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A note for the people who manage NinajTrader development

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  • Mindset
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • NinjaTrader_Jason
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • r2kTrader
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • NinjaTrader_Jason
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • anachronist
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:


  • cunparis
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • NinjaTrader_Ray
    replied
    We have on our list a lot more reference samples in dealing with more complex issues, rejection handling is one of them.

    Leave a comment:


  • styr_trader
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • NinjaTrader_Ray
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • 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

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