(I have sent this as an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
. If anyone has any other suggestions - please PM me and let me know.)
Dear Ableton development community,
I've been using Ableton Live as my primary studio production and live performance tool from the very beginning: Version 1. I remember the days before we had MIDI. I've had various complaints about the software over the years, but mostly I've just loved using Live. I think it is a fantastic, ground-breaking piece of software, and I look forward to many happy years to come.
However, I find myself deeply troubled by the change you've made to the clip coloring options. It's not because I don't like the new behavior; it's not useful for me at the moment, but I can imagine finding ways that it will be. Rather, I'm disturbed by the fact that you *removed* a feature that I and many others have integrated into our workflow - the ability to have each new clip be assigned a new color.
It's not a question of whether the current or previous situation is better - because it's not an either/or choice. It's a matter of principle: I believe very strongly that Ableton should not remove features when upgrading the software whenever possible. In this case, it seems obvious that you could have added the current behavior as a new option - extending existing functionality - rather than removing one functionality when adding another. There's ample room on the preferences panel, after all. And, there have been several excellent suggestions from users commenting on the poll thread of ways to implement the current new behavior while keeping the old one (in addition to further color controls that would also be straightforward to implement if you really want to improve the clip coloring functionality).
As I try to understand the motivations behind this change, it occurs to me that either ignorance or arrogance (or both) could be responsible for the way it was implemented:
Ignorance: Perhaps you not aware of the vast scope of the use cases of the software. You've made such an open ended creative tool, and this is undoubtably one of the great things about Live. You may need to do more outreach and learn more about incredible variety of ways people are using the software. Don't make changes that would seriously harm workflows that have been developed for years around existing features. This will alienate and anger the core of your most long-time, faithful users.
Arrogance: Or perhaps you do know how folks are using Live in such a myriad of ways, but you've choosen not to care for one reason or another - be it a business model decision, or a desire to shape development in a particular direction regardless of whether it hurts some users. I think it's fair to shape development by your choices of what new features to add, but surely you can attempt do this without removing features. In this case, had you attempted this, it seems pretty clear that you could have done it easily and gracefully, without impacting performance or the simplicity of the user interface.
Some of us may remember various times in Live's growth history when features were removed, and the community demanded they be reinstated. This is another one of these cases, and I hope you'll listen.
However, even deeper than this particular case is the principle behind upgrading and adding features. My confidence in the future of this software has been shaken, knowing that with any future update a feature I've relied on for my own use cases could simply be removed. I think you've made a mistake here, and I request that you correct it in the next update by working out a way to give us both the new and old options. Furthermore, I'd also like to request that you offer a pledge to your user community that you will do your best to retain all legacy functionality as you continue to develop the software.
Thanks for reading and considering these suggestions.