Why are there so many bugs in this widely-used program?
It's almost as if everything I do is counter-intuitive, and extremely difficult to engage with. The simplest of tasks are exceedingly difficult, and many how-to's, and instructions do not seem straight-forward. Even professors at our local university are visibly frustrated with how badly this program works. When it is so popular, why isn't the programming better, especially after a new update?
Well.. First, what bugs? "Bugs" and "tasks [that] are exceedingly difficult" are not the same thing. If it works as it is intended to work, it is by common definition not a bug, even if you think it should work differently.
I think you should consider that musical scores are just, by theit nature, a very complex thing - much more so than, for example written text. So writing scores IS just a complex task. Any software trying to represent a complex thing, or allow a user to do a complex task, must, by necessitiy, be complex itself, as it needs to represent this complexity in some way, which typically leads to a lot of different options.
Do you know another software (with a more or less equal feature set) that is less complex, or more intuitive? Not that I am an expert by any means, but what I have seen so far from other engraving software gives me the impression that they are even more complex.
Concering the MuseScore 4 Update... that is a different topic entirely that I best not get into here.
You could try 3.6.2 until 4.x.x settles down.
I, for one, am happy to talk about MU4. Which is probably more what the OP is about.
I have used MU4 every day since before the official launch. For all kinds of projects. It has never crashed. Nor has it corrupted a score. Once I figured out the proper settings, playback is correct. Is MU4 perfect? No. Is there a learning curve? Yes. Could the manual be better? Sure. Although it seems lots of people think that they can just open new software and expect it to work like they think it should. Read the suggested specs needed to run MU4. They are right there on the download page. This is an understood process that is part of using anything computer related. Computers that don't meet the specs are going to have trouble running the program. But it isn't impossible. It just takes some system tweaks. Anyone into gaming knows this. I'm an old guy and I know this. There are things that don't work yet. So don't worry about trying to use them. Move on and get stuff done.
If you have a particular problem, by all means please ask and someone will be happy to help you.
What simple tasks are you having trouble with? Although if you aren't familiar with notation software, nothing is simple. Your post is rather vague. As a result I'm sure that my post might seem abrupt. Sorry, if that is the case.