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Why PITS is the PITS

Authors

I think it was last year telerik introduced the concept of the Public Issue Tracking System with I guess the idea being you could see outstanding bugs, and vote for fixes\features to change priority.  So on a fundamental level I guess that’s all working fine.  If you visit the page, you see issues\features, expected release dates, you can comment on them, etc.

Here’s where the problem comes in…support staff or developers are the roadblock to getting things into PITS.  So if you go to telerik.com and file a support ticket, or a forum post asking for a feature, it’s like pulling teeth having to argue your feature into the system.  Why should I have to even ARGUE at all…the feature should go into a bucket that users can vote on.  Then perhaps from there telerik can move them into the Q release buckets and update them to in-progress or whatever.

What we should be looking at is a system like UserVoice or VoteBox in which the community drives what features we want to see. If that was the case do you think we’d be getting a CubeDataSource over more reporting controls like the Calendar?  What about a list of Cube, Calendar, or a real Charting Wizard…of those three on what planet does the Cube win?..which is why UserVoice is so awesome.  People using the controls on a daily basis (hourly in my case) determine what features are important.

There seems to be this focus on new shiny QRelease features rather than refinement, and I think telerik should seriously consider what a lack of polish can do for a product.  So while a feature might make someone try your product, if it’s sloppy, they wont buy it, or will get frustrated with it and give up.  Let me cite some examples, and let me prefix it by saying I use all of these tools daily…the entire suite.

Reporting

  1. Wizards and Forms are very old-school, as far back as I can remember, arrow keys don’t even work to navigate the text areas, you have to click to the builder, or try and maneuver the cursor between the letters where you want to type.  WPF guys, the rest of telerik can do it…why are we hosed with these crap forms.
  2. Charting…very common for reports…ever tried to use the reporting chart wizard?  It sucks so bad.  For something promoting Zero code, that clearly doesn’t apply to charts.
  3. The asp.net report viewer, oh my god this should be embarassing to telerik as a COMPANY who specializes in web tools.  It should be small markup for the handful of buttons, but it’s a massive nesting of tables, in tables, in tables, etc.  to the point of being obnoxious.  On top of that, each button has it’s own icon instead of a single sprite, and each image gets re-downloaded every postback.
  4. PDF rendering is bad.  Table borders overlap awkwardly allover the place, and the company line is “suck it up, that’s how we’re doing the rendering”.

JustCode

  1. Template Engine sucks badly.  There’s been a few superficial tweaks to the Grid in the backend, but the “language” and builder is still awful.  DevXpress wins hands down with their template builder…and it’s always been this way.
  2. Marks “Pages” in the Test Studio projects as Red (Good code red situation).  I’ve reported this a bajillion times, its a product from the same company, there should be no conflicts here.
  3. Quotes and Braces seem to make JustCode Derp all over the place.  It’s actually making me type more code since I have to backspace the extra one it puts in, and if you backspace the wrong one, it deletes both causing you to have to type the character again, and arrow over to remove the problematic one.
  4. Test Tool requires the entire solution build before the test runner will fire them off.  Big problem if one of the projects is a WebSite that’s 10 gigs and won’t compile since it has old pages and bugs.

AspnetAjax

  1. Already a 200k download they should be looking for ways to optimize downloaded resources.  Minifying the resources is a quick fix to hack that down.  Even if it’s only applied to the CDN versions.
  2. Charting…needs a dynamic ReportingServices-like designer

OpenAccess

  1. You can’t do 1-1 relationships.  One end is always a Many…unless you make a partial class and impliment the One yourself.
  2. Can’t have the same column used for multiple navigation properties.  Perfectly valid in the SQL Schema, OA will map it in for you without error, but the second you try to use any object in the model…BLEAH…yellow screen of death.

TeamPulse

  1. I know everything I type is auto-saved but that’s super annoying, at the very least give me a superficial save button so I know it’s persisted.  I think there’s little blinky save icons in the title that show you stuff is being saved, but I want to know that what I just typed is 100% persisted as I’ve told it “I’m done”.

Test Studio

  1. No Per-Developer license
  2. The Dev edition is the red-headed stepchild it seems…all webinars, etc all just show QA.  Dev edition gets no scheduler even though it’s in it’s core.

I love all of these tools, which is why I use them all…but come on, some polish is needed guys…expand pits so frustrated users can vote for these things that you might not think are important.

Steve