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Well, I don't really see what else I could add. All the contributors (and not) who have replied to this topic have basically said everything I would have wanted to say myself. I agree with everything

... You're taking one thing I wrote and using it against me, great. Just as I initially suspected you would do when I first saw you like that post.  Obviously bug reports should be triaged.

You want us to send in a bug report.   Just to make it crystal clear, let's compare the aforementioned "bug report" to the existing "support ticket": They're private tickets in a private s

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32 minutes ago, Claire Field said:

We didn't submit one because we were advised not to. So we should now?

If you are ever having a problem with your community or a bug that was supposed to have been fixed isn't fixed you are always free to submit a ticket. We will get it sorted for you ^_^ 

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In the bug report @Claire Field linked to, the issue was apparently going to be fixed, as can be seen. I currently have a ticket open to actually get it fixed, since it has in fact persisted.

So, on March 14 I was told "don't make a ticket" ... and here we are, in September, being told to make a ticket.

I'm fairly sure this gets at one of the big issues people are having; the fact is that there are times when things appear to lack the cohesion that capable users find comforting. Sure, I'm not a Contributor and all of my knowledge is based purely on relatively limited use... PLUS the support for CITC is very very good. But still, it can be stressful to see a lack of consistency with regards to development, communication, support, and where those things often cross-over.

Edited by Simon Woods
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1 hour ago, Simon Woods said:

In the bug report @Claire Field linked to, the issue was apparently going to be fixed, as can be seen. I currently have a ticket open to actually get it fixed, since it has in fact persisted.

So, on March 14 I was told "don't make a ticket" ... and here we are, in September, being told to make a ticket.

I'm fairly sure this gets at one of the big issues people are having; the fact is that there are times when things appear to lack the cohesion that capable users find comforting. Sure, I'm not a Contributor and all of my knowledge is based purely on relatively limited use... PLUS the support for CITC is very very good. But still, it can be stressful to see a lack of consistency with regards to development, communication, support, and where those things often cross-over.

Yes that's why we plan on reworking the bug tracker. Unlike tickets which are always staffed and get personal replies, bug reports are not the same sort of thing and can get confusing. In general though if you see something that "should" have been fixed but isn't you are always in the right to open a support ticket and get a direct response. There is never a need to be confused or have to post here on the forums hoping for an answer. Just submit a ticket and you will get a clear response ^_^ 

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1 hour ago, Charles said:

Yes that's why we plan on reworking the bug tracker. Unlike tickets which are always staffed and get personal replies, bug reports are not the same sort of thing and can get confusing. In general though if you see something that "should" have been fixed but isn't you are always in the right to open a support ticket and get a direct response. There is never a need to be confused or have to post here on the forums hoping for an answer. Just submit a ticket and you will get a clear response ^_^ 

I have used the ticket system a lot, especially since moving to CITC. I am happy with it, that's for sure. I have used the forums here and there for help but always try to stay within the guidelines provided for such use; the ticket system has worked too well for me to consider using the forums as a replacement or anything.

Hopefully the update to the bug tracker does not include referencing tickets and vice versa -- this has clearly muddied the waters of communication.

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17 hours ago, Joel R said:

In general, you can be leveraging the community more.  I kind of think you have a legion of volunteer workers and bored teenagers (I mean, "aspiring developers") who are more than willing to do unpaid work to cross-check, validate, and confirm bugs.  

Ultimately, no matter the channel or medium, you should know that you have clients who do passionately care about trying to help you improve your software.  And I'd like to think we can work with you more - yes, even if that opens you up to public scrutiny and more honest feedback - but ultimately that moves us all forward and fixes the bugs in the most expedient way possible.   

This. So much this. (Your whole post lives up to the Joel R hype/awesomeness, but especially this)

9 hours ago, Matt said:

What we're trying to do is find a way to streamline things a bit. During the course of a day, we probably fix a good few legitimate bugs reported via tickets. This means that while it looks like the tracker is sitting dormant, it is possible and indeed likely that many things are fixed but via tickets rather than the bug report.

What we tend to do is work in cycles. We always try and find a balance between stabilising things and adding cool new things. When we do a stabilisation cycle, we will go through the tracker, which we're currently doing now if you took a look. You'll see we've created a few new categories to help key staff members order issues they will be responsible for. We've moved a lot of more complex engineering bugs that require significant work to our internal tracker so we can discuss how and when to resolve these issues. Of course, if it was a critical issue, then it would have been fixed by now because show stopping bugs tend to get our attention. ^_^

But how will hiding bug reports from everyone elses view than the reporter help anything? Apart from your apparent satisfaction of us not seeing all the old bug reports that can still be reproduced and have been laying dormant for months. 

I have seen you have been very active at fixing bugs since the day I started this topic. Great! All I have asked for have been for you to take your time to do some major stabilization releases. But I do not see how it can be so difficult to avoid having bug reports lay around with no action taken (at least as far as we can see) for 3+ months. It takes just as much for you to fix that bug regardless of whether it was something I sent in a ticket or in the bug tracker. In the ticket system you will also take up time from support staff that are not responsible for fixing bugs.

Sure, advertise tickets as the go to solution for inexperienced clients or whatever you feel you need to do, but do not disregard the benefits that comes from well-organized public open bug trackers. 

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1 hour ago, Charles said:

Yes that's why we plan on reworking the bug tracker. Unlike tickets which are always staffed and get personal replies, bug reports are not the same sort of thing and can get confusing. In general though if you see something that "should" have been fixed but isn't you are always in the right to open a support ticket and get a direct response. There is never a need to be confused or have to post here on the forums hoping for an answer. Just submit a ticket and you will get a clear response ^_^ 

 
 

They could be just like that without any changes to the way they're submitted, it just requires the organisation and the will to make sure someone takes responsibility every day for checking bugs, responding to them, then prioritising and scheduling the work which needs to be done to fix them. Rather than this ad hoc, mark as pending and forget system that we appear to have now.

All the fiddling around the edges of the format and who can view bug reports etc etc etc doesn't change the fact that ultimately action needs to be taken to fix bugs in a more timely and co-ordinated manner than it is now. It's not rocket science when it boils down to it.

Edited by Dll
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Well, I don't really see what else I could add. All the contributors (and not) who have replied to this topic have basically said everything I would have wanted to say myself. I agree with everything that has been posted.

 

And I also would like to emphasize just some major things Joel (like others) mentioned all in his post:

On 20/9/2016 at 2:52 AM, Joel R said:

[...]

Some things that I think will constructively help the bug tracker:

  • A validation by other clients.  Include an ability for other clients to notate the bug, which can inform IPS to know the issue is outstanding on a certain date or a certain version.  The more notations can also help IPS better prioritize the magnitude of the problem.  
  • More detailed categorization of issues.  We know that IPS does periodic sweeps through each of the apps, so better categorization would help them more precisely group related bugs together.  
  • A more formalized submission template that requires better information from clients, such as steps to reproduce, code suggestions, places to upload the latest error logs / sql logs.  
  • Prioritization of bugs.  I'll agree that language strings are totally nominal, so make a category for "language strings" and do a periodic sweep. But there are important bugs in the bug tracker that impact every IPS community, and those bugs shouldn't be glossed over in the cursory sweeps. Maybe bug reports need to be filtered through a gateway person who can prioritize the bugs.  But I wholly disagree with the heavy reliance upon private support tickets.  That builds upon the community's knowledge base and ability to group-solve how?
  • Specially marked bugs for Contributors.  Because they've actually dealt alongside the IPS framework.  Also, IPS built this whole purple borders thing.  Use it?  
  • When you mark a bug as solved, actually solve it.  That usually helps a lot.

In general, you can be leveraging the community more.  I kind of think you have a legion of volunteer workers and bored teenagers (I mean, "aspiring developers") who are more than willing to do unpaid work to cross-check, validate, and confirm bugs.  

Ultimately, no matter the channel or medium, you should know that you have clients who do passionately care about trying to help you improve your software.  And I'd like to think we can work with you more - yes, even if that opens you up to public scrutiny and more honest feedback - but ultimately that moves us all forward and fixes the bugs in the most expedient way possible.   

 

  1. Introduce a template, this way the casual client that submits a bug report remembers to include the browser/OS and everything else you might need. Not including it in the first place just makes EVERYONE waste time, first you that have to ask the user to add the information and then the user that won't ever reply right away being casual. I have seen a fair share of closed reports because the client never replied with the info required (like browser/OS/steps to reproduce, and so on).
  2. I totally agree with prioritizing bugs, and as mentioned start from the ones submitted by Contributors. We are the ones helping your clients remain by providing mods and such. And it is really frustrating (and annoying) when we reports bugs that stop us from properly creating modifications. I have reported several of those as well, but some are still open after months (just like everyone else is saying). If you search the bugs I reported you can find them.
  3. Bugs being marked as solved... that's another bad part of it. I always follow ALL my bug reports and a few versions later I double-check if the bug is indeed fixed. If it is, I unfollow the report but if it is not I re-report it. Honestly this is time consuming but I found myself in the past seeing bugs that were supposed to be fixed still around. Sometimes they are simply not fixed completely, sometimes they are fixed in a version and re-appear in the next one, and so on...

 

Lastly, this is not included in his list but I'll mention it, I would really love to have some answers in the Contributor Chat or the IPS Development Gateway forum. This last one was supposed to help us communicate better with the IPS Devs, but infact is almost useless now since we rarely get replies. Even more so now that everyone can post in it and not contributors only (or has this changed again since the last time?).

By the way, I have asked a question in the Contributor Chat exactly 2 weeks ago. I even mentioned all the developers and I bumped the topic again but I still got NO reply at all. I would surely appreciate you taking some time each day to check those forums. Mind you, I'm not asking for you to spend your whole day on it but even 15-30 minutes each day would do wonders compared to the "nothing" we have now.

 

EDIT 1

P.S.: I have about ~10 new bug reports to submit but I am currently waiting for the bug tracker to allow new submissions. Not to mention even the link is gone from the menu right now. I sure as well won't start submitting a ticket for each bug report, even more so because those don't affect my "forum" critically as I am working on an app for a client. If I submit a ticket I'll just get the usual reply to provide an account to check, then I'll tell you this is a dev board and you will tell me you don't support dev boards. See the cycle? Just a waste of time for everyone.

 

EDIT 2

While I am at it, I really dislike when bug reports we make are SILENTLY marked as closed (with no reply we get no notification) and moved to the archived category. It really makes me go nuts. The only way I see they get closed & moved is because I follow them, or have them linked through my code as future todo to remove hacks/fixes/workarounds/etc.

Edited by teraßyte
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We closed the bug tracker to new submissions for a while to clean things up internally and reduce confusion. For power users like you we will come up with another solution for you but normal users just find the whole process confusing. As you can see in this very topic people don't know where to post their issues ^_^

To be clear to everyone: as always if you are experiencing any sort of issue with your community feel free to submit a ticket. You are guaranteed a reply there.

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I've relied on the bug tracker to get updates on the current bug status. It has been the only way for me to be informed about bugs that have been making troubles for the communities. This information is not provided in the release notes, and I'm speaking of course of the more important issues.

If this information is not provided by the IPS in the release notes, and the bug tracker will be more restricted now, where should I find this information?

I have used the bug tracker information to report back to the community. It's important for the members and other users to have knowledge about the issues they have been facing. Like when they get resolved they need to know that so they can start using the feature again, or even come back when they know the issues have been solved.

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24 minutes ago, Charles said:

We closed the bug tracker to new submissions for a while to clean things up internally and reduce confusion. For power users like you we will come up with another solution for you but normal users just find the whole process confusing. As you can see in this very topic people don't know where to post their issues ^_^

To be clear to everyone: as always if you are experiencing any sort of issue with your community feel free to submit a ticket. You are guaranteed a reply there.

Now that you've made it hard to find, so most clients will just submit a ticket, can you reopen the tracker for submissions? We need somewhere to report the bugs that aren't particularly important (my list of bugs to report currently includes a rogue console.log, a bug that has reappeared from a previous version (though I think the original fix broke things), and an uncaught exception that will be hit very rarely - all should be addressed, but none are making a difference to the operation of my site) can be reported and fixed.

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1 hour ago, Charles said:

We closed the bug tracker to new submissions for a while to clean things up internally and reduce confusion. For power users like you we will come up with another solution for you but normal users just find the whole process confusing. As you can see in this very topic people don't know where to post their issues ^_^

To be clear to everyone: as always if you are experiencing any sort of issue with your community feel free to submit a ticket. You are guaranteed a reply there.

Please reconsider the closure of the Bug Tracker :logik:

On this way, the power users don't now of a bug is already submitted and what state it has.

Also I'm reporting on my community the state of a bug, and that is not possible now. 

I found the bug tracker a nice and clear system, I love to use it, please reconsider or give the power user permissions to submit bugs ^_^ 

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Well, there's certainly a lot here to question only because we don't know any details yet really. I must say however, as a theme developer I welcome any other way than the previous solution. It gets confusing being asked to use tracker for some things and not others. It also gets a little confusing in regards to having tickets closed and having to report the same issue again in tracker to get someone to authorize another ticket submission, I think that wears on everyone's nerves including IPB's :D 

So in short,, I guess I welcome a new system as long as we aren't spinning our wheels on previously reported bugs.

Regards

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On 9/23/2016 at 10:42 PM, Machsterdaemon said:

I've relied on the bug tracker to get updates on the current bug status. It has been the only way for me to be informed about bugs that have been making troubles for the communities. This information is not provided in the release notes, and I'm speaking of course of the more important issues.

If this information is not provided by the IPS in the release notes, and the bug tracker will be more restricted now, where should I find this information?

I have used the bug tracker information to report back to the community. It's important for the members and other users to have knowledge about the issues they have been facing. Like when they get resolved they need to know that so they can start using the feature again, or even come back when they know the issues have been solved.

Pretty much all of this, I watch the bug tracker for issues that have been fixed in upcoming versions and it really helps keep a rough outlook on reported issues publicly especially when it says which build will have a possible fix. We have not migrated yet but are very close to and I have been closely following it so I know the situation to report to our users. At least when we migrate I can say we are aware of these issues and they are reported where as without the bug tracker unless a user reports the issue or I see the issue I will have no idea.

Edited by ZeroHour
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So Charles said:

On 23/09/2016 at 10:17 PM, Charles said:

We closed the bug tracker to new submissions for a while to clean things up internally and reduce confusion.

... and people are deciding that this means the bug tracker is closed forever? Okay...

Then he says:

On 23/09/2016 at 10:17 PM, Charles said:

For power users like you we will come up with another solution for you

... and people are still deciding that the bug tracker being removed is bad because they won't be able to use it in a useful way? Like, I think that makes you a power user in this case.

 

Overall it seems obvious that either a decision was made about how this issue is to be talked about by IPS staff, either for over the weekend with reduced staff activity, or in general until whatever the next version of the bug tracker is ready to be revealed.

I'd say this approach is better than continuing to engage in conversations with people who have little to no insight on exactly what is going on here -- without more information about how IPS works and what they are doing, it is pointless to speculate.

Do I wish communication would improve? Very much so, yes. Do I think there is anything constructive to be gained from jumping to the negative conclusion? No, not at all. Let's see what they do, then provide feedback once it is done. If this drags out past another few days, then sure, provide feedback on how it is harming your existence as an IPS client and/or developer.

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On 24/09/2016 at 1:55 PM, Charles said:

If you are having any trouble with your community please submit a ticket. Thanks!

You do realise that there is a massive difference from someone asking for support to people reporting bugs, right? The two are not the same.

A bug tracker is an important part of the development cycle, it is there to be used by your community to help in the aid of a products development. Having a bug tracker helps having possible bugs slipping through the cracks and there are always more than one person looking at every resolution. This means that more than one person can interact with the developer on the same issue and while the solution may seem to work for one server/setup and configuration, as one solution may not always work for someone else.

I will personally always look at the bug tracker for any open issues to see if the bug I have is something that is known, whether or not is is open or closed. This gives me the opportunity to join in and maybe even help before I submit a support ticket. The reason for bug Tracking is that you have everything in one central shared place, and it keeps all your issues in one place without having to look through countless emails or messages. This makes it easier for everyone to be in the loop regarding open and closed issues, the ability for others to provide more information and what steps have been taken to fix the issues.

There are two types in any community, those who send in support tickets because their site doesn't work and those who wish to contribute to the development of what they're using, submit bugs, suggest possible fixes and changes to the code. Please do not dumb this down to the lowest possible denominator and treat everyone in your community the same. Engage with those who want to help you.

Closing the bug tracker means you will lose a valuable resource of community members and developers who wish to help and contribute. I think you're making a big mistake personally.

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13 minutes ago, Adriano Faria said:

Another downside of your decision: I don't see how people will get interested to keep testing Alpha/Beta versions. Probably a couple will keep doing so, but people won't bother anymore.

Same thought ;)

it's most likely that a bug already reported at the client area from the normal live version and that you're discovering the same bug at your test version, and making a double report at the alpha and beta tracker.

My thought, waste of time then (to clarify, time from the people that submit the double already knowing bug) and I'm waiting for now with testing until it is known what the new road from ips is.

My thought are If ips don't want an open report tracker where people can submit bugs, make make at least a bug known base or something.

Ps, I'm saying my thoughts because of another post where I had a reply back about this subject that it is not up to my to worry about this.

But whatever ips decide, it is their software and community so I will always respect their decision. 

 

 

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Charles, this new situation where we end up submitting bugs through the client centre, and you post it as a bug report just leaves me utterly demotivated. I know it probably doesn't make any ounce of sense to you, but I'm simply put off the thought of continuing to submit bugs now. You're making this harder than it has to be, both for you and for us, and I just end up feeling unappreciated as well. I hope this is not meant to be a permanent thing and that you really reconsider this. 

 

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Well, if there is one thing this whole thing is proving it's that communication is a problem, at least on this site. There is no apparent consistent, clear public-facing source of information that would make the lives of core users a lot easier.

I've never been more convinced that a forward-thinking upgrade to both communication in general as well as specifically the daily organising and maintenance of the forums would make life easier for a lot of people.

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