How to make .Forms stable…?

FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

Unfortunately, I don’t think (but hope) that this posting will change things, but I have to write it (the hope dies last).

Today (2015-05-19), I personally have 25 filled bugs in Bugzilla

11 of the 25 filled bugs have still the state “New”, the oldest are from 2014-09-30 (that are almost 8 months now, what are ages in this environment).
This means (at least in theory), that these bugs are not have be seen by Xamarin but still are in in Bugzilla.

7 of filled bugs have the state “Conf”. But… what does this mean…?
Maybe they are fixed in the meantime..?
Maybe they will be fixed in one of the next versions..?
Maybe they never will be fixed..?

5 of the filled bugs has the state “Need”
I have added some of the “needed” information’s but the state don’t have changed…

1 of the filled bugs has the state “Reop”

If I query Bugzilla for .Forms, there are 543 Bugs showed:

  • 121 with state “NEW”
  • 243 with state “CONF”
  • 6 with state “IN_P”
  • 146 with state “NEED”
  • 26 with state “REOP”
  • 1 with state “ASSI”

I think (no, I know!) that many of the bugs are solved in the latest version but still “congest” Bugzilla and make it a pain to search for a still reported bug and have a look to the real actual state (which bugs are really still open).
This further makes a bad impression for every new developer (no, potential customer!) of Xamarin, if he have a look at bugzilla.
Xamarin (really) have the luck, that they have extremely patient (paying) customer that are willing to work for Xamarin for free (testing new versions on all platforms, filling bugs in Bugzilla, helping other members of the community in the forums). B.t.w.: without the help of the community in the forums it would be extremely hard (if not impossible) to be successful in developing with Xamarin.

But the customers (that’s us :smirk:) also want to see:

  • A clear progress
  • That their work is estimated by Xamarin (at least that the filled bugs are seen and stated in a meaningful time)
  • A clear feedback from Xamarin to the bugs including which bugs are solved in new versions, remove solved bugs in Bugzilla (at least re-state as “Resolved”)

So… if Xamarin would do this and see their customers as “partners” the actual situation still can be changed to a real win-win-situation.

Therefore my suggestion (wishes) to Xamarin:

  1. Define a base version to XF (suggestion: the next “stable” version)
  2. Start to clean out Bugzilla:
    • Change the state of bugs to “Resolved”, if you are sure that they are resolved in the “base version”
    • Ask users (that have filled a bug) to check, if it still exists in the “base version” and change the state to “Resolved”, if the bug has gone - otherwise to add a comment “Bug still exists in “base version” (I’m willing to do this for my 25 filled bugs, if Xamarin would ask me for and I can see a progress)
  3. Inform the users by every update, which bugs exactly should be solved in the new version (some of the bugs were mentioned in the past, but far not all)
  4. Give more feedback in the threads to new versions. Some time ago, Jason has gave some more feedback (what was estimated from the community), but that has gone since about a month now)
  5. Give us a “small outlook” (e.g. at least one time per month) what you are working on so that we don’t have to drive the road blind.

That’s my personal mindset…
If you have the same mindset… please vote here (so that we have a small chance that things are changed).

Thanks!

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Posts

  • glucoseglucose CNMember
    edited May 2015

    @FredyWenger
    Same feelings.
    I feel like Xamarin is very short of hand and they don't have enough man power to solve these bugs. The bugs grow more and more.
    There is no hope in the near future.

  • AndrewMobileAndrewMobile USMember ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2015

    I know chances are small, but the right thing to do is make Xamarin Forms open source.
    But the funny thing is that, even if that happens and people contribute (and they definitely will) I think for Xamarin Form's team this would mean even more work.
    Because they have to manage the contributions, handle the proposed changes, give feedback, reject \ accept etc. All this beside doing their own developing, fixing bugs, etc

  • Artur.4076Artur.4076 USUniversity ✭✭

    +1

  • glucoseglucose CNMember

    @AndreiNitescu
    Agreed for Xamarin Forms has good potential.
    Although the quality tastes like a shit, but the Xamarin Forms is the only way for cross-platform development with just one code base of XAML+C#.
    Hope it will get better.

  • MichaelRumplerMichaelRumpler ATMember ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yes, they clearly need more people managing the various tools and communicating with their customers.

    To me it seems like the Xamarin employees stopped reading the XF forum at all in August 2014. The only exception is @TheRealJasonSmith but he also seems to only write (and occasionally read) the release notes.
    First I thought, that they would focus on bugzilla instead. And my first bug report was handled very quick. But unfortunately the following bugs were not handled at all as Fredy already mentioned.
    The same can be said about UserVoice. There are some topics there which have already been implemented in version 1.3. That's almost half a year ago.
    I originally wanted to publish MR.Gestures on the Xamarin Component Store but I couldn't find how to pack a PCL project into it. I sent an email to [email protected] in fall last year. No response yet.

  • AndrewMobileAndrewMobile USMember ✭✭✭✭

    If you look to the statistics from Xamarin forum, there's clearly a huge interest in Xamarin Forms.
    The number of threads and posts in Xamarin Forums is almost as big as for Android and iOS.
    And Xamarin Forms is just making 1 year (It was released with Xamarin 3 on May 28 in 2014).

  • FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hey... thanks to you all, for posting here :smile:

    @AndreiNitescu:

    Xamarin Forms has an incredible potential.

    I fully agree, but I think, that a lot of people (like us :smirk: ) have realized this (I think .Forms is a main reason for many (new) customers to go with Xamarin).
    I have noted exactly what you wrote (forum use) and posted a thread here:

    forums.xamarin.com/discussion/38354/xamarin-forms-on-the-fast-lane#latest

    There is a lot of power in the Xamarin-community that isn't used from Xamarin as it could right now, what I don't understand.
    Like @glucose wrote, I also think, that they don't have enough man power to solve all bugs in the near time. But to clean up Bugzilla with the help of the community, they don't need further specialists - that's primary a question of methodology and can also be done from other stuff.

    Yes, they clearly need more people managing the various tools and communicating with their customers

    Fully agree with @MichaelRumpler (and it should be no problem to find the "people managing the tools and communication with their customers" as they don't have to technical specialist).

  • AdamPAdamP AUUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2015

    Or if they could hurry up and get acquired by Microsoft already, then Microsoft resources could be given to Xamarin. :smile:

    And just for the record, I still love Xamarin Forms and want to come up with ways to help the team progress the product forward while keeping the community happy.

  • AndrewMobileAndrewMobile USMember ✭✭✭✭

    @AdamP
    I really don't want to start an off-topic thread but why would Xamarin has to be acquired by Microsoft?
    I don't think an acquisition automatically solves all problems. Sometimes is not even a good thing.
    It doesn't matter who invests in Xamarin. The investors put their money and then wait and expect to earn good money.
    What I am trying to say is that there has to be a good reason why Microsoft would buy Xamarin.
    Xamarin should as well be able to find his own funding. Acquisition is not always a good idea.

  • AdamPAdamP AUUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭

    @FredyWenger - I just got a response from Xamarin that might be of interest in terms of NEEDINFO. Apparently when you add more information, you need to personally set the status back to NEW to get it looked at again.

    http://forums.xamarin.com/discussion/comment/125236

  • AdamPAdamP AUUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭

    @AndreiNitescu - With the Visual Studio 2015 integration of Xamarin along with their immensely close partnership, the acquisition in my opinion is inevitable. However I could be wrong, I just think its a very strong possibility.

    Acquisitions generally aren't good at the start when the teams start combining but Microsoft has a lot of resources behind the scenes and online that could certainly help, especially with their new direction and momentum under Nadella, with Mobile First, Cloud First being their primary focus. If MS apps then also use Xamarin, just like how they currently use their own technology (e.g. Visual Studio internally) it gets a lot of visibility and traction within the MS dev teams.

  • FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

    @AdamP: Ohh... that's nice - I'm sure that all users know that, as it is logical (and I think, the related Xamarin staff receive automatically a mail, if a user add a new information) :flushed:
    But thanks for the information :smile:

  • AndrewMobileAndrewMobile USMember ✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2015

    @AdamP Xamarin already had support for integration in Visual Studio. So I wonder how Microsoft helped with that. As far as I remember Xamarin actually acquired a small team to maintain and work on Visual Studio extension.

    Also, note that Microsoft has several integrations in Visual Studio, that doesn't mean they are going to or even interested to "acquire" in one way or the other any of the technologies.
    One simple example is Microsoft's Android emulator or the surprising stuff Microsoft demonstrated at Build with opening and compiling native iOS projects in Visual Studio 2015 for Windows 10 (I burst out laughing when I saw that demo).

  • AdamPAdamP AUUniversity ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2015

    @AndreiNitescu - What I mean is Visual Studio mentions Xamarin, not Xamarin has an extension for Visual Studio.

    http://blog.xamarin.com/build-2015-sessions-tests-and-vs-2015/

    See "Xamarin Integration in Visual Studio 2015" on that post.

  • AndrewMobileAndrewMobile USMember ✭✭✭✭

    @AdamP I know what you mean.
    What I'm saying is that I don't see any tight collaboration between MS and Xamarin which looks like an imminent acquisition.
    MS added a lot of crazy things in Visual Studio 2015.

  • JoelAnairJoelAnair USMember ✭✭

    Echoing what a lot of people have said, a little more communication from Xamarin would go a long way here.
    Xamarin.Forms is solving a very difficult problem, and I don't think anyone is surprised or particularly upset that there are issues and bugs. We'd all just like a bit more assurance that we (and our substantial licensing fees) aren't being ignored.

    As an example, take a look at the iOS forum, where @BrendanZagaeski has been active and extremely helpful on the board during the fallout from a Xamarin.iOS release that caused issues for quite a few users.

  • JSCote.7213JSCote.7213 USMember

    I am in the process of deciding to go ahead or not with XF. I still think it is very promising but looking at all the complains and bugs lately, I'm not sure I should go with it.

    It seems we may have to wait a few more versions to be able to use XF to its full potential. By the look of things, it seems XF got more unstable since v 1.2. Adding more functionality to it resulted in more problems. I would like to know if anybody has been able to release production products with the latest versions

  • FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JSCote.7213:
    I am (hopefully!) nearby to release our app (and it is not a "small" one).
    But there are a few bugs that have to be fixed before from Xamarin...
    It's not as worse as my first posting (with the bugs) suggest - therefore I have posted this thread...
    There is a lot of garbage in Bugzilla right now and my suggestion is to go forward, remove the garbage (with GC :smile:) and focus on the remaining problems.

  • AxelCharpentierAxelCharpentier FRMember ✭✭

    @JSCote.7213 it depends on the complexity of your app, I'have been able to go in production (iOS and Android) with XF 1.4.2, but my app is very simple : MasterDetail Page with a NavigationPage in it.

    From my experience with XF, right now I'd not recommand to build big app with it since it still too buggy.

    That's the whole point of this thread, XF is so promising that it is very frustrating to see so many bugs that prevent us to build nice shiny apps

  • FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

    @SimonHewerdine: Thanks for your posting here... but who is Steve McConnell...?

  • BrianRepettiBrianRepetti USUniversity ✭✭✭

    @SimonHewerdine , I never stated that the bugzilla is not a mess. I'd have to agree with everyone on that. I also have had bugs sitting for over 6 months. I just fixed them on my own with extra code.

    IE: Android button text alignment. Windows Phone Display Alert does not await...

  • SimonHewerdineSimonHewerdine GBMember ✭✭

    @FredyWenger - he has written several great books including "Code Complete" - a bible of software construction.

  • SimonHewerdineSimonHewerdine GBMember ✭✭

    @breps - yes you are right - sorry about that!

  • FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

    @SimonHewerdine: Ahh... thanks... It looks like that I have to be ashamed that I did not know the Name :smirk:

  • JSCote.7213JSCote.7213 USMember

    Thanks all for the comments. My app is not that small but since it is a side project, it will take me a little while to complete, I might be able to wait, or absorb new XF versions as they become available. Hopefully, I won't suffer the same problems as Fredy with each upgrade.

  • JeremyHerbisonJeremyHerbison CAMember ✭✭
    edited May 2015

    XF is really close to being a good base / framework for cross-platform, IMO. I'm happy with the design at large; lowest common denominator controls, plus custom renderers for adding some platform-specific flair. That's all cool! The problem is the bugs.

    Stop introducing features, and concentrate on the dang bugs! I know its boring, but your product is going to get itself killed if you don't stomp these out ASAP. Some of them are just unacceptably easy to encounter, to the point where I assume it's XF rather than my own code when something doesn't work. That's not healthy.

  • Mark.9492Mark.9492 USMember

    I agree with the other comments. IMHO, if a company is charging big license fees for a product, I expect it to work and I expect it to work wonderfully. I don't buy into the argument about how difficult it is to make a cross-platform UI framework and Xamarin is accomplishing that hence the bugs. If we are willing to accept that, then why don't we say the license fees should be significantly discounted UNTIL the product is stable? That only seems fair to me.

  • NMackayNMackay GBInsider, University mod

    @SKall

    I'm led to believe that their focus for the remainder of this year is making what's there stable. The lack of communication is frustrating though regardless of the size of the company. Forms does deserve to succeed, the team is expanding so fingers crossed. Bugzilla is a bit of joke though.

  • SamiKallio.8515SamiKallio.8515 USMember

    @Mark.9492 the licensing argument could be made if Xamarin.Forms was the main product.

  • plynkusplynkus USMember

    First, I want to thank @FredyWenger for routinely going the extra mile here, with patience and professionalism, trying to make the Xamarin.Forms experience better for everyone. (Fredy, if you are ever in the San Francisco Bay Area, let me buy you a beer. :smile: )

    @NMackay I certainly hope so, though a natural temptation in any software organization under schedule pressure is to lower standards somewhat in order to make the statistics look better (vs. the harder work of making the actual outcomes better). A four-month old bug of my own (a 100% crash bug, no less) was summarily marked RESOLVED/ANSWERED yesterday with a response that evoked another in semi-recent memory (http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=You're+Holding+It+Wrong). The bug was filed in part as a test---a softball thrown not only because of the defect itself, but also as a means to measure expected throughput on future issue resolution and organizational maturity. These are things any sane developer would want to have confidence in before adopting a new dependency risk. At first, things looked promising---an prompt third-party bug triage activity for reproduction and the gathering of any additional required information (a good best practice, Xamarin deserves credit there). Then the bug sat for four months (better than Fredy's eight months, surely, but not great). Then it was just dismissed outright with an answer that indicates crashes are apparently acceptable by design (which is worse). But, hey, the open bug counts went from 523->522 or something, so I guess that's progress...

    I'd suggest that everybody keep an eye on their own bug lists (resolved issues don't show up by default---though you can alter your search criteria to see them) and make sure nothing is swept under the rug. Deferrals, demotions to "feature request" where applicable, etc., are certainly expected at times. But no true defect that a customer took the time to document and file should be ignored. Re-open them. Re-emphasize why they matter.

  • jonathanyatesjonathanyates GBMember ✭✭✭
    edited May 2015

    It makes absolute sense that Microsoft aquire Xamarin this year. Microsoft have a huge emphasise in Cross platform right now. They have the man power and they have the finance, and let's face it this is a .Net product! This seems to be the crux of the problem for Xamarin. I do think that Nat Friedman and Miguel de Icaza are holding on to their precious Xamarin at the detriment of it's future. The product funding just doesn't work. It's way to expensive, which puts most people off, yet that doesn't seem to raise enough finance to deliver a quality product. The finance needs to come from another source. The sooner it is aquired by Microsoft the better. Scrap the crazy expensive Xamarin licensing fees and have it available under the MSDN subscription.

  • FredyWengerFredyWenger CHInsider ✭✭✭✭✭

    @plynkus:
    Thanks for your posting here (so I can see, that my effort has some sense... :) )
    I try to remember the beer, if I am in SF in the future (else it would be an expensive beer, as I came from Switzerland :smirk: )

    If Xamarin would overtake my suggestion (in the first posting), I’m sure, that the "bug-counter" would be halve (or more) in no time (as there is a lot of garbage in now). If they further would provide a full list of (in theory) solved bugs with every update and - maybe (if that is not to much :smirk:) - also send a mail to the user that have filled the bug (they have the mail addresses) with the request to please retest the (solved) bug, this also would not be wrong.
    For me, it’s important, that a proper “restart-process” (including a proper information to the restart-process itself) will be done in the near future.
    I - e.g. - have heard the first time, that the user has to change the state, after he has added new information’s to a bug with state “NEED” (like @AdamP wrote on the first page of this thread)... what I don't understand b.t.w..

    Further, I would not be wrong to give us a small update to what is going on right now, as there is silence since the last update a month ago.
    Therefore, I have mentioned Jason in the last update-thread:
    https://forums.xamarin.com/discussion/38729/xamarin-forms-1-4-3-pre2-released/p4

  • OtaMaresOtaMares DEMember ✭✭
    edited May 2015

    A part of the company, xamarin.forms in this case, does not answer one month on the forums and you guys go crazy. As a sidenote: The rest of xamarin has been very active on the android or insights forum.

    Also it would be great if you could stop spreading rumors, there are NO signs at all microsoft will be buying xamarin. Stop perplexing forum lurkers. Besides that acquiring xamarin does not fit into the current ms politics investing more time into open source.

    What i do not understand is that one day you guys expect instant releases and as soon as xf dishes out releases quickly you start to complain the next day about bad quality. Now its the opposite and you complain again. How about wait and see what happens? Maybe they changed their QA process and it takes more time to release new versions?

    What i can understand is the fact that Xamarin should be more transparent, but this is probably by 95% chance not something jason or anyone else visiting the forums can decide. We can and should voice that but without the "i know it better tone".

    And please do not be presuming and try to explain a multi million company how they should organize themselves to get a better workflow. There are things and processes going on most of us dont have any idea about.

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