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Topic: «[Suggestion] AWM 5.5 Beta 3 - Error Reporting , Some Suggestions on Error Reporting » on forum: Beta Testing   Views: 7108
 
Joseph Sullivan
Registered user
 
Posts: 44
Joined: 21.02.2007
Posted: 30.11.2009 10:07:58
 
 
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Summary

The current system, both forums and program, might have some room for improvement in terms of error reporting.  I had a number of ideas and will consolidate all of them here, as the majority is in regards to the current beta release.

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Forum Suggested Changes

I think the first suggestion, and easiest to implement, is to add another field to all forum posts.  This would be a combo box, required entry, that might include the following list:

[list][*]Bug - Open
[*]Bug - Closed
[*]Feedback
[*]Question / Help
[*]Suggestion / Feature Request
[*]Tip / Trick
[*]etc

The initiator has to select one of the options.  Then upon returning to the same post, after it has any number of replies, the initiator is prompted to change, as necessary, the status.  This could be represented on the forum page as a color code, or even an icon.

What you get from this is the ability to quickly see pending issues, solved issues, and so on.  Although, I do suspect that, in many cases, it will have to be company staff that changes problems from Open to Solved.

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Alternative Error Reporting

It may be easiest and most beneficial to use a preexisting free, open-sourced bug tracking solution, like Bugzilla or Codendi

Doing this gives you a very powerful error tracking tool, which you can then integrate reporting functionality into...

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Program Suggested Changes

First and foremost, I really wish the program gave more information.  There doesn't seem to be any implementation of .NET error reporting, using the preexisting Event Viewer, or even a simple text based log.  You do, of course, do a fantastic job of tracking window handling events.  However, when dealing with betas, oftentimes the window handling may not be the cause of the problem.

Secondly, especially if you implement something like Bugzilla, you could have the client easily be able to report directly to the error, requesting information from the user (what were you doing?  what expected results did you have?  what actually happened?  etc.).  You could have the client automatically attach a copy of the Window Rules and any error log.  Further, you could do error handling so that if the program crashes completely, then that event is also reported to you automatically.

In this way, you would be able to see trends of issues, be instantly notified on issues - particularly those that impact a large number of users, and so forth.

That and I see the benefit in being able to report directly from the client.  You may have some users, particularly those that aren't using betas, that are reluctant or don't feel like signing up for the forums, gathering the data, etc.  This would make error reporting easily on the customers, give you far more information, and a tool that let's you do some pretty fantastic stuff.

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Final Comments

Please note that these are just suggestions / ways I visualize improving the way it's currently handled.  I have experience using Bugzilla and you'll never see me going back - hehe.  Either way, I hope my tone wasn't harsh - I'm merely offering some of my thoughts for consideration.

Thank you, as always, for your time and consideration.

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Alexander Belyakov
Administrator
 
Posts: 196
Joined: 07.06.2007
Posted: 05.12.2009 22:30:38
 
 
Joseph,

Thank you for very much your suggestions!

Internally, we use Mantis for bug and feature tracking.
But I'm afraid it won't be easy to integrate our Mantis to the site. The main reason is our web-server is physically located in a remote datacenter, while our bug-tracking, and version control servers reside in an externally unavailable server in our office (this is a security measure).

We'll think on how we can improve error reporting.
 
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chgoguy7
Advanced user
 
Posts: 88
Joined: 28.02.2006
Posted: 07.12.2009 18:43:56
 
 
I agree with Joseph wholeheartedly. A more robust system for reporting bugs, tracking feedback/suggestions/questions/feature requests, etc. would be awesome and far more efficient. For instance, this would allow one to view if ones own "item" has already been reported/recorded, and prevent redundancy in the reporting.

But yes Alexander, I can certainly appreciate that there are legacy systems in place that are not easily replaced or integrated into your existing forum software package. But definitely food for thought as you move forward.
 
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