Classic Computer Magazine Archive START VOL. 3 NO. 4 / NOVEMBER 1988


Publishing Partner Professional

A START Preview

by Frank Kliewer

When Publishing Partner first hit the street a year-and-a-half ago; I immediately put it to work in the production of a monthly user group journal. Those first few months were extremely difficult, as I learned the Prime Directive for this program was: "Save your work every few minutes-- or less." Soft-Logik was good about updates and fixes, although even the final version still bombs when least expected. But you can learn to live with anything and despite the hassle, Publishing Partner became a valuable tool and one of my most-used programs.

A few days ago I experienced deja vu. After waiting six months from the first announced release date, I slipped a "Near Release" review beta version of Publishing Partner Professional into my disk drive. I hoped that Soft-Logik had cleaned up the few remaining bugs in Publishing Partner and added some eagerly anticipated additions. I had expected a few rough edges, but what I encountered was pure disappointment. Instead of polishing and extending Publishing Partner's capabilities, Soft-Logik decided to re-invent the wheel and completely rewrote the program. Publishing Partner Professional now looked more like a Mac DTP program (not a change for the better, I feel). But worse, it bombed out almost immediately in virtually every feature I tried.

Bugs And Bombs

Within the first hour of running Professional, it blew up over a dozen times. I gave up keeping track of bugs as I sought something that would actually work. Although there were some promising new features, such as text and object rotation, everything was overshadowed by the bugs and bombs.

Eventually, Soft-Logik will probably clean up Publishing Partner Professional with another series of updates. This is all too reminiscent of the early releases of Publishing Partner and WordPerfect for the ST. I contacted Soft-Logik for information about fixes, but did not hear back from them by press time. And now with many other loyal customers receiving Professional, the phone lines into Soft-Logik are jammed. I can just imagine the things being said.

I'm optimistic, however. I hope to be able to report that Publishing Partner Professional is a totally operational program (and much improved over Publishing Partner) in an upcoming issue of START. Until then, I can only recommend that you see every feature demonstrated successfully before you purchase Publishing Partner Professional.

(Editor's Note: We spoke with Brian Sarrazin, Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Soft-Logik at the end of July. He indicated that the copy being sold now [including our reviewer's] is a "preview" version and that Soft-Logik expects to have a debugged release version of Professional distributed before the end of August. We'll report their progress and publish a full review as soon as the final version is available.)

Frank Kliewer is an Editor of the San Leandro [California] Computer Club Newsletter.

Products Mentioned

Publishing Partner, $89.95; Publishing Partner Professional, $199.95. SoftLogik Corp., P.O. Box 290071, St. Louis, MO 63129, (314) 894-8608.