I have a hard time falling asleep. Always have and probably always will. So I lay awake thinking about ‘stuff’. Last night I started to think about the REAL Software Feedback system. I have no particular beef with it – it’s just it doesn’t help me very much in certain areas.
I’ve used a lot of different bug reporting systems over the years. Some are awful and some are really good depending upon the project. Feedback is somewhere in the middle and I think a few changes would make it an outstanding system for REAL Software and for us users – particularly those that participate in the beta program.
First, add a category to the feedback report. Just off the top of my head, I think these categories would be helpful: Feature Request, Crash, Failed Assertion, Incorrect Functionality, and Incorrect Documentation. This would be helpful for RS engineers in working on the really important types first (i.e. crash and failed assertions) and the rest later.
Second, I need to be able to say what version of REAL Studio I’m reporting against. I often get a message from an RS developer asking what version of Studio I saw this in because they don’t see in the version they’re working on. I’ve resorted to putting the version in the comments which seems kind of silly. Feedback, as I understand it, is using inter-app communications to get the version of Studio. As long as it’s running. If it’s not running it uses (assumes?) the latest version. Which might be incorrect.
I often report things when Studio ISN’T running (I just go up to the Finder search and type Feedback to open it quickly). So I’m either reporting no version or against a possible wrong version. It would be nice if Feedback recognized this and let me select from a possible list of versions.
I understand that RS will test it against whatever their most current version is, but to be more efficient I would think knowing what the exact version the bug is reported against would be more helpful than showing the latest version.
We now have incremental release notes. Yay! Maybe the Release version information should be in Feedback too. Ideally, I’d love to get an email from the Feedback system whenever the version it was fixed in was released.
For example, I noticed in the latest release notes for R5 alpha 2 that a bug I submitted is supposedly fixed. As the submitter I would like an email telling me that R5 alpha 2 has a fix for that bug/feature request and kindly asks me to verify that the it is fixed or not. As the submitter, I should be able to Verify or Reject the fix.
Not being able to vote down a feature request is a long standing beef of mine, but I’ll not beat that dead horse today. Perhaps the voting should be broken out into two categories: Feature Requests and Bug Fixes and presented as such?
Well, that’s it for today. Maybe tonight I’ll go to sleep quickly. What do you think would be more helpful in Feedback?