It's all a matter of opinion and personal preference. That may be your
process when searching for a new program (of any kind), but that may not apply to everyone
or even a majority
. In all honesty, whenever I read someone like yourself telling others "how something is done" or such, I can't help but read it as "This is how I
do it, so I just assume it's how everyone else does. So, I'll say that... even if there's no statistics or proof to suggest that. But... it's my opinion, so..." That's not to say it can't
be how a group of people go about it, but it's just one persons opinion until others say the same thing.
Me personally, when I'm looking for a different piece of software to use for various purposes... whether the company looks active or not is somewhat irrelevant, especially at first. If I pull up a products web-page, I don't first look at the news section to see if the last posting was a year ago or check the copyright date on the website. Instead, I'll look at the features
, screenshots, etc. of the program. If it looks like something I would be interested in, or that could do what I need done... I'll give it a shot. It's only when I do go to use it, if I find a bug or a feature I think is missing, etc. that I'll then go to the website and try out Support or check the forum to see if there is active development or community. The only other time I would really factor that in is if the program requires
purchase. If I use a 30-day trial and like the software, but after looking into the company (news section, forum, etc) it looks like it's stalled, abandoned, etc... I'll either live with it or move on. I still use a few abandoned pieces of software to this day (a few of which I found after the fact
I know it's something that I question, but I would feel safe saying that there are others out there that approach the topic similarly. I won't say it's how everyone, or a majority, go about it... but yeah. I also realize that there are some that may look at MediaMonkey's website, get the impression it's "abandoned" (even though I don't really consider a year "abandoned"), and move onto the next product.
Sure, I guess the Dev team could have been putting up a couple "Previews" of MM4 to give people a taste of what is to come (for those that won't venture into the "Development world" so to speak) as well as give an impression that active development is on-going "in the store front"... but eh. I kind of think too, that the only information that should be relayed to "the casual user" is that which is official. If a feature is added, but then rolled back during the development process I think "beta testers" would understand there were reasons for this. The casual user sees this feature touted in a "development blog" or such... then it becomes "Hey, you said this was in, where is it?! You fail!"
I view it this way, products "under development" belong "in the lab" if you will, while the complete official products belong on the store shelves. So if MM's site is the equivalent to a store shelf (since it "sells the product"), MM shouldn't be trying to sell an unfinished product. Now maybe once it hit the RC stage or so, they could've put up some "Coming soon" signs on their windows... if we're going with the store front analogy.
I think I need to conclude my ramble here... otherwise I could go on all day long.