Warning - not ready for production use

2007-09-08
2013-05-15
  • Tony Gravagno
    Tony Gravagno
    2007-09-08

    If someone is looking for something that can be used right now, with potential for enhancement from the OSS community - this aint it (yet). If you're looking for a coding project that has a decent start but a LOT of work to do, then this is your project.

    Here's my experience: I downloaded the latest Beta for Windows just to see how OpenProj works. After noticing way too many issues for what should be even Beta software I decided to start documenting the problems. I decided to close down the executable for the last time after noting 12 flat out bugs in core functionality/usability, plus 6 items which I generously called enhancements only because they're not critical requirements.

    Why am I being so brutal on this? Because Projity makes it look like this is an OSS version of their commercial offering. I have no idea what the quality of the Projity commercial offering is but if it's anything like this OpenProj OSS then they have some problems.

    No, I'm not going to spend yet more time to document issues in the tracker here. If the project were more mature and had a chance in hell of being developed into something that approaches Production Quality, then I'd go through the effort. I'm sorry guys, this just isn't ready for prime time.

    For anyone who cares, here's the short list of issues I found after I finally decided to start documenting them:

    Bugs:
    1. Can't Tab or Enter away from fields. Need to mouse click
    2. Pressing Enter in a field closes Resource Information dialog, need to mouse click off each field.
    3. Entering Max Units in Resource Info doesn't get moved to main window until the dialog is closed and then re-opened.
    4. Tutorial mentions Master Project - there is none, must be created, can't integrate this with other projects anyway.
    5. Typing a number in Remaining Work and clicking away returns a Projity OpenProj Error dialog with no text and an OK button.
    6. Entering any text in Name sets all tasks with the same name to the same Remaining value.
    7. Actual Finish allows a subtask to be entered with a date that's prior to the start date.
    8. Try to add Resource Initials column to Gantt window and screen refreshes with no new column.
    9. Rick Click on Calendar in Gantt, select Split, shows new cursor, doesn't do anything.
    10. Task Dependency dialog always shows the same two tasks regardless of which relationship (task1:FS:task2) arrow is clicked.
    11. Double click on any column in Gantt and it shows Resources tab of properties dialog.
    12. Change working time doesn't save time settings.

    Enhancements:
    1. Needs F1 Help.
    2. Doc doesn't mention that columns can be inserted into project main form.
    3. No doc for Generic, Group, Booking Type, RBS, or any of the columns that can be inserted.
    4. http://www.projity.com/docs/tutorial/index.htm = Doc v1.00.0 needs update
    5. File menu has no Recent Files listing.
    6. Allow columns to always size to accommodate header text.
    7. Task information dialog doesn't allow entry of lead/trailing time on sequencing, like (2FS+2days)

     
    • Howard Katz
      Howard Katz
      2007-09-08

      Perhaps some problem occurred that glitched the system and caused other bugs?  Are you running Beta 4?

      Bugs:
      1. Can't Tab or Enter away from fields. Need to mouse click
      Sure you can. This works on the spreadsheet as well as dialogs (except for point 2)

      2. Pressing Enter in a field closes Resource Information dialog, need to mouse click off each field.
      True. Enter should do the same as tab here.

      3. Entering Max Units in Resource Info doesn't get moved to main window until the dialog is closed and then re-opened.
      True, though it's just a refresh issue. click on the row updates it too

      4. Tutorial mentions Master Project - there is none, must be created, can't integrate this with other projects anyway.
      Docs are being redone now

      5. Typing a number in Remaining Work and clicking away returns a Projity OpenProj Error dialog with no text and an OK button.
      This is a bug

      6. Entering any text in Name sets all tasks with the same name to the same Remaining value.
      No clue what you're talking about here.  This would only happen in the Update Task dialog in which case it makes sense.

      7. Actual Finish allows a subtask to be entered with a date that's prior to the start date.
      Will check on this.

      8. Try to add Resource Initials column to Gantt window and screen refreshes with no new column.
      Works fine for me.

      9. Rick Click on Calendar in Gantt, select Split, shows new cursor, doesn't do anything.
      Works fine for me.

      10. Task Dependency dialog always shows the same two tasks regardless of which relationship (task1:FS:task2) arrow is clicked.
      Works fine for me

      11. Double click on any column in Gantt and it shows Resources tab of properties dialog.
      Double clicking brings up the properties dialog  - it shows the last tab that you used. This is normal.

      12. Change working time doesn't save time settings.
      This needs to be better documented and slightly improved. you need to select a date first, then modify.

      Enhancements:
      1. Needs F1 Help.
      2. Doc doesn't mention that columns can be inserted into project main form.
      3. No doc for Generic, Group, Booking Type, RBS, or any of the columns that can be inserted.
      4. http://www.projity.com/docs/tutorial/index.htm = Doc v1.00.0 needs update
      As mentionned, docs are being rewritten

      5. File menu has no Recent Files listing.
      6. Allow columns to always size to accommodate header text.

      7. Task information dialog doesn't allow entry of lead/trailing time on sequencing, like (2FS+2days)
      You can enter this value in the predessor column exactly as you describe

       
    • Tony Gravagno
      Tony Gravagno
      2007-09-12

      I work with a lot of software in various states, as a developer, reseller, user, and for doing QA. The developers always have answers to usability issues. I can't tell you how many times I've heard "works for me" like that invalidates the point that it doesn't work somewhere else. As I tell other developers, I'm not looking for an argument, I'm telling you what doesn't work for me. And I know/hope most developers aren't dismissing the report, just acknowledging that they've tried to reproduce the issue and could not on their personal system. My answer to this is that the software needs to be tried on different systems with different configurations, without developer environments or source loaded, and (yes this is tough) preferably on systems that have never hosted the software before. This can be accomplished much better these days with virtualization (vmWare, etc) rather than having to go find new systems or asking for field confirmation.

      I do thank you for taking the time to attempt to reproduce each issue and to comment on all points. Beta software is (duh) beta, so we expect some rough edges, especially with OSS where much of the work is contributed on a pro-bono basis.

      I'll summarize that I took a look at this with the belief that the OSS version was close in functionality to a commercial offering, and therefore fairly mature and much less rough. That's not the case here, this OSS is Very alpha/beta. I personally would much rather use (and pay for) commercial software like MS Project than bear the frustration of trying to make use of (or code into) software at this fragile stage of development. I'm just saying this software might be good for developers but for people who really need to track projects, it just doesn't seem capable yet. Of course - YMMV.  I'll check it out again in about 8 months.

      Thanks again.