Compability Database - suggestions

Suggestions and comments about the ReactOS website

Moderator: Moderator Team

ufotech
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu May 18, 2006 12:38 am

Compability Database - suggestions

Post by ufotech »

Done. Added three utilities to the database.

However, I think the link to the database should be prominently displayed on the home page.

The main reason people stick to Windows is there is so much software available.

I am surprised at how nice the database is though. :D


NOTE: frik85 splitted the "0.3 is coming" thread; this thread contain the support db related posts and the following link point to the old thread:
http://www.reactos.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2130

frik85
Developer
Posts: 829
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 7:48 pm
Location: Austria, Europe
Contact:

Re: Added to compatability database

Post by frik85 »

ufotech wrote:Done. Added three utilities to the database.

However, I think the link to the database should be prominently displayed on the home page.
I will add a search function to the main website frontpage next weekend.

ufotech
Posts: 3
Joined: Thu May 18, 2006 12:38 am

Post by ufotech »

frik85 wrote:I am surprised that several people submitted only the application name but no further information.

e.g. "AnalogX DLL Archive": http://www.reactos.org/support/index.ph ... &group=109

... but no further information (app version and compatibility test reports) :?

I though, that the submit process is easy to understand and that the first submit page, is only one of three parts.

You have to follow the instructions on screen (or on an app page click "Submit application version" and later click "Submit Compatibility Test Report").

Application entries without compatibility data do not make much sense.

Please post suggestions, ideas so that I can improve the interface. Where do you have troubles, what is confusing, etc.
I was the one who submitted that. There were only a few boxes (using Firefox 1.5.0.3) to fill. It said if had been submitted after that, and there was nothing further to click on. I was curious at the time why there was no place to make comments.

Bill

Matthias
Posts: 496
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2005 12:43 am

Post by Matthias »

Dear frik85, that problem doesn't surprise me at all, because the compatibility database is _very_ chaotic.

When i go to http://www.reactos.org/support/index.php, there are five big green buttons, and they all serve one purpose: to browse the existing database. But there is no big green button to submit new applications, it's in the menu on the left, that's confusing (and btw, those big green buttons don't match the rest of the ReactOS home page at all).

The submit form asks _way too many_ stupid questions. For example there's no point in asking for both "Vendor Name" and "Vendor Fullname", it only serves to confuse the users.

Now, when you have submitted an application, you aren't redirected to the new entry you just created, but to http://www.reactos.org/support/index.php, you couldn't have done that more confusingly, the users must _at least_ be redirected to the new entry, and it would be even better if they'd be prompted for their testing data right now, this 3-step-stuff is _extremely_ confusing. Also, when you press the back button, the entry you just submitted will be submitted again. That's why there are now two entrys for the program "inkscape" (note: i didn't do this on purpose. Breaking the back button is a _very_ bad idea, and breaking the back button is _easy_ with AJAX)

Now when i navigate to the application i'm interested in (in my example: inkscape), i'll see a link which says "Submit application version". It would be clearer if it were labelled "submit new <app name> version", for ex. "submit new inkscape version".
After clicking this link, i'm being asked what i want to do, two of the choices being the following:
* I want to submit a new application/driver.
* I want to submit to another application/driver.
That is annoying and confusing. If i wanted to submit a new application/driver, i certainly wouldn't have clicked a link labelled "Submit application version", and if i'd want to submit data for another application (say, GIMP) i wouldn't have navigated to inkscape before!

The third link says "I want to submit a version data entry to this application/driver (unstable ReactOS / SVN revisions)"
But when you click it, a message says "To keep the support database clean from current regressions, it is NOT allowed to submit SVN revisions."
Well, if it's not allowed to submit testing data for svn revisions anyway, the link shouldn't be there in the first place! Instead of the link, just put the message saying that you can't submit SVN data, end of story.

In the next form, you have to enter two version numbers. While you and me know what that's about, it's a _very_ bad idea to confuse normal users with this.
If i were you, i'd put two form fields:
One labelled "Application Version:"
and another one labelled "further version information (service packs, build numbers, internal versions etc. - leave blank if you're not sure what this means)"
It is generally a _very_ bad idea to force users to enter something that's not absolutely essential. When i want to submit an application, i _really_ can't be bothered to find out about it's internal versioning and other bs nobody really cares about. Also, many applications don't even have "internal" versions. Maxima for example is currently at version 5.9.3, end of story. I can't enter an "internal" version if there simply is none. This "internal version" stuff is _very_ confusing and only keeps users from adding entries.

OK, now i've submitted the version of my app and i'm (yet again) redirected to index.php, and as i said before, this is _extremely_ stupid and confusing. To actually submit testing data, i first have to navigate to the app (for example inkscape) again, then click on "compatibility test" and then "Submit Compatibility Test Report". That's _way_ too complicated and confusing, the user must be redirected there after submitting the version information.

OK, now i'm in the form fo actually submitting testing data.
In the headline, it says: Inkscape 0.43 [ReactOS 0.2.9]
Then, the first thing i'm being asked for is: "Application version (optional)"
Wtf? it already says 0.43 in the headline?!
The rest of the form seems to be OK to me.

To be honest, i think that most of the compatibility database is a confusing, chaotic mess, and that's definately not the fault of its users...

Matthias
Posts: 496
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2005 12:43 am

Post by Matthias »

ufotech wrote:I was the one who submitted that. There were only a few boxes (using Firefox 1.5.0.3) to fill. It said if had been submitted after that, and there was nothing further to click on. I was curious at the time why there was no place to make comments.
@frik85: You see, this is because the people are being redirected to index.php all the time instead of a sensible place....

Coviti
Posts: 300
Joined: Wed Mar 01, 2006 4:26 am

Post by Coviti »

Matthias: frik85 has done an outstanding job with the Support Database. If it's messed up, it is the fault of the users.

frik85
Developer
Posts: 829
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 7:48 pm
Location: Austria, Europe
Contact:

Post by frik85 »

Matthias wrote:@frik85: You see, this is because the people are being redirected to index.php all the time instead of a sensible place....
???

The index.php is the main php script. So each link of the support db links to index.php with some parameters and show the requested page.

frik85
Developer
Posts: 829
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 7:48 pm
Location: Austria, Europe
Contact:

Post by frik85 »

ufotech wrote:I was the one who submitted that. There were only a few boxes (using Firefox 1.5.0.3) to fill. It said if had been submitted after that, and there was nothing further to click on. I was curious at the time why there was no place to make comments.
I will improve the submit process and make it easier to understand.
They submit process consists of three steps:

1) submit application name and select/add vendor

2) submit/add application version and related reactos version (it comes after the first step, (auto redirect) and is also available on the application page)

3) submit test report, screenshots, comments (it comes after the second step, (auto redirect) and is also available on the application versions page)

Although, for some reasons, it confuses many people, I will redesign the submit interface and make it more Wizard like.

frik85
Developer
Posts: 829
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 7:48 pm
Location: Austria, Europe
Contact:

Post by frik85 »

Matthias wrote:Dear frik85, that problem doesn't surprise me at all, because the compatibility database is _very_ chaotic.
I was thinking about the interface a lot, although I know the submit process is currently a bit confusing. My initial plan was to keep the data quality of the database as high as possible. That is why there are some kind of stupid questions on the submit pages. It turned out that it is too confusing and I will redesign the submit pages this weekend.
Matthias wrote:When i go to http://www.reactos.org/support/index.php, there are five big green buttons, and they all serve one purpose: to browse the existing database. But there is no big green button to submit new applications, it's in the menu on the left, that's confusing (and btw, those big green buttons don't match the rest of the ReactOS home page at all).
Hm, good idea. I will add a submit application button.
The buttons are green because the should symbolize that these buttons are "start" buttons, like the XP start button. Users will see the buttons first and will click on one of them the first time, that is the goal.
Matthias wrote:The submit form asks _way too many_ stupid questions. For example there's no point in asking for both "Vendor Name" and "Vendor Fullname", it only serves to confuse the users.
Good point, I will remove such extra fields and let only experts and maintainer fill such fields then.
(I have already answered to the stupid question thing, see above.)
Matthias wrote:Now, when you have submitted an application, you aren't redirected to the new entry you just created, but to http://www.reactos.org/support/index.php, you couldn't have done that more confusingly, the users must _at least_ be redirected to the new entry, and it would be even better if they'd be prompted for their testing data right now, this 3-step-stuff is _extremely_ confusing. Also, when you press the back button, the entry you just submitted will be submitted again. That's why there are now two entrys for the program "inkscape" (note: i didn't do this on purpose. Breaking the back button is a _very_ bad idea, and breaking the back button is _easy_ with AJAX)
Hmm, it seems that there is a failure in the redirect. Although, I never had problems with it :?
Are you get redirected to the support db frontpage? btw. the index.php is called for all support db pages, it is the main script which calls sub-scripts.
The double entry problem is not ajax related but a simple form problem. If a user "post" something and hit "F5" or go back and forward it will get posted again on some browsers. I forgot to add a checking on the first submit page. The second and third one have already a prevention implemented.
The redirect should bring you to the next submit page;
e.g. bring you to the second step if you submitted the first submit page.
Matthias wrote:Now when i navigate to the application i'm interested in (in my example: inkscape), i'll see a link which says "Submit application version". It would be clearer if it were labelled "submit new <app name> version", for ex. "submit new inkscape version".
After clicking this link, i'm being asked what i want to do, two of the choices being the following:
* I want to submit a new application/driver.
* I want to submit to another application/driver.
That is annoying and confusing. If i wanted to submit a new application/driver, i certainly wouldn't have clicked a link labelled "Submit application version", and if i'd want to submit data for another application (say, GIMP) i wouldn't have navigated to inkscape before!
About the "stupid questions": yes, I know, it is confusing (see answer above).
I will add the app name to the submit link.
Matthias wrote:The third link says "I want to submit a version data entry to this application/driver (unstable ReactOS / SVN revisions)"
But when you click it, a message says "To keep the support database clean from current regressions, it is NOT allowed to submit SVN revisions."
Well, if it's not allowed to submit testing data for svn revisions anyway, the link shouldn't be there in the first place! Instead of the link, just put the message saying that you can't submit SVN data, end of story.
I will move the link somewhere else.
Matthias wrote:In the next form, you have to enter two version numbers. While you and me know what that's about, it's a _very_ bad idea to confuse normal users with this.
If i were you, i'd put two form fields:
One labelled "Application Version:"
and another one labelled "further version information (service packs, build numbers, internal versions etc. - leave blank if you're not sure what this means)"
It is generally a _very_ bad idea to force users to enter something that's not absolutely essential. When i want to submit an application, i _really_ can't be bothered to find out about it's internal versioning and other bs nobody really cares about. Also, many applications don't even have "internal" versions. Maxima for example is currently at version 5.9.3, end of story. I can't enter an "internal" version if there simply is none. This "internal version" stuff is _very_ confusing and only keeps users from adding entries.
That intern versions field be only visible for experts and maintainer then.
Although, it is used internal in the support db to order the versions. Because you cannot order an app by PR names; e.g. first version has no number, second is called "mx" version, third "2005", fourth "4"; this will get a maintainer task to add missing data then.
Matthias wrote:OK, now i've submitted the version of my app and i'm (yet again) redirected to index.php, and as i said before, this is _extremely_ stupid and confusing. To actually submit testing data, i first have to navigate to the app (for example inkscape) again, then click on "compatibility test" and then "Submit Compatibility Test Report". That's _way_ too complicated and confusing, the user must be redirected there after submitting the version information.
Seems like a bug, see answer above.
Matthias wrote:OK, now i'm in the form fo actually submitting testing data.
In the headline, it says: Inkscape 0.43 [ReactOS 0.2.9]
Then, the first thing i'm being asked for is: "Application version (optional)"
Wtf? it already says 0.43 in the headline?!
The rest of the form seems to be OK to me.
This field should be used if someone tests the e.g. "german" version, the "christmas version", the "demo"/"trail" version or what ever. To keep such minor versions "numbers" in one app versions entry.
Matthias wrote:To be honest, i think that most of the compatibility database is a confusing, chaotic mess, and that's definately not the fault of its users...
The only part which is confusing right now are the first two submit pages and a bug which seems to redirect false.

There is an advanced logic behind the support database and it is simple to explain:
  • * application name
    • * application versions
      • * test reports
        * screenshots
        * forum entries
This also explains why I splitted initial the submit process into three parts.
I am working currently to combine all three steps into a simple to use wizard interface (similar to the win wizard also called winzard 97/vista

A wizard interface sample:
http://frik85.fr.funpic.de/packmgr/?page=tree&sec=add

I hope this changes will make the support database submit process a lot easier.

What do you think?

btw. thank you for your response.

Matthias
Posts: 496
Joined: Tue Dec 27, 2005 12:43 am

Post by Matthias »

frik85 wrote:The index.php is the main php script. So each link of the support db links to index.php with some parameters and show the requested page.
Well, it doesn't seen to work, It keeps redirecting me to that page with the 5 green buttons.

Stead
Posts: 163
Joined: Mon Nov 29, 2004 3:00 pm

Post by Stead »

if its any benifit, i love the search on it, i didn't even know a search feature like that was possible on a webpage!

frik85
Developer
Posts: 829
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 7:48 pm
Location: Austria, Europe
Contact:

Post by frik85 »

Stead wrote:if its any benifit, i love the search on it, i didn't even know a search feature like that was possible on a webpage!
I coded this neat feature from scratch. The search function is written in javascript (AJAX).

btw. the support db search will also be available on the website frontpage and on all support db pages (menu bar), tomorrow.

frik85
Developer
Posts: 829
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 7:48 pm
Location: Austria, Europe
Contact:

Post by frik85 »

btw. the redirect bug only affect Firefox users.
The upcoming support db update will fix this issue (beside many other things), today evening.

Jesper79
Posts: 18
Joined: Sun Dec 04, 2005 11:49 pm

Post by Jesper79 »

Hi frik. I was a litle sceptical from the start when you launcht the beta test... but now I'm acculy very inpressed.

frik85
Developer
Posts: 829
Joined: Fri Nov 26, 2004 7:48 pm
Location: Austria, Europe
Contact:

Post by frik85 »

The Support DB update is online.

Some features:
* completely redesigned submit pages -> now wizard look&feel
* rank pages (not completely finished but most are useable)
* search box on every support db page (compdb to be exactly) (see help page for shortcut feature to browser through the database even faster).
* new submissions info
* fixed the redirect bug which is a firefox bug to be exactly (but fixed with a workaround anyway).
* ...

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests