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In-Talk Bug Tracking fully live

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1timspalding
Edited: Oct 6, 2010, 4:21pm Top

In-Talk Bug Tracking is now fully live. I've made the last few changes necessary, and blogged it here.

http://www.librarything.com/blogs/librarything/2010/10/in-talk-bug-tracking/

Bugs should, of course, be entered as bugs. But let's use this topic to discuss (or resurface) general impressions, favorable and not.

2brightcopy
Oct 6, 2010, 4:26pm Top

(moved from other thread)

Hmm, you know, the more I look the more I think the problem is that it only shows the category if there is an ACTIVE bug. I think it should put active bugs in parens, but ALWAYS show the category. It just makes it easier to navigate and find things.

There is a bug an inactive bug in Uncategorized right now:
http://www.librarything.com/talk?category=26

But if I wanted to go back and find it and reopen it, it's kind of a pain. Hypothetical - same thing if I wanted to go back and find this bug someone entered in "Other" a few days ago but now there's no active "Other" bugs. So I have to go digging through to find it. But was it Deferred? Closed by member? Closed by Staff? Fixed? Dig through Bug Collectors or All category?

I think it doesn't really get you anything to not show the category just because there are no active bugs. It just makes the categories shift around on the page (sometimes it's nice to be able to navigate from memory) and makes it harder to find things.

3timspalding
Oct 6, 2010, 4:28pm Top

Agreed on all counts. Oh, and thanks again. You didn't even show up on the first page of Bug Collectors posts, but, man, you've been a help.

4brightcopy
Edited: Oct 6, 2010, 4:35pm Top

Glad I could help. This site, unlike so many others (*cough*facebook*cough*), just gets better and better every week. It really is quite a feat you and your intrepid crew have pulled off.

ETA: I tend to be a squeaky wheel, and that sometimes comes off as being a whining, complaining wheel. Not so. If I didn't love the site, I wouldn't bother. Glad you understand that!

ETAA: (this is to the general audience) Unfortunately, I'm also fairly tone-deaf when it comes to realizing how people might read my posts in a tone that I totally didn't mean. I often write in a "just the facts" kind of style that can sometimes seem a bit harsh/bossy/argumentative/judgmental/taking-things-too-seriously. Please do cut me some slack and I'll try to do likewise. :)

5_Zoe_
Oct 6, 2010, 4:36pm Top

I'd be curious to see the RSI stats. I only have 279 Bug Collectors posts, but 2,321 in RSI....

6_Zoe_
Oct 6, 2010, 4:38pm Top

If I didn't love the site, I wouldn't bother. Glad you understand that!

Amen to that.

Another interesting number would be how many ignore lists we appear on.... Not as a ranked list, of course ;)

7lorax
Oct 6, 2010, 4:42pm Top

6>

Another interesting number would be how many ignore lists we appear on....

Judging yourself by the quality, or at least the quantity, of your enemies, huh? :-)

8jjwilson61
Oct 6, 2010, 5:15pm Top

Is this the place to enter RSI's for bug tracking? I'd like to be able to select from the status and category lists independently. That is, it would be nice to be able to see all open (is that a status?) Add Books bugs, or all the deferred Search bugs. As a further enhancement I'd like to be able to select multiple status' and categories, like all the Reported and Needs Discussion Add Books bugs.

The most obvious way to do this would be to add checkboxes in front of each item on the page but there may be more elegant ways to do it.

9timspalding
Oct 6, 2010, 5:21pm Top

>2 brightcopy:

It still only counts open (red) ones, but it lists all categories.

I'd be curious to see the RSI stats. I only have 279 Bug Collectors posts, but 2,321 in RSI....

Indeed. I think this needs to get extended to RSI in some way. Maybe I'll get my $100 web store after all. Mwahahaha.

>8 jjwilson61:

How about if you could sort the bug category? That is, you click on the bug column and it sorts them by color.

10_Zoe_
Oct 6, 2010, 5:31pm Top

>9 timspalding: By "this" do you mean the tracking system or the statistics about who posted most? ;)

11aulsmith
Oct 6, 2010, 5:32pm Top

This feature is great. Now if I read about a bug that might affect me in Bug Collectors, I can easily tell if it's been fixed!

Great work.

12brightcopy
Oct 6, 2010, 6:03pm Top

9> It lists all the categories, but you can't click on ones with zero active bugs. For example, you still can't click on "Site-wide problems", even though it has closed bugs:
http://www.librarything.com/talk?category=25

13brightcopy
Oct 6, 2010, 6:04pm Top

Just wanted to document a few things on the Bug tracking page Tim didn't specifically mention:

There's now an "All" status.

You can use Next/Prev to go through multiple pages, just like the rest of talk.

You can sort by Topics, unread/messages, Last message or Last change.

These are all very nice changes that I had stopped looking for because they didn't work earlier. Just thought I'd mention it in case people had stopped looking, too.

14FicusFan
Oct 6, 2010, 6:14pm Top

Cool job Tim.

I would like to request that you have a color key on the Bug page.

http://www.librarything.com/talk

Maybe in the top right ?

Now you have to click into something to see what the color means.

15brightcopy
Oct 6, 2010, 6:26pm Top

(Sorry for several posts in a row, but they're all very different topics and I wanted them to each have message numbers for referencing back to them later.)

Some suggestions (that may have been mentioned before but I thought I'd bring them together in this thread):

a) When you click Post new topic on the bug tracking page, have it default to Bug Collectors. Just say if this is complex in the code (since the Post new topic code may be too modularized for this).

b) Another cool bit of visual fluff would be to have the bug icons show besides the bug posts in Your posts, Your groups, etc. Not sure where it should go, though. If you put it next to the topic names like in Bug Tracking, it would screw up the topic names aligning.

c) Add a Your bugs section under Your World (maybe only if you are a BC member) that will bring up a topic list of bugs you started.

d) Tooltips on the bugs that show the status (but still have a key like FicusFan said)

e) Change category "Other search" to just "Search". Or is there some reason that I'm missing? There's no regular "Search" category.

Okay, I think those encompass a lot of minor suggestions I had.

16_Zoe_
Oct 6, 2010, 6:27pm Top

I'd actually rather not see bug icons elsewhere in Talk.

17brightcopy
Oct 6, 2010, 6:31pm Top

Fair enough, we'll do it your way! ;)

Vote: Show bug icons next to bug posts in areas of talk outside of Bug tracking page

Current tally: Yes 29, No 10, Undecided 7

18staffordcastle
Oct 6, 2010, 7:05pm Top

I voted No on seeing bug icons other places, but I do like the idea of a "Your Bugs" section under Your World. It would be a convenience.

19_Zoe_
Oct 6, 2010, 7:11pm Top

I've added the poll to the other poll thread as well; it will be interesting to see whether the response differs. And I wanted to bump that thread anyway because the response rate for later polls has been very low.

20brightcopy
Oct 6, 2010, 7:41pm Top

19> Yeah, at some point, I have to admit I reached poll fatigue.

21_Zoe_
Oct 6, 2010, 7:45pm Top

But they're so efficient! I hope you'll go back and finish voting eventually.

22Collectorator
Oct 6, 2010, 7:59pm Top

What do we do about bugs that are not assigned? What is the appropriate waiting time before we bump our bugs?

23brightcopy
Oct 7, 2010, 11:54am Top

Where should all the following be categorized?

Connections | Recommendations | Reviews | Statistics/Memes | Clouds | Gallery

Under Home and Profile?

24jjmcgaffey
Edited: Oct 7, 2010, 12:50pm Top

Yes, since that's where it shows up.

25brightcopy
Oct 7, 2010, 12:56pm Top

24> Well, it's always confused me what Tim considers "Home" and "Profile". When you click Home, the links across the top say:
Home | Profile | Connections | Recommendations | Reviews | Statistics/Memes | Clouds | Gallery

The second link is "Profile", which is a completely different tab and usually not considered part of "Home". In the same way, those other things have links off of Home but aren't exactly "Home". I wouldn't normally consider Reviews part of the Home page, for example. You can get to them from a variety of different pages, not just Home.

26_Zoe_
Oct 7, 2010, 1:23pm Top

Yeah, those sub-links to Home and Profile should just be removed.

27timspalding
Oct 7, 2010, 7:54pm Top

It lists all the categories, but you can't click on ones with zero active bugs. For example, you still can't click on "Site-wide problems", even though it has closed bugs:

Fixed. Thanks.

These are all very nice changes that I had stopped looking for because they didn't work earlier. Just thought I'd mention it in case people had stopped looking, too.

Yeah. I'm sometimes tempted to make bugs for things I find that nobody's made a bug of, and then fix it :)

I would like to request that you have a color key on the Bug page.

I dunno. Too much explication. There's a way of finding everything that's in one status or another. The list would have to re-list all the statuses, and which were blue and which red and etc. etc.

When you click Post new topic on the bug tracking page, have it default to Bug Collectors. Just say if this is complex in the code (since the Post new topic code may be too modularized for this).

Meh. I think it's best if it works the same everywhere. Changing defaults would be unexpected.

Add a Your bugs section under Your World (maybe only if you are a BC member) that will bring up a topic list of bugs you started.

Yeah, but then people will want bugs you posted to, etc. I think the current toolset is adequate. Every new feature takes time away from actually fixing bugs and, unfortunately, also kills another kitten. I have them here, in a cage. They are looking afraid.

There's no regular "Search" category.

The goal is to move "add books" stuff to that category. I'm so tired of people posting bugs like "I can't find my book. Why doesn't it work?" You never know what they mean.

Vote: Show bug icons next to bug posts in areas of talk outside of Bug tracking page

Sorry. You I think you lose on this one. I don't want to take up a full column for it--a column that would usually be empty. And it looks very jumbled when it just pushes the rest over.

Down with democracy! (In this case.)

What is the appropriate waiting time before we bump our bugs?

Frankly, it's not going to help much. Now that I have them all at my fingertips, it doesn't really matter. Besides, I'm usually looking at it in the "last change" sort. (Which is new, btw.)

Connections | Recommendations | Reviews | Statistics/Memes | Clouds | Gallery

Yeah, barring some other issue. They're persistent subnavigation on the home and profile pages.

28brightcopy
Oct 7, 2010, 9:26pm Top

27> Yeah, but then people will want bugs you posted to, etc.

This is the only I think is worth a kitten. The other ones are mostly visual fluff. I want this one for the same reason I want "Your topics" for topics you start. It actually helps a LOT when you need to go back and find topics/bugs you started, which tend to mean a lot more to you than topic/bugs you posted on. And you can see topics/bugs you posted on using Your posts. There is no way to filter that to topics/bugs you created.

29timspalding
Oct 7, 2010, 11:20pm Top

Okay, choose between your bugs and your topics.

30brightcopy
Oct 7, 2010, 11:26pm Top

29> Can't I just donate another kitten?

If I had to choose, I'd go with Your topics. Mainly because Your bugs is a subset of Your topics.

31justjim
Oct 7, 2010, 11:26pm Top

Your topics.

32DaynaRT
Oct 7, 2010, 11:44pm Top

Will trade Your books for Your topics. Your books is the most horrible thing about reading Talk on the iPod; I'm forever accidentally tapping it when I mean to go to Your groups.

33infiniteletters
Oct 8, 2010, 12:00am Top

I would also trade Your Books for Your Bugs (or Bugs You've Posted To).

34brightcopy
Oct 8, 2010, 12:10am Top

Dammit. I already gave Tim my Your books for free...

35r.orrison
Oct 8, 2010, 2:08am Top

27: I would like to request that you have a color key on the Bug page.

I dunno. Too much explication. There's a way of finding everything that's in one status or another. The list would have to re-list all the statuses, and which were blue and which red and etc. etc.


Put the icons by the appropriate link in the Status section at the top?

36_Zoe_
Oct 8, 2010, 9:04am Top

Your topics, definitely.

37readafew
Oct 8, 2010, 9:58am Top

I've asked for a 'Your topics' (I am assuming this is stuff I started) starting sometime in the first 3 months that I joined. This would be good.

38brightcopy
Oct 8, 2010, 10:34am Top

I noticed something yet again on the "Categories only shown if _____" topic. You changed it so that categories are shown and clickable even if there are no active bugs in them. Did you mean to make it only show them if there ANY bugs in the category? Right now it still doesn't show them. I think it should, just so categories stay in generally the same spot (unless you add a new category, something that's not really a frequent occurrence) and just to help educate users on all the categories. I can understand if you just don't prefer it that way, but I thought I'd point it out in case the current behavior wasn't intentional.

39timspalding
Oct 8, 2010, 11:04am Top

>38 brightcopy:

Are you saying there's one with no bugs at all that I'm not showing?

40timspalding
Oct 8, 2010, 11:05am Top

"Your topics."

I'm down with the idea, but is it clear? What make something "yours"? I suspect people won't know.

41brightcopy
Oct 8, 2010, 11:05am Top

39> Yes. I just categorized all the Uncategorized ones. So now Uncategorized isn't there.

42brightcopy
Edited: Oct 8, 2010, 11:11am Top

40> I think it's pretty clear. Creating a thread implies possession (in the identification sense, not the control sense). We already use this concept every day, e.g. "Zoe's poll thread".

ETA: I definitely don't think it's any less clear than "Your groups" or "Your books" or "Your posts". "Your groups" doesn't imply that I am the owner of the groups. "Your books" is usually filled with posts that I've never participated in. "Your posts" has a lot of threads that I've posted to at least once, and the links in no way take me to my posts but actually to the thread.

So I'd say the terminology is a little loose in all those cases. It's just one of those things that even if you don't grasp it intuitively, you get it after clicking a few times. Especially if when you've never started a topic, it displayed "There are no topics created by you." Plus, you have the benefit that most other online forums have the concept of "show me threads started by me."

43readafew
Oct 8, 2010, 11:11am Top

40 > I'd call it 'Topics/threads I started'

44brightcopy
Edited: Oct 8, 2010, 11:14am Top

43> Yeah, but that's a pretty big aesthetic tradeoff for minimal additional helpfulness:

Your World
Your books
Your groups
Your posts
Topics/threads I started

Bleh.

ETA: Perhaps I was unfair:
Your World
Your books
Your groups
Your posts
Topics I started

Still bleh, though.

45timspalding
Oct 8, 2010, 11:13am Top

>43 readafew:

Too long.

46readafew
Oct 8, 2010, 11:15am Top

I meant for Topics or threads to be interchangeable not use both, one or the other.

47r.orrison
Oct 8, 2010, 11:21am Top

"Your topics", yes please. (Topics, since that's what it says at the top of this page, and the group page says "Post a new topic" and "Topics" at the top of the list. Keep the terminology consistent.)

48brightcopy
Edited: Oct 8, 2010, 11:50am Top

Of course, when you're actually on the Your groups/Your posts page, it shows

Your World
Your books
Your groups
Your posts
Your starred
Favorite messages

So I guess there's precedent for chucking out "Your"...

Topics I started
Favorite messages

Too long?

ETA: I still want "Your topics." I also would prefer "Your favorites". Then we could replace "Ignored" with "Your ignorance".

49Collectorator
Oct 8, 2010, 12:17pm Top

The whole 'world' thing bugs me. Why your World? Why the World? What does the world have to do with my posts on talk? I do spend lots of time here, yes, but it really is not my entire world. I have the laundry, you know.

50_Zoe_
Oct 8, 2010, 12:22pm Top

I like "Your Topics", but you could also say "Your Started" if you want to keep the parallel structure and get in the idea of starting the thread. A bit awkward, but I think it could work.

51Nicole_VanK
Oct 8, 2010, 12:25pm Top

How about:

Your World
Your books
Your groups
Your posts
You started

52Nicole_VanK
Oct 8, 2010, 12:27pm Top

> 49: but it really is not my entire world

Shame on you. ;-)

53_Zoe_
Oct 8, 2010, 12:27pm Top

>51 Nicole_VanK: That looks too much like a typo, I think.

54brightcopy
Edited: Oct 8, 2010, 12:31pm Top

50/51> A bit problematic, given the full list:

Your World
Your books
Your groups
Your posts
Your started
Your starred
Favorite messages

("started" and "starred" are too similar)

ETA: I don't think everyone's going to agree on ANYTHING as being the "best." But isn't there a consensus is at least "good" for everyone, even if it's not "best" to them?

55_Zoe_
Oct 8, 2010, 12:32pm Top

But isn't there a consensus is at least "good" for everyone, even if it's not "best" to them?

Yeah, I'm fine with "Your topics".

Vote: Your Topics is acceptable

Current tally: Yes 43, No 1, Undecided 1

56FicusFan
Oct 8, 2010, 7:20pm Top

Join the Apple Team:

You Started ...... Then obviously you need the Ipad.

In terms of a color key: Tim you run a book site, words are your friends.

You can summarize. I have listed some examples below.

Newly Opened - Color
In Progress/Assigned - Color
Fixed -- Color
Deferred/Closed - Color
In Discussion - Color
Reopened - Color

Or you could have the meaning pop up when you mouse over the colored bug.

57brightcopy
Oct 8, 2010, 7:33pm Top

56> Or you could have the meaning pop up when you mouse over the colored bug.

Speaking of the iPad...

58brightcopy
Edited: Oct 9, 2010, 1:16am Top

Ran into something a bit confusing. I clicked to post a new topic in bug collectors and got this:


(click for large size)

It happened because I happened to be viewing another bug. But it really threw me, as I was entering a bug and it looked like it already had bug info. Perhaps the "Post a new topic" could clear the bug box?

59brightcopy
Edited: Oct 9, 2010, 9:46pm Top

26> Yeah, those sub-links to Home and Profile should just be removed.

I just realized something that maybe should have been obvious sooner. The Profile sub-link should probably stay in certain cases, as it's not always YOUR profile. If you click on someone else's profile, then you can click on Recommendations, Gallery, etc. and you need the Profile link to get back to their profile. You don't get a Home link when viewing someone else's profile.

However, I'd say the Home sublink is completely redundant. I can't think of any reason that it's needed since there's a Home link right above it at all times. And the Profile sublink should probably be removed on your own Home/Profile page. I would try to justify it by saying "it helps keep it consistent when you're on your profile and someone else's". But that falls apart since if you're on your profile, you see links for "Home | Profile | Recommendations | etc." and on someone else's you see "Profile | Recommendations | etc.", so it's already inconsistent.

60infiniteletters
Oct 9, 2010, 10:15pm Top

26/59: How about the secondary home link is removed?

61brightcopy
Oct 9, 2010, 10:17pm Top

60> Sorry, must not have been clear in my rambling. That was what I thought I suggested.

62infiniteletters
Oct 10, 2010, 10:15am Top

Oh, you were clear enough. I just want the profile link left alone. :)

63brightcopy
Oct 13, 2010, 8:01pm Top

Hey hey, we finally got our first Status War!

http://www.librarything.com/topic/100453

:D

64brightcopy
Oct 14, 2010, 10:47am Top

35> Here's a mockup of what you suggested:



I think it looks pretty good. Non-intrusive and non-explicative.

65lorax
Oct 14, 2010, 11:19am Top

64>

I like it.

66Morphidae
Oct 14, 2010, 11:25am Top

Please do this. I was searching all over to try and figure out what a red bug on my bug meant and couldn't find it.

67ablachly
Oct 14, 2010, 12:48pm Top

Very good. I did it. Thanks for the mock up. I just copied the graphic and pasted it into the page ;)

68brightcopy
Oct 14, 2010, 12:55pm Top

You're making a mockery of my mockup!

69_Zoe_
Oct 14, 2010, 1:19pm Top

I think it would be nice to have different symbols for fixed and closed. I was looking at the page trying to see whether there had been any progress on bug fixes lately, but in the end I had to open individual threads to check the statuses.

70timspalding
Oct 14, 2010, 3:21pm Top

Green X?

71_Zoe_
Oct 14, 2010, 3:34pm Top

Sure, that would work.

72brightcopy
Edited: Oct 14, 2010, 3:54pm Top

For your consideration:



Images:
/pics/bug-red.png
/pics/fugue25/tick.png
/pics/silk/zoom.png
/pics/user_comment.png
/pics/user_gray.png
/pics/silk/user.png
/pics/silk/calendar_view_month.png

(Don't worry, Tim, you don't ACTUALLY have to wear a suit if you use the suit icon.)

73_Zoe_
Oct 14, 2010, 3:54pm Top

I personally prefer the colourful bugs; it's easier to see what they are at a glance.

74brightcopy
Edited: Oct 14, 2010, 4:01pm Top

73> Must be a person-to-person thing. Personally, I can never remember if blue=needs discussion or yellow=needs discussion, blue=deferred or yellow=deferred, etc. Red isn't so hard, though.

ETA: Also, a benefit of having actual different shapes rather than just colors is for the around 4% of the population that have some form of colorblindness.

75_Zoe_
Oct 14, 2010, 5:09pm Top

>74 brightcopy: I think there are two different issues: colourblindness notwithstanding, you're concerned about knowing what the icons mean and I'm concerned about just recognizing them on a more basic level. A big blue bug is simpler than a person with hair, skin, and clothing picked out in different colours, that also happens to have a speech bubble. I don't object to something like a speech bubble to designate "needs discussion", but it should be just a speech bubble, not a multi-part icon where some parts are irrelevant. I like my icons simple and, well, iconic.

76brightcopy
Oct 14, 2010, 6:02pm Top

75> Ah, I was just responding to the "I personally prefer the colourful bugs" part. To me, the colors do nothing because they don't "mean" anything. But in any case, there's also an icon that's just a speech bubble(s).



I like the guys better for the closed ones, though. There's not really a lot of difference between the closed ones, and there's no real small icon that I could find that represents "closed" very well.

Of course, this is all a moot point as Tim probably won't use any of them. :D

77PaulFoley
Oct 14, 2010, 7:16pm Top

"fixed" should be a squashed bug.

78brightcopy
Oct 14, 2010, 7:19pm Top

"Deferred" should be a bug without any fur on.

79timspalding
Oct 14, 2010, 7:52pm Top

>78 brightcopy:

Nice. How about a bug with his eyes closed and "zzzz..." in a speech bubble.

I'll think about this later. I guess you guys have moved me to icons everywhere. But the people creep me out. Fat little ghouls.

80_Zoe_
Oct 14, 2010, 8:03pm Top

I'd rather you not think about it too much. If you just changed the closed bugs to a green X to distinguish them from fixed, like you suggested initially, I'd be happy never to hear about the icons again.

81brightcopy
Oct 14, 2010, 8:18pm Top

79> Haha, I was trying to help you out by NOT having to think about it too much. I didn't count on Zoe having such a strong reaction. :D

I actually used those silk user icons because I could have sworn I saw you use them on some other page. Looks like you went with fugue. So here you go, just because I know Zoe secretly really wants to see another mockup:



/pics/bug-red.png
/pics/fugue25/tick.png
/pics/silk/zoom.png
/pics/silk/comment.png
/pics/fugue21/user-business-boss.png
/pics/fugue21/user-green-female.png
/pics/fugue21/clock.png

And also for Zoe ;)

Vote: I think this is a good look

Current tally: Yes 7, No 13, Undecided 3

82kevmalone
Oct 14, 2010, 8:25pm Top

Ahhh no creepy people icons. They frighten the children and domestic animals.
Green X sounds good to me. And if we need to distinguish between member and staff closures, use a green X superimposed on the LT "L" icon for the latter.

Full disclosure: I'm not too keen on the magnifying glass for "reopened" because it smacks of "Needs investigation" but meh.

83_Zoe_
Oct 14, 2010, 8:27pm Top

Yeah, I don't much like them on the other pages either. And the bugs are cute. I think that over time you'll remember the difference between yellow and blue, especially if there's a legend....

84brightcopy
Oct 14, 2010, 8:28pm Top

82> Full disclosure: I'm not too keen on the magnifying glass for "reopened" because it smacks of "Needs investigation" but meh.

Isn't that usually why it's reopened? That was my thought, at least. I like the idea of the L icon for the "Closed by staff" one quite a bit, though.

It never ceases to amaze me that, no matter how trivial an idea you think you are proposing, on the internet there will be at least a half dozen people who are violently opposed. :D

85keristars
Oct 14, 2010, 8:29pm Top

If we're doing a wishlist, the fixed icon should be a happy sunshiney smiley. Or maybe a rainbow, since I couldn't find a tiny happy sunshine quickly enough in my google image search. >.>

But that's just silly.

86brightcopy
Oct 14, 2010, 8:31pm Top

83> I think that over time you'll remember the difference between yellow and blue, especially if there's a legend....

I just come from the UI school of "try to make the UI something that adjusts to the user, rather than the UI something the user adjusts to." I'm sure I'd eventually learn (as long as I'm not colorblind, which I think is getting short shrift here given that it's one out of 25 people) that blue bug = deferred, yellow bug = needs discussion. But wouldn't it be better to have the icon try to actually convey that meaning? Isn't that what icons are for?

87_Zoe_
Oct 14, 2010, 8:37pm Top

>86 brightcopy: No, I think the point of icons is to stand out and be recognizable and convey information efficiently. There's going to be some potential ambiguity involved no matter what--does that magnifying glass represent the initial investigation required (reported), renewed investigation required (reopened), or further investigation by members required (needs discussion)? And if you have to learn the icons anyway, it's better to keep them simple, vibrant, and distinctive.

88timspalding
Edited: Oct 14, 2010, 8:40pm Top

I just come from the UI school of "try to make the UI something that adjusts to the user, rather than the UI something the user adjusts to."

I don't think you've got it right then. There are only a very few icons that are immediately understandable by a user. Printers. Trash barrels. Even check marks and pencils are dubious. Nobody is going to know what the people icons mean, or why some have suits on and are older men and some are wearing green suits and are younger women. (We got a lot of women at LibraryThing, and no suits!)

The point of the different-colored bugs is that people are a leg-up when it comes to colors. Red means "hot" somehow. Dark blue means "cool." Having "fixed" items be checkmarks seems a decent concession—they're not "bugs" anymore. But I'm not sure that taking different colors of bugs and turning them into different, unrelated icons really improves immediacy of comprehension.

89timspalding
Oct 14, 2010, 8:51pm Top

But wouldn't it be better to have the icon try to actually convey that meaning? Isn't that what icons are for?

I think this is where we disagree. What are the icons supposed to be doing? Perhaps my stance is wrong. I want to know what's hot. I don't really care why. Completist users may want to see at a glance not the general status of a bug but the exact status.

Meh.

90Collectorator
Edited: Oct 14, 2010, 8:53pm Top

If blue is cool then Needs Discussion should not be blue. It's not cool to report a bug and have it closed by someone else without it being fixed or even addressed. That's not cool, it's rude.

91brightcopy
Oct 14, 2010, 9:20pm Top

Augh, why do the dead horses draw me so.

First off, I guess I just am a lot more aware of the colorblind thing. I've had it hammered into my head because one of our employees is colorblind. It really is a pretty big usability problem, as we'll show him something where the only distinguishing characteristic is color and it's all just unusable by him.

So that's my #1 thought - each thing needs to have a distinct icon because two icons that are just different colors are useless to about 4% of the population (8% of men, 0.5% of women).

Now, given that I was trying to find distinct icons, I never said I was trying to give someone something that would allow them to understand LT bugs statuses without ever having read the bug status labels. I didn't expect them to look at an icon and immediately know what it meant. As you said, most users don't automatically do that (and I wouldn't in this case, either). What I wanted was an easy cognitive link between an icon and a label. So they see a text bubble and see the words "needs discussion." That forms a link in their mind much more easily to what the status is than does a blue bug. It doesn't mean that they know what an icon means, it just means that once they've been told what the icon means, it sticks in their memory much more quickly. That's what I'm talking about in my UI approach and, quite honest, I do think I've got it right.

Now, whether or not you wear a suit is irrelevant (women can wear suits too, just FYI), it's just that people can say "oh, I get it, the guy in the suit represents staff, the one not wearing the suit represents non-staff." That's the whole theory behind an icon. It's not supposed to be literal, it's metaphorical. But I think you know this and were just being obtuse. ;)

Could some of the icons have been better chosen? Sure! kevmalone had a great idea to use the L icon for LT staff. But this is probably a futile subject as you're not ACTUALLY complaining about "unrelated"-ness of icons, but really icon-ness itself.

But I can see your point. Basically, this is a bug system for you. Luckily, you're not colorblind, and it's obvious you like the temperature metaphor quite a bit. I can honestly say that I had NO idea that temperature was what you were going for there. Other than red for Reported, I actually thought you just picked the colors randomly. So I'm not really thinking the "leg-up" helped all that much.

So, I guess my takeaway is that this is just one of those areas where a system looks a certain way because it is primarily for your use. I'm happy for you to have a way that gives you the maximum productivity.

As for me, I'm off to my greasemonkey (or... hmmm... perhaps Stylish would be a better fit for this) scripts to have all the great icons I want. :)

92_Zoe_
Oct 14, 2010, 9:28pm Top

It doesn't mean that they know what an icon means, it just means that once they've been told what the icon means, it sticks in their memory much more quickly. That's what I'm talking about in my UI approach and, quite honest, I do think I've got it right.

The thing is, this only helps at one stage of the process. You learn the symbols, and you're done. Choosing clear, distinctive icons helps every single time you look at the page. The bugs stand out much more than the other icons and can be processed more quickly.

And I don't know much about colour-blindness, but I thought red/green was by far the most common?

93Collectorator
Oct 14, 2010, 10:32pm Top

To follow up a bit on my message 90, I analyzed the bugs currently listed as needing discussion.
There are 5 cases of Staff simply blueing the bug which effectively blows the bug off the radar.
There are 8 cases of Staff marking the bug fixed and so it had to be blued by either the reporter or someone else.
There are 7 cases of Staff closing the bug and so it had to be blued by someone.
There are 2 cases of NONstaff simply blueing the bug, blowing it off.
There are 3 cases of NONstaff closing the bug and so someone had to blue it.
In any case, when it's blued it is not cool.

94kevmalone
Oct 14, 2010, 10:44pm Top

I left this thread to do something else and just caught the thread title out of the corner of my eye on my Home Page.

I could have sworn it said "In-Talk Baby Tracking fully live".

New Feature request?

95auntSteelbreaker
Oct 14, 2010, 11:58pm Top

I actually thought that the red meant "wrong" or "error" kind of opposed to the green symbol showing us that everything is alright. Since "needs discussion" is hot in my book ("might possibly need some casual discussion" would be less hot) I would never ever (ever ever) have guessed that blue meant cold. I still find it hard to believe even though I have heard it. ;) It just totally goes against my sense of semantics. Except for the green and the red I thought it was all randomly chosen. (At least not meant to convey something.)

In a way I think all sides in this discussion are both right and wrong. I guess aesthetically I agree more with Zoe but for usability I think Brightcopy has a good point.

Maybe to a degree the discussion is about icons or not icons since the color codes are more like pseudo icons. It looks better with a bug than with a colored dot, but it is kind of the same thing and all the dots/bugs look alike. So if I interpret this as "should we have icons" I agree with Zoe that "no" since icons are overestimated. But since the discussion seems to be "what is a useful icon" I agree with Brightcopy since honestly, if color is the only difference then what does the word icon really mean.

96jjwilson61
Oct 15, 2010, 12:35am Top

Needs Discussion and Deferred need to remain as bugs because the bug (problem) still exists. Maybe the needs discussion could be a bug with a talk bubble.

And Fixed, and two Closed By icons need to be similar as well. In short the most important thing to get out of these icons is whether the bug still exists or not.

97Morphidae
Edited: Oct 15, 2010, 7:00am Top

Red is actually the most unintuitive for me, since red means stop. I thought it meant closed.

Blue I get. Talk until you are blue in the face.

Yellow is pause.

98lorax
Oct 15, 2010, 8:26am Top

Since there's no green bug icon -- just red, yellow, and blue -- I think colorblindness in this particular case is not an issue.

Better than just thinking that, though, I actually tested it at vischeck.com. This isn't as good as asking an actual colorblind person, of course, but for the red-green colorblind simulation, the bug icons are all still distinguishable. (The red and the yellow aren't quite as obviously different as would be ideal, but they aren't the same, either. Going to a deeper red would help.) Obviously this won't help people with complete colorblindness, but since that's a tiny, tiny fraction of the population I don't think it's a huge consideration -- I'd worry about accessibility for blind people first.

99brightcopy
Oct 15, 2010, 12:28pm Top

I'm not really going to continue this very much, since at this point there's not much left of the horse, but I did want to respond on the colorblindness comments because it's an interesting issue from a UI standpoint. That website is pretty neat, but it doesn't give you the complete picture. I've talked to the guy at work I've mentioned quite a bit. It's not a simple mapping of "well, to colorblind users, this color becomes this color". It's also a matter of context and monitors. Different monitors have different color calibrations, brightness, contrast, gamma, etc. Even to non-colorblind users, colors can appear QUITE different due to this. Just go over to the thread about the previously-green highlight box in Talk to see an example of this.

The context matters, as it's easier for my friend to distinguish between some colors when they are right next to each versus by themselves. So, for example, if they were viewing a page showing a bunch of Reported (red) bugs next to a bunch of Needs Discussion (blue) and Deferred (yellow) ones, it would be obvious that there's three different things. But if they just had some Reported bugs next to Needs Discussion ones, it wouldn't be as easy to figure out what exact color they were seeing. Rather than remember which color, they'd have to remember which "brightness" of bug, basically. Not exactly ideal, as imagine if blue bugs meant one thing, but slightly more blue bugs meant another.

FYI, here's the screenshot from the vischeck website for my earlier mockup:


As I said before, this is all moot as far as LT goes, as it's pretty clear that Tim likes it this way and he's not colorblind (nor are, I'm guessing, anyone on his staff). But I just wanted to throw it out there to pass along some of the interesting things I've noticed in talking with my coworker. It really drove home to me that in general UI design, you need to rely both on shape AND color and not just color. I've found that it's also made my designs easier to learn for non-colorblind people, too.

100infiniteletters
Oct 15, 2010, 1:41pm Top

99: Maybe some of the bugs could be rotated for the different categories.

101Collectorator
Oct 15, 2010, 6:05pm Top

Won't we need to consider those that are directionally-challenged then?

102infiniteletters
Oct 15, 2010, 6:36pm Top

101: Color + direction should help for either group.

103brightcopy
Oct 15, 2010, 6:51pm Top

At this point, I'd rather just not waste any more of Tim's time with it. My initial goal had been to help him save time, and that definitely backfired. Best to cut our losses.

104_Zoe_
Oct 15, 2010, 7:01pm Top

I'd still like a simple way to distinguish between fixed and closed, though. I don't really care what.

105Collectorator
Oct 15, 2010, 8:57pm Top

I'd like for people to stop thinking the blue bugs are "cool."

106brightcopy
Oct 15, 2010, 9:47pm Top

That's less disturbing than people thinking the red ones are "hot"...

107Collectorator
Oct 15, 2010, 10:07pm Top

But I do understand "hot" from the Staffer's POV. We users should have the idea that the LT Gods leap from their golden thrones and blur into action. Because it's hot to have a red hot bug and they are hot on it. /dreaming

108timspalding
Oct 15, 2010, 10:40pm Top

Well, I've enjoyed this conversation :)

109kevmalone
Oct 15, 2010, 11:05pm Top

"Thank you, thank you. You've been a truly wunnerful audience. We'll be here all week. "

110justjim
Oct 15, 2010, 11:22pm Top

Try the veal.

111kevmalone
Oct 16, 2010, 11:31am Top

Tip your server.

112brightcopy
Edited: Oct 16, 2010, 11:44am Top

Please don't tip the server.

113r.orrison
Edited: Oct 16, 2010, 11:50am Top

I now have an image in my head of drunken farm boys roaming the halls of college buildings, looking for servers to tip, to avenge the cows.

114kevmalone
Oct 16, 2010, 12:33pm Top

Avenging Beef Tips.
Sounds delicious.
I'll tell the servers.

115Aerrin99
Oct 16, 2010, 2:00pm Top

While I am not opposed to other icons (say, a bug with a discussion bubble, etc), I do like the bug and color thing, I think we will learn what they mean fine, and like Zoe, I think the biggest issue right now is that 'closed' and 'fixed' need to be differentiated. Check vs. X works fine for me.

116_Zoe_
Oct 19, 2010, 11:46pm Top

I see green checkmarks,
But no one is fixing bugs.
Please change the icon.

117brightcopy
Oct 24, 2010, 1:44am Top

Suggestion - would it be hard to make it where you can't set something to Needs Discussion unless it is already in Closed by member/staff/Fixed? Maybe Deferred, too?

I think it doesn't make sense to set to ND when the status is already Reported, which has happened a couple of times.

118Collectorator
Oct 24, 2010, 1:47am Top

It happens because you do it! lmao

119brightcopy
Oct 24, 2010, 1:59am Top

118> I have never, in the history of LibraryThing, EVER set anyones bug from Reported to Needs Discussion.

Check your facts, ma'am.

120Collectorator
Oct 24, 2010, 2:18am Top

Yeah, you just close them.

121brightcopy
Oct 24, 2010, 2:27am Top

Yes, I closed a bug that was a duplicate. That the creator of the bug recognized was a duplicate, and had no problem with me closing it. So really, it's a mystery why you even cared.

This is how it's supposed to work. Why do you think Tim gives us the ability to close bugs that aren't ours? You seem to be the only one here who isn't on the same page.

Thanks, though, for apologizing for laughing and accusing me of doing something that I don't do.

Oh wait, you didn't. Nevermind.

122Collectorator
Oct 24, 2010, 2:29am Top

Do not try to act as if you have only ever closed one bug. Please.

123brightcopy
Edited: Oct 24, 2010, 2:36am Top

No, I was just referring to the most recent one that got you ranting on it for me closing it. I've closed others, too, just like Tim created the system for me and others to do. Again, this is how the system is supposed to work.

You also realize that if anyone disagrees with any bug I've closed, it's trivially easy for them to re-open them, right? And yet, not one I've ever closed has ever been re-opened, has it? Why do you think that might be?

I find it rather sad that this vendetta you seem to have against people using the system as Tim designed it is distracting from this suggestion. Yet you've ranted about how much you hate it when people set other people's bugs to ND (which as far as I know has only happened a couple of times). Can you put down the pitchfork and just think for a minute here?

124Collectorator
Oct 24, 2010, 3:20am Top

No, you cannot reopen a closed bug. You can set it to deferred or you can make it blue but you cannot reopen a closed bug.

The suggestion you are making is a fine one. I agree with it. I could have written it myself. I brought it up. I pointed out the problem to start with. Remember?

Vendetta is an inflammatory word and you're the one with the horns and hooves anyway.

From the beginning of this, I have tried to make people aware that what they are doing is rude. The fact that Tim doesn't know/see/care is irrelevant. I don't care if it is sanctioned rudeness. That doesn't make it any less rude.

125_Zoe_
Oct 24, 2010, 7:57am Top

The problem here is really just that Needs Discussion bugs are getting ignored. If someone posts a bug with insufficient information to recognize what's wrong, then it should be set to Needs Discussion. That's the whole point of the category. But there should be a way to change from Needs Discussion back to Reported. Needs Discussion should be about gathering more information until it's clear what has to be done. It shouldn't be treated as a replica of Deferred.

126jjwilson61
Oct 24, 2010, 11:00am Top

What's this about "making it blue"? It's not Closed or Deferred, so it's still a bug no matter what color it is. Is Tim really ignoring Needs Discussion bugs? Or is it that he went to DisneyWorld last week and wasn't fixing any bugs.

127_Zoe_
Oct 24, 2010, 11:23am Top

>126 jjwilson61: He said that red means "hot" while blue means "cool", so that the red bugs are seen as a much higher priority than blue bugs.

128brightcopy
Oct 24, 2010, 11:30am Top

124> Needs Discussion IS an open bug.

129Collectorator
Oct 24, 2010, 1:32pm Top

128, If a user opens a bug it is Reported. If you Close the bug it is Closed. If the user wants the bug to live, the user can only Blue the bug by setting it to Needs Discussion. Yes, as you say, Needs Discussion is an open bug. However, it is as if it is shelved. It no longer has the Red Hot Bug designation. And why? Because You Closed it, and you really had no call to do so, which is Rude.

130jjwilson61
Edited: Oct 24, 2010, 1:52pm Top

Tim set up the system so that users could help by closing bugs that are duplicates or aren't actually bugs. It's not being rude to use the system as it was intended. And if not being able to set a bug report back to reported is a problem, you should take it up with Tim, not excoriate another member.

I think you're making more of this blue vs. red thing than is warranted.

ETA: And is this what Tim was talking about when he mentioned people getting angry over bug reporting? If so, then congratulations Collectorator for turning Tim off from bug fixing.

131brightcopy
Edited: Oct 24, 2010, 2:02pm Top

I've just completed an exhaustive survey of all the bugs I've closed. Well, I'm exhausted. Hopefully I didn't miss any.

I've closed a total of 12 bugs since the bug system has went into effect. Here they are, grouped by category with a summary of each.

Reported by me:
1: 100046 - What can I say - I entered the bug. It stopped happening, so I closed it. Then I re-opened it when it happened again in a slightly different place. Then Tim marked it as Fixed.

Feature suggestions:
2: 100032 - gangleri had been putting in Series in a format other than the supported one. Tim changed something behind the scenes, which broke this hack. After working with him to help explain this and suggestion that he post in RSI to ask for the Series entries to actually support his desired features, I closed the bug. He posted to RSI and posted a note to the bug to let everyone know. He did not reopen the bug.

Duplicates:
3: 100059 - theapparatus posted a dupe bug. I closed it with a link to the other bug. He said thanks.
4: 100242 - gangleri posted a dupe bug. I closed it with a link to the other bug. He did not reopen it.
5: 99967 - saltmanz posted a dupe bug. Tim marked it as Deferred. I closed it and put in a link to the other bug, which Tim had also marked Deferred.
6: 100827 - BarkingMatt posted a dupe bug. I closed it with a link to the other bug. They said "sorry" (I'd call that an agreement that it was a dupe). You posted that you didn't like me closing other people's bugs, and that I should let THEM close it.
7: 100100 - gangleri posted a bug which was actually a side-effect of another bug and it's fix. I closed it, with a link to the other bug. Tim marked both bugs Fixed.

Things that probably weren't bugs in LT:
8: 100340 - gocubsgo posted a bug about getting an error that their system clock is causing them not to be able to set cookies. We had quite a few messages back and forth where I tried to help her track it down. Then it just started working fine so we had nothing else to go on. They said they'd post later if it happened again and thanked me for my help. I closed it, with a note saying if it did happen again, to just reopen the bug and put more information in it. Two weeks later, they have yet to post anything.
9: 100756 - Witchylady333 had a problem that turned out to be her antivirus preventing her from uploading images. A few of us helped her track it down to that and figure out how to fix it. I closed the bug.
10: 99872 - prussia_cove posted a bug about not being able to delete books. They just didn't understand that you can't "delete" works at LT, and they were also confused about how LT showed them as "owning" a book. Along with others, I helped them understand how the system works. They thanked us multiple times, and said everything looked great. I closed the bug. Then Tim closed the bug.

Ones where I closed it bug it was then re-opened:
11: 100217 - fdholt posted a bug that seemed to be a duplicate of another bug. I closed it with a link to the other bug. Tim then marked it as Fixed. Then fdholt changed it to Needs Discussion and Tim realized it really was just a very similar bug but not the same. He then Fixed it.
12: 99855 - guurtjesboekenkast posted a bug about setting dates on a book not working. It turned out they were setting using YYYY-MM instead of YYYY-MM-DD, which is the supported way to do it. There was some discussion with other users and they realized the mistake. I closed the bug because it looked like it was just user error and the user agreed. jjwilson61 reopened it because they felt LT should pop up some kind of error. I don't disagree with this choice, btw.

So, of those 12, only 2 have ever been re-opened. Of those, in #11 I mistakenly thought the bug was a duplicate of another. And Tim made the same mistake and marked it as Fixed. So in this case, my closing was moot because Tim marked it as Fixed anyway. So it would have went to Needs Discussion with or without my closing.

The other one was #12, which was re-opened by another user because they felt it should have an error message.

Really, where is your problem with how I work on bugs? Do you think the above is evidence of some bad approach to bug tracking?

On the other hand, here's your track record of debatably closed bugs:
98930 - koffieyahoo opened a bug about the favicon disappearing. You closed the bug because you were seeing the favicon. MikeBriggs posted asking why you had closed the bug. You responded that they can re-open it, if they want. MikeBriggs re-opened it, resulting in Needs Discussion.

100394 - theapparatus posted a bug about subscription renewal periods not being for the full time period. Tim posted that he was assigning it to Abby. You closed the bug with no comment. When asked why, you responded "I just thought I'd try it since it seems so appealing to others. Flat, though. /shrug" In other words, you just closed it to be petty. Tim then changed it back to Reported because they were trying to work on the bug.

So I've caused a grand total of two bugs to be turned into a "blue" bug (#11 and #12). And one of those would have been turned into a blue bug anyway since Tim incorrectly set it to Fixed. So really, I've caused ONE bug to be turned into a blue bug.

You've caused two. One of which you did simply because you were in a bad mood.

I ask you again - please LAY OFF me on this issue. It does nothing to help the site and it's really beginning to bug me.

132Collectorator
Oct 24, 2010, 2:02pm Top

125, 127, Thank you for letting me know I'm not shouting down a well.

133_Zoe_
Oct 24, 2010, 2:41pm Top

>132 Collectorator: I should clarify that I don't condone your approach to the issue overall (as jjwilson says, it isn't brightcopy's fault), but I just felt the need to point out that there was a real concern at the base of it all.

134Collectorator
Oct 24, 2010, 2:47pm Top

I am not doing anything to him! He is one of the three major perpetrators, and the only one who has discussed the issues with me. good grief.

135_Zoe_
Oct 24, 2010, 2:49pm Top

>134 Collectorator: I think the problem is with the system (we can't change blue bugs back to red bugs, and Tim puts a priority on red bugs), not with the users.

136Collectorator
Oct 24, 2010, 2:55pm Top

I think when users see that their actions harm/impede the rights of others, they should show restraint.

137brightcopy
Oct 24, 2010, 3:01pm Top

134> "Three major perpetrators"? Are you one of the other two, considering what I showed above?

You have really made a colossal mountain out of this molehill.

138Collectorator
Oct 24, 2010, 3:08pm Top

You and Zoe and lorax have recently posted that there needs to be something done about the blue bugs, reopening bugs, etc. Because I was talking about it before that, and continue to talk about it, I'm making a mountain? I really don't care if you find the mountain bothersome. Stop contributing to it? Just state that yes, messing with other people's bugs is rude and let it go? How about that? It's not as if I am making an assault upon your character, or anyone else's. I am simply trying to bring attention to the fact that although we can all commit these bug shifting operations, it is probably nicer to Not Do It.

139brightcopy
Oct 24, 2010, 3:34pm Top

138> The mountain/molehill is this idea that you've somehow got that I'm a "major perpetrator" of creating blue bugs, not the blue bug issue itself. And I've shown above it's pretty baseless. I have created the same number of blue bugs as you!

140Collectorator
Edited: Oct 24, 2010, 4:19pm Top

No. I mean to say you are a major perpetrator of Altering the Status of Other People's Bugs. Making someone ELSE's Bug Blue is Rude. Closing THEIR Bug is Rude.

typoo

141r.orrison
Oct 24, 2010, 4:44pm Top

Making someone ELSE's Bug Blue is Rude. Closing THEIR Bug is Rude.

B******t I respectfully disagree. Users helping sort out other people's problems that aren't bugs, and then closing the bug is helpful. Users pointing out that a reported bug is a duplicate and closing it to get it off the already full plates of the developers is helpful. Both of these are things that the bug tracking system intentionally allows and should be encouraged.

142timspalding
Oct 24, 2010, 5:05pm Top

I don't think there's much I can say here, although I do will everyone would chill a little. I'll try to solve the problem by fixing as many bugs as I can as quickly as I can. The order I do them in is not, however, going to please everyone.

143brightcopy
Oct 24, 2010, 5:36pm Top

142> I think there's IS more you can say, Tim. You've got to come down on one side or the other on this one. What is it - do you want us to close bugs (thoughtfully and with good reasons) even if they're not our own, or do you want people to "own" the bugs they create and not have anyone else alter them?

I know you want to keep the site nice and amicable, but this is a crucial issue that's coming up here. One user has basically told everyone else they're using the site wrong and they should use it the way they prefer. I'd like your clarification, please.

144timspalding
Oct 24, 2010, 5:44pm Top

I made the feature so that people can close bugs started by others. That was intentional. Like any other feature of this sort, it should be used appropriately and, considering its effects, carefully. It will not always be so--and that's okay. There are self-correcting mechanisms here, like other users and the fact that I review member-closed bugs.

145brightcopy
Oct 24, 2010, 5:49pm Top

144> Thank you. I hope that puts the issue to rest, even if it doesn't change everyone's mind. I'll keep doing what I'm doing, which is trying to thoughtfully and with good reason close bugs when they need to be. But that's just part of my overall approach. Foremost my goal is to help LT staff save THEIR time on the bug research and spend it where most useful.

146timspalding
Oct 24, 2010, 5:52pm Top

>145 brightcopy:

I'm going to go fix some bugs now. :)

147lorax
Oct 24, 2010, 6:04pm Top

140>

Making someone ELSE's Bug Blue is Rude. Closing THEIR Bug is Rude.


No, it's not. It's not "their" bug. It's a LT bug that they reported. If it's not really a bug, or if it's a duplicate, or if it just isn't happening any more, closing it is the right thing to do. If any of these issues are debatable, marking it as "Needs discussion" -- which is still an open bug status, is the right thing to do.

148brightcopy
Edited: Nov 2, 2010, 5:49pm Top

I'm reposting this because last time it got off on a totally different tangent that wasn't helpful to the actual suggestion. I'm reposting it because this is being done more often (by non-LT staff) and I have to say it's really quite frustrating and disheartening.

Suggestion - would it be hard to make it where you can't set something to Needs Discussion unless it is already in Closed by member/staff/Fixed? Maybe Deferred, too?

I think it doesn't make sense to set to ND when the status is already Reported, which has happened a couple of times.

149_Zoe_
Nov 2, 2010, 7:53pm Top

>148 brightcopy: Doesn't it make sense in a case where the initial report doesn't include enough information to identify/reproduce the bug?

I think the issue is really that it should be possible to change a bug from ND back to Reported when further discussion is no longer needed.

150brightcopy
Edited: Nov 2, 2010, 8:12pm Top

149> No, because Tim uses Reported/Needs Discussion as priority levels. Reported is the highest level, which makes sense for bugs he hasn't even tried to fix. Needs Discussion has historically been used when a bug has been closed/fixed and has to be re-opened to indicate that it wasn't as fixed as thought. In such a case, ND makes sense for closed/fixed bugs because he is at least aware of the bug already.

151_Zoe_
Nov 2, 2010, 8:20pm Top

>150 brightcopy: Yeah, I know how Tim is using them. And frankly, he's doing it wrong. If the classifications he's created aren't the classifications he actually wants, then he should rethink the whole classification scheme.

152brightcopy
Edited: Nov 2, 2010, 8:46pm Top

151> It's not the classification that I think is wrong, but the process flow. I think the process flow is:

Reported -> Fixed -> Needs Discussion -> Fixed
Reported -> Closed -> Needs Discussion -> Fixed
Reported -> Closed -> Needs Discussion -> Closed
Reported -> Closed -> Needs Discussion -> Deferred

etc.

There's no need for someone to do:

Reported -> Needs Discussion -> Fixed -> Needs Discussion -> Fixed

It's just throwing in an unnecessary middle step. Reported bugs are ALREADY being discussed. Perhaps the problem is just the terminology. If Needs Discussion was renamed to "Reopened", I think it would make it a lot clearer.

Right now, the system doesn't stop that, just like it doesn't stop me from going into every bug Tim marked as Closed by Staff and marking it Closed by Member. Or going in and marking all Reported bugs as Closed by member, then marking them Deferred then marking them as Needs Discussion. They're all unhelpful things you can do with the system, but it's lightweight and so he's sided on the "don't worry about putting in controls until it becomes a problem - trust users first."

Unfortunately, in this case the trust is being broken on changing Reported to ND and I think it could use some actual code enforcement.

153_Zoe_
Edited: Nov 2, 2010, 8:58pm Top

>152 brightcopy: I think there's a place for both Needs Discussion and Reopened by Member. In the first case, more information is required before action can be taken. Here's an example.

If you want to stick with the current categories, I would still prefer the ability to change Needs Discussion back to Reported. When all the necessary discussion has taken place, then it's time for Tim to either fix the bug or officially defer it.

The way he's treating Needs Discussion now, as a random pile of bugs of various statuses that can just get ignored, we'll soon be no better off than we were before bug tracking was implemented. Needs Discussion should be a temporary state, not an ever-growing pile of neglected bugs.

154jjwilson61
Edited: Nov 2, 2010, 9:04pm Top

152> But that's how ND is being used because there's no other way to open a closed bug. I think Tim originally added it as a way to say that he needs more discussion about the bug before he can decide how to close it.

So I think Zoe is right but there needs to be a way to change it back to reported when there has been enough discussion. And there needs to be a way to change a closed bug back to reported.

(Although I don't like reported as it sounds like Tim hasn't seen it yet. I'd rather there was another state, Assigned or Working, that Tim could move it to after he'd done an initial evaluation. Then ND bugs could be changed back to Reported or Working depending on if Tim had evaluated it or not.)

ETA: To add the message I was responding to since Zoe sneaked another post in there while I was typing.

155brightcopy
Nov 2, 2010, 9:06pm Top

153> I can see your point of view, but ultimately the bug tracking system is designed to work with how Tim wants to handle the bugs. So far, he's not interested in changing his process flow to work the way you or others want him to. That's why I am trying to just work within the system rather than change it to what I think would be my ideal (believe me, I'd change a lot).

156jjwilson61
Edited: Nov 2, 2010, 9:24pm Top

155> But Tim didn't add ND as a way to reopen bugs.

ETA: If you really wanted to follow Tim's process flow then closed bugs should just stay closed because he didn't purposely add any way to reopen them.

157brightcopy
Nov 2, 2010, 9:12pm Top

156> Cite?

I can never recall ever seeing Tim set a Reported bug to ND. As far as I've seen, he's only ever set Closed/Fixed ones to ND. I could be misremembering, but I'm pretty sure.

158_Zoe_
Nov 2, 2010, 9:15pm Top

>155 brightcopy: I don't think Tim is really dead-set on the current system. He's weighed in only very briefly since the various issues started arising, and he said: There are self-correcting mechanisms here, like other users and the fact that I review member-closed bugs.

The problem is that members can't correct each other when certain status changes are irreversible. If the change from Reported to Needs Discussion could be undone, then the conflicts would disappear. Would this really ruin his whole bug-fixing approach? I doubt it.

159_Zoe_
Nov 2, 2010, 9:15pm Top

>157 brightcopy: I gave an example in 153.

160brightcopy
Nov 2, 2010, 9:22pm Top

159> Good call. Not sure how I missed that in your post. I'll amend it to say that I don't think it's very common that he does it. I actually downloaded all the bugs to date for my post #131. I need to run them through some analysis to confirm my feeling.

I just went and re-read the bug tracking posts where Tim discussed creating the system. As far as I can find, he was silent on the whole thing. The nearest thing I could find was when he listed out the statuses, he listed it as:

Reported
Fixed
Closed by member
Closed by staff
Needs discussion

But I may be reading too much into the tea leaves on that one.

161_Zoe_
Nov 2, 2010, 9:30pm Top

>160 brightcopy: Yeah, I'm not sure how much you can read into the ordering.

But I will say that Tim shouldn't have to spend his time requesting clarification of vague bugs. Members can do that, and wouldn't be afraid to, if only the system were working properly.

162brightcopy
Edited: Nov 2, 2010, 9:45pm Top

Okay, I've done an analysis on the bugs and the history on them as of Oct 24th (the full set I downloaded at that time).

Of the 283 bugs, Tim set 20 of them to Needs Discussion. He's never set any from Fixed/Closed to Needs Discussion. So you were definitely right in that he doesn't seem to be using it as a "reopened" status.

What I did find from looking at the bugs was that he mostly used it as "this bug report is incomplete". In a couple, he used it as "I've looked at this and I'm going to come back to it soon."

But I think the fact that he's done this on only 7% of the bugs so far strongly suggests he didn't mean ND to be a typical status between Reported and Closed/Fixed.

And the thing that's frustrating me that I'm seeing is that bugs are sometimes being marked as ND by members even when the bug report IS complete and before Tim has even seen it. That just makes no sense to me at all.

BTW, here's the bugs I show where Tim marked it ND:

http://www.librarything.com/topic/100478
http://www.librarything.com/topic/100508
http://www.librarything.com/topic/100510
http://www.librarything.com/topic/100529
http://www.librarything.com/topic/100615
http://www.librarything.com/topic/100845
http://www.librarything.com/topic/100866
http://www.librarything.com/topic/100887
http://www.librarything.com/topic/100918
http://www.librarything.com/topic/96053
http://www.librarything.com/topic/96853
http://www.librarything.com/topic/98503
http://www.librarything.com/topic/99119
http://www.librarything.com/topic/99228
http://www.librarything.com/topic/99284
http://www.librarything.com/topic/99418
http://www.librarything.com/topic/99420
http://www.librarything.com/topic/99428
http://www.librarything.com/topic/99496
http://www.librarything.com/topic/99701

ETA: One thing possibly left out of this is where other members have changed the status from Reported to ND before Tim happened along. But I really feel like that hasn't happened even as much as Tim set it from Reported to ND. But I should check my gut instinct it at some point. One of these days I'll get around to FULLY parsing it so I have a database of bug logs. Then I could do some really fun analysis! Maybe at this point, I should move this to the "Stalking Tim" group... ;)

163Collectorator
Nov 2, 2010, 10:20pm Top

And the thing that's frustrating me that I'm seeing is that bugs are sometimes being marked as ND by members even when the bug report IS complete and before Tim has even seen it. That just makes no sense to me at all.

This is the problem. Apparatus needs the frying pan. Everyone else seems to have figured it out.

164_Zoe_
Edited: Nov 2, 2010, 10:29pm Top

>162 brightcopy: Thanks for that analysis.

I do think the Stalking Tim group really needs to be revived.

And the thing that's frustrating me that I'm seeing is that bugs are sometimes being marked as ND by members even when the bug report IS complete and before Tim has even seen it. That just makes no sense to me at all.

I still think the easiest solution is to let members change bugs from ND back to Reported. It shouldn't be possible for one member's bad decision to throw off the whole process.

165brightcopy
Nov 2, 2010, 10:40pm Top

164> And if a member decides they don't like bugs ever being set to Needs Discussion, and constantly sets them from ND to Reported?

I guess one approach could be "let's wait and see if that happens." But I think there are fairly strong signs it would.

166_Zoe_
Nov 2, 2010, 11:21pm Top

>165 brightcopy: CK works pretty well.

167brightcopy
Nov 2, 2010, 11:56pm Top

166> As I said, I usually assume the best. I would have for this Needs Discussion thing. Turns out not everything works out as well as CK every time.

168_Zoe_
Nov 3, 2010, 12:05am Top

>167 brightcopy: The difference is that CK can always be changed back.

169brightcopy
Nov 3, 2010, 12:20am Top

168> True. Though the downside is that it's a loss less noticeable (so many bajillions of bits of CK data out there).

170brightcopy
Nov 7, 2010, 4:58pm Top

Tim> So you've added the ability for us to mark things as Reopened (as well as the original Closed by Member, Needs Discussion, and Deferred). Any guidance on when you want us to mark things as Reopened versus Needs Discussion? My gut instinct would be that only things that are closed/fixed should be marked Reopened (reOPENed, after all). But it's obviously going to be used by people who don't like having their bug marked as Needs Discussion (even by you).

So, going to tell us what you have in mind for it, or will you just leave it to chance?

171brightcopy
Nov 20, 2010, 4:09am Top

Well, it's been about two weeks since I posted that, and I haven't heard anything back. So I just had to kind of wing it and guess what it is you wanted. I went through and Reopened all the bugs that I could tell that weren't REALLY needing discussion yet were set to Needs Discussion. These were bugs where you (Tim) asked questions and then they were answered but you never responded back, or bugs where other members set it from Closed/Fixed to ND to reopen it, or bugs where one member set another members Reported bug to ND. Hope that's what you wanted.

There are still 21 bugs marked ND. Some of them should be, others probably shouldn't. I ran out of steam.

172brightcopy
Nov 23, 2010, 5:08pm Top

My followup from http://www.librarything.com/topic/102922#2323614

Well, from what I've seen, there's really no reason that we mortals needs to set bugs to Needs Discussion anymore. We used to have to do that because it was the only way that you could re-open them. I did a pretty exhaustive survey of the existing bug reports a while back and found that Tim set them to Needs Discussion when he was awaiting answers back from users on specific points (like "what browser are you using?" or "are you still having the problem?"). Things that kept him from being able to work on the bug further. I'm not sure it's as helpful for regular users like us to do that, since Tim may look at the bug and know what the problem is right away. And Tim has already said that red bugs (Reported and now Reopened) are looked at him before Needs Discussion bugs. So all that has led me to conclude that it's best to leave it at Reported/Reopened until he has looked at it and commented and sets it otherwise.

I've tried to pin him down a bit on this so we didn't have to do so much mind-reading, but so far he hasn't seen it/had a chance to response/doesn't care enough to respond. So what I'm doing isn't in any way based on the "official" answer, unfortunately.

173Collectorator
Nov 23, 2010, 8:38pm Top

(He is so.annoying.)

174aulsmith
Nov 24, 2010, 6:54am Top

170-172 Some guidance would be helpful. I was just part of a bug report where the bug cleared up for me. It seemed reasonable to turn the bug report to discussion and check if it had cleared up for others. But I didn't know to turn to back to "bug reported" or that turning the discussion on would delay it being looked at.

Fortunately brightcopy rescued the bug, but if I'd had something like the combining rules to look at, I could have done it myself. It's not like brightcopy gets paid to make the bug tracking interface work efficiently.

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