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I thought the equinox was the 21st? That's certainly the traditional 'first day of spring', at any rate.
We've had something approaching spring weather here in England for about a week. Hopefully it sticks around. We didn't really get a proper winter this year, and the endless weeks of 2-5C and rain-bearing depressions every 3 days has been pretty grim, so I'm happy to see the back of it.
This picture uses a technique called solargraphy. It is a rather old method using a pinhole camera and slow reacting photographic paper: this allows the photographer to record the motion of the sun. This particular image was made by taking three one-minute exposures every day for a year, resulting in an analemma[^] at mid-morning, noon and mid-afternoon.
I opened up my SQL Server Management Studio 2008 and the "Help Make SQL Server Better..." message popped up. It got me thinking. Does feedback from this actually improve later versions?
Then I got thinking do any programmers out there employ something similar in their software? Do you find the information obtained helpful? If so, would you encourage other developers to employ it in their programs? Does it depend upon the software?
I have never noticed anything I say to Microsoft actually having any effect on a product, including bug reports on DOS versions in Beta Testing. Hence: I don't bother anymore...
Those who fail to learn history are doomed to repeat it. --- George Santayana (December 16, 1863 – September 26, 1952) Those who fail to clear history are doomed to explain it. --- OriginalGriff (February 24, 1959 – ∞)
Well, MS did take some of my Beta Testing reports to heart and fixed those problems. but just in the next version of the product, not a fix for the current version, at the same time, it introduced several other problems in the new version of the product. The specific product is a little used module called MASM! Go figure!
I assume this is similar to how they collect exception information in WP8 and W8 apps, and yes, I have found both to be very useful. I was able to diagnose and fix an unreported exception that was crashing my WP8 app about 1% of the time based solely on the information collected. I didn't get my first bug report from a user until the update was already in the store awaiting approval
On the down side, I think this is also how they determine what features are actually used by the masses, and they use that information to justify changes to the UI.
Many years ago, I found a for loop bug in VB, and worked with Microsoft to recreate it, they eventually fixed it... The only one.
As for collecting this data. Yes, we have done it in the past. We were tracking feature usage patterns, and determining hot-key vs. tool-bar vs. Menu invocations.
The funny part is that the results were just so predictable. Complex features were rarely used by any method. While things like Copy were most often accessed via keyboard shortcuts. In the end we proved that nobody read the "What's New" documents when releases were published, but were willing to look apparently when they got bored or felt the program had not been updated in a while. LOL.
Yeah, there is a bit of truth to "confirming what you think" as being valuable.
Yes, we recently turned it on in a web project, to track some how many times users were told "more information is available", and who clicked on Reload, vs. Ignore...
Management was OVERLY concerned with the impact on users, and reloads, etc. It was useful, in this case, we found only 5% of the people got the message. 85% of those IGNORED the extra information (meaning they did not care).
As always in this field, the correct answer is: "It Depends" )))
It really depends on who needs the information, and what it could possibly change. In our case, it prevented wasting ANY MORE development time on this one issue. In general, it was easy enough to collect and turn this type of stuff on.
My understanding is that Microsoft works very closely with a few companies and gets most of their product input and bug fix requirements from those companies. Otherwise, Microsoft appears stone deaf to bug reports/fix requests, suggestions, comments, etc. Several years ago I attended a local SQL user group meeting where the manager of the MS BI stack was speaking. He said that they only received a very low number of comments and suggestions for their next release and commented that the #1 suggestion for SQL Server Management Studio was...Sound a "bell" alert option when the query finished processing. The audience did not take this at face value, however, and quite a few attendees pointed out that they had submitted detailed and sometimes lengthy suggestions and bug reports and got no response. And the requested features never showed up either. Since the Microsoft manager was clueless about all these suggestions, most of which the audience indicated were good ones, it left us with the impression that Microsoft truly does not care about developer or DBA or user input.
Now, several years later, and based upon personal experience, I conclude that they still don't. Hopefully, this will change.
One of the BEST things in the past with Microsoft Analysis Services was Mosha. He was on the development team and wrote lengthy blogs about the product and its use which was (is) very complex. He was admired by all SSAS developers and his insight, coming from the inside, was PRICELESS. He finally went to Bing and that was the last of that unfortunately.
Can we see something like this in the near future from Microsoft for all their various product areas to have a DEVELOPER EVANGELIST/BLOGGER/HELPER person? It would be invaluable!
Thanks for sharing that. I think you are indeed right that MS only gets their feedback from a group of companies. Reading other people's comments about this seems that they indeed turn a blind eye to user feedback. It seems like then what's the point for even asking then? Strange, but who knows why they go through the charade.
I will concede maybe they do user for specific things here or there such as UI related things, but for other things such as bug fixes or new features it seems like they do with what you have experienced.
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