Comment on Pi - Final Beta Release

kars commented on 22 Jan 2015, 09:57 PM

I have tried Pi. I congratulate Zerodha for the initiative. But I must say, the application is not that impressive. I have many problems …

Chart problems:

1. The charts dont match with NSE charts or NEST charts. Even bad, the OHLC values displayed on the market watch is not seen in the chart. The difference in day’s open is sometimes considerable. Check & compare the Nifty future charts.

2. I do not see the “show recent candles” (Ctrl+N shortcut) for the chart. Have to scroll the mouse or keep the arrow keys. Or zoom out completely and zoom in the recent candles. Very frustrating.

3. The first candle shows time as 9:15 and the 2nd last candle shows as 3:29 for the 1m chart for Nifty future. The problem is the last candle shows as a line OHLC all are showing as the closing price. If we use the Pi after market hours, the DASH candles are repeated again and again. Very Bad.

4. No daily/weekly/monthly charts. But this is ok for now as this feature is not there from the beginning. Hope this will be added sooner.

Alert and scripting problems:

1. I seriously miss the alert feature which was in NEST. The basic requirement is to show a alert window to notify us if a scrip touched a price. This worked in NEST for every price update and instantaneous. This is lacking in Pi. The NEST feature was disabled earlier. I saw today and alerts is enabled again in ZT. But got disappointed. It takes the alerts and does not get triggered when crossing the set price.

The Pi means of getting alerts, writing a tradescript, is not the same feature. How can I set alerts for a handful of scrips with each with different price points?

2. I have not used the alert scripting, EA and scanner enough till now to comment on much. But the feel is not great, The tradescript language is the deal breaker. I do not see any option to include time-of-day in the strategy. The language also should be multi timeframe capable.

The way it is now, we can only use “pure” technical indicator based strategies and “some” price action methods. Tick by tick or even per min strategy is not practical (because of spread and latency) and 5min or more strategies are spoiled indicators crossing opening gaps.

As I see, the only viable option here is go with amibroker or something like that. I feel it is costly and complex to operate for small traders like me.

The IMPORTANT look/behavior problems:

1. I could not find a way to turn off the red/green background blinking in market watch. That blinking is driving me nuts when switching between windows.

Overall, we need lot of customization features, especially font, size and colors, everywhere. So we can change the look not to strain our eyes. When one spends many hours every day looking at one application, that app should not irittate us and make us blind.

2. The market watch …. it does not save the spaces or indices. The grid is too dark when switching to light colored themes. I find the zerodha black theme is straining the eye after a minute or so. It has a geeky look but …. not so good for the eye.

No multiple market watches. That is another problem. The notices window below market watch should not consume this much space. It is causing problems when stacking the charts.

3. The window dragging/stacking does not work well. Once some windows are poped out, they still have some ties to the main window and does not behave like truely independant windws.

The unbearable thing is I cannot click on the Pi title bar and move the main window. Double click on titlebar does not maximize either. Every time, I have to remember this nuisance and go click the pi icon in the top left and select minimize, maximize etc options.

4. The market status information the end of tool bar does not work. Just occupies precious space.

5. There too many problems/short-comings with saving the settings/workspace/templates and getting it working again with the same preferences the next day.

6. There are some strange problems too. If I press F1/F2 and get the order window, and somehow activated the main window (happens often when using laptop because of the touchpad) then we have to use the mouse to again activate the order window. No ALT+TAB or any other combinations seem to work. This annoyed me many times and stopped me from entering the order at all.


I work in IT field but not a programmer. I can live with not so good software. But too many annoyances, after some time, really raises a question. Is this software designed deliberately like this? I do not believe much in conspiracy theories. But I cannot avoid that thought. I thought Odin is the master in getting retail trades pissed off. Then I used NOW. But after customizing the colors & fonts, I was happy and only wanted some simple but usable coding features. When ZT was introduced with algoz, CO & BO, that looked perfect. But the algoz/tradescript was not that great and charts/nest-plus started giving problems. When Pi beta testing going on, I dreamed of finally getting a “good” platform. The sole reason is that Nithin is basically a trader and very sound in technical matters. I thought he will make Pi great. I still have hope, just to be an optimistic. But I am trying to convince myself not to expect a nice experince with any trading platform. This bugs me because I am not a full-time trader or taking my trades as a serious matter. When I got a trade idea, I want to trade and win or loss, I want to have a good experience.

I am sure many of you will think and point out that I am complaining too much. Some one might say I have some “other” problems in the core.

That is not true. I really apprecitate what Zerodha is trying to do with Pi. I am just complaining that basic functionalities/features we expect are annoying us too much. The neural network, advanced EA etc features can wait till a good, stable foundation is laid out. And not addressing the basic and usablity problems paint a bad picture on Zerodha despite their hard work.

I actually want zerodha to be praised by all (so that they are encouraged to work more and can give me a nice trading experience). But the same time, I want to point out all the problems/pains/short-comings we have so that they can get them rectified.

Earlier, I wrongly assumed that Zerodha is employing developers for Pi. But I see that the application is actually developed by another company for Zerodha. Zerodha is paying another company to develop and still Pi ends up needing lot of polish and finesse. Together with the nest-plus and other problems happened during server/software upgrades last year, this is a bad thing for zerodha, for not getting the vendors to do their job.

Going back to trader app, I have to say, for now, would rather use ZT instead of Pi ( I will wait till all the polishing is done and the annoyances are removed in the Pi)

I customized the ZT (colors and fonts) and along the way I fixed the “snap quote window” problem (if you dont know what the problem is, do not bother) and made the nest plus display only one day chart. Even after Nithin asserted nest plus problems are fixed, I had the same locking up problem as others reported. Making intraday charts only one day almost fixed the issue. This may be a fluke but I have not seen the application lock up for a long time now.

Long post, 🙂


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