Sooner or later, every product starts being compared with the competitors. And it seems that we, too, are slowly approaching this point. I would like to share my thoughts on this. I’d like to say right away that this is not a comparison of solutions from other manufacturers with Valentina. Rather a short commentary.
Is it correct to compare Valentina with solutions from other manufacturers? I think it is. After all, it is important for the end user to be able to achieve their goals. In our case, it is to be able to implement their ideas and design a finished pattern in the shortest possible time. Therefore, this should be taken into account before starting to use any solution. So that it doesn’t turn out that everything would be great, but one, two or three important functions are missing.
For this reason, you can and should compare them. But we are for constructive criticism. Criticism in the style of “not suitable for professional use” and the like does not help to understand the nature of the lack. So what is missing? Layouts, labels, working with history or something else? Whether it’s something I’ve glanced at in one glance, it’s not how I’m used to, then it’s no good.
Thinking is a very important thing. Sometimes we fall into a kind of trap. It’s easier for us, it requires less energy. Everyone is prone to it. People have been noticing this for a long time. It’s not the best that matters, it’s what we know. It’s not the best that matters, it’s what we tried first. Unconventional things irritate us because they require time to adapt. This is why, over time, one player begins to dominate the market. We tend to lean towards one thing and not always the best, but in the end it saves effort, time and money.
Another source of criticism is self-serving motives. For example, someone feels threatened by a competitor. Then he has to be defamed and his idea stomped on, so that he can stay on top. It is easy to find sales managers of rival companies bickering on the internet. Or statements by fans of a particular product. Such criticism, even constructive, is wrapped up in emotions and poorly perceived by the recipient. The criticism is not aimed at improving the subject, but at directing attention to what is being compared with it.
Does Valentina have any flaws? Plenty! You can jokingly say that she consists entirely of flaws. More seriously, it all depends on your requirements. It’‘s not an easy way to say if it’s ready or not. Somebody will be completely satisfied with its functionality, someone will be a little disappointed and for someone else it will not be a good solution at all. Don’t decide for everyone. I understand that you can have as much experience as you like. But, no matter how much it is, one person cannot know everything. More than once there were cases when people didn’t understand why a particular function was present in the program. On the principle that I don’t need it, others don’t need it either.
Personally, we believe that we have not implemented all of the functionality needed to meet all of the designer’s needs. That’s why the version number is 0.7 and not 1.7 or 10.7. The first number remains 0, which means that we haven’t yet gotten to the point where all needs are fulfilled.
If Valentina has so many faults, there must be at least a few virtues. And we think there are some. The first thing that comes to your mind is that it is free. Yeah, well, that’s just part of the [free software movement] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_software) that we’re a part of. And free software isn’t always distributed for free, as we’ve already mentioned before. In other words, it’s an alternative approach to software development and distribution. The model is not perfect and has a lot of drawbacks and nuances, but that’s not what we’re talking about today. As far as we know not so many project users take advantage of this approach right now. But that does not mean that this will not change in the future. The cost of ownership is low enough right now, and on top of that you have complete freedom to install copies of the program. Not many projects try to support three platforms at once: Windows, Mac OS and Linux. Access to the source code means you don’t have to depend on the vendor and can make changes on your own. The open source model implies a collaborative way of development. Because of this, we have lots of ideas for improvement. Thanks to everyone who took part.
Personally, an important advantage of the project for us is the freedom and independence from the manufacturer. This makes the project accessible and interesting to the masses. Little by little we are building up the functionality. We have no other way - either we will make the tool for ourselves, or we will remain on the sidelines of progress. After all, we have no chance to use products of other vendors that are obviously not designed for people like us. We hope other Valentina users feel the same way. After all, they are with us and trying to help us.
As we mentioned at the beginning, criticism should be constructive. You can grumble all you want about an unfair world, big prices, small teams, ungrateful people, etc., but this will not help. It won’t get us any closer to a solution. Instead, we take our lives into our own hands and make the tools we need. And we invite you to join our team and community and together make this world just a little bit better. After all, that is our goal - the process that brings us closer to our ideal. As long as we have a purpose for what we do, no one can stop us. And whether or not to use Valentina is up to you.
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