact it is regrettable that Joe's article has not been used as a blueprint for TechSmith's development. From being an ardent supporter I am increasingly coming around to the view that TS process is out of control and not subject to proper testing.
How else can the incidence of new bugs in established functionality be explained, and the withdrawal of much used and valuable functionality also be explained. I think this system would be vastly enhanced if a user submitting a bug categroirsed it as a bug, and if/when remedied it goes to a category "bug fixed".
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Loosing the quick styles is my biggest problem and that happens more often than not. It appears to be completely random for me but reproducing it is not a problem. I read somewhere that it is more likely to keep your quick styles if you exit the editor the "proper" way by going through the 'File' menu and hit 'Exit Snagit Editor'.

I also agree with the general sense of this post. I love Snagit and I love the simplicity. I believe I've been using it at least since 2008 but my experience is that it has become more unstable with time to the benefit for new features that I don't value as much as the stability. One of the great things about Snagit is its simplicity so a ton of new features does not necessarily make the application better, especially to the cost of stability.