Too many bugs in XPontus

Will I release, should I release now? I've been delaying it forever...

I found so many bugs in XPontus today.... Lots of people have been helping me test the software. There are lots of usability issues. I know that XPontus is not at the same level than XML Spy for example, but still... There are some obvious problems I didn't see. Instead of testing the application all the time by myself, I should ask lots of people to help me test it... Couple of guys have been trying the Java Web Start snapshots, but they don't always fit with the "normal user profile" because :
- They understand or can evaluate the amount of work behind XPontus features and architecture. They may have already encountered the issues that I face.
- They are used to XML technologies

Here's what was done today:

  • I tested few installers. I had a silly mistake in the user settings , preventing the application to start even when the installation was successful.
  • I've been fixing bugs in the schema generator/converter plugin. That plugin takes XML or a Schema/DTD as input and generate a schema(relax ng, dtd or xml schema). Because it can perform generation or conversion between DTD and other schemas, I used the name "schema generator/converter plugin". It can be unintuitive for lots of people.
  • The find/replace dialog was too buggy. I took it from Groovy's code. I replaced it today by some SOAPGui code. I adapted it for usability a little bit. It's not perfect, but it does work!
  • I added a keyboard shortcut to switch between opened documents. "Alt W" will switch between windows(select next document).
  • The XPATH textbox has history support. It remembers up to 10 expressions you type in the textbox. The history is cleared when you close the application. Now you can execute an XPATH expression by pressing the "ENTER" key instead of having to click on the "Evaluate button" all the time.
  • When you click on the "insert comment" button or "insert cdata section" button, the editor get the focus back, no need to click again on the document to be able to insert some text.
I'll release tomorrow and the version will be called 1.0.0pre1-alpha. I added "alpha" to let the users know it's not a mature version. Things don't always work as expected. There are more features, but with features come bugs.

I'll keep on fixing bugs, updating the website and the developer guide until tomorrow.

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6 Responses to Too many bugs in XPontus

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dickd said...

Hi Yves,

My belief is that you should not release a version that is buggy. I think it is better to release a stable version with less functionality. People will always use the available features and when it does not work the will be disappointed and won’t use it anymore. If you make a bad start, then it will be difficult to get rid of a buggy reputation. You will also put yourself under big stress, solving the bugs when the software is already used. And indeed : a simple installation and a good integration within the OS (which is a big effort when you develop a java application) is important.


Yves Zoundi said...

Dickd, thanks for your comments, I guess I did it, now it's like "do or die".

I can indeed feel the pressure as there are not many comments yet. I spent time testing and testing before releasing and disabled plugins I considered too unstable.

Was it a bad move to release now? Maybe, but I don't think so at the moment... I guess I'll know soon enough.

The next release will be essentially towards more stability and fixing "non working vivible options".

Laura Stokes-Greene said...

Hey Yves,

Downloaded today to edit my iTunes library playlist XML files. The find/replace function hangs and causes my CPU usage to hit 100%. Can't do anything except End Task. Is there a way to upgrade this version, or should I uninstall the program?

Yves Zoundi said...

Are you using Windows, Mac OS, Linux? Do you have more than 265MB of ram? It would help me do some testing with the configuration you have.
As I use a "monster machine", I probably don't notice the CPU usage of the find/replace dialog.

I could upgrade the Java Web Start installer in a few days.

I cannot upgrade the "official stable" release platforms installers(exe, dmg, etc.), just like that. I can only fix it quickly in the Java Web Start release. There are other bugs, I would like to fix before creating a new release.

I cannot force you to use the Java Web Start version but I can't tell you to uninstall either.
In the meantime, there's a firefox style search bar. To show it, you have to click inside a document before hitting control-F.

Fixing quickly the bug you mentionned(in the Java Web start installer) would mean using the old find/replace dialog I was using. It wasn't that pretty, lots of guys said it sucks, but it was kind of working...


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