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digulla
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I'd like to hear from the other users of this forum whether they feel that this forum is the right way to submit and track bugs.

Here is my argument:

- The "mail me when someone posts a reply" doesn't work reliably for me, so it's not possible to track an issue automatically.

- There is no good way to check the current status of a bug. Sometimes, support will say "I can reproduce the bug" but there are no timelines, no target milestone/release. So I can't tell if someone is *working* on a bug I reported.

- Sometimes, support will simply overlook reports or ignore them without comment (see the famous Maven issue). There is no way to tell if someone from support has seen a bug and what they think about it if they don't reply to a post.

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jradvan
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As most people who use MyEclipse are software developers, I think a simple poll along the following lines would be useful:

Q: Have you ever been involved in a software project that successfully used a forum to track bugs?
A1: Yes
A2: Don't be silly

Result: overwhelming response for A2.

Apublic JIRA instance would be a much better, and best practice, way of handling bugs. I hope Genuitec use a defect tracking tool internally,
 
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support-scott
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Aaron,

We don't use these forums to track bugs; we use them to support our users by answering their questions and by doing so in an easily searchable format. Naturally, we have an internal bug tracking system that is used by our development team. And, like the vast majority of commercial software companies we do not provide direct access to that repository outside the company. Do you expect IBM, Borland or Oracle to provide direct access to their bug databases? Why would we be different?

Part of the reason we do not provide direct access is simply because we use these forums to triage the "bug reports" from our users. The reason for this is that about 90% of issues reported initially as bugs to us are really install, compatibility, or usage issues that we can clear up immediately by simply responding here. Once we respond here we create a searchable public record that others can use to diagnose issues themselves. For the other types of posts we have both bug reports and feature enhancements that we then enter into our internal system so that they can be analyzed and assigned to a product release timeframe. I hope that explaination helps clear up the process a bit. Now to your specific points:

Quote:

- The "mail me when someone posts a reply" doesn't work reliably for me, so it's not possible to track an issue automatically.

I'm not sure why this is the case, but we have seen that sometimes automated emails get eaten as spam. It's happened to me as well, but I don't know of any issues with the forum software itself. That doesn't mean there aren't any, only that we haven't observed the issue ourselves and our support engineers track many posts.

Quote:

- There is no good way to check the current status of a bug. Sometimes, support will say "I can reproduce the bug" but there are no timelines, no target milestone/release. So I can't tell if someone is *working* on a bug I reported.

If you're wondering the status you can simply follow up and ask. It's our job to give you whatever status we can. However, that doesn't mean that your bug will have been assigned a delivery timeline, only that we'll tell you what we know about it.

Quote:

- Sometimes, support will simply overlook reports or ignore them without comment (see the famous Maven issue). There is no way to tell if someone from support has seen a bug and what they think about it if they don't reply to a post.

It's the support team's job to respond to every post. If that doesn't occur after 24 hours, a gentle reminder with the URL to support at myeclipseide.com will get things moving. With the volume of posts there are here, some do get missed occasionally since they're handled by humans and none of us are 100% perfect all the time. However, it's never our intent to ignore anything. FYI, one of the tools we use to find posts across the forums is a query that returns all posts without a reply. Unfortunately, if someone other than support follows up before we do (like in this thread) it can get missed and take us longer to find. Hence, the reminder would certainly be appreciated if that happens.

Quote:

Apublic JIRA instance would be a much better, and best practice,

There are really no "best practices" for anything. There are only "practices", each with their own positive and negative aspects that you use to trade-off and make a decision about what course to take. :-)

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digulla
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Scott,

Thanks for your answer. It feels like you're trying to solve the issue here the "American Way" (ie. by saying it's not that bad and can we just go on?) I'm German and for me, this feels like you're trying to placate me and this doesn't work. I'm beyond believing that there everything is alright in here.

Let me give you some examples what I mean. While you read what I wrote, always remember that for every customer who complains, 50 others had the same issue but they have already given up on you.

The mail-lost issue. You say:
Quote:
It's happened to me as well, but I don't know of any issues with the forum software itself. That doesn't mean there aren't any, only that we haven't observed the issue ourselves and our support engineers track many posts.

So in the first sentence, you admit that you saw this too and then you say, "we haven't observed the issue ourselves". Now guess what such an answer makes me think about you and how you treat me.

A much better way would have been to say: "Yup, seen this as well. I have no idea where that comes from but I'll open a bug report for the web forum team". That wouldn't have solved my problem either but it would have been active and it would have shown your commitment to help.

Or here:
Quote:
It's the support team's job to respond to every post. If that doesn't occur after 24 hours, a gentle reminder with the URL to support at myeclipseide.com will get things moving. With the volume of posts there are here, some do get missed occasionally since they're handled by humans and none of us are 100% perfect all the time.

So ... when I report a bug you expect me to check for a few days whether you guys have missed my post or not? If you know that you are human, then why not use a computer to track bugs reliably?

From my POV, this sounds again like "oh, we know about that but let's talk about something else, okay?"

Then you say that I can simply ask you for the status of a bug that's important to me. Well, I've done that and it didn't work. Plus I cannot see how that will help with the volume of messages you get which you claim is responsible for the fact that some things get overlooked.

And my guts currently tell me that most of my bugs are either being ignored or were lost in the forum (that's how I feel not how it really is).

Back to the important issues.
Quote:
We don't use these forums to track bugs; we use them to support our users by answering their questions and by doing so in an easily searchable format. Naturally, we have an internal bug tracking system that is used by our development team. And, like the vast majority of commercial software companies we do not provide direct access to that repository outside the company. Do you expect IBM, Borland or Oracle to provide direct access to their bug databases? Why would we be different?

I agree with the "searchable format" (bug search forms are one of the main obstacles in bug tracking software) but IBM has shown that it is possible to open bugzilla to the general public in the Eclipse project.

And it's not a big difference if you reply to a post here saying that someone has made a mistake during installation, etc, or if you mark a bug as duplicate or WORKSFORME. Even worse, you duplicate the information and the effort going into the bug tracking here.

OTOH, as I said before, the forum doesn't really allow to track bugs (or posts). So my suggestion would be to allow public-read to the bug tracker of yours and send bug URLs back if someone posts a real bug in here. That would already solve most of my issues.

Hope this helps,

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digulla
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Oh, and I think I've found the "tracking lost bug": When you reply with "Quick Reply" and forget to enable "Notify me when a reply is posted", then the watch on the topic is deleted.

Fix: If you're watching a topic, enable "Notify me when a reply is posted" in "Quick Reply":

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digulla
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And to support my claims above, here are some numbers: I've reported two feature requests and three bugs.

There has never been a satisfactory resolution to the two feature requests. One of the bugs was ignored (no reply from support), one had a reply but no resolution and one has been reproducible but the last reply from support didn't explain what will happen, now (is that bug accepted, ignored, irrelevant).

So I used your system five times and for me, it failed in 100% of the cases. I guess all I can do is stop reporting bugs. It's just a lot of hassle for me and yields no satisfactory results.

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support-scott
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Aaron,

Since you didn't provide URLs I did my best to run down your 5 issues. I found two reports that I agree did not receive satisfactory followup to you. I'd say they fall into the category of my second quote above, "nobody's perfect", and a short email requesting more followup would have been useful to see them resolved. I'll do that for you and you should have replies to these URLS (below) later today:
http://www.myeclipseide.com/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=18205&highlight=
http://www.myeclipseide.com/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=18203&highlight=

I looked further and found this URL: http://www.myeclipseide.com/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=7818&highlight=
where you got an enhancement request filed for the product. I believe that's all that could have been done at that point so I believe it was properly addressed.

I found this URL (http://www.myeclipseide.com/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=4657&highlight=) where you were directed to a preference item to resolve your issue. I believe that was also handled well and was neither a bug or enhancement request.

Finally, I found a fifth URL here: http://www.myeclipseide.com/index.php?name=PNphpBB2&file=viewtopic&t=4660&highlight=
In it you lay out a few "desirements" for a type of development tool the likes of which I've never seen. You were given an honest answer that this is so far afield of our current product focus that we simply wouldn't be working on it any time soon. A good reply to your question. Likely not what you wanted to hear, but honest.

So, of these 5 I think you've gotten very appropriate responses for 3 and not for the other two, which we'll attempt to rectify later today.

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digulla
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You're right about the first two (ArrayIndexOutOfBounds and ExecutionException) but the other ones have been resolved (not to my liking but you can't have everything). I was referring to three other issues.

I think this is a case in point: Giving support via a forum just doesn't cut ... or better it cuts the hands of those who feed it. You can't even tell which issues I've opened and which have been resolved. It's not a question of effort in your side. I'm sure you do your best. But the tools given just don't cover what we need.

Also, since you didn't mention this comment, I guess you didn't see that either (another one for my argument).

If you want to look at the other three issues, here are the links: 1. Exclude resources from deployment (FR), 2. Maven integration (FR) and 3. NPE in XML editor (bug)

But please don't bug out of the issue in this thread. Can you please start a poll asking all the developers here if they feel that a forum is the right way to handle issues with ME? I think quite a lot of developers are with me in this.

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support-scott
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Quote:

Also, since you didn't mention this comment, I guess you didn't see that either (another one for my argument).

Aaron, I saw the comment but it was simply you telling how to properly use the 'Notify me' setting on the forums. I didn't think it needed a comment of "Yep, that's right". Our support guys are not the only ones that provide useful information here. You provided useful information. It's not a bug, it's simply how the forums work and you pointed it out to help others avoid some possible confusion. Great job!

Re Link 1: Yes, it would be more flexible to be able to exclude specific, individual items from deployment. We have an enhancement request open for it and have been doing some work toward it internally. We have targeted delivery for MyEclipse 6.1 (Nov).

Re Link 2: We continue to work with the Maven team on this item to ensure that the integration is production quality before we release it. It's high on our list of "todos" for the 6.1 timeline (Nov).

Re Link 3: This had also been targeted to 6.1.

Quote:

Can you please start a poll asking all the developers here if they feel that a forum is the right way to handle issues with ME? I think quite a lot of developers are with me in this.

I could, but it honestly won't matter. It's not like we haven't considered using a public-facing bug database. However, our management team has decided against it mainly because we don't want the developers having to waste time going through "bug entries" like this one, which in all honesty is like most of our posts.

By providing the forums we can triage bugs and enhancements here and then promote them to our internal repository if they can't be addressed. Even if we had a public bug database, it wouldn't be the ones the dev team worked off of because the same triage would need to be done and internal, private discussions occur on our bug threads.

Perhaps the misunderstanding is that MyEclipse not an open source project. We contribute to a ton of open source projects, and even lead one, but MyEclipse isn't one. Genuitec a commercial software company and we build MyEclipse as a commercial product where we leverage the open source we contribute to, just like IBM, BEA, Oracle, Borland, etc. As such, we operate like a commercial software company where MyEclipse is concerned and thus have staffed support forums to help our users while we run our product releases internally, just like IBM, BEA, Oracle, Borland etc do.

However, like I said in my first post, if you need help or an update here, all you have to do is ask. That's why we're here and we greatly appreciate your feedback. :-)

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digulla
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support-scott wrote:
Quote:
Also, since you didn't mention this comment, I guess you didn't see that either (another one for my argument).

Aaron, I saw the comment but it was simply you telling how to properly use the 'Notify me' setting on the forums. I didn't think it needed a comment of "Yep, that's right".

For me, this is a bug in the forum software. When I post a quick reply, I don't expect the forum to change my notification settings. Please log a bug against whoever is responsible for this so it is fixed.
support-scott wrote:
Re Link 1: Yes, it would be more flexible to be able to exclude specific, individual items from deployment. We have an enhancement request open for it and have been doing some work toward it internally. We have targeted delivery for MyEclipse 6.1 (Nov).

Re Link 2: We continue to work with the Maven team on this item to ensure that the integration is production quality before we release it. It's high on our list of "todos" for the 6.1 timeline (Nov).

Re Link 3: This had also been targeted to 6.1.

Can you please reply to the individual threads? In some of them, the general tone has become quite hostile. For example, there hasn't been any official information in the maven thread for six months. That should not happen.

support-scott wrote:
Quote:
Can you please start a poll asking all the developers here if they feel that a forum is the right way to handle issues with ME? I think quite a lot of developers are with me in this.

I could, but it honestly won't matter. It's not like we haven't considered using a public-facing bug database. However, our management team has decided against it mainly because we don't want the developers having to waste time going through "bug entries" like this one, which in all honesty is like most of our posts.


Again, I didn't ask opening the bug database for anyone like Eclipse does but at least allow us to *see* it so we can track or (even better) comment on the bugs that we reported. From my point of view, opening it completely would be the better solution but I understand that your management has concerns.

But your management should also know that there is an important issue with the situation as it is right now. Otherwise, they'll think that everyone is happy.
support-scott wrote:
Perhaps the misunderstanding is that MyEclipse not an open source project.

I rather think that OSS projects have shown what is possible even when there is no paid support team and we're all spoiled by that. Most OSS projects can't afford to waste time collecting and triaging bugs, so they do it in an effective way. The forum here just wastes the time of your most valuable professional customers.

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support-scott
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Aaron,

Quote:

The forum here just wastes the time of your most valuable professional customers.

Our practices are set by our management team and while we value your input they are not going to change in the way you'd like. I'm sorry you feel this way as our support typically receives rave reviews for both it's responsiveness and quality. But you're certainly entitled to your opinion. Unfortunately, at this point we're simply going to have to "agree to disagree" and I wish you well in finding a product and forum that wastes your time less.

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digulla
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Since all parties have now dug in, it's time to ask for the bigger picture.

a) Are you happy with the way your support cases have been handled in the past?
b) How often did your support requests get overlooked?
c) How many times were you in the dark about the state of one of your requests?

No flames please, just your opinion in a neutral tone especially if you feel like yelling :-) If I'm the only one, that's okay, too.

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vict0r
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digulla wrote:
a) Are you happy with the way your support cases have been handled in the past?
b) How often did your support requests get overlooked?
c) How many times were you in the dark about the state of one of your requests?

Hello,

DISCLAIMER: all answers are 100% subjective:
    a) This is a tough question, because happiness might 1) be interpreted in various ways, and 2) have various scopes. Although I haven't always received the expected answer, the responsiveness was good. But it's slowing down, somehow.
    b) Afair never.
    c) The older the request, the more darkness... After a certain "request age", almost always. What I mean is that I've seen only for very few topics a note like "Resolved with version X". Tends to result in frustration.

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keb
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digulla wrote:
Since all parties have now dug in, it's time to ask for the bigger picture.

a) Are you happy with the way your support cases have been handled in the past?
b) How often did your support requests get overlooked?
c) How many times were you in the dark about the state of one of your requests?

No flames please, just your opinion in a neutral tone especially if you feel like yelling :-) If I'm the only one, that's okay, too.


Like you pointed out earlier in the thread, the Maven thread has been silently 'killed off' instead of support explaining the status of the issue - and now suddenly small pieces of status information pops up here in this thread instead.

a) Most issues I post gets handled very well and quick, but on the other hand the most important issue for me have been totally silenced on the forum.

b) I have posted a total of 42 issues. In addition to the Maven issue, a bug report I have repeatedly written (for each of the later versions of MyEclipseIde) related to Windows Xpx64, video drivers and drawing of screen content were simply ignored/unresolved.

c) a couple of times in 42 posts, so approx. 5-10% of the times.
 
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