Saturday, January 31, 2015

Improved FogBugz Cases Menu

Dane Bertram:

No more need for weird prefixes to help keep your personal saved filters organized! You can now create as many personal filter groups as you like and freely drag your filters between them.


You can also drag-and-drop the groups themselves to determine the order in which they’re displayed, while the filters within each group are automatically sorted alphabetically.


Still have too many saved filters to look at all at once? Well, filter groups (including the built-in “My Filters” and “Shared Filters” groups) are now collapsible and will remember their collapsed-ness no matter what browser or computer you might be using.

Good stuff.

I remain a happy FogBugz customer, though unfortunately Fog Creek seems to have other priorities these days. FogBugz still doesn’t support the multipart/mixed e-mail format that Apple Mail (among other clients) uses, leading to extra steps and embarrassing mistakes when I can’t see the entire message that my customer sent. [Update (2015-02-18): The current version of FogBugz no longer loses the text in these messages, however it still puts all the images at the end, messing up the interleaving.] [Update (2015-06-30): Actually, it is not fixed. I just received another message where FogBugz made it look as though there was no text.] It also still has trouble with certain e-mails that contain images, inserting unsightly strings like:


into the reply.

The performance upgrade, which came out of beta in October 2013, has included a steady stream of smaller interface improvements. However, it still doesn’t officially support Safari, isn’t as keyboard-navigable as the old version, and takes minutes instead of seconds to bulk-mark messages as spam.

Most seriously, the performance upgrade still has a bug where a customer will reply to a case, and FogBugz will receive the reply and re-open the case, but the case will not appear in the inbox filter showing open inquiries. I guess there’s some sort of issue with the new indexing engine because the inbox shows the correct cases with the performance upgrade disabled. In any case, the customer won’t get a reply unless I notice the message in my e-mail backup or until a periodic check of turning off the performance upgrade to look for lost cases. I actually have a recurring task in OmniFocus to remind me to do this.

[Update (2015-02-12): There is also still a bug where it corrupts some .plist files received as attachments.]

Lastly, I still have a nagging concern about keeping such important data in the cloud. FogBugz On Demand originally had a backup data center, but this was shut down sometime before Hurricane Sandy. In the aftermath of Sandy, it sounded like the goal was to again have two data centers, but this has not come to pass yet.

Meanwhile, I am trying to make my own backups: manually BCCing every e-mail I send, running a URL trigger to log case changes, and manually creating backups in CSV format (in four chunks, because otherwise it gives me a single-line file without reporting an error). I once wrote a tool that used the API to back up my cases as XML, but years ago this stopped working—the server would time out and return an HTML error page—and I haven’t had a chance to rewrite it using a smaller batch size. There is still a way to request a SQL dump, and this has been improved so that it works for larger databases; they e-mail you an FTP link a few hours later when the ZIP archive is ready.

Like I said, I am overall a satisfied customer. I just wish the basics would get more attention than whizzy new features.

Update (2015-04-02): Another issue is that URL triggers don’t work for cases with lots of text because FogBugz puts the parameters in the URL itself (even if you use POST instead of GET).

Update (2015-04-24): I’m still getting missing messages with the Performance Upgrade. Switching it off is annoying because the old user interface has different keyboard shortcuts and doesn’t support the same snippet placeholders.

3 Comments RSS · Twitter

I agree with literally everything you say here, except that I haven't tried to write my own backup tool via the API, yet.

[…] The bug seems to only affect Safari, but I don’t like using other browsers. Turning off the Performance Upgrade also helps but has its own […]

[…] hit this particular bug many times, so hopefully it’s fixed now. I’m still seeing problems with missing e-mail […]

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