Scientific Computing World, November 27, 2007
When a product is the most widely used in its market segment, and has developed every aspect of its original brief, where does it go next? The usual answer is that it should, in one of several ways, expand the brief: but exactly how that is done can be problematic. Software bloat, loss of focus and aimless ‘mission creep’ are all very real dangers. Where other related products are also available from the same stable, there is also the danger that in expanding they will undermine each other.
Endnote has, in a series of carefully and strategically staged developments, avoided the dangers. Version X placed it at the edge of a tipping point; release XI takes it over that edge, and the expansion of its brief made it to free-standing maturity. Those developments fall into three main categories: refinement of existing role, adjustment to a changing computing world (embracing XML and Unicode, in particular), and adoption of new functions.