Let me just say a few things before you simply assume I'm some crazy or Ole's ad man in disguise: ; )
JED has been around longer than JKEdit.. not by too much, but long enough to get plenty of exposure on many sites. Massassi and code-alliance (aka: "DarkJedi.com" they CREATED JED after all) in particular.
People have taken JED up and are afraid to take on another editor.. which I don't blame them for. But JKEdit is so easy to learn.. and I think most will find it's better.
The sad fact is, most would-be editors have not given JKEdit a share shake (or ignored it entirely).. because they dislike the idea of crippleware/registration.
Thanks for mentioning those limits, because I didn't know what they were exactly. That helps. Consider this an "evaluation" version, because that's what it is. The full version has no limits on anything.
My roommate (and good friend) and I have been messing with JED since it came out. We also tried out JKEdit. After much work and comparison, we found that JKEdit was much easier to use, much more logical and friendly, etc. We both consider it the superior program, and also feel it is kind of "dumb" that he charges for the full version.
Yes, the registration thing was a pain, and I think that is what intially turned most people off. They were using JED all day then JKEdit came out. "You have to register for $? Oh well, forget it, probably sucks anyway."
Just because not as many "good" levels have come out for it doesn't mean anything... it just means that more people are using JED.
Sure it doesn't help that the first levels released with JKEdit were pretty crappy (not the demo levels, the ones released by other authors).
But then again, the first levels created in JED weren't that hot either. People were just excited to be able to make ANYTHING for the game. In time, any editor can create good levels (well except an unfinished one like Force Builder), if the level author's using it are competent and dedicated enough.
How is the architecture in JKEdit, "hard"?
It's very intuitive. Just click on a few boxes, and extrude. You can do all kinds of stuff, and it's simple and intuitive. Yes, it's easier for beginners, but it's also FAST. Complicated levels can be made much more quickly. Yes, it's a different way of doing things than JED, but that doesn't mean it's not as good. I think it's better.
I like the way the buttons are arranged onscreen for easy access. You can customize those too. Plus you get all kinds of previews and editors. JKEdit has the ability for full 3d preview, even with animations! You can run a "test level" and "find error." Can you do that in JED? ; )
Not to diss Alex or anybody else who worked on JED (hey, it's a great program in its own right), but their 3d preview is bad. Sure I probably couldn't do any better myself, but Ole did in JKEdit.
I just find that JKEdit is better overall, and easier. It has tutorials and prefabs, etc just like JED, but they are on the author's site, because his doesn't have the established popularity that Alex's does.
Now on the issue of registration:
What you are saying is that a "serious" editor making tons of very complex, huge levels is going to run into roadblocks using JKEdit. Okay, then he needs to get the full version. But should he have to pay for the service?
Yes, I think that for a three year old game (that he didn't make), he shouldn't charge for an editor, especially when he's "competing" with a free editor. Even if he offers free upgrades (which he does) and supports the editor (which he does) with frequent releases, prefabs, tutorials and demo levels, it still is kind of a gip.
Cheap folks will just use JED, out of spite, unless they can "warez" Ole's program (which isn't nice), and if he ever quits the program, those who paid for it are screwed (no more improvements or fixes). However, if you want it bad enough.. just plunk down the change. I think it's worth it. But then again, the other half of me says.. why?
He is having his 3do editor also be a registration program. I think it's a bad idea.. again, his crippleware/pay program is competing with a somewhat lesser "free" program(s) that does the same thing.
Sure he might make a few bucks (it's a great editor, the best IMHO) off of people who want the full power of the program, but in the end, he's turning more people away who won't even TRY it because they don't want to spend any money.
Keep in mind alot of people are not even aware any other editor exists beyond JED.
JKEdit is updated alot more often than JED, and the author takes requests for improvements and fixes seriously and updates them quickly.
IMHO, if JKEdit, the full version, became free tomorrow, it would beat out JED, really.
I'm not saying that to put down anybody who likes using JED or anybody that worked on JED, but JKEdit is just a better program.
The only benefit that JED has over JKEdit that I can think of is the plug-in support, as I mentioned before and the fact that it is uncrippled free.
I am actually planning on buying it someday, although I wish the author would just release it free, as he's not going to make much money off of it anyhow.
Just because two people vs. X people say one thing is better doesn't mean a whole lot.
Thousands of people use the MSN Gaming Zone, but Gamespy Arcade is clearly better (just smaller because of lack of advertising and hasn't been around as long).
Qtracker is better than the old stand-alone gamespy was (IMHO) but more people used GS, because it had more advertising and been around longer (plus it had a huge team, QT was made by one guy).
More people played the Quake series than the Dark Forces series.. yet I consider the DF games more fun. It's all a matter of taste (and hype). 'More popular' doesn't always mean 'better.'
But, you never know. Hey, Winamp and Qtracker eventually became free.. I'm glad I didn't pay to register those. Maybe oneday JKEdit will become free.
[This message has been edited by Kurgan (edited August 07, 2000).]