Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Product Suggestion: Stop calling them "Bug Fixes"!

The last thing any seller wants is more paperwork. At the same time, however, the last thing any buyer wants is more confusion.

Take the case of SQL Anywhere EBF releases, where EBF stands for "Express Bug Fix" or "Emergency Bug Fix" depending on how old you are.

There's a problem with "EBF" and it isn't the "E", it's the "B". Here's the story: There ain't no more point releases coming from SAP: no 12.0.2, no 16.0.1, not even any 16.1 (if there was going to be a 16.1 it would have been here already). What's happening instead is that new features are being released in EBFs.

Which means EBFs are not just "Bug Fix" releases any more. They aren't "Emergency" or "Express" either, they are now "New Stuff" releases that include both fixes and enhancements.

So either

  • change EBF to something else,

  • or spell it "Ebf" and declare "IT IS NOT AN ACRONYM!" Hana is just a word and not an acronym,

  • or rectify the E, declare that EBF means has always meant "Enhancement and Bug Fix" :)

While we're nitpicking...

...let's make it clear that the build number range in the readme files is not inclusive of the first end point. For example, although a recent readme said this...

SQL Anywhere Bug Fix Readme for Version 12.0.1, build 3994

Choose a range of build numbers for which to display descriptions.
For example if you want to see what was fixed since the last build you applied then change 3152 to the build number of that last Support Package.
Click Update Readme to make those changes take effect.
3152 to 3994 Update Readme

...the range "3152 to 3994" does not work like the BETWEEN clause we all know and love, it works like BETWEEN 3153 AND 3994.

For example "3994 to 3994" eliminates all content even though one change was made in build 3994, you have use "3993 to 3994"... and that eliminates the one other change made in 3993.

Kinda like counting from zero instead of 1, isn't it?

Once you know how it works, you can (kinda) see what the words are saying, "if you want to see what was fixed since the last build you applied then change 3152 to the build number of that last Support Package"... but not really :)

For the record, the readme does not include any changes made for build 3152; that was the GA build for 12.0.1 and you have to look in the docs to find "What's New In 12.0.1". 1994-11-15

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A very reasonable suggestion! (Though one might note that they are also called SPs nowadays..., and a service pack is expected to contain new functionality, at least is that the expectation from Microsoft users...)

As to the readme filtering: While you are mathematically correct, I think the current condition works well enough: I usually enter the number of the last-recently used EBF into the field (say 1761 for v16), and so the filter shows all fixes that have been added after that EBF. That's appropriate IMHO. It would be more difficult if I had to choose the EBF number + 1 (say 1762 here)... - So I guess the description could be improved but the current filter condition itself should be left unchanged...

Well, that's enough nit-picking:)

Best regards