#215 an almost bug free phpGedView version

phpGedView
closed-fixed
John Finlay
9
2004-03-05
2004-02-13
Arne Eckmann
No

Most phpGedView versions are exceeding what many
people expect from a web based gedcom viewer: Part of
the PGV community out there isn’t interested in
constantly upgrading phpGedView, because they don’t
need, and they don’t want, all the added functionality.

However, most people do need, and they do want an
almost bug free phpGedView version.

Due to the nature of open software the release versions
still contains bugs, and therefore it is expected that
minor versions like 2.65.x is used for bug fixes, while new
features, experimentations and such is expected to be
done in the alphas and betas and such.

However, with phpGedView there are no difference
between the alphas, the betas, the release candidates,
the major releases and the minor releases - they are all
the same, and that’s a great pity, because in that way
the community out there never gets an almost bug free
phpGedView.

And why would old phpGedView users out there upgrade
their installations, if they don’t need the added
functionality, and they don’t want new bugs?

At this time I feel that the greatest addition to
phpGedView, and the greatest gift to the old
phpGedView users, would be an almost bug free version
which would motivate them to do a security related
upgrade - minus the extra bugs.

If you would ask me, I would advice to forget about ver.
2.65.3 and take ver. 2.65.2, fix the known bugs, add the
missing extra-help pages, and promote it to 2.65.2 Final,
final version. That’ll leave a fine security-fixed
phpGedView for those who don’t want more added
functionality.

Best regards,
Arne

Discussion

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  • Arne Eckmann
    Arne Eckmann
    2004-02-13

    • priority: 5 --> 9
     
  • John Finlay
    John Finlay
    2004-02-17

    • assigned_to: nobody --> yalnifj
     
  • John Finlay
    John Finlay
    2004-02-17

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    user_id=300048

    Hi Arne,

    Version 2.65.3 is essential for security upgrades.

    Version 2.65.3 is the same as 2.65.2 except that .3 fixes
    some login problems that were in older 2.65.x releases.

    What bugs are there that you want fixed? What features do
    you want to be able to turn off?

    Alpha = CVS
    Beta = Beta release Packages
    Final = Tested as fully as the developers have time to test.

    I have often said that it is impossible for us to test every
    gedcom configuration on every PHP configuration under every
    possible PhpGedView configuration. We try to test the most
    common configurations but cannot test them all. If you find
    a bug in the way you have it set up then let us know and we
    will try to fix it.

    --John

     
  • Arne Eckmann
    Arne Eckmann
    2004-02-18

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    user_id=818819

    Hi John

    You said:
    > What bugs are there that you want fixed?

    Try to look here:

    http://sourceforge.net/tracker/index.php?
    func=detail&aid=895537&group_id=55456&atid=477079

    In that thread both KosherJava and Kurt said, that bugs in
    ver. 2.65.3 won't be fixed. And in general they only cares
    about the v.3.0 alpha.

    In my opinion that kind of attitude must be hard to
    understand for the ordinary users - so much the more when
    the v.3.0 alpha isn't available for download to the ordinary
    users.

    You also said:
    > What features do you want to be able to turn off?

    Sorry, but I was trying to report that some users out there,
    isn't interested in upgrading or being able to turn things off.
    They just liked the PGV better when it was simpler and more
    stable, and to some users the simplicity, stability and smaller
    size of and older version is much better than the added
    complexity, instability, bugs and larger size of a newer version
    with a lot of fearures which would have to be turned off.

    You also said:
    > Alpha = CVS
    > Beta = Beta release Packages
    > Final = Tested as fully as the developers have time to test.

    From most users point of view, the alphas and betas are for
    the testers and for those who absolutely must live life on the
    bleeding edge.

    From most users point of view the finals are expected to be
    largely bugfree, and the minor versions are expected to
    contain minor bug fixes and absolutely not new features and
    not new bugs.

    To some users with 5 MB only websites (free sites at 1go.dk)
    the PGV versions footprint is essential, and alone for that
    reason such users are dependant on the availability of almost
    bugfree older versions of PGV.

    So, basically the discussion really isn't about what I want, but
    what other users want.

    Best regards,
    Arne

     
  • KosherJava
    KosherJava
    2004-02-18

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    user_id=634811

    Arne,
    Can you try using the CSS from cvs (changed last week or so)
    and let me know if this somewhat fixes the alignment
    problems in Mozilla.
    Thanks

     
  • John Finlay
    John Finlay
    2004-02-18

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    Hi Arne,

    The biggest problem is that as open source developers we
    don't have the resources to support multiple versions. It
    would require that one or two developers be completely
    dedicated to a single version. There are really only 5 active
    developers on the project. Of those 5, only 3 (Roland,
    Jeremy, and myself) work on all the aspects of the project.
    The other developers are focused on specific areas of
    development.

    The only way we could ever make something that is
    completely bug free and support past versions is if we started
    charging for support. I don't want to do that. So, this
    means that bug fixes will just get rolled into the next release
    along with all of the new features.

    If you look at what other open source projects are doing,
    alphas and betas don't exist. Take the GAIM project for
    example. If there are bugs in the program you deal with the
    bugs until a new version comes out.

    It is very true that development is is full swing for version 3.
    And version 3 is going to be quite a bit different. Many old
    bugs won't even apply in version 3 because the things
    causing the bugs will have changed. I believe that version
    3.0 will be very bug free, though I can never guarentee that
    any version will be completely bug free.

    I am still very concerned with bugs and in helping to support
    users. I want the program to work for them just as I want it
    to work for me. But I just don't have the time to guarentee a
    bug free version.

    --John

     
  • Arne Eckmann
    Arne Eckmann
    2004-02-19

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    Hi John,

    Its too bad, that my English is so bad that I cant make
    myself understood:

    Im well aware that you cant support multiple versions, and
    since some older versions are available for download you
    really dont need to support multiple versions. All you really
    needs, are not to leave major goofs like ver. 2.65.3
    completely unfixed behind.

    Its often demonstrated that considerable resources are used
    in helping random individuals with exotic problems which often
    is caused by the individuals web hosting or specific settings
    and at the same time general fixes that everybody can
    benefit from are refused: It doesnt make sense, but like you
    say, its open software, and it dont have to make sense.

    Maybe the problem is, that open software mostly appeals to a
    tiny nerd-like community, where genealogy in general appeals
    to a large non-nerd middle of the road type of community.
    Making open software and genealogy an uneasy marriage?

    In general youll find that the genealogy community first and
    foremost are interested in their genealogy. The programs and
    other applications comes in second and only come into play in
    brief periods where the genealogists/hobbyists are setting up
    their web presentations, or replaces inconvenient software
    with more convenient software. In general youll also find that
    most genealogy-interested people are well past their teens,
    and for that reason alone you shouldnt expect to see too
    many of the core-users hanging around in the project forums.

    However, in more than one sense the phpGedView project is
    at a crossroad now, implementing a new policy, showing a
    new attitude and taking off in a different direction from what
    it had before.

    Question was, if those getting off at this crossroad should be
    left off with a goofed version like ver. 2.65.3. And the answer
    was yes. Plain and simple: yes.

    My advice would be, that those with ver. 2.65.3 would be
    better of with rolling back to ver. 2.65.2.

    Best regards,

    Arne

     
  • John Finlay
    John Finlay
    2004-02-23

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    Hi Arne,

    I currently do not have plans to do another 2.65.x release
    because of time constraints. But I can change my mind if I
    see a need. I haven't yet seen a need for a 2.65.4 release.

    Could you please specifically list what you think is goofed in
    version 2.65.3 that needs to be fixed? If a 2.65.4 is needed I
    will make one, but from my perspective 2.65.3 works very
    well. You are more involved with the Danish community and
    hear a lot more from them than I do. I can't be everywhere
    that the project is anymore, so I have probably missed some
    things.

    I don't think that version 3.0 will be so different from version
    2.65 that people won't want to upgrade and I think that most
    people will want the new features. I also think that those
    who get off at the crossroads of version 2.65.3 and version
    3.0 are those types of people who won't upgrade to a version
    2.65.4 either. They will be content with version 2.65.3.

    I know that many genealogists are not computer folks and I
    don't think that PhpGedView is designed for your average
    genealogist. Setting up PhpGedView requires some
    knowledge of how the internet works and how websites
    work. My wife is a genealogist. She could not setup a
    PhpGedView site without my help, and neither could many of
    our genealogist friends. It requires some extra knowledge to
    run a website with something like PGV.

    My wife and I have talked about setting up a commercial
    hosting site that only runs PGV websites. Someone would
    come and sign-up and automatically have a running PGV site
    that all they needed to do was upload their gedcoms too. I
    don't have the time or the money needed to start such a
    company, but that is what the average genealogist who
    doesn't understand the internet needs in order to have a PGV
    website.

    --John

     
  • Arne Eckmann
    Arne Eckmann
    2004-02-26

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    user_id=818819

    Hi John,

    You wrote:

    > Could you please specifically list what you think is goofed
    > in version 2.65.3 that needs to be fixed?

    Ive filed a bug report long ago but only had
    arrogant/negative responses from KosherJava and Kurt.

    > I don't think that version 3.0 will be so different from
    version
    > 2.65 that people won't want to upgrade and I think that
    most
    > people will want the new features. I also think that those
    > who get off at the crossroads of version 2.65.3 and version
    > 3.0 are those types of people who won't upgrade to a
    version
    > 2.65.4 either. They will be content with version 2.65.3.

    Well, I have no idea what version 3.0 are/will be like, but I
    guess it must be quite a leap forward when moving from ver.
    2.65 to ver. 3.0.

    However, every new version has new features and grows
    bigger and bigger, and size alone dictates people with limited
    webspace to get off and for the users of the free webspace
    at 1go.dk (5MB) the PGV and their individual gedcoms has
    grown to a size where it no longer fit into the available
    webspace not to mention the extra webspace required by the
    upgrade utility alone: The point here isnt that PGV should
    stop from growing, it merely explains why some of the users
    are forced to get off at the crossroad.

    I cant tell if anybody will upgrade from ver. 2.65.3 to ver.
    2.65.4, but thats not my concern: Im thinking about those
    with older versions who needs to upgrade from a security
    point of view, and they probably wont upgrade to get some
    security they think they dont need, if that security comes
    with a degradation from the version they already have.

    To many people this alignment in ver. 2.65.3 (MSIE6)

    http://eckmann.dk/cssprobs/2.65.3.ie6.2.gif

    is a goof as compared to this alignment in ver. 2.65.2
    (MSIE6)

    http://eckmann.dk/cssprobs/2.65.2.ie6.2.gif

    And if it wasnt because of the delicate political issue involved
    in this, I have no doubt - what so ever - that the goofed
    alignment of ver. 2.65.3 also would be unacceptable to you:
    Why would anybody go from a perfect alignment, to a
    completely goofed alignment. It doesnt make sense, except if
    sacred political issues are involved.

    And this goofed alignment are all over ver. 2.65.3 and no
    matter if you uses MSIE6 or Mozilla - still the alignment
    problem doesnt exist in PHPLaunch, because its internal
    WebBrowser component doesnt understand the styles used
    by KosherJava.

    > I know that many genealogists are not computer folks and I
    > don't think that PhpGedView is designed for your average
    > genealogist. Setting up PhpGedView requires some
    > knowledge of how the internet works and how websites
    > work. My wife is a genealogist. She could not setup a
    > PhpGedView site without my help, and neither could many
    > of our genealogist friends. It requires some extra
    knowledge
    > to run a website with something like PGV.

    In my experience that isnt a real problem in the Danish
    genealogy circles, in news:dk.videnskab.historie.genealogi
    there are always several users offering their free help to
    those not able to setup PGV.

    > My wife and I have talked about setting up a commercial
    > hosting site that only runs PGV websites. Someone would
    > come and sign-up and automatically have a running PGV
    > site that all they needed to do was upload their gedcoms
    too.
    > I don't have the time or the money needed to start such a
    > company, but that is what the average genealogist who
    > doesn't understand the internet needs in order to have a
    > PGV website.

    But, why not franchise such a concept to existing and
    interested web host companies ?

    How about a major web host like the Utah based
    http://www.prohosting.com ?

    Best regards
    Arne

     
  • KosherJava
    KosherJava
    2004-02-26

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    user_id=634811

    Arne,
    We did not try to be arrogant. There were changes made to
    the code that we thought would not end up in version 2.65.x.
    The code was later merged into a new 2.65 branch and some of
    the code that was never meant to be included in 2.65.x was
    included by accident. Since the developers made many changes
    that we never intended to include in 2.65.x they were not
    properly documented and very hard to undo (correct me if I
    am wron John). The developers as well as the translators
    have full time jobs and do this for enjoyment. We have
    limited time and sadly can't always fix every issue. I am
    sorry if we came across negative/arrogant. It was not our
    intention to come accross that way.
    As for the internal browser used by PHPLaunch, cant you use
    IE instead? JUst call the IE executable from your launcher
    like this:
    "C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\iexplore.exe" -new
    http://localhost:PORTNUMBER (whatever port the server is
    running on) The -new starts it in a new process. This way
    you would be using IE as the viewer instead of the the
    internal viewer. Would this not work (I never tried
    PHPLaunch so I am not sure this is technically feasible).

     
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