James is: currently bug testing IE8
Recently, I accepted an invitation from the IE devs to take part in their ‘closed’ technical Beta program- essentially filing reports on any bugs I come across (and believe me, there are a huge amount of them already in Connect) in IE8.
It all started when I came across a post on the IEBlog, asking for potential QAs to lend their capacity to the IE team in reporting bugs in the very buggy Beta 1, and beyond. The catch? You had to justify to MS as to why you would be a good analyst, as opposed to MS justifying why we should bother investing our time into the project, in the first place. I’m sure you can imagine the wrath that ensued soon after the post was submitted; many people were angry (and quite rightly so) for the reasons I stated above – why should potentially many of the top QAs in the industry have to justify themselves to Microsoft which might be seen to benefit only IE in delivering an enhanced final product?
The only marginally sensible reason why Microsoft would take this step to limit (!!) the number of developers who would help make IE more stable/feature-rich would be that they’re afraid of too many nonsensical bug reports that either a) can’t be replicated, b) would become a duplicate bug report & c) don’t actually make any sense. However, this is exactly what Webkit, Mozilla etc have to put up with and you don’t hear them complaining; and with a diminishing market share, beggars can’t be choosers.
Now I’ve never had the ‘pleasure’ of using the Microsoft Connect interface, nor gauging the type of feedback that the devs give before, but one thing I’m quickly finding out is that major bugs seem to have a habit of being closed even when no resolution has been recorded. For example, there is a bug report that details the omission of Opacity (or the filter property for that matter); the report itself was filed under a month after the launch of Beta 1 and there are many comments as you would expect from developers, requesting that Opacity be inclued in at least the final product (although from this article it doesn’t look like they plan to support it). The problem is that MS shot themselves in the foot a little when it came removing the ‘hasLayout‘ concept from version 8; in order for the ‘filter’ property to work, the element that it is applied to must have ‘layout’, which is impossible when ‘layout’ has been removed! But anyway, back to the point in hand; the ticket itself has been ‘closed – by design’- after many Google searches for meanings to different bug statuses in Connect, I still haven’t managed to ascertain exactly what this status means. I would have felt happier if there was some half decent explanation from the team as to why the ticket was closed but there is only one response from them simply saying:-
Thank-you for this suggestion.
We will consider this in a future version of IE.
If people (including myself) are having to jump through hoops even to get a point where we can start posting reports, some decent communication from the IE team wouldn’t go amiss!