Hi Diane,

I'm sorry to hear your frustration, but I can also empathize. While working on a recent project to sponsor more bug fixes for the web client, I also got discouraged as new bugs were reported, particularly when they were ones that would have made our priority list if we had known about them at the time we were selecting bugs to fix. To keep myself from getting discouraged, I found it helped to keep some things in mind.

- Despite the current open bugs, the web client has come a long way just in the past year. Setting aside the addition of serials and offline, there has been a lot of bug fixing  over the last months. In many cases, the fixes have been for what I consider to be showstopper bugs. I continued to see this work even today  as I was going through my bug mail. It might be useful for the community to track statistics of how many web client bugs are getting fixed on a monthly basis to help us see the progress that's been done. Looking at the 3.0 point release notes is also a good way to see how much work has been done.

- There were many people, including myself, who spent a lot of time testing the web client when the code was initially written, but, no matter how much testing was done, we knew that there are just some bugs that just won't be found until people start using it in production. This isn't unique to Evergreen or open-source software, but is something I've seen when using proprietary software as well. We tried to catch some of these bugs by having 2.12 available for trial use in production, but I don't think most sites really started using the web client heavily  until 3.0, which was just released in October. I would say the flurry of bug reporting since that time is an expected part of the process of eventually getting to a more stable web client. This is also why we are keeping the xul client around through the 3.1 release, because we knew it would take time to get the web client to where it needs to be for all Evergreen users to move to it.

I still remember the early days of the Template Toolkit catalog. I was equally discouraged about bugs and missing features, but as more sites started using it, they made sure features important to them were fixed or added, and we now have a stable and feature rich public catalog.

- I'm worried about stating this the wrong way, but we also have to remember the number of bugs we've learned to live with under the xul client. I'm not saying we should just learn to live with the web client bugs, but they certainly are more noticeable now because they are new. There are also several xul client bugs we were able to close out because they were fixed in the web client. The important thing is that the bugs are open and known. Evergreen sites can see where the problems are and ultimately choose to focus on addressing the ones most important to them.

Having said all of this, I do think it's important that if there are showstopper bugs in the web client (not annoyances, but things that really prevent you from using the web client), we need to identify those to increase the likelihood that they will be fixed ahead of other bugs. For example, one of the groups I work with recently set the bug priority to High for a handful of bugs they considered to be showstoppers. Back in the Template Toolkit days, there was a tag we used in Launchpad that identified bugs we thought should be fixed before removing the old catalog from Evergreen. Maybe we could consider doing something similar for the web client.


On 03/16/2018 03:27 PM, Diane Disbro wrote:
Good afternoon -

I volunteered to keep track of Webby problems for the Missouri Evergreen circulation committee. I am pretty discouraged. My library began using Webby in December but there were so many frustrations that we stopped after about a month. My spreadsheet of problems now has thirty-five issue on it. Every time a new bug report is sent out my heart sinks.
 Diane Disbro
Branch Manager/Circulation Coordinator
Union Branch
Scenic Regional Library
308 Hawthorne Drive
Union, MO     63084
(636) 583-3224

Kathy Lussier
Project Coordinator
Massachusetts Library Network Cooperative
(508) 343-0128
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/kmlussier

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