flex spaghetti

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“We file bugs and they go into a black hole”

Posted by rvollmar on February 17, 2009

I saw a comment like this recently and thought it would be a good thing to address. I’ve thought about it, and there are a few areas where bugs seem to…linger. The good news is that usually you can do something about it.

Community

Community members need to take action on bugs with a Community status. Specifically, vote on them!! Two votes will move a bug to the New status; that’s when they show up in QE bug queues. Sometimes we like to look through Community bugs on our own just because, but please don’t rely on it!

Info Needed

When we need information from someone, we add a comment and set the status to Info Needed. You, the diligent user, promptly provide the information, and then the bug just sits there. Sound familiar? This is because we expect users to click on the “Info Supplied” link on the left. That will kick the bug back into our queues. How would you know to do this? Well, until now you wouldn’t!  We hadn’t given you much documentation, and we carefully hid the little bit of doc we did give you. Sorry about that; there is more doc. now (see my other post) and I hear we’re going to post more obvious links soon. Also, we’re being more diligent about signing up to watch bugs so that we can catch these situations.

Deferred

When a bug is closed as Deferred, that means it has been deferred for the current release, not forever. As planning for the next release starts up, management considers the deferred bugs. Some will be selected, and the rest will be retired.  You can decrease the chances that a bug will get retired by voting and commenting on it.  The comments should involve things such as the use case(s), an idea of how often people will run into the issue, and why the suggested workaround (if any) is insufficient. Note that writing in ALL CAPS and adding !!lots of exclamation points!! may be effective in conveying your emotion, but won’t do much to convince management to open the bug. A retired bug will probably never get fixed. No bug should simply be deferred over and over.

External

When a bug is closed as External, that means it’s in some other product.  It may affect Flex applications, but it is not a bug in the actual SDK and will not be tracked in the Flex bug database. This could be at Adobe (e.g. Flash Player bugs) or at another company (e.g. web browser bugs). Usually the other bug database is private, so you won’t be able to look up the status of the other bug. Sorry! You can add a comment requesting an update, and if one of us sees the comment (hopefully we’ve signed up to get email when comments are made…) we’ll go look it up and tell you the status if we can.

Finally, be sure to sign up to watch your bugs. That way you’ll be sure to get email as it moves through the process, as we ask for information, etc…

Best,

– Rob

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