With respect, I think you might be illustrating what happens all the time in communities for sophisticated software, and not just Manifold.
I know a lot of people who use Photoshop all the time, and the surprising thing is that most of them, probably over 90% of them, have never learned to use Photoshop properly. They never read the user manual and they never studied structured lessons. They just hacked at it over such a long time that they've acquired comfortable facility with the thing, and can even pull off surprisingly expert results. But they don't really know how to use it and when they work with somebody who really knows Photoshop their lack of understanding of very basic elements (like paths, for example) is glaring. So they may get expert results in Photoshop, but that's despite at times using highly inexpert workflow.
People like that are often stuck using a really old version of Photoshop, because they can't bring themselves to invest the effort required to learn new versions that are truly superior to old versions.
Esri has the same issue with ArcGIS Pro and users of paleo-versions of ArcMap or whatever.
It's only human nature: people who over the course of years have become expert in a sophisticated package find it easier to continue being expert in that particular package rather than to learn new ways. They'll cling to that expertise in older stuff no matter how much better the new ways may be.
In a situation like Release 8 and Release 9 where both packages have huge feature sets with only partial intersection, the transition can also be complicated because there really are things that 8 can do which 9 cannot, and if your usage of 8 depends on those things, quite rightly you're going to continue using 8 for those. That's why Manifold continues to sell both 8 and 9.
That gets counterproductive, though, if people latch onto those 8-only features as an excuse to not spend effort to learn 9, so they miss the many ways in which 9 not only does what 8 does, but it does so much better, and in addition provides a whole lot more that 8 doesn't do at all. That can lead to missing opportunities to take advantage of easier workflow and superior presentation.
Some examples, taken with respect from the above post:
"But those analyses fall flat if they do not communicate easily and elegantly on well designed maps."
also to be able to seamlessly create maps and other infographics that effectively communicate those results.
I agree. That's why it's important to learn how to work 9, so you can take advantage of 9's ability to communicate easily and elegantly on well designed maps. If you don't know how to create well designed maps in 9 that effectively communicate results, you haven't learned 9.
Manifold 8 allows you, the map maker, the option to insert any one of large number of north arrows (or not, your choice),
Same with Release 9. North arrows are trivially easy to add.
one of several different scale bar styles in different units of measure dynamically linked to a map frame,
Yes, same with 9. Scale bars are easy to add as well, also in different units of measure dynamically linked to a map frame. It's just done differently than in 8. 8 makes it easier to pick a particular style, but once you create the style you want in 9 (easy for those who have learned to work 9), you can use it effortlessly over and over in projects. Most people tend to gravitate to using only one or two different styles of scale bar.
inset map frames, frame border grids and graticules, neat lines and boxes
8 definitely makes border options much easier, but in 9 it's easy to add frames and boxes, but you don't get automatic border grids and graticules in 9.
text in single and multipage formats.
Easy to add text boxes in 9, although you don't get multipage formats.
But these days people publish maps mainly on line, which is a single page deal, and multipage map books were already becoming rare when 8 came out. It's probably a safe bet that if you look at the user population for GIS overall, way less than 1 in 1000 has ever printed a multipage map book in real life. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that out of hundreds of thousands of suggestions sent in to Manifold there might have been only two or three requesting that for 9.
The PDF Tony references above makes M8's Layout functionality abundantly clear.
That it does, but given equivalent skills in 9 you can reproduce that PDF in 9 with everything except the multiple pages, so it also would make 9's layout functionality clear.
The example PDF is not a beginner's project in 8. To do it you have to have learned 8 at a fairly expert level. What's the point of comparing 8 in the hands of an 8 expert to 9 in the hands of a beginner who doesn't know how to operate 9?
9 is a different product than 8. People who haven't learned how to work 9 won't be able to take advantage of the ease, power, and simplicity 9 brings to GIS workflow, including to cartography. People who do learn how to use 9 can use 9 to not only perform analytics far beyond the capability of 8, but they can also present their results in beautiful, clear, well-designed, and elegant maps.
The key question if anybody dislikes how it's done in 9 is how would you like it to be done differently. To answer that question usefully, you have to know how to do it in 9 today, because otherwise you might not realize how easy it is.
It's like the guy who threw away a new smartphone because "it can't make phone calls." Why? Because his previous phone used buttons and when he didn't see any buttons on the new phone, let alone the universally-expected green and red buttons, he knew for sure that the new telephone couldn't make phone calls.
If that guy wrote to Samsung, or Huawei, or Apple with a suggestion that they should add the feature of being able to make telephone calls by adding buttons to the telephone, especially the universally expected green and red button, he wouldn't be productively participating in moving the state of the art forward.
So, learn how to do it in 9, and then suggest how you would like it to be different or improved. What you may discover is that some of the ways it's done in 8 causes serious inconveniences in workflow, and the 9 way, surprisingly, really is easier, more accurate, and helps provide much better workflow as projects evolve. In other cases where you like the 8 way better, suggest how that should be added to 9.
Here's an example: In Release 8, create a map showing the "lower 48" US states in Lambert Conformal Conic, with the lat/lon center "in the middle" of the US. Create a default layout from that map, and pop it open in the layout window. What you get is a very nice, convenient default layout. That's easier than in 9, where you'd have to add the text frames manually.
OK, now, with the focus on the map window change the projection of the map so that instead of a center longitude in the -90's use a center longitude of -20. The map updates to the typically rotated LCC you get in that case, as does the map frame in the layout. But the North Arrow remains pointing straight up, which is wrong. Add a new North Arrow to the layout and that's wrong as well.
If you add a North arrow in 9 using the portable arrow method, it automatically adjusts to correctly point to the north pole when you alter the coordinate system of the source data. It's a different way of doing it than in 8, but with that different way come advantages and disadvantages. So the productive way of commenting on how the 9 method should be improved isn't just to blindly say "oh, do it like 8," (you don't want 9 to blindly do it wrong in cases where 8 does it wrong), it is to consider what parts of 8 you'd like to see in 9 and how the workflow you'd like to see does not eliminate the advantages of 9.
Plenty of people in this forum have submitted suggestions to get their way. They know there's never any resistance at Manifold to good ideas, there's only a desire to implement good ideas in a way that supports the fastest possible implementation of the highest priorities for which people have voted.