Here, is the results of the surveys as of 27th July 1997 By no means is this a statistical analysis and is provide for the general interest value. Compiled from 14 responses for survey 1 and 10 for survey 2..


Lightsoft 1997 questionnaire #1 results so far...

5. Current machine:
This is interesting. We would have expected a wide variety of machines to appear here. In reality, most people seem to have reasonably high end machines, with most respondents using PowerMacs and/or Quadras. Brand wise, it's nearly Apple all the way. Very few clone machines have been reported.

6. Future planned machine:
In almost all cases it's a PowerMac with at least 32 Megs. High speed but cheap 603's featuring prominently. One respondent quoted an Amiga 3000T.

7. IDE's you've worked with:
As you might expect, these were MPW, MW, Symantec and VC++.

7a. What you like about them:
In most cases, it was the visual representation of the project and that most operations could be performed from the single window.

7b. What you don't like about them:
Expensive. Unreliable.

8. Are facilities more important than speed and size:
Most respondents reported that facilities were more important than size but opinion is divided over whether at the expense of speed.

9.. Do you have a need for security in your projects:
Most respondents have said "No". No one has replied with a definite "yes".

10. What type of programs do you write:
Responses here ranged from learning to emulation through general purpose apps to games.

11. Facilities you like in an editor:
Every body had a different response here! The most common "comment" was multiple undo.

12. What would you consider to be the virtues of a good debugger:
Here are the top three responses:
1. Bug free!
2. The ability to jump to source on error.
3. Usable data examination and monitoring facilities.
3a. That breakpoints work (as one respondent put it "Stop when I say stop!").

13. Are you interested in writing your own tools (for example high level language translators):
The results here are split three ways: yes, no and maybe.

14. It takes an amazing stroke of genius to realize that interpreted languages are multi-platform. So, do you think that byte coded interpreted languages (i.e. Java, p-code etc.) are just a marketing ploy or do you believe that processors are now powerful enough that we should go back to this form of running? Would you?:
Nearly every respondent said "no" although some also said they would evaluate the situation as time went on. One affirmative reply. The main reason most people gave for saying no was the speed and memory requirements.

15. If a Fantasm user - what you like and don't like about it:
Most people liked the CD player and colouring options first and foremost. Documentation came a close second.

File paths.
No undo.
Integration clunky.

16. How do you rate customer support in the software industry in general:
Most people cited the Internet and WWW as improving support and response times.
Some also stated that irc, newsgroups etc. were valuable.

17. How do you rate our customer support. Could we do anything to improve it:
Most respondents were impressed with our support and response times.

Suggestions to improve support ranged from telephone support to on-line chats.

Lightsoft 1997 survey #2 - Results so far...


5a. Installed RAM (physical):

This ranged from 16 to 128 Mb's. The average was 32 Mb's.

7. If you are currently writing in PowerPC assembly language, or planning to in the future, would you be interested in "back end" optimisers designed to handle instruction scheduling for you? For example, trying to remove pipeline bubbles and stalls. (Please bear in mind that there are many arguments for and against this at an assembly language level).
This has raised many different opinions. All respondents however were in favour of it, as long as it could be controlled via directives - on and off.

7a. If you answered "yes" to (7) would you prefer the optimisation be done at the source file or binary level?
Almost 75% of respondents would prefer the scheduling done at the source level, maybe with an "off-line" tool.

8. If a profiler were to become available for future versions of Fantasm, would you use it?
Many people left this question unanswered. Those that did answer answered yes.

9. Would you use networked building capabilities? For example, running two assemblers simultaneously on two networked machines?
A resounding no to this one.

10. With the advent of speedy 8086 emulators on PowerMacs would you be interested in writing 8086 assembler in future versions of Fantasm?
A lot of respondents found this interesting. Just a few giving a definite "no".

11. Would you use a generic based assembly language to hit multiple platforms with? For example, a dialect of 68k assembly language which could then be assembled for 68k, PowerPC and 8086 targets?
No, most people said they'd use C.

12. Would you prefer a debugger that completely takes over your machine, or one that acts and behaves as per a normal Mac (i.e. GUI driven) application?
80% of respondents said they'd prefer the "take over" the machine version. The funniest response was "Yes, definitely".

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