approg Community Member Posts: 258 ♪ Opening Act ♪
When I look through the code that Lectora produces I see:
  • artefacts from "last century"
  • references to Internet Explorer 8 (which came in in 2009 and was superseded by IE 9 in 2011)
  • deprecated and other unnecessary JavaScript functions
and I wonder how many people are using Lectora 16, 17 or 18 and don't use a modern browser (anything less than 2 years old)? Surely Trivantis could "draw a line in the sand" and architecture a process where over a year or so the published code could be modernised - "Dear faithful users, after today Lectora will no longer support IE 8, 9, or 10, Chrome 60, Firefox 60..."

Then maybe we can get away from things like HTML Extensions that result in a DIV wrapping an Anchor wrapping an IFRAME (when just an IFRAME should be sufficient) or using tables to arrange text in a text block.


  • sirwise23
    sirwise23 Community Member Posts: 441 ☆ Roadie ☆
    Agreed.  Especially now with the abilty to do a HTML5 only publish.   There are many times I go into the code after a publish to clean things up.  This is fine for isolated things I work on but would never work for a company as a whole.


    The reality is that some of the stuff that is published doesn't work in IE9 for example even with compatibilty mode and such.

    If they don't draw a line in the sand, then at least clicking on the new HTML5 only option I would imagine should clean all this up since HTML5 doesn't work in anything but these newer browsers anyway.
  • klaatu
    klaatu Community Member Posts: 986 ☆ Roadie ☆

    Although I'm barely in the game anymore, we keep Lectora around for updates and fixing third party content.

    If Lectora doesn't climb out of the tar pits and get to following web standards it too will go the way of the dinosaur. It's a shame because it was a leader when ToolBook fell. I'd really like to see it shine again but it would take such a tremendous re-write that SkillSoft would probably just kill Lectora and come out with a different application altogether.

    It's nice to see some old friends. Hope you're all doing well.
  • approg
    approg Community Member Posts: 258 ♪ Opening Act ♪
    I wouldn't do a complete rewrite (remember what happened to Netscape when they did a complete rewrite for Netscape 6 - it killed it.) Better to look where you need Lectora to be and then make multiple incremental improvements with each improvement thoroughly validated before you proceed to the next. For example:
    1. which browsers do we need to support? IE 11+ ok drop all code related to anything lower
    2. Is the new sync pointing for audio interface working well? No, let's get a UI person and redesign it better and then test it on users before releasing a new version.
    3. Do we still need to wrap text in DIVs and Anchors and TABLEs to get the layouts we let users design? No, how can this be done better...
  • mnotermans5114
    mnotermans5114 Community Member Posts: 916 ☆ Roadie ☆
    Saddest to me is that we were saying things like this from when Lectora 17 came and probably before it... to me it doesnot look like Trivantis listens really well to its long time users....
  • approg
    approg Community Member Posts: 258 ♪ Opening Act ♪
    Sad indeed.

    Maybe it's like a gym where only real effort is to get new members signed up for a year - with the full knowledge that most of them won't attend after a few weeks :-(
  • _
    _ Community Member Posts: 82 ☆ Roadie ☆
    It would be awesome to have some kind of Reddit-like feature request tracker where users (longtime and otherwise) could submit and vote on feature requests, and get live tracking on status and resolution: https://featureupvote.com/

    There's so much to be gained by really opening up the dialogue channels between users and developers - particularly those users who are digging through the nitty-gritty of the software and running up against quirks, bugs and other shortcomings on a more than daily basis.

    I'm no software dev (in practice - I did study it) but the L18 changelist seems arse-about and I feel some easy "quick wins" were overlooked. I don't care about things like audio waveforms or stock buttons - for me it's all about usability and efficiency. I wanna spend less time grappling with tools and more time pumping out great learning content.

    (I'm also never going to use pre-packaged templates or stock assets, and someone please take my job away from me if I ever use one of those dorky cut-out characters in a course... with extremely cheap access to resources like VectorStock and NounProject they just don't stack up anymore.)

    I am a one-man development band spanning a heap of tools and Lectora is by FAR the weakest link in my workflow from a UX and efficiency perspective.

    This makes me extremely sad due to Lectora's incredible potential to create heavy-hitting bespoke courseware... but reality bites and I can only spend so many hours in a day wrangling with seriously elementary UX issues that have no clear roadmap to ever being resolved.

    For now I've got no reason to upgrade to the newest version, and am starting to explore other options. A real shame when there is such a wealth of on-the-ground user knowledge and feedback to be reaped here.
  • klaatu
    klaatu Community Member Posts: 986 ☆ Roadie ☆
    If lectora put out standard web content (real HTML5) it would be the best of both worlds. Those of us who know web development would be able to use the app as it was intended, as a rapid authoring tool. We could then style and control it to our hearts content. Those who are not as savvy with web design would still be able to do everything they can now. Think of it as a shell that handles all the boring SCORM communication.

    This would require a huge re-write. for instance, responsive design. If the developers decide against using CSS GRID, they could do something like Bootstrap Studio for responsive design. Either of these would give intermediate and advanced users complete control over everything regarding responsive content and would always remain browser compatible moving forward. The pseudo responsive design the application uses now is infuriating to work with, buggy at best and I believe unsustainable as technology progresses.

    Styling. Separate CSS has been around since 1994. Need I say more? Also, someone needs to tell SkillSoft that using SVG should have made output lighter and more accessible to end users. They added weight (graphics are still there last time I looked) and layers and layers deep make manipulation more difficult. The only thing I can think of is that it is on purpose for proprietary reasons. These things make this a beginner/novice application with limitations. There are no limitations in web design; you're only limited by your ability.

    Instead of changing the programming to be more web like as the web progressed, this application held it's ground and now it is so convoluted in it's processing that because of the way everything effects everything else a total re-write would be necessary. I'm sure this would mean either the death of Lectora OR a new application (something like Lectora Online, perhaps - I haven't tried it and doubt I will) that can be sold as new for a new revenue stream.

    Because of the way Lectora works, I have serious doubts that it will be able to keep up and remain compatible in the coming years as web design and browsers progress further. At this point, starting with a boilerplate, using a scormwrapper and having a library of re-usable JavaScript functions for question types, Audio and Video is strong competition to not only Lectora but Articulates offerings as well. With all this said, I'd still love to see Lectora change and output real HTML5 (HTML, CSS and JavaScript).

    Disclaimer of sorts. Although you may feel I'm trashing the application, it is not my intention. We just re-upped three new licenses, which was not cheap, so I feel I have the right to opine. Skillsoft/Trivantis or whatever they go by now, would be best off listening to the advanced loyal patrons (they know who know they are), many of which are more skilled than myself, and take heed.
  • approg
    approg Community Member Posts: 258 ♪ Opening Act ♪
    I just saw Bootstrap Studio for the first time and I got to say that it looks like it would "scare" the majority of elearning developers that only really know PowerPoint. Having said that there's a lot about it that I like and will be using in my other work.

    No doubt Lectora's perennial problem is "How many more sales will X amount of work generate?" Doing a complete rebuild would take at least a year to do properly: identifying market; functional design spec; UI design; UI testing; coding; graphic design; testing; training manuals; web site...
  • _
    _ Community Member Posts: 82 ☆ Roadie ☆
    Would like to echo this sentiment:
    Disclaimer of sorts. Although you may feel I’m trashing the application, it is not my intention. We just re-upped three new licenses, which was not cheap, so I feel I have the right to opine.
    The frustrations I have come from a sincere passion for Lectora. I would truly prefer not to move to another less powerful platform but I feel at some point the cons will start to outweigh the pros.

    As the ancient Chinese proverb goes: "I'm not angry, I'm just disappointed."
  • approg
    approg Community Member Posts: 258 ♪ Opening Act ♪
    One point in Lectora's defence, I've been asked to embed the HTML5 interaction we have into a Storyline 3 project. I thought that, as it works well in Lectora, that it would be trivial to do. Alas, Web Objects (equivalent to Lectora's HTML Extensions) cannot be previewed. I need to publish the project and then upload it to a server.

    So to check if messages between the two are being sent/received correctly I'm wasting time having to upload (it would be nice if IT gave me access to the server), clearing my cache...

    What a PITA. How hard would it have been to include a server for preview as Lectora currently does?

    (And I'm not yet sure if the HTML5 interaction can be automatically included within a published Storyline project.)
  • mnotermans5114
    mnotermans5114 Community Member Posts: 916 ☆ Roadie ☆
    Talking about sales.. today got a mail from 'Team Lectora' with these sentences in it...

    'Back Charges on the Back Burner?
    We Understand. You're in Luck.'

    Back Charges? Back Charges? Come on... they should refund us for any time spent in Lectora 17.
    And probably refund anyone who has paid for Lectora 18 till its somewhat solid..
  • approg
    approg Community Member Posts: 258 ♪ Opening Act ♪
    Team Lectora? I wonder if they'll tell us how many people make up Team Lectora: how many coders; how many designers; how many testers... I'll be surprised if the number is greater than 3 ;-)
  • carlfink
    carlfink Community Member Posts: 1,099 ✭ Legend ✭
    I met more than 3 at the same Florida conference where I met Math. You're thinking they've shrunk the team?