[wingide-users] How about a uservoice site for Wing IDE?

Wingware Support support at wingware.com
Tue Dec 8 20:30:44 MST 2009

Charles Hartman wrote:
> On Dec 8, 2009, at 6:48 PM, Joshua J. Kugler wrote:
>> On Tuesday 08 December 2009, Wing IDE Support said something like:
>>> We always accept bug reports and feature requests that are mailed to
>>> support at wingware.com or to this list and try to respond quickly to
>>> each one.  These requests do alter our priorities, though
>>> unfortunately we can't do everything at once ;).
>> Any more progress on a public bug tracker?  That would enable voting for
>> features, etc.
> Two cents:  I for one don't much like it.  The "voting" model gives 
> feedback in distorted ways (see the American political system for 
> examples).  Wingware is so extraordinarily and exceptionally responsive 
> to the one-to-one and several-to-many forum offered by email, intensely 
> labor-intensive as it is for them, that I think the shift to a 
> bug-tracker system would result in a much less finely tuned relation to 
> the needs of users.  Users have individual needs, which may coincide 
> closely or not.  Also, Wingware obviously responds in part according to 
> a series of short-range and long-range plans, and an understanding of 
> what changes can be made with smaller alterations in the code-base and 
> which would require big shifts in direction.  With a bug-voting system, 
> either they'd be forced to override those internal understandings of the 
> logical and feasible--which would tend to make the code incoherent and 
> the application less robust--or they'd have to deal with outcry about 
> how "63% of users want this and only 41% want that so why did you choose 
> that?"

For what it's worth, I think this valid.  What we do (and when) is informed
by a fairly complex set of constraints, as well as the internal inter-
dependencies in the code.

I see a couple of other points against a public bug tracker.  These are
what has kept us away from adding one so far:

* It takes work to run a public bug tracker (merging dups, dealing
with spam, etc).  I'd  rather spend that time working on code and
delivering fixes and new features.

* We will still get bug reports emailed privately and have a large
existing internal database.  It's unclear how to reconcile those
and/or sanitize private data safely without still more overhead. (And
no, we are not going to ask customers to enter a bug when they've
already emailed us!)

* Bug trackers always have a lot of cruft in them.  See for example
bugs.python.org.  There are 2500 open bugs, many of them well over a
year old.  Yet, I've really only run into 2 or 3 bugs in Python myself
in over ten years of intensive use.  The size of the bug list does not
really reflect usability of the software, although it may be perceived
as such if we post it publicly.  (And, believe me, our internal bug
database is _huge_!)

* We usually already know what the top requests are.  Right now they are:
Refactoring, expanded analysis to cover the commonly missed cases, diff/
merge tool, native OS X GUI, IPython integration, better support for
template languages, to do list, better debugging of certain thread
models, and various GUI enhancements.  There are also 20-30 high priority
bugs at any given time.

Given these points, I'm not convinced a public bug tracker or voting system
would make us more effective in serving our customers.


Stephan Deibel
Wingware | Python IDE
Advancing Software Development


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