Beeminder Forum

Some long standing bugs I would like to see resolved

It will soon be a whole year of not fixing this bug that is in all likelihood extremely simple to resolve:

On a similar note:

Hate to put it like this but I have posted this in January, it has been analysed by a user for you, two weeks later you confirmed it and despite that and months passing it is still not fixed.

This might be related to that, maybe not but for completeness’ sake:

Going out on a limb here but let me guess, @dreev and @bee you don’t use the iOS app, do you?

Hi Phi,

Thanks for the reports.

When it comes to what gets fixes is that it often takes longer to squash a bug than most would expect. Often, a bug that seems simple, because the concept is simple, is actually pretty gnarly behind the scenes, and can take much longer than would be expected. So there are a lot of things on the to-do list. They can’t all be done simultaneously, so we have to focus on the most dangerous ones first (i.e. those that risk costing users money, especially unexpectedly, and especially those that surround features that a lot of users use) and the ones that are less likely to do so, or impact fewer users, are things that have to wait until the bigger ones are wrangled.

We’re a tiny team, so there’s only so much that can be done at a time. We’re all also users, so we feel the sting of the bugs too, and trust us, no one wants them fixed more than we do!

We really do appreciate the reports, and they’re all captured and logged, and we’re working to knock them down one at a time.

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I see how any changes in the underlying code of Beeminder are dangerous. No surprise there. I mean, you are using Javascript, a dynamically typed language. Very hard to refactor. And everything that is not notoriously covered with unit tests that emulate a type checking compiler will eventually bite you.
I can only assume that you have a huge software maintenance problem that is eating up man hour after man hour which does not pair well with a small team.

But how does this apply to the iOS app? It must have been completely rewritten once before since you moved from Objective-C to Swift. Adding insult to injury, not too long ago, you asked people to review it on the App Store. Which tells me you think it’s ready to be judged.

I use the iOS app and never need to login again. I don’t think i needed to login again after the iOS 13 update.

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The login problem is only affecting the website, not the app. Because cookies.

I wanted to make a point by adding how much I paid for Beeminder in total so far. But – surprise – the export to CSV functionality of the Beeminder payment data is also bugged:

This also depends on your browser settings and whether cookies are deleted when you close the browser.

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Not a fair argument. The value from the service that you have gotten exceeds any trouble of having to report bugs (or suffer their continued existence). Writing this as a serial bug-reporter (evidence: this forum) :smiley:

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Sorry, I have to disagree with you here. If I actually wanted to find and report bugs I would go to my day job where I am getting paid for this.
Despite that I did report a great many bugs here and I got very nice stickers for it and a cute hand written note. Thanks again for that!
(Stickers of which just yesterday I gave a few to some first semester students that I told about Beeminder and how wonderful it is.)
Here I am doing this because it is wonderful people behind this and because I was hoping the bugs would be resolved in a timely manner which would improve the service for me. Which – arguably – a number of them were. Such as this SVG bug.

Also because I knew this was going to be an argument by someone I was going to separate what I paid in pledges vs. what I paid in subscription.

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Does it though? To me the thread reads otherwise. And my Safari does not delete cookies when I close the browser.

All Beeminder’s users pay, or are at risk of paying, money for the use of the service. That practically is the service. So I’m not sure how the fact that you, too, have given Beeminder money means they should give your bug reports any more weight than they already would have.

Seems pretty straight-forward to me.

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Yes of course. Absolutely. But according to the export I have paid a whopping total of $442. Which… is a lot. Holy sh… Certainly a lot more than I ever set out to pay. Of which no doubt a lot, probably most of it, goes to financing support. Which is totally okay because I write them a ton of mails. And they are that rare kind of support that actually reads what you write them. Not like the cable provider kind of support.
But some of that goes towards the software side of things and quite frankly when I pay so much money for something I expect it to work rather well. Is this an unreasonable expectation? I think not.

An argument could be made that the support part of the whole Beeminder cake is indeed working really well and it is. But the entire Beeminder package isn’t, apparently. For me that is. I say that because I use Beeminder differently than most I think.

I am of course not expecting that my bug reports are handled with a higher priority.
I expect that they are handled at all :stuck_out_tongue:
Just kidding of course. They are. Like this one:

And this one about fractional values:

Which is a good bad example: The decimals bug was reported on February 5th and closed on July 9th. That is five months (+ the time before it was reported) during which it was almost impossible to enter data points that were not whole numbers.
If you lived anywhere that is not blue on this map:


(Source)

But, okay, I know it’s a small team. And I was patient and they fixed it and all is well. That one was easy to sit out because I knew in advance it was broken and would just go to the website, log back in again (Sorry), and edit the datapoint there.

Not so for the stopwatch bug. You never know how long you got until all your measured time interval just goes south without prior notice. It’s a time tracking Russian roulette. And not using that feature means to use yet another app that you have to remember opening, switching to, starting and stopping in, memorising the value, then switching to the Beeminder app where you would then add this as a datapoint (or not because fractional values (though iirc this was more of a problem when editing a datapoint vs. adding one. And the latter had an extra button for adding a “:” so there’s that).
Which is really annoying especially if you have ADHD because between all this context switching, seeing all the other apps and their updated content while switching, or just a sudden lack of concentration for just one second… well how much time were you gonna log again exactly?

You know what this reminds me of? Online banking apps in the EU and the authentication dance that comes with them.
This is really frustrating and makes you want to not use it. Especially knowing how easy of a fix it must be and that you were asked along with many other users to publicly review the app in the App Store (which, correct me if I’m wrong, implies that it would get good ratings).
Which it needs because right now the ratings are… Well, have a look:

Back to the other elephant in the room:
I am actually considering quitting Beeminder altogether at this point because if the CSV export is right – and aside from it being wrong by a factor of 100 I see no indication of it being any more wrong – these $442 have not in fact made me finish my master project in any decent amount of time. And that is my main motivation to use Beeminder. So I might as well take my money elsewhere and get an actual coach or something.

Edit: Make that five and a half months at least:

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Ooh, thank you for the new bug report about amounts and refunded amounts having inconsistent units in the CSV export! (dollars vs cents, funnily enough)

Fixed: http://beeminder.com/changelog#3173

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You’re welcome. Here is another one that has been haunting me for more than a week now and just resurfaced today:

Happens when you simply open the app. You get out of bed, start the app to see what’s up today and are greeted with an almost empty (one goal was on there) screen, then that popup thrown into your face and then the goal list filling up.

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I would think most revenues go to development, servers and integration fees. @dreev?

iirc, the expiring cookies thing involves a rails framework cookie rather than an application-level cookie, i.e. not one that we’ve intentionally set, but one that has ‘helpfully’ been set for us by some mysterious and inscrutable part of the version of ruby on rails that we’re on.

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inscrutable

adjective

1 her inscrutable face gave nothing away: enigmatic, unreadable, impenetrable, mysterious, impossible to interpret, cryptic; unexpressive, inexpressive, emotionless, unemotional, expressionless, impassive, blank, vacant, deadpan, dispassionate; informal poker-faced. ANTONYMS expressive
2 the ways of the gods are inscrutable: mysterious, inexplicable, unexplainable, incomprehensible, beyond comprehension, beyond understanding, impossible to understand, unintelligible, impenetrable, unfathomable, fathomless, opaque, puzzling, perplexing, baffling, bewildering, confusing, abstruse, arcane, obscure; literary sibylline; archaic wildering. ANTONYMS transparent

Yeaaah that totally sounds like a web framework I would trust.

No idea about the latter – I am tempted to say the server costs can’t be that high given how slow the website is :wink:
But as to development costs: You can only guess given the hours on the team page. But since @bee is the only full time dev and also does support I strongly suspect that most money goes towards the latter.

Also frankly: I don’t care that much either way :wink:
What I do care about is that lot of my money went into this service and it sure felt like it was helping me but one year later I have to say, I am still not where I thought I would be 3 weeks after I signed up.
This big discrepancy needs solving.

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phi, I only know you through your forum posts, but it sounds like you’re really frustrated with your progress on your masters project. You are even now saying it you’re progressing at less than 10% of your expected speed! Wow! That would really bum anyone out!

I don’t think anyone is arguing on the side of Beeminder having bugs. Everyone wants them gone, the founders, the support staff, anyone who uses it… but the more I read this thread, the less I think it’s actually about bugs.

One of my favorite pieces of writing about productivity is this post from Merlin Mann, “Because buying new running shoes is more fun than actually running”. I highly recommend that everyone interested in productivity or self-improvement read every single sentence.

Getting less done in 1 year than you expected in 3 weeks is quite a bit of difference! If the decimal bug would have been fixed in 1 hour, would you have made an additional month of progress? An additional week even?

Sometimes we get in over our heads, and projects start to be surrounded by indeterminate negative emotions. Instead of jumping in when you have a few minutes, we start taking on meta-projects and meta-meta projects, because they feel like making progress, and they feel good. Maybe this is switching task managers, or doing a bunch of reading, or researching the optimum sneakers to wear so you can start becoming a runner. The more we do these, the more the negative emotions around the original project grow–now it’s been two months and we’ve made no real progress! What! We signed up for a gym and bought all these exercise clothes and we still haven’t gone to the gym or lost any weight?! Now we feel even more guilty about it, and start researching therapists to see if we have an executive function disorder. There certainly can be value in reading and planning and research and self-improvement, but when it’s procrastination, it starts a pretty terrible arms race.

I used to be the absolute worst at this. I had a rough awakening sometime in my late 20s about this, and after, honestly, a few years of working on it, I felt like I was in an OK spot, and I haven’t really had any relapses of planning-as-avoidance or self-improvement-as-avoidance since then. (Now, taking-on-too-many-projects-as-avoidance is definitely something I am actively working on.)

There’s a lot of sharp people on this forum who have worked through a lot of complicated life problems using Beeminder (and other tools). Do you have a forum post where you’re looking at your progress, your expectations, what’s been tripping you up, and how to get back on track? If it’s too personal for this forum, I recommend finding someone that you can talk about it with. Having someone trusted to talk to about self-improvement stuff gives you a whole extra angle to see what’s going on, and can really level up your self-analysis and subsequent improvement. “Fish don’t know they’re wet,” and all.

Good luck! I hope you make good progress on your project, and you start to feel better about it.

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