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stuckupmyownera
10-12-2009, 02:39 PM
What are the benefits of FD8? Any downfalls? Is it worth my 50?

icerose
10-12-2009, 06:23 PM
Depends I suppose, what are you currently using?

I'm using Final Draft 6. It works just fine. If I ever have a job where I have to have Final Draft 8 or Movie Magic whatever's latest version, then I would upgrade. For things like file sharing and what not.

But it's not like my version is obsolete.

ComicBent
10-13-2009, 12:20 AM
I agree with icerose.

For various reasons I have FD versions 6, 7, and 8 all on my computer, and the last two versions of MMS.

But if you have FD 6 or better and you are happy with it, no need to upgrade. If someone sends you a FD8 script, you can open it in version 6 if the writer has saved it in the older *.fdr format. Version 8 will save in its new *.fdx format by default. The file size is larger in version 8 (I do not know why).

Software companies put out upgrades mainly to make money.

nmstevens
10-24-2009, 05:16 PM
What are the benefits of FD8? Any downfalls? Is it worth my 50?


Generally, FD upgrades aren't earth-shattering, and they also have the decided disadvantage of tending to be very buggy, at least to start with.

So I would never advise anybody to switch up to a new version of Final Draft early in the game - because they definitely operate in the "Windows" mode -- which is to put out a semi-incomplete" version and essentially use the first generation of buyers as their second generation of Beta testers. Then, when the complaints come in, they put out the patches and fix what's broken and after six months or so, you'll have a version that's reasonably stable and bug-free.

But even then -- unless there's some advertised feature in the new version that you're really desperate to have (and every so often they come up with something) -- there's usually no particular reason to buy up.

I'm still slogging along with FD-5 -- and I suppose, since I've reached the point where I have to operate with the disk in the drive since they no longer even support the thing, that I should upgrade, I still haven't bothered.

I'll probably just pick up a cheap copy of an earlier version rather than going with 8.

NMS

ComicBent
10-25-2009, 08:31 PM
I argued above that upgrading is not necessary.

But, on the other hand, if you are several versions behind, maybe it is good to catch up. Every once in a while it is good to do that.

Final Draft 8 uses a new file format by default. You can still save in the older .fdr format, but you know that sooner or later you will have trouble because of the new .fdx format, which an older version cannot read. Somebody will send you a script in .fdx, and then you will have to ask the person to send it in .fdr.

Of course, if you really never do anything but send out, you can continue to get by with FD5 ... but you can see the possibility for trouble down the road.

Why did they change the format? They would probably give you some technical reasons. I don't know; I have not heard the explanation, if they have given one. It might have to do with Unicode or some such consideration.

But of course the change also serves as an inducement to upgrade, and that benefits Final Draft.

FD8 looks nice and seems to work well. The only "problem" that I have encountered is that I am not able to drop a file onto the FD8 desktop icon to make the program open and load the file. The program opens, but the file does not load. I am able, however, to drop a file onto the open program, and the file loads. Normally I just double-click on the file in a directory listing to open it anyway, so this is not an inconvenience for me.

stuckupmyownera
10-25-2009, 09:32 PM
Thanks all. I do like the look of a couple of the features, but I think I'll wait a while longer.

nmstevens
10-29-2009, 07:13 PM
I argued above that upgrading is not necessary.

But, on the other hand, if you are several versions behind, maybe it is good to catch up. Every once in a while it is good to do that.

Final Draft 8 uses a new file format by default. You can still save in the older .fdr format, but you know that sooner or later you will have trouble because of the new .fdx format, which an older version cannot read. Somebody will send you a script in .fdx, and then you will have to ask the person to send it in .fdr.

Of course, if you really never do anything but send out, you can continue to get by with FD5 ... but you can see the possibility for trouble down the road.

Why did they change the format? They would probably give you some technical reasons. I don't know; I have not heard the explanation, if they have given one. It might have to do with Unicode or some such consideration.

But of course the change also serves as an inducement to upgrade, and that benefits Final Draft.

FD8 looks nice and seems to work well. The only "problem" that I have encountered is that I am not able to drop a file onto the FD8 desktop icon to make the program open and load the file. The program opens, but the file does not load. I am able, however, to drop a file onto the open program, and the file loads. Normally I just double-click on the file in a directory listing to open it anyway, so this is not an inconvenience for me.

I suspect that the new file format falls into the same category as FD's decision to stop supporting earlier drafts of their own program (even though they charge for technical support).

It's to encourage you buy their new program.

I mean, in terms of code -- given the fact that Final Draft itself is still fundamentally doing exactly the same thing that it did ten years ago, why would it have been necessary to fundamentally rewrite the code to produce a different kind of file -- especially since FD8 can take their .fdx files and turn them into .fdr files and vice versa.

So obviously, the program could just write them initially as .fdr files and leave it at that.

So why do it?

They want to make it user-*unfriendly* to earlier versions of Final Draft.

And it won't be a surprise at all if, a generation or so down the line, the capacity to translate to .fdr files somehow vanishes altogether -- or you need a separate add-on that's a different program. To make it even less convenient.

And while your experience with 8 may be fine -- that was likewise true with 5 -- a lot of people had no problems with it. But that was cold comfort to me, given that my version, working on my particular computer, kept freezing and crashing.

Same thing with Vista -- a lot of people had no problems with it -- a lot of people had a lot of problems with it.

That's often the way these things work (or don't).

NMS

ComicBent
10-29-2009, 08:34 PM
I did some research. It took about three minutes with Google.

If you Google *finaldraft .fdx*, you get some interesting links.

The *.fdx format is an XML format. Supposedly, using this format helps the program work with some other programs, because those programs can implement a "Save As ... FinalDraft version of XML."

If you want to know more about XML, you can find it in Wikipedia.

BenPanced
10-29-2009, 10:39 PM
Depends I suppose, what are you currently using?

I'm using Final Draft 6. It works just fine. If I ever have a job where I have to have Final Draft 8 or Movie Magic whatever's latest version, then I would upgrade. For things like file sharing and what not.

But it's not like my version is obsolete.
Support for Final Draft 6 will be discontinued on Dec. 23. (http://www.finaldraft.com/support/software/index.php)

nmstevens
10-29-2009, 11:12 PM
I did some research. It took about three minutes with Google.

If you Google *finaldraft .fdx*, you get some interesting links.

The *.fdx format is an XML format. Supposedly, using this format helps the program work with some other programs, because those programs can implement a "Save As ... FinalDraft version of XML."

If you want to know more about XML, you can find it in Wikipedia.


The question is -- if you're writing in screenplay format -- in FD, what are these other programs that you're moving to and back where you need to retain your screenplay format?

That is, you can save FD documents as pdf files now. You can always import anything as text and can always import other FD documents.

And FD has always been compatible with various scheduling and budgeting programs, so it's not as if xml files are necessary for that.

They are definitely not creating a situation where other competitors, like Scriptwriter are going to be able to save a formatted screenplay as a Final Draft file. Anybody who knows FD knows that that's not happening.

So what are these other programs that FD is now going to be able to shake hands with? So, if for instance, you happen to have written a screenplay in Word you can now save it as an .fdx file?

That is, if you have the right version of Word (or whatever other program) you'll be able to pass files back and forth, but meanwhile the .fdx file you've saved won't be readable by everybody else in the world who has an earlier version of Final Draft -- unless you make a habit of saving every script you write and send it out as both an fdx (to the handful of people who can read it) and as an fdr file (for virtually everybody else)?

Boy, isn't that useful.

NMS

author
12-03-2009, 09:55 PM
I just upgraded from FinalDraft 7 (which I've had and used for a couple of years) to FinalDraft 8 and am very pleased. But then I'm a techie and like new data format.

It's always good to update whether you understand why you should are not. Computers change rapidly and sometimes what goes on under the hood of your software benefits by upgrading.

Anyway, I did it and I'm not giving it back.

--Ralph

ComicBent
01-15-2010, 09:07 PM
The question is -- if you're writing in screenplay format -- in FD, what are these other programs that you're moving to and back where you need to retain your screenplay format?

Here is what FinalDraft says on the matter:

Programs that use the FinalDraft .fdx format
(http://www.finaldraft.com/company/technology-partners.php)

nmstevens
01-21-2010, 06:02 PM
Here is what FinalDraft says on the matter:

Programs that use the FinalDraft .fdx format
(http://www.finaldraft.com/company/technology-partners.php)

So some of the programs just with Tagger, some just with FD. 7, some just work with FD. 8, some work with a combination of them. So I still don't see the advantage when, so far as I can see, the purpose of an upgrade is to expand what a program can do, especially when they sacrifice something as basic, as core, and as fundamental as creating an entire generation of files -- fdx files, that will be unreadable by every prior generation of their own software -- for what *expansion* of potential? So that FD can shake hands with an application that lets you write screenplays or read them on an ipod? Or connect to some other marginally useful software program?

But meanwhile, you've got your little script in fdx and the fifty people you need to send it to -- may only three or four of them have FD 8, so what good is the format if they can't read it?

NMS

icerose
01-21-2010, 07:04 PM
Support for Final Draft 6 will be discontinued on Dec. 23. (http://www.finaldraft.com/support/software/index.php)

Obsolete as in, I can't write proper script in it anymore. Or people can't read the formatting it's saved in.

I can and they can. I never used support anyway for my final draft so it's not like I'm at a great loss.

Eventually I'll upgrade, but only when I have to.

nmstevens
01-22-2010, 10:54 PM
Obsolete as in, I can't write proper script in it anymore. Or people can't read the formatting it's saved in.

I can and they can. I never used support anyway for my final draft so it's not like I'm at a great loss.

Eventually I'll upgrade, but only when I have to.

Well, most likely "obsolete" the way FD5 is obsolete even though I still use it.

Which is, when my old computer, which had FD5 activated finally died, I could still use FD5 on my laptop, which is where I use it, but I couldn't activate it any more.

And it isn't activated. I can only use it by putting the original FD5 disk into the drive to activate it.

That's because Final Draft will only let you activate (or reactivate) even a legit copy of their software online. And if they no longer support a version of the software -- guess what? That means that they no longer provide the means to activate it on line.

And I'm betting that that will mean that you'll no longer be able to use their on-line activation if you have a system crash or need to move FD from one computer to another.

You'll either have to rely on a disk or upgrade to whatever the next legit generation is.

I remember when they let you have like three activations so you could actually put a copy on your main computer and one on your laptop and you had a spare just in case you had a crash and you didn't have to bother with all of this nonsense.

Software issues aside, they really have become almost militantly customer-unfriendly as time has gone on.

NMS

icerose
01-23-2010, 03:02 AM
Well, most likely "obsolete" the way FD5 is obsolete even though I still use it.

Which is, when my old computer, which had FD5 activated finally died, I could still use FD5 on my laptop, which is where I use it, but I couldn't activate it any more.

And it isn't activated. I can only use it by putting the original FD5 disk into the drive to activate it.

That's because Final Draft will only let you activate (or reactivate) even a legit copy of their software online. And if they no longer support a version of the software -- guess what? That means that they no longer provide the means to activate it on line.

And I'm betting that that will mean that you'll no longer be able to use their on-line activation if you have a system crash or need to move FD from one computer to another.

You'll either have to rely on a disk or upgrade to whatever the next legit generation is.

I remember when they let you have like three activations so you could actually put a copy on your main computer and one on your laptop and you had a spare just in case you had a crash and you didn't have to bother with all of this nonsense.

Software issues aside, they really have become almost militantly customer-unfriendly as time has gone on.

NMS

Then I guess it's a very good thing I saved the entire program after the registration onto my thumb drive. My kids had cracked the disc and so I had no other choice but to take the whole program as a copy so I could use it on both my lappy and my desktop.

movieman
03-12-2010, 11:15 AM
That's because Final Draft will only let you activate (or reactivate) even a legit copy of their software online. And if they no longer support a version of the software -- guess what? That means that they no longer provide the means to activate it on line.

FD6 doesn't need activation, so that's not an issue. It also runs in Linux, whereas I'm guessing that the compulsory activation in FD7 and above will prevent it from doing so.

If I'd known that FD7 required activation I'd never have bought the upgrade, and I wrote to Final Draft to tell them that I wasn't buying FD8 because of the number of times my copy of FD7 had decided to 'deactivate' itself requiring either a game of phone tag with their office or a day's wait for their email support to fix it.

The actual software is pretty good, but as you say, they've become extremely customer-unfriendly in recent years. These days I point people towards Celtx instead if they're looking for scriptwriting software because I don't want the complaints when they buy Final Draft and find it keeps deactivating itself.