Getting specific feedback directly from developers about their experiences with the platform is super important to us. It’s a critical part of how we optimize for real world performance and real world code patterns. This post is about the changes we’re making to our feedback programs in support of broadening and strengthening that feedback loop.
Feedback about Feedback
Your feedback about how we managed developer feedback over the last several releases guided the changes we’re making with IE9.
One of our commitments is to look at every single piece of feedback that we receive. The sheer volume of feedback from IE7 drove much of the design of the IE8 Beta Feedback process. For IE8, we limited the number of people who could file bugs and put no limits on who could vote on bugs. Many of the comments on that process were clear. At the same time, history has shown that users will often submit un-actionable feedback (registration required), large volumes of which significantly reduce our ability to react to high quality feedback (registration required). Some developers asked that we change the tool we use to accept bugs, noting things like the fact that the status and resolution information communicated isn’t always helpful. Below you can see some of the changes we made as a result of this feedback. The specifics of our programs and tools are at the bottom of this blog.
Here are the areas where we’re improving:
- We want to hear to hear from the entire developer community, so we’re re-opening our feedback programs to all developers.
- To help you file more actionable bugs, we’ll communicate what type of feedback we are looking for as the release progresses. We will be clear as to what feedback we need when, how it should be formatted, and how we handle that feedback.
- We are working with the Microsoft Connect team and will make it easier for you to understand the specific status of your bug by adding additional state and resolution information. As we roll out these changes, if you have feedback on the Connect tool itself, we encourage you to let the Microsoft Connect team hear about your experience on the Connect Web Site Improvement site.
- We’ll provide an integrated experience for diagnosing, troubleshooting, working around, and reporting issues you find. We’re also working with the Microsoft Connect team to enable a more robust community experience within Connect, providing you with more options for interacting with feedback from other users.
You’ll see some of these improvements with the Platform Preview released today. Other improvements will appear with future Platform Preview releases and the IE9 Beta.
How to Provide Feedback
At this stage, with the release of the Internet Explorer Platform Preview, we’re looking for developer feedback on the changes we’re making to the IE platform. As we discuss in the blog post About the Platform Preview, the Platform Preview is a light-weight frame around the IE platform while it’s under construction. It shouldn’t be used for compatibility testing.
Instead, we’d like developers to look at their sites with the Platform Preview and let us know if they have feedback or see issues in the platform. We’re looking for feedback in these areas:
- Do the new capabilities function as we’ve described them?
- Do they do what you’d expect?
- Do you experience reliability or performance issues when using any of them?
In hearing your answers to these questions, we can validate the quality of the features, as well as ensure the additional functionality we deliver meets the quality standards you expect.
We have several tools and channels available to you when you find an issue or have a question. These channels will be available from now through the Beta:
- IE Public Feedback – Any user with a Windows Live ID can submit feedback and see the bug database. To view or submit bugs, click the Report Issue menu from the Platform Preview, and then click Report an Issue to be taken to the Connect site. Once you register and fill out a short one-time survey, you’ll be able to submit bugs. As mentioned above, if you have any feedback on the Connect tool itself, please let them know using the Connect Web Site Improvement site.
- IE Tech Feedback Program –Continues the “Tech Beta” program we started with IE8. (The name changes to reflect that we are beginning it pre-Beta.) This includes a select set of users who will validate and refine bugs from the public (in addition to filing their own bugs). If you’d like to volunteer to join this community, please send an e-mail to IESO@microsoft.com, Subject: Pick me for IE Tech Feedback.
- IE Diagnostics – We’re making the IE Diagnostics tool that we use internally publicly available as part of the Preview. At any time while running the Platform Preview, you can click the Report Issue menu, and then click Run IE Diagnostics. You can use IE Diagnostics to see your IE settings, capture information about your IE installation, and more. We ask that anyone submitting bugs include IE Diagnostics information. You can find more information about IE Diagnostics on the Connect site.
- IE Pre-Release Newsgroup – The IE Beta Newsgroup has been renamed to the IE Pre-Release Newsgroup. The Pre-Release newsgroup is the all-in-one place to discuss issues related to pre-release IE products.
If you’ve found an issue you want to report, we ask that you do the following:
- Read the Release Notes – we’ve published bugs on Microsoft Connect and integrated them into our release notes, outlining most of the known issues in our Release Notes at the time of release.
- If you don’t find your issue, please look for it at the IE Pre-Release Newsgroup and see if anyone has discussed it there.
- See if anyone has already logged the issue by visiting the IE Feedback program on Connect and viewing/searching the bug database. Note: you must register on the Microsoft Connect site and fill out a short survey to search for your issue.
- If it’s a new issue, log a bug on Connect according to the instructions there.
We think this will help the discussion we all want to have work better.
Thanks again for all your feedback – we look forward to working with you to make Internet Explorer better!
Justin Saint Clair
Update 3/16/10 5:40pm – Typo correction and updating bug links to indicate the registration is required to view them.