Microsoft has created what I think is a really cool mechanism for customers to report bugs and suggestions for our products - the Product Feedback center. Right now, you can report bugs in Visual Studio 2005 and the .NET Framework 2.0 via this website. The bugs from this site are transformed into the correct format and then reported directly into the same database that VS and .NET Framework product teams use to report bugs against daily builds of the products as they are being developed. There is also a really nice process put in place by the Developer Division community team (Josh Ledgard, et al) that ensures that bugs reported via the Product Feedback center are given special attention so they do not end up swept under the rug due to the lack of a repro in our test lab, and so they are all responded to in a timely (and hopefully professional) manner.
The Product Feedback site has increased the volume of bugs reported for VS and the .NET Framework, and in particular for setup (because setup is the first thing every customer sees in the product and because every customer must get through setup in order to use the product).
I posted this article that describes the steps that we recommend everyone follow when reporting a bug in setup for the various versions of Visual Studio and the .NET Framework. Included in this article are links to full lists of log files that are created by setup for each version of VS and the .NET Framework. I'll put those links here too to make them a little more visible:
- How to enable Windows Installer verbose logging for all setup programs
- Visual Studio codename Whidbey and .NET Framework v2.0 log files
- Visual Studio .NET 2003 and .NET Framework v1.1 log files
- Visual Studio .NET 2002 and .NET Framework v1.0 log files
I strongly encourage anyone who encounters a problem while installing or using VS or the .NET Framework and anyone who has a suggestion for how we can improve in the future to use the Product Feedback site. If your problem appears setup-related, please take a quick look at this article and include the requested information in your bug report if possible (but don't skip reporting the bug because you can't find a log file or something like that).
For those of you who have already used the Product Feedback site, thank you very much!