Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Partner 728x90

Collapse

A note for the people who manage NinajTrader development

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    A note for the people who manage NinajTrader development

    Ninjatrader is way behind the times as far as usability and basic features.

    For example, all annotations on a chart are lost when the window is closed. This is a basic feature of just about any chart program.

    I honestly don't see how the NinjaTrader product management can neglect such mandatory features. It's as if the management doesn't even use any other trading software.

    The extremely unstandard menu structure is another example. Create a new strategy by using Tools -> Strategies yet use a tool such as strategy analyzer by New -> Strategy Analyzer. It's completely counter-intuitive.

    Another example is the modal dialogs. Anyone who's done any user interface programming knows that modal dialogs are only to be used for very serious dialogs requiring attention. This is very disruptive for my workspace. I've always got Ninjatrader windows on top of my desktop and I can't get rid of them. Try running Strategy Optimizer, you have this modal window for an hour. The data box is another example. Why do we need a data box? That info should be displayed on the chart.

    Every time I compile my strategy I have to click OK on a dialog that says my strategy is compiled. How useful is that? I don't know of any programming environment which does this.

    Seriously, it's as if the product development team hasn't used any other software. As if NinjaTrader has been developed in a cave, full of people who don't trade. Even QuoteTracker which is $7/month as is developed with Delphi many years ago, it has a better interface and better standard features. It's intuitive.

    I find myself using QuoteTracker for my charting and using Ninjatrader exclusively for backtesting, and hopefully some day live trading.

    It's really a shame that NinjaTrader suffers from these problems. The support staff is the best I've seen of any trading product. The support forums contain tons of useful information.

    Which reminds me, finding things in the forums is extremely difficult because there search words must have more than 3 characters, and because when you mess up, say by searching "log", you have to wait 20 seconds to search again! This is so frustrating.

    Sorry to rant but these issues are all unacceptable for a software at this price.

    Hopefully these issues will be addressed with something other than "Thank you for the comments we'll forward these to the team." Instead of adding new features, make the ones you have usable.

    Thanks

    #2
    This is the President, I have read your suggestions and I appreciate the time it took and the thought that has went into this. We have incorporated many things in NT7 and I hope you will find that some of things you have mentioned have been addressed. You can expect a beta release in Q1 09.
    RayNinjaTrader Customer Service

    Comment


      #3
      Intuitive Interface

      Actually I found that NT interface is very intuitive. What I am looking for is for the more flexibility in handling erros coming back from the exchange. Could you provide referce sample of typical error handling, say order was rejected on the echange, that would require order resubmission etc.

      Comment


        #4
        We have on our list a lot more reference samples in dealing with more complex issues, rejection handling is one of them.
        RayNinjaTrader Customer Service

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by NinjaTrader_Ray View Post
          This is the President, I have read your suggestions and I appreciate the time it took and the thought that has went into this. We have incorporated many things in NT7 and I hope you will find that some of things you have mentioned have been addressed. You can expect a beta release in Q1 09.
          Hi Ray I didn't know you were the president. That's pretty cool that you're active in the forums. I have confidence that NT will become a great product. It's just frustrating knowing that it's so close. The reason I'm sticking with NT so far is because of the superior support.

          Good luck with the next release, I can't wait to try the beta.

          Comment


            #6
            I can second some of these. I never understood why NT can't just emit a beep when something compiled successfully rather than force me to click on a dialog box.

            There are other serious deficiencies that need to be addressed, and I hope that they are addressed in NT7:
            • No support for my own bar intervals. I have a strategy that works best on 4-minute bars, for example, and another on 240-minute bars. Trivial in my 9-year-old TradeStation, but no way to implement that in NT.
            • No support for user-defined data history streams. If I want to use, say, daily advancing issues as one of my historical data series, I should be able to import it just like stock or futures prices. Data files are inexplicably restricted to Date/Time;Open;High;Low;Close;Volume. No support for comma-delimited data (it's suprising that a platform running on Microsoft .NET doesn't read the simplest Microsoft .csv format), and data file names also have bizarre requirements. External data handling is, in my view, NT's biggest impediment.
            • Related to that, no support for open interest.
            • As far as I can tell, I can't perform optimizations on arbitrary user-defined quality measurements without a lot of coding on my part. This would be trivial, if my strategy could simply update a public optimizer property with my own calculated result.
            • No support for plotting values in the future. Makes it hard to develop indicators and strategies that rely on projections and forecasts.
            • It would also be nice to control the width of individal bars rather than just color.
            That said, I don't agree that the menu structure is a problem. The menus aren't complicated, and it didn't take me long to become accustomed to them.

            I fully agree that one of the best things about NT is the support staff and this forum.

            And cunparis, the 4-character forum search requirement is an aspect of MySQL used by this forum software. It's the MySQL default, but can be reduced to 2 or 3 simply by changing a configuration variable.

            Lastly, about the price. The deficiencies I have identified make me less inclined to purchase the software. However, I wholeheartedly support the "backtest for free, pay to go live" pricing model. That's an innovative pricing approach that sets an excellent example for the rest of the trading software industry. It's a win-win. A potential customer like me gains extensive experience on NinjaTrader without a time limit, and the NT development team gets my feedback for improvements. If they work to improve it to the point where it's a viable application for my needs, then they will have earned my purchase.

            -Alex

            Comment


              #7
              Hello anachronist,

              As per your first point, this is possible in NinjaTrader. Run your strategy on a chart that uses the interval you like.

              I will forward all other suggestions to our development team and ask them if they can add this to the list of future considerations for the software.

              Thank you for taking time to provide us your feedback.
              JasonNinjaTrader Customer Service

              Comment


                #8
                YES - Forums need to be improved

                Oh my gosh. I just wrote a long letter to support. It's so annoying with this 20 seconds delay and the 4 letter limit on searches.

                You can't search for anything with the word "day"? I mean come on. I'm a DAY trader!!

                Was looking for code snippet to execute a strategy once per day. So then I try different combinations, but wait, that's not all, now I have to wait 20 seconds between searches?

                Dear Mr. Forum Administrator. Seriously, please lose that. How long would you use your favorite search engine if you had to WAIT even 5 secs between searches. Please give us a break and let us gain knowledge. It's 2008, not 1908. I will be happy to give you a new server to help out with the CPU cycles. PLEASE LOSE IT!

                Ok, other than that, I love the software ;-)

                (although the charting needs work because if you have indicators above the price it can't be seen because it auto scales to the current price range. That's pretty maddening. TS does a good job with the mouse to shrink and expand the chart so you can see your indicators.)

                Originally posted by cunparis View Post
                Ninjatrader is way behind the times as far as usability and basic features.

                For example, all annotations on a chart are lost when the window is closed. This is a basic feature of just about any chart program.

                I honestly don't see how the NinjaTrader product management can neglect such mandatory features. It's as if the management doesn't even use any other trading software.

                The extremely unstandard menu structure is another example. Create a new strategy by using Tools -> Strategies yet use a tool such as strategy analyzer by New -> Strategy Analyzer. It's completely counter-intuitive.

                Another example is the modal dialogs. Anyone who's done any user interface programming knows that modal dialogs are only to be used for very serious dialogs requiring attention. This is very disruptive for my workspace. I've always got Ninjatrader windows on top of my desktop and I can't get rid of them. Try running Strategy Optimizer, you have this modal window for an hour. The data box is another example. Why do we need a data box? That info should be displayed on the chart.

                Every time I compile my strategy I have to click OK on a dialog that says my strategy is compiled. How useful is that? I don't know of any programming environment which does this.

                Seriously, it's as if the product development team hasn't used any other software. As if NinjaTrader has been developed in a cave, full of people who don't trade. Even QuoteTracker which is $7/month as is developed with Delphi many years ago, it has a better interface and better standard features. It's intuitive.

                I find myself using QuoteTracker for my charting and using Ninjatrader exclusively for backtesting, and hopefully some day live trading.

                It's really a shame that NinjaTrader suffers from these problems. The support staff is the best I've seen of any trading product. The support forums contain tons of useful information.

                Which reminds me, finding things in the forums is extremely difficult because there search words must have more than 3 characters, and because when you mess up, say by searching "log", you have to wait 20 seconds to search again! This is so frustrating.

                Sorry to rant but these issues are all unacceptable for a software at this price.

                Hopefully these issues will be addressed with something other than "Thank you for the comments we'll forward these to the team." Instead of adding new features, make the ones you have usable.

                Thanks

                Comment


                  #9
                  Hi r2kTrader,

                  As stated in the response I have sent you, we are aware of the limitations of our Support Forum and currently are looking into options on how they can be overcome.

                  We will let you know when this will be changed.
                  JasonNinjaTrader Customer Service

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Ideas from a Tradestation user on the forum

                    Hi

                    First off let me say I like NT.

                    But the support forum needs to change and here is some constructive criticism.

                    As a non programmer ( I can code anything you like in Easy language ). I get completely frustrated with C#/NS.

                    I am happy to take the time to learn NS but how do you do that? A book is very slow and it doesn't relate to trading so you are left wondering - do I need to learn this chapter? I have no desire to learn programming per se.
                    I have however ordered a book anyway.

                    I learnt EL entirely from the forums and the help docs. Right from A +B = c to dynamic arrays and everything. If you get stuck there are TS Staff and expert users happy to show you the tips and tricks and code it up for you.

                    Here I can't even compare 2 variables without spending hours searching and trying different things to get it to work. The forum help I find comes in bite size chunks - solve that code snippet without looking at the whole thing. And what is it with this bandwidth issue -?

                    Sometimes you just need someone to code it up and THEN you learn - others learn as well.

                    The concept of going to a consultant is not a viable long term option.

                    However I also think the users of the forum need to change!
                    If you solve something - post the whole code; that way everybody learns.

                    I see lots of help given by Ray,Ben.Josh,etc but the final solution never appears in print. As a newbie you are left frustrated as the final piece of that particular jigsaw is missing.

                    Other users (Gumphrie springs to mind) happily share their expertise and problem solving and slowly slowly you learn how to code by printing off the code and deconstructing it. I know myself that I constantly solve issues on TS forums so the forum becomes self sustaining and rewarding to all.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Our plan is to migrate our support forum to an upgraded server next week sometime. The performance will be on par with user expectations, thanks for your patience and understanding.
                      RayNinjaTrader Customer Service

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by Mindset View Post
                        I am happy to take the time to learn NS but how do you do that? A book is very slow and it doesn't relate to trading so you are left wondering - do I need to learn this chapter? I have no desire to learn programming per se.
                        It isn't the job of any of the NinjaTrader staff, or even this forum, to teach people how to program in C#. That's a Microsoft language, and it's Microsoft's responsibility to see that learning resources are available. See this site:
                        http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/w0x726c2.aspx

                        See in particular the sections on .NET framework class library and .NET framework programming.

                        However, I have rarely needed to refer to that site. I learned NinjaScript entirely from the online documentation, this forum, practice, and more practice, and especially from looking at examples in the file sharing area.

                        -Alex

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Interesting response

                          I feel I have to respond. It is not a question of responsibiltiy for learning. It isn't microsoft's responsibility nor is it Ninja Traders. BUT....

                          NS want to sell me their software. They use a variant of C# programming language that makes their software very powerful and promising. It is one of their USP's.

                          I am pleased that you have learnt NS from the documentation, forums and online examples - currenlty that is how I am doing it.

                          But do you think that the way potential new users who have no programming experience "learn" NS now is ok?

                          No room for improvement - its' perfect?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by Mindset View Post
                            But do you think that the way potential new users who have no programming experience "learn" NS now is ok?

                            No room for improvement - its' perfect?
                            I'm an experienced Java developer (10+ years) so it was easy for me to pick up Ninjatrader. I spend 50% of my time figuring out how to use the Ninjatrader APIs, 40% on my algorithms, and 10% on .NET. For example I wanted to read in a file of CSV pivots and use those, I had to figure out how to do that in .NET. It was really easy.

                            for someone who doesn't know how to program, there is a bigger learning curve. But I do not feel that's Ninjtrader's responsability. Their responsability should stop with teaching how to use their APIs. I think if someone gets a "teach yourself C#" book they can probably figure it all out. If not they could try another platform such as tradestation that has books written about it. EasyLanguage is supposed to be very easy.

                            I've evaluated everything and so far Ninjatrader is the best for me because I can do anything I want (using C#). Plus it's close to Java. However, there are many areas left for improvement and that's how I started this thread. I think with some new features & improvements, Ninjatrader could easily blow the others away. A watchlist is one example. I am still using QuoteTracker for my day trading charts because of it's watchlist and the ability to just click on a symbol and have my chart pop up instantly.

                            I've been using Ninjatrader nonstop since I started this thread and I've learned even more about it, including the fact that it already has several features that I requested. I'm liking it more and more. It's the best backtesting platform for me. I just wish it was the best charting platform as well so I could do everything in one application.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Mindset View Post
                              NS want to sell me their software. They use a variant of C# programming language that makes their software very powerful and promising. It is one of their USP's.
                              NinjaTrader doesn't use a "variant" of C#, it uses C#. You don't even have to use NinjaTrader's editor interface to program it. You can use Microsoft Visual Studio if you want. It's just C#, with an application programming interface (API) that makes NinjaTrader what it is.

                              Other trading platforms use other languages; for example eSignal's platform uses Javascript. eSignal assumes you already know Javascript; all they need to provide is the API documentation.

                              I am pleased that you have learnt NS from the documentation, forums and online examples - currenlty that is how I am doing it.

                              But do you think that the way potential new users who have no programming experience "learn" NS now is ok?
                              Yes, I do. C# is an advanced programming language. Nobody without any programming experience is going to be able to jump into NinjaScript without first being intimately familiar with structured programming concepts as well as knowing a similar language like Java, C++, or PHP. That learning curve is the price one pays to have a powerful programming language on a trading platform.

                              It doesn't matter how much you dumb down a language, some newbies just don't learn it. Even EasyLanguage for TradeStation flummoxes non-programmers, and many go through their lives never learning how to write programs for it. I know, because I (and others) do consulting work for these folks.

                              There is no requirement for NinjaTrader to be perfect for everybody. Believe it or not, there is a market for powerful trading platforms that cater to the talents of experienced programmers.

                              That said, I do agree that NinjaTrader could offer more documentation, but not in the way you suggest. I wish they would publish advanced documentation on some of the underlying methods that users can override. An example is NinjaTrader's Plot() method. I can write my own override Plot() method now, having seen numerous examples, but nowhere have I seen anything actually documented. Someday, I'd like to see full documentation for writing custom override functions for that and other methods. I am sure there are un-documented properties that could be described, as well as C# properties that are tightly integrated into NT methods.

                              The NT documentation does a decent job documenting how to override OnMarketData(). But that's just the problem. The documentation isn't consistent. I'd like to see similar documentation on Plot(), GetMaxYValues(), and anything else of interest that I might be missing.

                              -Alex
                              Last edited by anachronist; 11-08-2008, 09:44 AM.

                              Comment

                              Latest Posts

                              Collapse

                              Topics Statistics Last Post
                              Started by rustyspring, Today, 10:55 AM
                              1 response
                              5 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post NinjaTrader_PatrickG  
                              Started by collic653, Today, 10:05 AM
                              2 responses
                              16 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post NinjaTrader_ChrisL  
                              Started by ErikY, Today, 10:09 AM
                              4 responses
                              17 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post NinjaTrader_Jesse  
                              Started by soulfx, Today, 08:08 AM
                              6 responses
                              18 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post soulfx
                              by soulfx
                               
                              Started by datahogg, Today, 08:05 AM
                              1 response
                              12 views
                              0 likes
                              Last Post NinjaTrader_BrendanC  
                              Working...
                              X