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The most important point here is that if you are aware of the problem and provide an incredibly lame dialog to deal with it, then you should have just provided the solution. Clearly Apple has all the necessary tools in their possession to fix this problem: they own the source to both Keynote '09 and the latest Keynote. Why not either 1) make a small conversion utility and provide a direct link to it in the dialog (still lazy but at least actionable), or 2) include said utility as part of the latest Keynote so you don't have to show a dialog? We're not talking "backwards compatibility philosophy" here, we're talking user experience 101 (something Apple used to hold in the highest regard). This is particularly important given the context of the software: certain file formats are expected to stick around way longer than others. In particular, with presentation software there are loads of class slides sitting on the internet that probably will never be updated, which means you are often putting the onus on someone who didn't make the file to go and convert it. Compare this to, say, Final Cut where the only real client of the serialized file is probably the original creator, and it is thus more reasonable to expect a higher degree of personal responsibility in keeping it up to date.



#2 isn't viable because it breaks the primary design goal and the entire purpose of Keynote '13--that every presentation opens the same way across desktop, web, and mobile. The Keynote '09 source code does not and never has compiled for ARM, and so you would be faced with exactly the same dialog you have now, except instead of on your Mac it's on your iPad and instead of asking you to find an old version of keynote it asks you to find a Mac.

The great thing about #1 is that if Apple really did leave money on the table here, any third-party developer can collect it. Just put a Mac with two versions of keynote behind a REST endpoint and charge a buck or two per conversion. If you can turn a profit at that, not only do you get the smug satisfaction of clearly winning an internet argument, but also there's a cash prize.

If, however, that sounds like a waste of a perfectly good weekend, an economic bet that is unlikely to pay off, it would be an equal waste of a weekend for an Apple engineer. Apple is not a charity; they are a business that takes calculated risks, and they didn't like this one. Did they miscalculate? If you think so, there is no reason not to fill the gap yourself.


You must be joking. The amount of time that it takes a consumer to build a product is not the same amount of time a paid developer uses to build a software product, and take it through a QA process.

It's ridiculous that you cannot open the previous version of a Pages file in the current version of Pages! What an absolute joke.


When I upgraded my iWorks to '13, it put the old versions in a folder. I can still access Pages '09, Keynote '09, etc.

Did OP delete those old versions? I don't see what the problem is here.


> I do have an installation CD, but I don’t have a CD drive any more.

He got a new machine.


The lack of CD drive has several not very difficult solutions: Get a USB CD drive, use your old computer or a friend's computer make a dmg out of the CD, etc.


It's about the principle. I'm not saying that the problem has no solution, I can convert the files using someone else's computer as you are saying. Why should I get a USB CD drive that I will use only to convert documents that I expect to be readable anyways? Why should I spend time looking for someone with iWork'09 installation and use their time to convert my documents? It is just unacceptable from a company that is proud for user experience of its products. I should be able to do that from my chair, legally, with a download of a conversion tool or with an upload to a conversion service from Apple, not a third-party.

I would not mind buying a floppy drive and all necessary adapters, install Atari ST emulator and write Kamenicky encoding converter in Python to convert 1st World Plus documents from '89 if I had to convert documents of my parents. I would not be complaining about obsolescence of the format at all.

My problem is not technical, it is about user experience and productivity.


You have a cd and (I assume) associated key for a product. The only thing that seems nuts to me is that you can't just download it from apple using said key.


Somehow Apple has been able to port their entire operating system from PPC to Intel to ARM. I think they could manage porting a bit of iWork code.


exactly... they friggin switched CPUs


Two times!

1994 -- switch from Motorola to PowerPC.

2006 -- switch from PowerPC to Intel


It's not about 'can they'. It's about 'should they'.

Can I build a flappy bird clone? Sure. Should I? Hell no. I have more profitable projects to work on given a fixed amount of time and resources.

If you think this is money left on the table, then build the 'small utility' to convert the format yourself. If you make money, huzzah, you were right. If you don't, then you were wrong, and this is a niche use case that isn't worth the investment.


> Just put a Mac with two versions of keynote behind a REST endpoint and charge a buck or two per conversion

That would violate the Keynote license agreement. So, we're back to needing Apple to help out here.

edit: from Section 2A, Permitted License Uses and Restrictions... i) to download, install, use and run for personal, non-commercial use, one (1) copy of the Apple Software directly on each Apple-branded computer running OS X (“Mac Computer”) that you own or control; and (ii) if you are a commercial enterprise or educational institution, to download, install, use and run one (1) copy of the Apple Software for use either: (a) by a single individual on each of the Mac Computer(s) that you own or control, or (b) by multiple individuals on a single shared Mac Computer that you own or control. For example, a single employee may use the Apple Software on both the employee’s desktop Mac Computer and laptop Mac Computer, or multiple students may serially use the Apple Software on a single Mac Computer located at a resource center or library.


> if you are a commercial enterprise or educational institution, to download, install, use and run one (1) copy of the Apple Software for use … by multiple individuals on a single shared Mac Computer that you own or control. For example, … multiple students may serially use the Apple Software on a single Mac Computer located at a resource center or library.

Doesn't that cover the suggested use?


> #2 isn't viable because it breaks the primary design goal and the entire purpose of Keynote '13--that every presentation opens the same way across desktop, web, and mobile.

Except, right now, it doesn't. If that was their primary design goal, than it has not been achieved, because their web version still lacks features that are front and center on the desktop. So, you can't use that as an excuse.


It's not charity to support your old versions. It's customer retention.


This is just the way Apple has always been. Keep up or fall behind. They're not focused on providing backwards compatibility.

They leave the door open to losing customers to companies like Microsoft with these kinds of decisions. But that's the choice they made.


How is that a viable model for the users?

I can keep up with my system and applications just fine, but are you saying that I have to re-visit my archive of past documents with each new keynote version, and re-open & re-save them all?


What's nice is that you often don't realize you need a document from several years ago until you've already upgraded through two or three computers, none of which have the (non-app-store) older versions of the software. You thought backing up your data was enough when upgrading computers and installed apps as needed to avoid bloat and clutter.

It doesn't even degrade gracefully. Pages tosses out a lot of formatting and embedded media from earlier documents, which has pushed us to eliminate iWork from our 'productivity' apps.


If I were Apple, right now I'd be more concerned with losing customers to Android devices.

Case in point: we have an iPad here that is still on the iOS 5 generation it came with. It has been widely reported that iOS 6 was slower (as well as breaking things like Google Maps), iOS 7 was slower still (as well as making various visual styling changes we don't like) and both iOS 6 and iOS 7 have suffered at least one severe security flaw that iOS 5 did not have. In short, there appears to be no rational reason we would "upgrade" this device as we are repeatedly prompted to do.

Recently, Apple appears to have changed the rules for app developers so new things going into the app store have to aim primarily at iOS 7. At some point we upgraded an app we'd bought a while ago to get some much-plugged new feature that someone thought was interesting. Aside from the fact that the new feature itself turned out to be paywalled anyway, so the upgrade invitation for the app was basically just spam abusing the app store mechanism, the "upgraded" app also had a horribly glitchy UI where previously it had been smooth as silk drawing exactly the same screens.

Can we "downgrade" that app back to something that works, which we already had before, via the app store or otherwise? No, it doesn't seem so.

If we "upgraded" iOS itself, as suggested to fix the app (though we've seen no reports that doing so does in fact fix this app), could we then "downgrade" again if we didn't like it? Also no, as far as we can tell.

As it happens, we need to have Apple devices around for testing our web stuff, so we're stuck with spending some of our company money on new gear now and then for as long as our customers are doing the same, and we're stuck with using more recent versions of iOS on some devices for the same reason. But at this point, nothing would ever convince me to spend my own money on an iSomething. I was always suspicious of the lock-in and kindergarten UI, and seeing it in action, the results are at least as bad as I expected.

What is possibly more interesting is that it seems average users are getting fed up as well. Not so long ago, mobile visits to a site I run that isn't particularly geek-related were utterly dominated by iOS devices. Today, while iOS still represents a clear majority, it is a much closer balance between iOS and Android, and the trend is strongly in the latter's direction. I can't help wondering whether this is people who've now been not-upgraded to more recent versions one time too many, or who've been forced to dump expensive and otherwise working hardware for artificial software reasons, starting to vote with their wallets.


It is a good point and I agree with you it can be annoying to be forced to upgrade perfectly good software. But it does cut both ways. Legacy support is generally good for customers, but a burden for developers.

As far as development and having to spend money on hardware, though, I'd say Android is far worse than Apple in that regard. Android still has nearly half of devices running 2.x and the screen sizes are all over the map. We write and support native apps for both Apple and Android and we have far more Android devices laying around for testing than we do Apple devices.



I'm no fan of the move-fast-and-break-stuff philosophy of software development either, for what it's worth. I think system software, and other "platform" products like browsers, benefit from long term stability a lot more than they benefit from mixing up bug fixes, security patches, minor adjustments, API breaking changes, and any other stuff they feel like putting in this time, all without any grown-up version control or offering any sort of reliable foundation on which other things can be built.

I think it is deeply regrettable that certain parts of the industry have moved in that direction, and Android is a fine example (as is almost anything else Google makes). That said, it's still preferable to Apple, who move fast, break stuff, and then won't even let you fix it by moving back again.


> Can we "downgrade" that app back to something that works, which we already had before, via the app store or otherwise?

Yes, if you plan ahead. Keep the .ipa files, those can be loaded onto the phone via iTunes.

If you've upgraded iOS, you can also downgrade that. It's a pain, you need to get the .ipsw file and store some sort of activation code.

Is this more or less of a pain than on the desktop? Well, if you want to downgrade an app on the desktop, you'll need to keep the old installer around. Same thing with an OS, you'll need to wipe and reinstall everything from the old OS installer.

It's more unexpected on iOS, because generally you never need to deal with installers, but I don't think it's more painful. It's just more painful by contrast, since upgrading is so nice on iOS.


It should be noted that downgrading iOS is not supported by Apple and you need third party tools to save a signature code to emulate Apple's signing servers




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