After Hours

Report TechRepublic bugs and offer suggestions about the 2011 upgrade

TR member Tigger_Two created a Google Doc for bugs and/or suggestions about the 2011 upgrade to help facilitate a more coordinated effort between the TR community and TechRepublic staff working behind the scenes.

This post originally appeared as a comment by TR member Tigger_Two in "TechRepublic's official feedback thread for the 2011 upgrade."

Tigger_Two combed through the feedback thread, pulled out everything that looked like a bug report or a suggestion, and placed it in a Google Doc so that everyone could see what issues had already been addressed and/or fixed. This will help facilitate a more coordinated effort between the TR community and TechRepublic staff working behind the scenes. Click here to go to the TR Bugs/Suggestion Google Doc, which any TechRepublic member can view and edit.

Here are Tricia's description and instructions for the document:

The first thing you should see is a page that explains how I set up the column headers. Maintaining this as a useful tool is a volunteer effort, so please try to conform to the layout as it stands.

When adding a report, consider if the issue is really a bug or if it is a suggestion. Consider what areas of the site are impacted. If you are making a suggestion, tell TR how it will improve the site.

If you have a bug, more is better. The more information that the team at TR has, the better chance they have of addressing your issue.

I pulled information from this thread to create the sheet about 20 or so posts ago. If I missed your issue, I apologize. I am not staff and gave it my best shot as quickly as I could.

If you have the link, you can add a new entry to the sheets. There is one for bugs, one for suggestions. If the sheets get spammed, I will a) cry real tears for hours and b) cut off access to edit so that it is invitation only. I really do not want to do that.

I understand that there are those that really want to have their complaints about the changes heard. I respect that. The purpose of this spreadsheet is to try to open a concise two way communication with the folks that are trying to manage this rollout. Please use the original thread for discussion about personal opinions regarding the change.

I could really use another set of eyes (or more) to help me keep clutter at a minimum. Jason, I could also use a point person at TR that I can communicate with so that the sheet can stay updated without taking a ton of time away from the development/fix effort. If you are interested in helping with the maintenance chore, add me to your contacts and send me a note.

Hopefully, this will be a helpful tool for all.

About

Sonja Thompson has worked for TechRepublic since October of 1999. She is currently a Senior Editor and the host of the Smartphones and Tablets blogs.

22 comments
Datacommguy
Datacommguy

But I'm told that this "Permission Denied" bug is finally resolved. We'll see if this will actually post this time....

jon4t2
jon4t2 like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

The "new and improved" TechRepbulic.com need some more improvement. Specifically, the code that handles the comments that follow the articles. When I use Firefox (3.6.13) or Google Chrome (8.0.552.237) to browse through a series of comments using the "Compact" display option, the page is redrawn every time I select a new comment. Additionally, the selected comment is placed at the top of the comment section, forcing me to scroll down to find my place in the comment section. Neither behavior is efficient or smart. It would be much better if clicking on a comment in "Compact" mode would simply expand the comment right where it sits in the comment tree without redrawing anything. Redrawing the page forces every ad to reload and that's nuts. Also, when the comments are listed in "Expanded" mode, the "selected" comment is still listed at the top of the comment tree, also nuts. Hope you can come up with a fix. The old comment system worked much better. P.S. Silly, silly me. Everything seems to work OK with IE (8.0.6001.18702), although there is an annoying delay as the selected comment is posted at the top of the comment tree. Code that favors IE over other browsers? Are you kidding? Please fix it. P.P.S. Submitting a Question via TechRepublic.CustHelp.com is also busted using any browser. When asked to "Confirm the e-mail address provided," by clicking the "Submit" button, I get the following error message: "Account Creation Failed. The email address you provided is already in the database." Duh! I'm already logged in, so of course the e-mail address is already in the data base. P.P.P.S. Doesn't anyone test their code anymore?

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas like.author.displayName 1 Like

You could help out, by distilling those griefs of yours into bug-reports / suggestions for the google-doc bug tracking sheet. On the other hand... this site is very very very complex. I thought the new version would have simplified the basis, but it looks to be the other way around. Something will have to break, and not every break will be noticed immediately. Hence, to the batcave, Robin... I mean, to the googledoc, Jon.

jon4t2
jon4t2 like.author.displayName 1 Like

Thanks Ansu! Found the Google Doc. Submitted my Bugs. But really, a spreadsheet? An e-mail address would have been much simpler.

jon4t2
jon4t2

Ansu, You're the first to "get" my avatar. And it's a bit more dense than a first glance reveals. Have fun!

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

That's true about vandalism; I haven't asked, so I don't know if there are safeguards - I do hope it's possible to have the google.doc auto-backup with each change... it's not like there's a lot of flow-through, so storage shouldn't be a problem.

jon4t2
jon4t2 like.author.displayName 1 Like

Ansu, Thanks for the details. I appreciate how a spreadsheet makes life easier for the folks fixing the problems. (And, personally, I'd rather work with a spreadsheet than a database.) However, combining user reporting and progress tracking in one document and then giving *anyone* access to it opens the door to mischief. Audacity uses a similar approach on their Wiki to solicit suggestions. Gave me the willies. Being a respectful sort, I didn't touch anyone else's reports or suggestions. But I know that there are folks who would -- and many just for kicks. I'm an experimental physicist by training and I'm obsessive about preserving original data and keeping a permanent record of how it was analyzed. I find the approach that Sourceforge uses appealing. That's my 2 cents. Thank you for your time and good luck with fixes.

Tigger_Two
Tigger_Two like.author.displayName like.author.displayName 2 Like

I put the sheet together and didn't want to advertise my email address... which isn't helpful regardless as I don't work for TR. I've always used spreadsheets as trackers when I have rolled out software so I just went with what I know. I appreciate you adding your issues to the tool we have, though!

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas like.author.displayName 1 Like

an email address has the big drawback of not showing the contributor if the concern has been reported already. It also doesn't give the techs on call as good a picture of the distribution of various problems. The spreadsheet allows us to coroborate each other's observations, even to flesh out and add to the knowledge about the problems that others have. It's a much better tool for getting the best possible result. An email bug report is also likely to be too terse to be useful, causing a need for expensive follow-up (if that's even on the map). And now we can see if there's a response (like, "it's a feature" or "it's a bug" or "we're going to change that"... even "Gingko Biloba is good for the memory, I hear"). It's just a very good way to avoid wasting resources that should go into fixing things instead ;)

seanferd
seanferd like.author.displayName 1 Like

or what? Perceptual bias of some sort on my part? I almost posted this as its own topic, but this lovely post turned up.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas like.author.displayName 1 Like

Considering that the number of new discussions posted feels like it's down 1274%, the rate of questions posted as discussions probably is up 1329%...

seanferd
seanferd

as was done to the NASDAQ. ;)

seanferd
seanferd like.author.displayName 1 Like

could well have written a "Market Prayer". The depth indication shows us how deep in doo-doo we are by other means. ;)

NickNielsen
NickNielsen like.author.displayName 1 Like

Some here (myself included) can even do mindless. Both at the same time? Not intentionally.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

speaks volumes... Epiphany! So... the topic always is there... but our minds... make us to... not see it! Whoa! But then, what does that say about zombies?

NickNielsen
NickNielsen

have no topics, only the search for ... well, whatever they're searching for.

AnsuGisalas
AnsuGisalas

Now, let's have a mindless off-topic argument here, to keep it up top on the list!!! :D

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