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Sierra vs. Ninja : why I chose .....
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Sierra vs. Ninja : why I chose .....

  #31 (permalink)
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I am still up at 4am simming Sierra... only minutes ago they release prerelease 889, which includes..... you guessed it! bid and offer size inside the columns!! (like every other DOM in the world ). Nice job Sierra, you guys rock!

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  #32 (permalink)
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josh View Post
PB, do you use the sierra DOM? Could you take a screen shot, and anyone else who uses it? I am experimenting and have this currently, but am looking to eliminate that big space on the bottom left and fill it with something more useful.

Hi Josh,

I primarily use X_Trader but here's the DoM I have for Sierra. I think it's excellent from what I've seen so far.

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  #33 (permalink)
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So I detached the trade window from the actual DOM ladder, and I do not care about all the stuff on the lower half of it, so I just let it be hidden below my screen. What I have is the attached. Full T&S, very important. About 10 handle range visible on DOM, pretty important. Pretty clean look here so far.

I also see that you an click the upper left "Qty" as on other chart trade windows (where it says [SIM] Qty: 1 in my shot), to change the quantity, without having to use the lower portion.

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  #34 (permalink)
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Have you tried the compact trade window? Click on the 'C' tab. It doesn't have the lower stuff that you are hiding.

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  #35 (permalink)
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Jolew View Post
Have you tried the compact trade window? Click on the 'C' tab. It doesn't have the lower stuff that you are hiding.

Jolew, great suggestion -- I like the clean look and for a normal attached view this would be the way to go. However, as it turns out, when it is detached and not compact, it is wider, and shorter, both of which fit this particular setup pretty well. And if it is attached, I have actually more unused space below, so for now I will simply let the unused portion hang down below the screen's viewing area. But if I reattach it, compact is definitely the way to go.

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  #36 (permalink)
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Hi,

I don't want to put this thread off-track, but I would like to take advantage of the presence of some experts here.
For your T&S, do you use the the feed of your broker or a more robust feed?
I mean: my broker is IB and I have DTN IQFeed for data.
DTN IQFeed data is unfiltered. IB data is filtered. So the two T&S do not at all look the same.
T&S based on IB is aggregated (so less precise on individual transactions), but is more "in sync" with the DOM based on IB ("last sizes" are the same between T&S and DOM).

Thanks in advance for any comment!

Nicolas

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  #37 (permalink)
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Nicolas11 View Post
For your T&S, do you use the the feed of your broker or a more robust feed?
I mean: my broker is IB and I have DTN IQFeed for data.
DTN IQFeed data is unfiltered. IB data is filtered. So the two T&S do not at all look the same.
T&S based on IB is aggregated (so less precise on individual transactions), but is more "in sync" with the DOM based on IB ("last sizes" are the same between T&S and DOM).

Absolutely, hands down, IQFeed on T&S for me, as I have a TT broker feed. If the broker feed is rithmic or zen then you should not notice a difference between these and IQFeed, so in that case, it's okay for me, but not with IB, TT, or any other similar feed.

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  #38 (permalink)
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Nicolas11 View Post
Hi,

I don't want to put this thread off-track, but I would like to take advantage of the presence of some experts here.
For your T&S, do you use the the feed of your broker or a more robust feed?
I mean: my broker is IB and I have DTN IQFeed for data.
DTN IQFeed data is unfiltered. IB data is filtered. So the two T&S do not at all look the same.
T&S based on IB is aggregated (so less precise on individual transactions), but is more "in sync" with the DOM based on IB ("last sizes" are the same between T&S and DOM).

Thanks in advance for any comment!

Nicolas

I felt your pain Nicolas.

While on MC alone I started to use IB T&S and, like you said, it was in sync with the DOM but had the aggregation problem. Then, with IRT and SC started to use the IQFeed data. From time to time you can see the last size being identical to IQFeed, just for a fraction of a second or so

I tend to filter trades above 50 lots or so because looking at all trades your eyes start to rollover with so many 1 lots. But IQFeed is the way to go, definitely.

If I become half a percent smarter each year, I'll be a genius by the time I die
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  #39 (permalink)
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I had a rare sit down dinner by myself and had some time to objectively go over my current evaluation of Sierra vs. Ninja, and took some notes at the table. By the way, I don't mean "vs." to create contention, but just to say what it is.... comparing two pieces of software. These are in no particular order, just as they came to me. Making this list has helped me to see things a bit more clearly.
  • Rectangle tool -- Sierra has a simple rectangle tool that extends a rectangle indefinitely to the right. It's perfect for creating "zones" as opposed to single lines. Ninja has a rectangle tool, but there is a well known bug (search their forum) that I have been complaining about for a year and a half that causes the rectangle to completely disappear, and it happens all the time. And ninja's doesn't extend to the right.
  • Chart update interval -- 40ms for Sierra seems to be their minimum, Ninja is 100ms. Charts update very quickly in Sierra, faster than NT even though I would not characterize Ninja as particularly slow.
  • Development environment -- I have written only one small program for SC, and while I am familiar with NT's environment, I find them both pretty easy to use. C++ code, which is that SC produces, should be faster though, and I like this a lot.
  • Thorough online documentation -- both programs have pretty good documentation, but SC's is incredibly thorough and consistent.
  • Fast development cycle, new features -- case in point, with the DOM changes released last night. Users were asking for it apparently around late June or July, and here it is Aug 22 and they're done. When asking NT for new features, the answer is always (no really, always) the same: "We will consider this for future development... yada yada." And then, it rarely seems to happen. Consider that NT has had no more than 10 revisions to version 7, which has been out for at least 20 months. And those revisions didn't really add much, they were minor fixes.
  • Native bid/ask, delta -- NT has essentially said they will not be storing bid/ask in their tick data for NT8 though I can't be sure about that, but if so it would mean that Ninja will not have delta capabilities for another 3+ years. Sierra and many modern charting platforms now have this feature. Sure, there are addons for NT, but they cost extra, and none of them work seamlessly.
  • Profiling -- again, SC has this nicely developed and seem to be adding and improving every release. Ninja has add-ons, but they are not without their issues, and NT washes their hands of these wonderful tools and offers little in the way of assistance. Bottom line though is, these great tools are not integrated into the platform, and ninja is behind the curve here.
  • Built-in alerts -- SC seems to have alerts built into the system well. Meaning, I can use a stock study or create my own, and create alerts right out of the box for an indicator level, and just for a blank chart, for example, alert on a price being traded.
  • Capturing study data from another chart -- I have limited experience using this, but SC has built in studies that allow indicator data from one chart to be copied to the current chart. Useful for creating an RTH VWAP on an ETH chart, for example. Ninja can do this, but it requires programming and adding another time frame, etc.
  • Memory footprint -- Sierra is taking up 70MB total running two instances. An equivalent Ninja setup starts at 180MB, and I have seen it go beyond 400MB (probably due to compiling, but the point remains).
  • Smart scaling -- Sierra has the "constant range autocenter" and other intelligent ways to adjust the scale. This one is particularly useful for me in that I want to see delta fluctuations for recent bars but don't care about seeing the whole day and certainly don't want the scale based on data several days ago. So, it autocenters and keeps it in a range I can easily see.
  • Built-in shading -- Sierra can easily change the color of plots/subgraphs based on slope of a line and other criteria
  • Unlimited broker/data connections and smart symbol mapping -- Ninja charges an extra $500 for multiple broker connections, Sierra lets you run as many instances as you want, and allows chart data to come from one source (say, IQFeed), while showing depth and live broker trading data on the same chart from another source (say, TT). Also, when connecting to Ninja with IQFeed first and then TT, I am forced to view a FESX delayed feed, even though my TT feed gives me real-time data for this symbol. This is because Ninja groups ALL futures symbols together such that they can be viewed from one feed only. With Sierra, no problem, I just load FESX from the TT copy.
  • Attaching targets/stops to an open position -- can't do it in ninja. Yes, you can create a new OCO bracket, but it is not managed the same as if you had originally attached those orders when the position was opened. Or, heaven forbid I accidentally delete a stop... too bad, that's it. SC, however, allows you to attach orders to an already-open position.
  • Spreadsheet support -- DionysusToast wrote an excellent Ninja indicator to export data from a chart to a spreadsheet. But SC has a spreadsheet built into the program! I have not used this much yet but have seen enough to be able to tell that it is a powerful way to work with data.
  • ChartDOM -- Sierra has a DOM on the actual chart if you so choose. I probably will not use this much, but it is still pretty cool.
  • 10+ levels in the DOM -- Look at Ninja's support forum and you'll find many requests for this spanning several years. Really, how hard can it be to increase depth visibility from 5 to 10? Sierra gives the user the option to show how many levels they want.

And this last statement really sums things up--Sierra seems to favor configurability, though I'd like to see more in some places. I have used Ninja for almost 2 years, but I must say that it truly does feel like a dinosaur compared to Sierra. I know that may rub some people the wrong way, but it's just my honest opinion. I could discover ten things I dislike about Sierra tomorrow and still have the opinion that NT is fast becoming an antiquated program, much in the same way that TradeStation used to be 'the stuff' and lack of ingenuity left them eating others' dust.

Here are the only three things I could honestly come up with after thinking for several minutes that I favor about Ninja over Sierra:
  • User base -- Ninja has a large user base, and thus lots of community support. Lots of good code out there.
  • Super chart trading -- Sierra does not quite have this done right yet. NT does, but it's not by a long shot. Sierra needs a few more color config options, and a way to make the width of the lines variable.
  • DOM -- as much as I am getting used to Sierra's DOM, they need to update the look of it so that it doesn't look like a bunch of text columns stuck together. Look at NT, MultiCharts, XTrader, or any other major DOM and you'll see that Sierra's looks like it is still finding its way. This is a biggie for me, so here's to a speedy development cycle for SC!

Sierra is not without its faults. Here is my list:
  • Crosshair but -- The crosshairs sometimes disappear, and after searching the forum it seems that Sierra knows this bug, discussed it, and determined it was too weird for them to fix. Not a biggie, but kind of weird to turn on crosshairs and sometimes see none.
  • DOM and chart trading -- As mentioned above, the DOM needs a bit of an upgrade in aesthetics though it is not bad.
  • Sessions -- SC does not have good support for different sessions for products. Yes, you can define an evening session in a chart, but many studies (such as previous OHLC, for example) do not take into account RTH hours and certainly there is no way to create multiple sessions (like Crude oil would want to have).
  • Data storage -- SC can store both tick data and minute data in the same data file for a product, but not for the same time period. Unfortunately if I want to open, say, a 240m chart (where tick data would be irrelevant for most cases), and I have 100 days of tick data, then that's what is used to create the chart. I have to have a separate copy of SC that has minute data if I want to reduce chart load time. NT has the ability to store tick, minute, and daily data for the same time period, thus it can use tick data for tick-based charts such as range/volume, and minute data for minute-based charts such as hourly charts.
  • Can't select and quickly delete volume profiles -- not a big deal, but a little annoying. At least, if it's possible, I have not found a way.

All in all, I like both programs. Contrary to the experience of many pre-v7 NT users, I have found NT to generally be stable, though I have experienced my share of crashes. But at this point, ninja feels kind of like a big, bulky wrestler who can be powerful but lethargic, whereas Sierra is more like a lean, mean Bruce Lee kind of fighter. The bottom line is, I can tell that Sierra's programmers actually know what they're doing--they seem to pay attention to detail, and the result is a fast, lean, powerful application. For now, I continue to evaluate, but the decision is coming closer, and Sierra is quickly becoming my favorite.

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  #40 (permalink)
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@josh,

Whaou... Thanks a lot for this extensive review. I am a bit new to SC but I have "challenged" the platform a lot (charting & programming). I totally support your assessment (only the SC part, since I do not know NT).

My big problem now is... When I began to work with SC, I wanted to write a review MC vs SC. But you have now put the standard for such exercise so high!

Thanks again,

Nicolas

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