What The Hell Were They Thinking?

In December 2007 I wrote in my wish list that I wanted them to start using a modern bug tracking system.   Let’s be honest, the old one sucked so I wish everyone would stop moaning that they liked it.  We put up with it, but once you use a real bug tracking system instead of the one they wrote and half implemented, you’ll realize how bad it was.

With that said, those making the decision to kill access to the old were smoking something.  Not everyone is using the most modern version of REALbasic.  Heck, there are more than a few developers still using RB 5.5 so removing access to it was a very bad decision.  Okay, so now they’ve brought it back as read only.  That should have been the plan all along.

FogBugz may be awesome.  I sure can’t tell from RS’ comments.  Can’t search for bug reports and workarounds?  I can’t believe that Joel Spolsky would implement a bug tracking system that you couldn’t search.  Come on, the guy wrote a good portion of Microsoft Excel.  He knows his stuff.  He’s good.  And his bug reporting system doesn’t have public vs private bug reports?  I can do that in my free Mantis bug tracker.

So yeah, RS dropped the ball on this one big time.  So instead of the sh**storm they’re dealing with now, this simple forum post (or one like it) would have prevented some of the outrage:

To All REALbasic Developers:
It has become increasingly obvious over the past several years that the Feedback System (i.e. the Feature Request/Bug Submittal System) for REALbasic and REAL SQL Server is not adequate for our internal needs, nor the needs of our customers.  The Feedback System does not have many of the modern features that we, and our customers need and are now demanding.
After a lengthy evaluation process, we have chosen to use FogBugz, an industry leading bug tracking and reporting system.  We feel that using FogBugz will allow us to meet the increasing demands of not only our customers but our internal developers as well.  Starting April 22, 2008, FogBugz will be the only method of submitting bugs and feature requests to Real Software for all of our products.
This change is not without some drawbacks.  Since the feedback system contains many years of bugs that are no longer relevant we have decided that none of the existing feedback system reports will be migrated to FogBugz.  There is so much old data, however, that we felt that it would cause more problems than it solved.
In addition, the current FogBugz implementation does not allow a public search of bugs, nor is there a way to add yourself to an existing feature request or bug and therefore we will have to write some additional tools and reporting mechanisms into the system.  We understand that these are must have features for many of our users so please be  assured that we are trying to implement these features with the help of the FogBugz developers as quickly as possible.  Unfortunately, we do not currently have a timeframe for these to be added back in.
In the meantime, the old Feedback System will remain in place in read-only mode so REALbasic users using older versions may still search and view existing feedback reports.
We understand that this will place hardship on some of you that depend upon existing functionality of the feedback system and we apologize.  If you have any questions or concerns, I will try to answer any and all questions in the forums.  Thank you for the patience and understanding.
Sincerely,
Someone Thinking Ahead

Real Software, we (us developers in the real world) depend upon you to make tough decisions on our behalf in order to make your products better.  However, you still have to keep in mind that we’re developers too and we have to make tough decisions for our products as well.  This week’s situation has the appearance that you are out of control or, even worse, aren’t fully thinking through the implications of your decisions and how they affect the user base.