Announcing Internet Explorer Feedback


Many customers have asked us about having a better way to enter IE bugs. It is asked “Why don’t you have Bugzilla like Firefox or other groups do?” We haven’t always had a good answer except it is something that the IE team has never done before. After much discussion on the team, we’ve decided that people are right and that we should have a public way for people to give us feedback or make product suggestions. We wanted to build a system that is searchable and can benefit from the active community that IE has here.

As of today, our new Internet Explorer Feedback site is live. This site uses the Microsoft Connect platform that has been developed for Beta programs within Microsoft. It will probably take some time to work out all of the kinks and to figure out the best way to work with you there but we decided it is better to go live with this now instead of waiting until Beta 2. The intent of this work is to give everyone a better place to give IE7 feedback and to prepare the ground for future versions of IE later.

Visit the Microsoft Connect site and sign up for our Internet Explorer Feedback program in order to access the IE pages.

I have prepared a short FAQ for the site to try to answer some questions ahead of time.

Internet Explorer Feedback FAQ

1.     Where is the public bug database for the Internet Explorer team located?

It is located on the Microsoft Connect site at https://connect.microsoft.com/site/sitehome.aspx?SiteID=136.

The current version of the site will require visitors to have a Passport account in order to view or enter bugs. In an update in a couple of months, visitors will be able to view existing bugs without logging into the system.

2.     What version of IE is this database for?

The feedback site is for IE7 and future versions of IE. Feedback for the current version under development will be taken through the site. Once IE7 has shipped, it will be used to report issues with IE7 to examine for following versions. As Beta builds become available, it is a mechanism to report issues seen in them. The site should not be used to report issues with earlier versions of IE such as IE5.5 or IE6.

3.     What kind of response should I expect for any issues that I enter?

Any bug or suggestion that is entered will be seen by the Internet Explorer team. We do expect that a lot of issues will be entered, especially in the initial period after the site is available. Because of this, we do not promise a specific response time on any issues and we want people to be aware of this. We will have a team examining the incoming issues and making sure that they are actionable and that they go to the right members of the IE team. As an issue is worked on, you should expect to see comments added to the bug giving some details.

4.     What kind of privacy can I expect on issues that I enter?

 Bugs can be marked as either public or private. A public bug can be viewed by anyone who goes to the website and searches for bugs. This allows people who run into the same issues to vote on them and know that they are entered.

If you mark a bug as private, only Microsoft employees and you will be able to see the bug, its status, or any comments or changes to it. It will be invisible to other people.

 The site will require users to log into it with Passport to view or enter bugs. This allows us to have an e-mail address to contact if we have questions about an issue and for customers to have bugs associated with their Passport accounts. This means that people can easily track their own issues.

5.     What about security bugs?

Because of the volume of incoming bugs, any truly time sensitive bugs should go through the normal security channels. Security issues should be reported to secure@microsoft.com to guarantee a timely response to the issue. There is an overview of the Microsoft Security Response Center available and an article on managing vulnerabilities from them as well. They are recommended reading for understanding how Microsoft responds to security issues.

6.     Will all bugs reported be fixed before IE7 is released? If not, when will they be fixed?

Not every bug reported will necessarily be fixed. Issues reported during the IE7 Beta 2 will be looked at and we will do our best to fix issues reported to us. There are specific windows of time where risky or very complex issues can be fixed and times when it would jeopardize shipping on time and with the quality necessary for the release. This makes determining which issues can be fixed and when a bit of a juggling act and it is up to the individual feature teams working on Internet Explorer to make the best possible determination of what can be reasonably addressed.

As Bill Gates mentioned at MIX06 this week, we have committed to doing regular releases of Internet Explorer moving forward. Anything that we cannot fix during IE7 that is a valid issue will be considered for the next IE release following it. Just because a bug is not fixed immediately, it doesn’t mean that it has been forgotten.

7.     What goes into a bug?

A “Best Practices for Bug Reporting in Internet Explorer” series of pages has been created on the site. This goes over some of the best practices for putting a bug into the system and will help bugs entered get acted on easily by the IE team. Please take a look at it before entering any issues that you have found.

8.     What else does the IE team have planned for this program?

There will be an ongoing blog for feedback created in the near term which will cover the top issues reported during the week, what is getting the most votes from users, and so forth. This will be run by Al Billings as part of the overall feedback process.

The site will be undergoing a series of improvements over the next few months. Right now, there is a single form for bug entry but we will be able to customize that. Also, you must log into Passport to view issues, not just to enter them. This will eventually change so that users can view issues without logging into Passport and the URLs will be friendlier for direct linking.

9.     What does the bug database site look like?

The bug database runs under the Microsoft Connect program at http://connect.microsoft.com. The Internet Explorer team is using this software so we can focus on doing what we do best, working on Internet Explorer. The Connect program is an ongoing project run by the MS Connect team to provide a place to host Beta and Customer focused programs, offer articles, FAQs, and downloads for users along with allowing them to report issues and make product suggestions.

As mentioned above, users will need to have an account with Passport in order to use the site. On the site, users can go to a link for “Available Programs” and see a list of open programs hosted by Connect. “Internet Explorer Feedback” is one of the programs listed there. The link under the programs can be used to join the program. Once you are a member, you can follow links on the Connect site go directly to https://connect.microsoft.com/site/sitehome.aspx?SiteID=136 to view the Internet Explorer program. On the home page for the program, IE will have links to relevant articles, websites and even FAQs. On the sidebar, you can select the “Feedback” link to go to the portion of the site where you can enter or search on bugs.

The feedback home page is at https://connect.microsoft.com/feedback/default.aspx?SiteID=136 and looks like this:

Feedback Top Details Page

In order to enter a bug or a suggestion, you are required to search first to see if the issue has already been reported. If you’re search turns up a bug, it will look like this:

Search Results Page

The form for entering a bug looks like:

Entering Feedback Details

Opening a bug, you will see this:

Viewing Bug Details

Well, that’s it. We hope that you find the site useful and participate on it.

 – Al Billings

Comments (166)

  1. MusicRobRob says:

    Just wanted to thank you guys for the effort it took in making this – really appreciate this new committment to putting Internet Explorer on top again.

  2. Maurits says:

    I go to the first URL listed above and after signing in I get:

    Error: The page you have requested is unavailable or you do not have access.

  3. ieblog says:

    You need to go to http://connect.microsoft.com, sign in, and join the program, Maurits.

    9. What does the bug database site look like?

    The bug database runs under the Microsoft Connect program at http://connect.microsoft.com. The Internet Explorer team is using this software so we can focus on doing what we do best, working on Internet Explorer. The Connect program is an ongoing project run by the MS Connect team to provide a place to host Beta and Customer focused programs, offer articles, FAQs, and downloads for users along with allowing them to report issues and make product suggestions.

    As mentioned above, users will need to have an account with Passport in order to use the site. On the site, users can go to a link for “Available Programs” and see a list of open programs hosted by Connect. “Internet Explorer Feedback” is one of the programs listed there. The link under the programs can be used to join the program. Once you are a member, you can follow links on the Connect site go directly to https://connect.microsoft.com/site/sitehome.aspx?SiteID=136 to view the Internet Explorer program. On the home page for the program, IE will have links to relevant articles, websites and even FAQs. On the sidebar, you can select the “Feedback” link to go to the portion of the site where you can enter or search on bugs.

  4. Maurits says:

    This is very exciting, BTW.  Kudos x 10.

  5. Maurits says:

    > You have to sign up

    Oh, duh.  Thanks, now it works.

  6. Andy says:

    I signed in with my existing Passport account and get "Error: The page you requested is unavailable or you do not have access."

  7. Hooligannes says:

    Has the bug with timeouts while debugging been fixed, is there a workaround or registry tweak for this?

  8. Maurits says:

    Newbies… 😉

    OK, now I’ve tried it out.  This is soooooo cool.  Very good.

    I have a suggestion… the "comments" page shows the date each comment was added, but not the time.  Perhaps it would be better to add the time as well.

  9. ieblog says:

    Hooligannes,

    I’m not sure if it is fixed in the build available currently but I know that the it has been fixed in the codebase.

    – Al Billngs [MSFT]

  10. Fiery Kitsune says:

    OMFG! I love you guys!

    SO LONG "SECURITY THROUGH SECRECY!"

    The final wall has fallen!

  11. Hooligannes says:

    Al,

    It is still present, the Release Notes say so and I have confirmed it while debugging. Is there a registry setting I can change for this?

  12. ieblog says:

    Maurits,

    That would be a good idea but that page is not currently configurable. This is part of the cost of using a standard tool for all teams that want to get feedback. There will be updates to the overall site’s features over the next few months.

    – Al Billings [MSFT]

  13. codemastr says:

    Glad to hear this, I just wish it would have been done back when we still had the ability to suggest new features. It sounds like any feature requests we post will be delayed till post IE7?

  14. ieblog says:

    Codemastr,

    Yes, feature suggestions will not likely be taken for IE7. We’re very late in the product cycle now and the majority of work is on fixing bugs and raising the quality of the builds from here on out. This cannot be reliably done if there is a lot of code churn from other work. It’s the nature of the software process in many ways.

    – Al Billings [MSFT]

  15. * sigh * says:

    It seems I have to sign up just to "VIEW" the bug list.  

    So typical.

  16. Maurits says:

    To clarify, my "newbies" comment was directed at Andy (who made the same error I did) not at Hooligannes.

  17. ieblog says:

    As I mention in the article above:

    "Also, you must log into Passport to view issues, not just to enter them. This will eventually change so that users can view issues without logging into Passport and the URLs will be friendlier for direct linking."

    The signing up to view bugs will change in the future. This was not chosen explicitly by the IE team. It is currently a requirement of the Connect site at this time. They are actively developing the software on the Connect team and anonymous browsing (with a set of other related features) is coming in a version soon.

    – Al Billings [MSFT]

  18. Maurits says:

    More meta-feedback (feedback on the feedback system:)

    Do a feedback-search that returns a lot of results.  Go to page 2.

    Click on any bug.  It opens in the same window/tab.

    Click the "Back" button to view the list of results again.  You get a "Page is Expired" warning.

    Recommended fix: add target="_blank" to all the feedback-item links in the search results.

  19. Davep says:

    It’s nice that you guys finally got around to doing this.

    Too bad you didn’t announce it sometime before you announced "feature complete".

    I would have let you know that you forgot to fix this bug: http://www.alistapart.com/d/horizdropdowns/littlebetter.htm

  20. Fiery Kitsune says:

    BTW, the Connect site still looks horrible in Firefox.

  21. Fiery Kitsune says:

    Will the Windows Vista rewrite have any implications for IE7?

  22. Dao says:

    Now I reported this bug: https://connect.microsoft.com/feedback/ViewFeedback.aspx?SiteID=136&FeedbackID=54066

    I tried to add an image (several times, with Firefox and IE7). It doesn’t show up, does it? I thought the uploading would have failed, but at least the comments page says "5 attachments".

  23. ieblog says:

    Dao,

    Your attachment showed up fine. I just resolved the bug as "By Design" and closed it though since it is not a bug. The fact that IE7 doesn’t pass Acid2 is not a bug.

    – Al Billings [MSFT]

  24. ieblog says:

    Fiery Kitsune,

    There is no Windows Vista rewrite so there are no implications for IE7.

    – Al Billings [MSFT]

  25. Dao says:

    Well, Al … I described it as a meta bug, meaning that there are several standards violations that cause the misrendering and are clearly bugs.

    And as I understood and understand it, "Internet Explorer Feedback" isn’t dedicated to IE7 only. You want to pass Acid2 one day or other, right?

    "Just because a bug is not fixed immediately, it doesn’t mean that it has been forgotten."

    Regarding the attachments: Should they show up to normal users? Because I still don’t see anything.

  26. ieblog says:

    Dao,

    1) Please submit suggestions as suggestions. You submitted this as a bug and it isn’t a bug since it was intentional in the sense that we know that we don’t pass the Acid2 test and that IE7 won’t pass the Acid2 test.

    2) Please submit a single issue per bug/suggestion (don’t roll up a bunch into one or it won’t be actionable).

    3) Feedback is for IE7 and up. Again, if you want to submit a suggestion, please mark it as a suggestion and not a bug.

    4) The public cannot view file attachments on reported issues or suggestions. This is not under our control but is the nature of the tool. I am viewing the bugs through an internal bug reporting tool that everyone at Microsoft uses internally so I can see the full information (as can others on the teams).

    – Al Billings [MSFT]

  27. zcorpan says:

    You could say somewhere that the file upload was successful and that it won’t be visible.

  28. Will bugs reported to IETell be showing up in that database?

  29. Maurits says:

    How’s it working out for you guys on the MS side?

  30. ieblog says:

    Matthias,

    Blogs reported in IETell are in e-mail. They get reported to teams. You will not be able to search on them in this database. The site will only show issues reported through it.

    Zcorpan,

    We don’t create the site software. I can ask the site team to implement that as a feature but I cannot guarantee that they will do so.

    – Al Billings [MSFT]

  31. Dao says:

    > it isn’t a bug since it was intentional in the sense that we know that we don’t pass the Acid2 test and that IE7 won’t pass the Acid2 test.

    So everything you know cannot be a bug? 😉

    No, don’t answer this … I kind of understand your point (though I can’t agree fully). Let’s leave it like that.

  32. ieblog says:

    Maurits,

    I don’t understand your question. The bugs reported get logged to a bug database that we use our normal bug reporting and control tools on. The bugs can be viewed there or through the web pages. For us, it is easier to use our tools as they allow us to assign bugs to each other, etc.

    – Al Billings [MSFT]

  33. ThomThom says:

    <em>As Bill Gates mentioned at MIX06 this week, we have committed to doing regular releases of Internet Explorer moving forward.</em>

    Can you elaborate on this for what it will mean regarding the rendering engine. How often will there be updates that addresses rendering bugs?

    I’m very interested in how the update cycle will work.

  34. EricLaw [MSFT] says:

    @Hooligannes: The current build does not offer a registry key override for timeouts.  The final Beta-2 build will fix the timeouts at the IE6 defaults.

  35. Maurits says:

    > I don’t understand your question

    Let me rephrase…

    Is the new Internet Explorer Feedback mechanism a pleasant experience for you and your co-workers?  Are you being inundated by low-quality bug reports, or is the feedback useful?  Is the bridge between Microsoft Connect and your internal bug reporting tools working well? I know it’s early yet to come to a thorough appreciation of this new input mechanism, but first impressions are good to note…

  36. Thanks to Al for the post and the IE team & others who worked on Connect to help bring IE back in to focus. 🙂

  37. Ron says:

    "we’ve decided that people are right"

    o rly?

  38. Ray says:

    Ummmm, i can’t see anywhere on the feedback homepage how to provide feedback or anything, all i can see is ‘top rated’ ‘Posted by Me’ ‘My Watch List’ and ‘Search Feedback’ knowhere can i see a link for adding any feedback.

  39. aBlogByGus says:

    This latest IE release (March 20, 2006) is really pretty solid and a huge improvement over previous releases. If you haven’t installed it, you really probably should. Also, according to this post on the IE blog, it looks like they’re…

  40. Dziś na IEblogu czytając &lt;a href=&quot;http://blogs.msdn.com/ie/archive/2006/03/23/559409.aspx&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;post o demonstrowaniu nowych możliwości IE7&lt;/a&gt; możemy przeczytać niezwykle ważne zdanie:
    &lt;blockquote class=&quot;bbquote&quot;&gt;The

  41. Soum says:

    Whenever i search for anything in the connect page, it says

    Error: The system has encountered an unexpected error. We apologize for the inconvenience. The issue will be addressed as quickly as possible.

    I am using IE7 March 20 refresh

  42. Khristopher says:

    Very awesome! Thanks for making this 🙂

  43. Gabor Hidvegi says:

    Guys, thank you for this Feedback tool, I will use it as often as possible.

    However, the usability of the Feedback site is awful. I suggest you to add the Feedback link to the start page, and use GETs in the search results window. I suggest you to add a ‘View all bugs’ button or link to the start page (https://connect.microsoft.com/feedback/default.aspx?SiteID=136).

    Another suggestion: we should use the root problem in the title of a feedback, for example:

    css: a selector does not work

    javascript: a function fails

    browser: a new tab does not open when …

  44. Chris H says:

    Hi, great addition.

    However, is there no ‘see all bugs’ option, or am I just missing it?

  45. Dao says:

    > Another suggestion: we should use the root problem in the title of a feedback, for example:

    > css: a selector does not work

    > javascript: a function fails

    > browser: a new tab does not open when …

    Actually, this should be an separate field of the reporting form.

  46. Gabor Hidvegi says:

    You can see all bugs when you go to Advanced search and just press the Search button.

  47. hAl says:

    Grrrrr, the site default to my own language. That isn’t very handy in  communications.

    Things I seem to miss:

    Ability to add version tag to bugs.

    Ability to see bugs/suggestions submitted by a person (self)

    Also please some explanation on statusses. Are these statussen unique to an issue or can a bug be active, solved and not closed at the same time ????

  48. Chris H says:

    Also forgot to add, I tried to upload an image using Firefox, but was shown the ‘open with…’ dialog box.

  49. * sigh * says:

    ieblog wrote:

    "we’ve decided that people are right"

    Ron Replied:

    "o rly?"

    I look forward to next week, when they say

    * Hey Genuine Advantage really is a problem for customers, and has no real effect on piracy, so we are ditching it.

    * Hey look at this really neat thing we innovated, that keeps a log of the changes to IE between versions.  We call it…"changelog".

  50. cooperpx says:

    @ Al Billings

    Just posted something up to try it: (Feedback ID 54419). Even made a new test case. 😉

    Will comments from Microsoft Staff show up in this tool? — or just our own comments?

    If we get feedback in kind, could you tell/show us where that’d go?

    — feedback on feedback interface

    Can I suggest some bread crumbs in the user interface? I’m not fond of clicking the ‘back’ button to navigate unless I clicked something by accident.

    Also, can I suggest the "Feedback ID" validator trim whitespace before validation? stupid I know, but it’s nice to cut and paste sloppy-like.

    value = value.replace( /(^s+|s+$)/g, "" );

  51. PatriotB says:

    "* Hey Genuine Advantage really is a problem for customers, and has no real effect on piracy, so we are ditching it."

    I heard something recently about Microsoft catching some pirating computer seller, where they were caught because someone failed the Genuine Advantage check and reported where they got their computer.  And that’s just one story; I’m sure there’s many more that we don’t hear about.  Looks like it is having an effect.

    And I don’t think it’s "really a problem" for anyone but the pirates themselves.

  52. bantychick says:

    I can’t find the bug database (yet).

  53. If you are using Internet Explorer 7 (it’s in BETA phase) and would like to send your feedback to Microsoft,…

  54. ieblog says:

    Chris,

    There is no "see all bugs option."

    To the few that cannot see a way of entering new feedback on the page, you must search the existing feedback for your issue before you are given the option to enter new feedback. This helps prevent the creation of duplicate bug reports for the same issues over and over again.

    – Al Billings [MSFT]

  55. ieblog says:

    hAl,

    The status is mutually exclusive. A bug is either active, resolved, or closed. When it is resolved, it is resolved with a resolution, which will also be shown when it is closed.

    Did you read the Connect FAQ in the sidebar, which goes to http://connect.microsoft.com/faq.aspx? It has information about the site and some of this.

    – Al Billings [MSFT]

  56. ieblog says:

    Cooperpx,

    Comments from MS staff will show up but they have to be explicitly entered. We have a normal log of "bug assigned to so-and-so" sort of thing that one sees in a bug database. Those don’t get added. We effectively have a tab in our bug tool (called ‘Product Studio’) for the Connect site. It allows us to add comments, which will then by synchronized out to the bug on the site.

    It will probably take a little time for people to get used to entering these comments as well. This is a pretty new thing for all of us. We haven’t had a bug database with instant reporting to the public before.

    – Al Billings [MSFT]

  57. ieblog says:

    To the readers,

    I will take comments about the UI of the Connect site and feature requests and give them to the Connect team. I want to reiterate that we are using software written by another team (MS Connect) and maintained by them through their own product cycles. This means that I, for example, cannot simply just go edit the look and feel of the site. It is all driven by templates and is an ASP.NET application. I’m an end user of the site at an administrative level.

    Something to keep in mind.

    – Al Billings [MSFT]

  58. ieblog says:

    Maurits,

    Yesterday you asked:

    "Is the new Internet Explorer Feedback mechanism a pleasant experience for you and your co-workers?  Are you being inundated by low-quality bug reports, or is the feedback useful?  Is the bridge between Microsoft Connect and your internal bug reporting tools working well? I know it’s early yet to come to a thorough appreciation of this new input mechanism, but first impressions are good to note… "

    To answer your questions in order:

    1) The experience is fine. It is different than what we are used to so it will take some adjustment.

    2) The bug quality reports is pretty variable. I’ve seen someone enter the exact same bug report three times in a row and had to make the second two duplicate. I’ve seen bug reports that are effectively "Make this work!". On the other hand, we’ve gotten bug reports with a lot of detail and very specific repro steps. I’ve tried out some of these and they are valid. The quality will vary. The Visual Studio team had great success with using a public bug database but they were also clear that their end users are developers so they get a lot of very specific reports. We’ll just see how it goes.

    3) The bridge works well. I’ve discovered a bug or two in the last few days and it can be idiosyncratic at times but it works and the Connect team does QFE updates every week to fix issues. We expect there to be major feature additions or improvements over the next few months.

    – Al Billings [MSFT]

  59. cooperpx says:

    @ Al Billings

    This is a terrific direction to go in, but it’s a huge commitment. I figure it’s got to be tough to herd your average/new/vetran developer into doing something extra with each checkin.

    The idea bodes really well for Microsoft! I’m sure the connect team will likely have all of Microsoft (and us) making feature requests at them. Haha!

  60. Dao says:

    > I’ve seen someone enter the exact same bug report three times in a row and had to make the second two duplicate.

    That’s probably again due to the MS Connect software (as with the attachments where a successful upload results in a cryptic download). On the other hand, my first report indeed failed, again with no meaningful message. (The second didn’t fail without any change from my side.)

    So sometimes it’s hard to estimate if things worked, which leads to multiple submissions.

  61. Lachlan Hunt says:

    It would be nice if it wasn’t such a hassle to log in!  Firstly, why on earth does it require me to have JavaScript enabled just to log in?  Secondly, take the stupid, *evil* and extremely user-hostile autocomplete="off" attributes out of the form so that my browser can remember my username and password properly!

    Lastly, for some unknown reason, it failed to allow me to log in with my existing passport details at first until I attempted to reregister only to have that fail, and then try to login again.  That got further then previous attempts, which had all returned telling me that my e-mail address was incorrect, when it most certainly wasn’t.  However, it did eventually gave up with a blank page, after what seemed like several hundred javascript and/or meta redirects.

    Then, after closing it and going back to start from the beginning (following the above link, again), it seemed to remember me and log me straight in.  That only took about *20 minutes* to get to this stage.  But then why does it still require me to fill out yet another registration form with my name, e-mail address, country and age, just to get to the IE feedback, even though my passport already has that information!!!

    I hope no-one else had this much difficulty, but you should seriously get this system fixed!

  62. Ingo Chao says:

    While trying to upload a file, this system alway tells me:

    "You have specified an incomplete or incorrect path to your file. Please check the path and try again."

    Never got such a report on Bugzilla. Well, I gave up after 5 Minutes. Then I opened the comments section: "1 Attachment"

    Bravo. In case this attachment is invalid, just drop me a line, ok?

  63. TanNg says:

    I thing you should make it more easy to add feature request/bug report by making a submit form available right there in this blog (in the right pane)

  64. Greg Reimer says:

    This is a really good start. Glad you’re putting this out there. Hopefully the wrinkles will be smoothed out soon. Just submitted two nearly identical ones because I thought they were being eaten, sorry. 54897 and 54899.

  65. Steve says:

    > But then why does it still require me to fill out yet another registration form with my name, e-mail address, country and age, just to get to the IE feedback, even though my passport already has that information!!!

    This happens all the time with Passport – never been able to understand why!

  66. No Telling says:

    Let us know when you figure out how to do this without having users use Passport.  

  67. Jim Mathies says:

    Would this be an appropriate place for entering issues found with the Microsoft RSS Platform? I’ve been working with it quite a bit and have some feedback.

  68. Nektar says:

    Are you going to migrate all your existing feedback that you have internally, that found on the Channel9 wiki and on various sites on the web into this new connect site? If not then how can we find out if you are working on a fix for a particular bug or how an we track its status? I think that you shouldn’t force us now to re-enter or the bugs we filed previously through all your feedback mechanisms, however inferior  they were, into the connect site. Can you publish your existing bug database on Connect instead stripping out the security bugs of course?

  69. ieblog says:

    No Telling,

    People are always going to have to use Passport to report issues. We need to have a way to contact people and track who is reporting issues. Even Bugzilla requires you to log in to report a bug, doesn’t it?

    Jim,

    Yes, the RSS Team is part of IE. They use the same bug database as the rest of us so you can report issues with the RSS Platform there.

    Nektar,

    There is no way to migrate feedback from other places into the site nor is most of that feedback collected in a regular fashion. In order to migrate feedback from, say, a wiki page, someone would have to hand type it all in. The site only shows feedback that people have entered through the site. So, no, we cannot publish the existing bug database on Connect. There are security and legal implications to doing so as well (I beleive) but I’m not conversant with those.

    I expect that if an issue is something that people see much at all, it will wind up entered into the site. We can link bugs entered to bugs in our internal database so that when the internal bug is fixed, the linked bug is updated with the fact that it is fixed.

    – Al Billings [MSFT]

    – Al Billings [MSFT]

  70. Fiery Kitsune says:

    "People are always going to have to use Passport to report issues. We need to have a way to contact people and track who is reporting issues. Even Bugzilla requires you to log in to report a bug, doesn’t it?"

    Are you now ignoring Windows Live ID?

  71. * sigh * says:

    PatriotB Wrote:

    "I heard something recently about Microsoft catching some pirating computer seller…"

    Anecdotal evidence does not make it effective.

    "And I don’t think it’s "really a problem" for anyone but the pirates themselves."

    I am going to guess that you are not a sysadmin.

  72. On Friday I was contacted by a couple members of the press asking me if I had any comments on Microsoft’s new IE public bug database. Since I hadn’t had the chance to actually check it out, I refrained from comment. Now that I have had a chance to check

  73. Adam says:

    Do I really have to get a passport account just to read the "Best Practices for Bug Reporting […]" guidelines?

    Sheesh!

  74. RQ says:

    Now what if I have submitted a few bugs earlier, and they got assigned a SiteID=4? I cannot even view developer responses for those bugs. Will they be reassigned a SiteID, or should I re-report them?

  75. Adam says:

    Hmmmm….I’m somewhat confused by the way that most bug/issue/enhancement tracking systems currently on the internet work, and contradictions between IEs apparent commitment to web standards (both for IE7 and for future version) and the following statements:

    "The intent of this work is to give everyone a better place to give IE7 feedback and to prepare the ground for future versions of IE later."

    "I just resolved the bug as "By Design" and closed it though since it is not a bug. The fact that IE7 doesn’t pass Acid2 is not a bug."

    "[…] it isn’t a bug since it was intentional in the sense that we know that we don’t pass the Acid2 test and that IE7 won’t pass the Acid2 test."

    "Feedback is for IE7 and up. Again, if you want to submit a suggestion, please mark it as a suggestion and not a bug."

    First, as far as most of the other major public bug trackers on the internet are concerned, suggestions and RFEs are just special classes of bug. If you think that "BUG: Doesn’t pass ACID2" should be "RFE: Should pass ACID2", then surely you should just change the severity (or whatever classification you’re using) from "BUG" to "RFE". That’s not a reason to close it.

    Second, if the goal of IE7 _and above_ is to conform more closely to web standards (as has been stated a number of times in public fora and, IIRC, some press releases), then passing ACID2 should, _at some point in the future_ be a goal, _even if a minor one_. Note, I’m not saying it should be an important goal, or that it should be fixed for IE7.0. However, if MS is committed to making IE7+ adhere more closely to web standards, as it has claimed, then it should be a goal of some kind.

    Again, most of the other major public bug trackers on the internet have a well-established way of dealing with this. They will assign the bug a low priority and mark it as "future", but they will keep it _open_. Only when an RFE is thought to be a non-goal, or even opposed to the direction of the project, is such a bug closed as "won’t fix, behaviour is by design".

    By closing this bug as such, and not following existing conventions, you are effectively telling people that this is something you never _intend_ to fix, and that if a future version of IE managed to pass ACID2 by accident (because of other enhancements to the rendering engine), you’d try to revert that change to get back to your "design".

    And while that’s not what you’re meaning to say, that’s what people _will_ take away from it, because that’s the convention that’s been established over 5 years of other major bug tracking systems on the internet.

    And, this is totally at odds with the "we want to make IE7+ more standards-compliant" mantra that the MS marketing department has been saying, and more along the lines of the "we need to de-commoditise protocols and applications" hallowe’en memos.

  76. Paul S says:

    Screenshots are all broken?

  77. Ingo Chao says:

    Al, you didn’t comment Asa Dotzlers statement:

    http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/asa/archives/2006/03/ms_launches_new.html

    "So, apparently you’re not allowed to talk about any of the information contained in this bug database outside of the Microsoft Connect pages."

    Can you please clarify:

    – Am I not allowed to cite bug reports or track bug numbers or discuss any bug in the feedback system outside of Microsoft Connect pages?

    – When I add an existing testcase located on my site to the Feedback system, it becomes proprietary as of "bug information … are the confidential and proprietary information of Microsoft Corporation." ?

  78. Markus says:

    In providence of leading freeware expectations it would be nice to insert an open webpage lock. Many people start more then one webpage with a link.

  79. Anonymous says:

    You wrote: Because of the volume of incoming bugs, any truly time sensitive bugs should go through the normal security channels.

    If you expect such a big amount of incoming security related bugs, wouldn’t it be better to re-think and rebuild IE from scratch?

    Seems that your releasing a beta product and wait for bug reports from your customers instead of debugging by yourself. Crap.

  80. Adam says:

    Anon: I suspect they expect a large volume of normal bugs (and possibly a few cranks?), and if they need to sift through all these by hand to find the much smaller number of time-sensitive and security-related bugs, then some might slip through the cracks.

  81. David.Wang says:

    Adam – point taken, but as Al has said, we are all getting used to the concept and to each other, so let’s all just chill…

    You don’t need to get all ivory-tower and hyped about "is Microsoft being honest/legit and playing by our rules blah blah blah or is this some evil plot or conspiracy theory" – because the answer is simple.

    There is no evil plot. The Product Team has more than enough things to do. I do not even want to waste time thinking about the theories people dream up. Give us a break and assume we are actually trying to do the Right Thing, bearing in mind it may not happen Right Now due to other constraints.

    For example, what Al said made perfect sense to me. What you said made perfect sense to me. But what Al said is confusing to you because culture is different. This is how miscommunication and mistrust begins – when there are >1 people involved.

    We are not experts on your culture, just as you are not experts on our culture. But if we all keep an open mind, be tolerant, and not be so quick to judge, then maybe cooperation can result and everyone will benefit, eh?

    //David

  82. Martijn says:

    I can’t seem to install IE7, what am I doing wrong?

  83. Adam says:

    David>

    Sorry – did not mean to come across as "all ivory-tower". 🙂 As my penultimate paragraph pointed out, I _do_ realise what you (and Al) are _trying_ to say by doing what you’re doing, but that a lot of other people won’t, because of how other bug-tracking systems work, and how they’ll expect yours to work coming from one of those.

    Yes, miscommunication can be a big problem. This is an attempt to let you know how you will be (inadvertantly) miscommunicating with people who have used other bug-tracking systems, and why, and what you could do to prevent it.

    With you on open minds & tolerance,

    Adam

  84. ieblog says:

    Adam,

    I could potentially re-resolve the bug as a number of things but "By Design" (for the current release) made more sense to me.

    We have a general policy of not leaving active bugs going from release to release. The amount of active bugs in an area is constantly checked. If we have bugs that we are aware of but which aren’t going to be fixed in the current version, we don’t leave them open as they bloat the numbers and hide the OTHER bugs that we are going to fix.

    "Pass the Acid2 test" is essentially a feature request/suggestion for IE to add the various things (like DataURLs) necessary to pass the Acid2 test or fix the bugs that may be there that keep us from passing. It is a wishlist, not a single bug.

    Bugs should, as much as possible, be single, simple, discrete instances of a problem with simple reproduction steps. If a filed bug is five issues, do you close it when you fix one of them or when you fix all five? Most people would say all five but what if the team only has the time to fix, say, three of them this release? What happens with that bug?

    These are very real problems when you are working with a group of developers, testers, and program managers to fix the right set of issues to ship with a high enough quality and still ship on a schedule.

    – Al Billings [MSFT]

  85. Jason says:

    Al,

    Nice job rebutting Asa Dotzler on his blog entry about this. He obviously didn’t read anything that you wrote in your main post and came in with his opinion of the bug reporting tool already formed before he even saw it.

    Jason

  86. Maurits says:

    Re: Acid2 test:

    Perhaps a "target" feature would solve the bug-bloat issue.  If a bug is known to be in IE 7 Beta 2, but it is not expected to be fixed for IE 7 Final, then it could be "targeted" as IE8 or even a general "Future".

  87. Adam says:

    "If we have bugs that we are aware of but which aren’t going to be fixed in the current version, we don’t leave them open as they bloat the numbers and hide the OTHER bugs that we are going to fix."

    Interesting. I’d look at fixing this so that the BTS knows about multiple versions of a product (or even just multiple products), and any bugs that you don’t want to fix in this release just assign to the next version. If you then allow the BTS to show you open bugs that are due to be fixed in any given version, you should be able to see how many bugs you have for the next release without bugs for other releases bloating your numbers.

    Most bug tracking systems I’ve worked with (some open source, some not) can do this.

    ""Pass the Acid2 test" […] is a wishlist, not a single bug. […] If a filed bug is five issues, do you close it when you fix one of them or when you fix all five?"

    Spin off five separate bugs, and track the issues individually. Mention the five individual bugs in the main bug (by bug id/number), and point out that the main bug will be closed when all the sub-bugs have been.

    Some BTSs have explicit bug dependency tracking to help with this sort of thing (See, for example, https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=289480 which is Mozilla’s ACID2 meta-bug with 10 dependencies, 8 of which are fixed) but as they all still need some manual intervention to close the meta-bug (there might be more work to do in the meta-bug than *just* fixing the depended-upon bugs) it wouldn’t be that much more work to do by hand.

    "These are very real problems when you are working with a group of developers, testers, and program managers to fix the right set of issues to ship with a high enough quality and still ship on a schedule."

    Agreed, but a lot of these problems have been at least partially solved by other groups of people already.

    *shrug*

  88. This is fantastic.  I’ve already found something useful off of the IE Feedback site.  I think it would be great if the general public can do searches and view bugs (even if they can’t contribute) without requiring any login/account.  

    Now if we can get Opera to expose their bug database, web developers will have a means to track most issues across browsers.

  89. ieblog says:

    The requirement that people must log in with Passport to browse bugs will be going away in an update to the site software in the next few months. It is already planned by the Connect team. This was actually one of the things we discussed when considering the software because the IE team would prefer anonymous browsing as well.

    – Al Billings [MSFT]

  90. ieblog says:

    Adam,

    Part of the issue here is that we’re dealing with multiple bug databases. The feedback site shows issues that are opened through the feedback site early. IE’s internal bug database synchs with this via a process to receive entries but they are vetted in between to try to resolve duplicates, rants, etc. It makes the process complex at times.

    The main team is entirely focused on shipping the current product. This means that suggestions are looked at when we’re planning for the next version but "bugs" that are in the space between being actual bugs and suggestions for changes can be difficult to handle.

    We do have a way of making bugs dependent on other bugs, having resolutions mapped, etc. There is no Acid2 meta-bug because really "pass the Acid2 test" isn’t a meta-bug even. "Add support for DataURLs" is a suggestion for the next version. Most of the other things broken in Acid2 are similar.

    The available resolutions for bugs are normally:

    Fixed – The code has been changed to resolve the problem.

    Not Reproducible – Our engineers are unable to duplicate the problem, perhaps because of a fix already applied elsewhere in the code.

    By Design – The behavior reported is known and is working as intended or at least as expected.

    Won’t Fix – We know that we will not be addressing the reported issue, usually because it risks breaking the code in other, more serious ways or because the effort to fix the issue is not justified for the improvement.

    Duplicate – We already have a bug or suggestion for this issue.

    Postponed – The issue will not be fixed in the upcoming release, but will be considered for future releases.

    External – The issue has been assigned to another group but the other group’s status for the issue is not available to our database.

    Other – Another resolution has been found, unlike those listed above.

    The problem with using "postponed" for issues we aren’t addressing right now is that we removed that option from the bug database that IE works in because we didn’t want to simply punt bugs from version to version. This is amusing, in retrospect, but not helpful in certain instances.

    How’s that for transparency? 🙂

    – Al Billings [MSFT]

  91. Ingo Chao says:

    Al, it shouldn’t be that difficult to answer my questions.

  92. ieblog says:

    Well, I’m not a lawyer, Ingo, nor do I work on the Connect site so, yes, it is that difficult. You’re going to have to wait until some people get back to me. Otherwise, if I give an incorrect answer, I am liable for it. 🙂

    I don’t expect that you are blocked from mentioning things but that is a belief not confirmed by people empowered to speak on the matter. I’m waiting for their feedback.

    – Al Billings [MSFT]

  93. Maurits says:

    > … we removed [Postponed] from the bug database that IE works in because we didn’t want to simply punt bugs from version to version.

    Heh.  "We removed lifeboats from the Titanic because we didn’t want to obstruct the view…"

  94. ieblog says:

    Amusing but not accurate, Marits.

    The idea is that bugs have a real resolution and postponing them is not it because it is easy for people to do that too often. They are forced to make a decision now about what to do with the bug, not wait for a decision.

    In any case, that’s the nature of things on the ground.

    – Al Billings [MSFT]

  95. Jeff says:

    Well, I have tried logging out and logging back in through passport to see this and I still get the error messages that I can’t see this page. I have tried to view it using IE 6, Firefox 1.5 and Safari… and still no dice…

  96. Adam says:

    Al> That does start to make more sense now.

    And yeah, I don’t envy whoever’s job it is to weed out all the rants/random weirdness that you’re going to get put in there 🙂

    The removal of "postponed" is kind of amusing, but also a little worrying. When it comes to starting work on version n + 1, and you start to think about the sort of things you’d like to get done, wouldn’t it help to have a nice, compact list of a lot of the things that you thought of for version n, but you were just too busy to do, or that you thought of too late last time around to get in, or were just too invasive? What, you just try to remember everything again?

    Still, I guess that’s an internal process that you’ll all sort out (or not) by yourselves.

    Anyhoo, of the list you posted, "won’t fix" sounds like a better resolution than "by design". Closing ACID2 "by Design" does sound like, to me, that not passing ACID2 is a _specific_ design goal of IE7, and if other improvements to the renderer caused it to accidentally pass ACID2, you’d spend time finding a way of making it _not_ do so, while maintaining the rendering you did want.

    Whereas this isn’t the case, right? You’re just spending the time working on more important stuff, so it happens you "won’t fix" this one this time around.

    Right?

    But yeah, that’s pretty small stuff. On the whole, you’re making a bit more sense now 🙂

    Cheers,

    Adam

  97. Maurits says:

    Jeff: are you getting the "Error: The page you have requested is unavailable or you do not have access." error?

    If so you have to go here:

    https://connect.microsoft.com/

    Click on "Available Programs"

    Find "Internet Explorer Feedback"

    Click "Apply"

    Then you should be instantly enrolled in the program.

  98. timeless says:

    Note that bugzilla.mozilla.org removed (or mostly removed) RESOLVED LATER, which is equivalent to the IE team removing RESOLVED POSTPONED.

  99. Maurits says:

    bugzilla.mozilla.org does have "target milestone" and the various "blocking" flags… these are a more specific method of saying RESOLVED LATER (which isn’t really a "resolution", now, is it?)

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    A shame that plus-addressing is not allowed in e-mailaddresses, sorry, but I really need to use a plus-address.

    Could it possibly be fixed anywhere soon? Thanks 🙂

  103. Molly C says:

    The nice thing about "Postponed" is that it makes it easy to see keep track of bugs to work on in the next version.  If bugs that would’ve been resolved as "Postponed" are resolved as "By Design", then those bugs are essentially lost.  They’ll only get fixed if they are re-reported as new fresh bugs by testers/users.

  104. Xepol says:

    Am I the only one finding that IEB2P2 is significantly more unstable and flakey compared to IE7BP and IE7B1?

    I’m taking random 404 pages, pages that go 404 AFTER loading, forward/next buttons that just don’t work right any more among other bizare it works/no it doesn’t/yes it does features.  It is like playing whackamole with bugs.

    I can’t find anything reproducable to report, most particularilly STABILITY.

    Weirdest of all, I’ve started getting 404 bugs on my homepage of http://www.msn.com, with links on the msn.com page suggesting I try their homepage at http://www.msn.com...

    What exactly did someone do to the networking layer between the first ie7b2p and ie7b2p2?? (and how the heck does it screw up the browse history buttons???)

    If I could find something repeatable, I would report it officially, but "sometimes doesn’t work right"  just isn’t a good bug report unless a lot of people say it at once.  

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  106. hAl says:

    @Xepol

    Tried a dns flush ?

    On prompt:

    ipconfig /flushdns

  107. Xepol says:

    hAl -> Just hitting F5 will randomly fail again or get the page correctly, even the MSN homepage, so it is not DNS.  Besides, I have other machines here with the same DNS settings that run IE6 without any problems.

    And it doesn’t explain why the forward/back browse sequences don’t always work right (pages you visit are randomly omitted from the list… you could click on a link and find all the previous "forward" history still there, or you could click on a link and then another, and when you click the back button find that the past 2 pages were omitted and you suddenly go back 3 pages in a single back click), but again, not always, and NOT repeatably (so it isn’t something on the page because following the same path again doesn’t result in the same flaw)

    Like I say, whackamole bug hunting.

  108. Xepol says:

    Oh, and one of the more annoying ones.  Instead of just constantly dropping site icons so that they don’t show up in my favorites and quicklinks toolbar, now it will randomly pick icons from other sites SOMETIMES.  And for some reason, those don’t get flushed like the others normally do.

    That and the way that my toolbars are crosswired for the turn on/turn off visibility menu.  That’s a cute touch.

  109. ieblog says:

    We’re aware of the forward and back problem. I’m not sure of the ins and outs of the bug but it has been kicked around a bit here and, yes, I do wish it had gotten caught before the build went out. These things happen in an active codebase sometimes but it still isn’t good. We know that.

    – Al Billings [MSFT]

  110. Martijn says:

    Again, I’m trying to install IE7, but I don’t succeed. I’m using WindowsXP, so that can’t be the problem, but it says I’m not supported.

    Why does it fail?

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