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Random thoughts from inside Gaia
Development Update - 7/30
Non-work related, but... it's Friday night, and what am I doing? Downloading SC2 because my CD doesn't work! So what better way to pass the time than to write a journal entry about the stuff that is going on in development?

Spring Cleaning Stuff
The new preview widget for marketplace / stores went out today -- it should making shopping for a new outfit much easier. Some bugs in it (primarily with handheld items) that we'll have to iron out over the next few weeks, but the reaction in SF seemed pretty positive. You can give your props to ania1899, who really took this project the entire way on top of her other duties.

Also, the Guilds Homepage Revamp should be out next week.

Unfriending was fixed insofar that if you remove someone from your friend list, you are also removed from their friend list.

However, there are still a lot of incorrect (i.e., one-way) relationships that need to be cleaned up. We've had a slow job going through records and cleaning them up, but it will still be a few weeks before everyone has been fixed.

Summer Event
To answer a question that everyone is asking: yes, a summer event is coming, even if every single developer on the events team gets dysentery. I can't reveal any details, although if you hunt around you will find some clues.

Lifecycle of a Bug
So, how does a typical bug make its way from user report to fix?

First, it needs to get into the bugbase. Often, a moderator notices it, and puts it into a forum thread. Someone in QA (Quality Assurance) tries to reproduce the bug, and if they can get it to happen consistently, enters the bug into our bugbase -- we use one called Flyspray.

At any time we have a fair number of bugs in the bugbase, and developers pull from the bugbase as they have time or if they're in a feature anyway. They check the bug fix into a branch of code -- basically a snapshot of the Gaia code base. (We use git for our source code).

When the bug is fixed and the developer is satisfied that it works, he or she submits a patch -- basically, a list of code changes that will fix the problem.

Every day or so, QA gathers a bunch of the patches together and tests them, both manually and with a set of scripts that make sure that the site is valid.

Once they've verified that it works, the developer will push the bug fix out to the main site. We usually push at least 3-5 times a day, potentially more.

The Complexity of Bugs
Getting the bugs into the bugbase is often problematic, for a number of reasons:
- intermittent bugs are often difficult to reproduce. Database errors may be caused only by a certain sequence of database calls from different users, or particular load conditions.
- some bugs may only be reproducible on certain versions of browsers, on certain platforms, or with certain configuration values. We ran into one bug recently with private messages that was caused by a plugin in Firefox.
- it can often take a substantial amount of bug to try and work with people to figure out exactly what is causing the bug

I think it would be great to get to the point where a user reporting a glitch is given a ticket ("hello, your ticket is bug #987-A"); this opens the door to notifications about status ("hello, your bug was just fixed!").

But it is an enormous amount of effort to try and consolidate the bug list and keep it up to date. I keep wondering whether there is a technological solution that could make it work better; systems such as UserVoice are interesting. If anyone has seen a good system on another site, I'd love to hear about it in the comments.






User Comments: [49] [add]
Genea
Community Member
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commentCommented on: Sat Jul 31, 2010 @ 10:16am
Sounds good to me. smilies/icon_3nodding.gif Keep the fixes coming! <3


commentCommented on: Sat Jul 31, 2010 @ 10:50am
New Marketplace and shops preview widget~ Thanks so much to ania1899 and to anyone else who helped with it. This greater flexibililty is amazing. smilies/icon_heart.gif

Good job on the Guilds Homepage and Unfriending, as well. Those both sounded like kinda major projects, so it's great to hear that they are nearing completion. I hope the new Trades page comes out soon, too; the mockup looks so great. smilies/icon_3nodding.gif

Do you think we'll see a fix-a-thon like this in the future? As a user, it was great to see the developers interact with us and take our ideas and make them happen. I imagine it was a lot of stress on your team, though, to be the focus of so many Gaians' hopes and dreams for that span of time. Did you feel like the fix-a-thon was your team's version of an Evolving Item? smilies/icon_xd.gif

I am eager to see the summer event. I hope I don't die of dysentery, though.

You didn't mention your new thread in Dev Updates in the Journal, but I think that's another great new thing. I've subscribed, and I'm impressed that it's already been updated several times. Keep up the great work. smilies/icon_mrgreen.gif

Thanks for explaining some more about bugs, too. I'm often hesitant to create a new thread in the Bugs forum, so I just add to an existing thread when I find something not working correctly. Is it more helpful for your team if I create my own thread? I do add in my system and browser stats, because you've mentioned you may need that information to reproduce the glitch.

On a related note, is it acceptable to continue to bump a thread in Bugs until it gets resolved or at least has an answer from a developer? I've had some problems with Achievements, and I've posted in Bugs and in the SF Sticky (that came unstickied), but I don't want to be that annoying Gaian who's always complaining about her issue. smilies/icon_redface.gif On the other hand, it sounds a bit like, under the current system, the squeaky wheel is the one that gets the grease, so perhaps I should be more persistent.

Thanks for another informative update. You and your team work so hard for Gaia; it's always impressive to see how much you've accomplished.



Chocobo Princess
Site Moderator
Armageddon Majesty
Community Member
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commentCommented on: Sat Jul 31, 2010 @ 11:01am
I'm glad I subscribed to your journal, it's nice being in the know with what you guys are doing ^___^

Just wanted to say thankyou very much for the MP previews update! You've made it so much easier to try on mass amounts of items for people (ie RIG days) wihout getting nekkid. xDD Wondering, is it going to be possible to preview items sitting down? Just curious~ (:

Also thankyou for working on the unfriending thing! So from now on both parties will be removed from each others lists? Yay! And you said you're going through records and cleaning up, does that mean your intention is to fix all the one-way unfriending's that have occured before now as well? Because that would be absolutly tops, seriously~ <3333

I'm really looking forward to the summer event too (even though it's winter here XDD), keep it up you guys, thankyou so much! <3


commentCommented on: Sat Jul 31, 2010 @ 01:46pm
As always, thanks for keeping the users informed of what's going on behind the scenes. We appreciate being kept in the loop as much as possible. smilies/icon_3nodding.gif

I'm extremely glad to see that the new preview's handheld problems are glitches and will be worked on; that's really the one thing that's holding me back from being out-and-out positive about the update.

About unfriending -- some other members and I have already mentioned it in the official fix thread, but I was hoping maybe you could help shed some light on it. With the cleaning up of lists, one-way relationships with NPCs were also deleted. (Which includes NPCs that it's no longer possible to friend, like Gambino.) Is there any way to restore these, or give us a grace period in which we can refriend them? I feel a little sad that they're no longer on my list. smilies/emo.gif

And I guess while I'm here asking questions... is there any word on what's going on with Daily Chance? I was totally stoked to see that "DC fixes" was mentioned in your Site Changes thread, only to have it later clarified as a JS error and not the Sunflower/House Fly/Crumpled Zerox Paper Goldenrod/Pancakes/Neutral Starter Polo non-chance issue that's been going on for months. Is that ever going to be fixed so that we can get other flowers/bugs/trash again, or will it stay the way it is until whenever the new non-Social Daily Chance is released?

I'm looking forward to the summer event! <3



Valentine
Community Member
Elinoire
Community Member
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commentCommented on: Sat Jul 31, 2010 @ 02:36pm
You guys have been doing a great job!
I personally really appreciate all the work that has been put into these updates.
Ooh, I can't wait for the Summer event c:
Keep up the good work everyone <3


commentCommented on: Sat Jul 31, 2010 @ 03:29pm
Thank guys for the hard work! The market and stores widget is amazing. Unfriending is very helpful just I wish it didn't remove the NPCs as well smilies/icon_crying.gif.Can't wait for the event I will search for clues.



MrsrachaelSnape
Community Member
The Zorya
Community Member
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commentCommented on: Sat Jul 31, 2010 @ 04:14pm
Thank you so much for new MP. It's pure impulse shopping love.
And just hearing that guild homepage will be updated next week makes my pixel heart beat faster. Just like ,oh so awaited summer event [I have no worries that it will interfere with school since mine starts in middle of October]


commentCommented on: Sat Jul 31, 2010 @ 06:05pm
Interesting Update.

Could the "fly spray section" not be a user accessible list where users can log into it and mark certain ones to say that they are also experiencing the problem so that way you'd *generically* gain a sense of priority? Just an idea.

Though on a similar note, I know I've personally experienced problems with the flash sections of the site such as homes and towns, and fishing happens to be very problematic as-well. Something like.. I have bait in my inventory, though when I go to fishing the bait either doesn't show up, or does and is simply unclickable. Meh.

I happened to keep up to date versions of Explorer, Safari, and Chrome on my machine nowadays though so I do occasionally simulate the bug under a few different conditions to make sure my complaints are accurate.

As for good feedback systems on other sites I'm at a loss. The main other sites I visit regularly are places like elfwood and the OzTaku forums, neither of which give a dam about user opinion as much as gaia seems to.

Quite enlightening though. I've got a whole lot more respect for the bug-fixer-up-er-as after reading all that.

+The new updates are lookin' wonderful. Can't wait for the guild home-page re-vamp!

~Brazekool



BRAZEKOOL
Community Member
PHARA0H
Community Member
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commentCommented on: Sat Jul 31, 2010 @ 08:26pm
Quote:
"To answer a question that everyone is asking: yes, a summer event is coming, even if every single developer on the events team gets dysentery. I can't reveal any details, although if you hunt around you will find some clues."

I love the new marketplace/shopping widget! Thumbs up!

Although I am REALLY looking forward to the Summer Event, I would prefer it if the developers stayed healthy. I mean, we'll need more "cleanups on Aisle 7" down the road... smilies/icon_biggrin.gif


commentCommented on: Sat Jul 31, 2010 @ 09:22pm
Quote:
I think it would be great to get to the point where a user reporting a glitch is given a ticket ("hello, your ticket is bug #987-A"); this opens the door to notifications about status ("hello, your bug was just fixed!").
I imagine this would be a database nightmare, considering that Site Feedbooze reports bugs en masse.
It'd be just like when we first got the "Notice" feature added to Gaia, only the database would have to feed the same bug notice to 3000 people (instead of just one or two thread notices per instance).

I imagine that Gaia's database team never gets sleep the first five days after a thread-heavy feature is released.



Gabriel Faust
Community Member
Dlen Isolde
Forum Assistant
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commentCommented on: Sat Jul 31, 2010 @ 10:48pm
I have to tell you I LOVE the new MP/Shop Preview update. What a wonderful job. I need to go over to ania1899's profile an thank her. I'm glad to hear the Hand Pose non-preview is a glitch and is being worked on. It was the ONLY thing about it that bothered me. Everything else was sensational.

I'm looking forward to the Summer Event. I know it's been difficult getting it out. But I'm sure all the tender loving care it's been getting in development will mean it's going to be awesome.

I LOOOOVE when you explain the behind the scenes work. It helps to know how things like finding and fixing bugs work. I think the one thing that worries people the most is when they have an ongoing problem and they don't seem to be getting noticed. Like the issues with the Garage and now the recent "Drop Down Menu" glitch (which still is a problem even though Carbonphyber is trying to fix it) just to name a couple. I love seeing you or Carbonphyber posting in the threads. Both of you do a great job calming the masses when you do that. I always try and pass along your responses when trying to help others.


commentCommented on: Sat Jul 31, 2010 @ 11:06pm
thank you for the new market preview, it's so handy =w=

I never thought fixing a bug would be so complicated. I just thought you could just change a bit of code and--BAM! bug is fixed. xD

Thank you for the hard work, team



love luna
Community Member
BrilliantBlueStar_0
Community Member
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commentCommented on: Sun Aug 01, 2010 @ 06:19am
2 Things I wanted to share:

1> THANK YOU so much for Sharing!! I could HUG you for that!! : )

2> Bugs, sometimes it is not a real bug, true? Sometimes it is OE Operator Error. Would it be okay if someone does give an answer to our Bug question so we are not left hanging wondering? It would help a lot!

Thank you again for sharing!! Very Much Appreciated!!


commentCommented on: Mon Aug 02, 2010 @ 02:04am
Panagrammic,

Once again thank you for an informative Journal update.
Also thanks again to you and those responsible for the MP preview update. Looking forward to the other updates as well.

Is there any chance of getting journal updates to show up in notices instead of under the what my friends are doing section? I almost missed your update because I tend to ignore the what my friends are doing section. It is filled with 'who cares' stuff like they changed their avi or profile. To me, the update of a journal I have subscribed to is more like the update of a thread I subscribed to. I want to see it or I would not have subscribed. smilies/icon_smile.gif

Thanks again,
David



David2074
Community Member
France Hopper
Community Member
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commentCommented on: Tue Aug 03, 2010 @ 12:28am
I saw the new preview widget was out in MP. Gave it a small try. It has a lot more options for sure but was quite buggy when I gave it a test run. Then again, that is to be expect as it is new.

A summer event eh? That'll be interesting, since there's only one full month of summer left smilies/icon_razz.gif

Bugs... who loves bugs? I sure don't. I bet you guys don't either. haha. I'm familiar with how bug tracking typically works, so it was neat to hear how Gaia does it. As for a ticket system, have you taken a look at Get Satisfaction?

Thanks for the update on things. I've subscribed to that forum thread as well smilies/icon_wink.gif

UPDATE: Hey Pan, just want to make you aware of a bug with journals. Apparently the system thinks this is my journal rather than yours: http://tinypic.com/r/20ptpwj/3
The randomly missing folders are private ones smilies/icon_razz.gif I work on a lot of secret stuff.


commentCommented on: Thu Aug 05, 2010 @ 09:12pm
Since today's forums updates I can now no longer see the 2 links (Tip Jar and ...) UNDER the [Tip Post] button. So something is off in the formatting, at least for my browser. I'm using Safari. I could see everything fine prior to the forums updates pushed out about an hour ago. Thanks.



PHARA0H
Community Member
Shrimp_Man
Community Member
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commentCommented on: Fri Aug 06, 2010 @ 05:36am
I am the embodiment of fear and evil


Hey Pan, I love the mp thing, but what I was wondering is why were the NPCs taken off of our lists and for those few of us that had ourselves on our friend lists were upset when we were removed after the fix. Is there any way to let us friend ourselves again?

of the House of Demonic Dreams


commentCommented on: Sat Aug 07, 2010 @ 09:13pm
Well, searching about Saas found some that could be attractive

parallels

Oracle Saas

Guess that this one is pretty good, because in my region has a lot of promotion and is use by several companies.

Salesforce

This has the quality of being personal configured to the needs. And is used by Starbucks,Dell, Siemens etc...etc...

Well, hope it helps and thanks again for the amazing updates.



nanieru
Community Member
Sugar Tree
Community Member
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commentCommented on: Sat Aug 07, 2010 @ 10:42pm


Thanks a TON for the new Marketplace preview abilities, they're so awesome smilies/icon_heart.gif I'm really glad that the handheld pose works in the Gold Shops now, too.

Also, thanks for explaining some of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into fixing a bug, that was really neat to learn about. And it's really nice to understand why it sometimes takes so long to fix bugs and glitches.

Very much looking forward to the summer event, especially considering I missed last year's


commentCommented on: Thu Aug 19, 2010 @ 08:51pm
wow



youngfr3sh1
Community Member
Detardus
Community Member
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commentCommented on: Sat Sep 25, 2010 @ 01:19am
Hi there. smilies/icon_stare.gif


commentCommented on: Sat Sep 25, 2010 @ 03:30am
what who listens to that ******** b***h...er



vampires_love123
Community Member
Qwit
Community Member
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commentCommented on: Sun Oct 03, 2010 @ 02:55am
Oh how I do enjoy a good starcraft2 match. Hope you're enjoying it as well!


commentCommented on: Sat Oct 09, 2010 @ 06:20am
Thank god, the unfriending button makes me come OFF their list too! <33 Woot, that makes me happy. Keep up the good work Gaians! <33



The_Butt_Buddies
Community Member
luckystaranime
Community Member
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commentCommented on: Wed Oct 13, 2010 @ 01:25am
tl;dr


commentCommented on: Fri Oct 15, 2010 @ 03:36am
Nice job compiling, Panagrammic. I read your latest Dev update... do you make the comic XKCD?



katsumii
Community Member
Riku the Genie
Community Member
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commentCommented on: Tue Oct 19, 2010 @ 02:12am
dadada! :0


commentCommented on: Tue Oct 19, 2010 @ 09:28pm
Off topic:

But I can't wait to seeing you cursing on tiles smilies/icon_whee.gif
Thank you so much for the daily updates!



nanieru
Community Member
mbt outlet
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commentCommented on: Thu Oct 21, 2010 @ 12:12pm
Blogger says makes sense, very professional. New to report!
mbt outlet
cheap mbt shoes
mbt shoes sale
discount mbt
mbt shoes
welcome to www.mbtshoe-sales.com!


commentCommented on: Wed Oct 27, 2010 @ 01:46am
You've finally changed DC? smilies/icon_heart.gif

Bless you....



Angelicia
Community Member
Kortz
Community Member
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commentCommented on: Thu Nov 11, 2010 @ 03:41am
How did you guys let the server get so messed up? It was beyond fried. How unprofessional. I'm in college for that sort of thing, and it is just bad practice. smilies/icon_confused.gif


commentCommented on: Mon Nov 15, 2010 @ 12:44pm
Thanks for developing this game!People who play this game appriciate it!smilies/icon_biggrin.gif

Unfortunatly there is a bug that earns people gaia cash fast.The videos say must watch till the end.If you refresh the page or your internet page freezes when the video has been playing for about 3 seconds out of roughly 4 minutes,it says you have 1 new private message.It says you have completed the offer,although you didn't.Can you fix this bug?


User Image

COOLGUY265
Community Member
Major Ray
Community Member
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commentCommented on: Wed Nov 17, 2010 @ 12:07am
I HAVE 20 GOLD NOW I USED TO HAVE 50K I LOST DATA


commentCommented on: Thu Nov 25, 2010 @ 05:42pm
I read it XD



Artoro
Community Member
Lovely Maxii
Community Member
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commentCommented on: Thu Nov 25, 2010 @ 08:27pm
seems pretty cool guy


commentCommented on: Thu Nov 25, 2010 @ 08:41pm
hi its wilson shirley yes i wouldnt mind a tukey and thanks for your daily update you sent me hows y doing and what else you been doing and i guess everyone on here are complaining about the snow and how cold it is out there now but its getting even colder for the rest of the week write bck soon please



wilsonshirley
Community Member
DJ caramel
Community Member
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commentCommented on: Thu Nov 25, 2010 @ 10:58pm
Do u ever sleep ur journal is full


commentCommented on: Fri Nov 26, 2010 @ 12:25am
nice jurnal. I soooooooooooooooo happy i finaly got pie!!!!!!smilies/icon_crying.gif



ningacandy
Community Member
Kaze_OniRyu
Community Member
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commentCommented on: Fri Nov 26, 2010 @ 04:17am
sounds hard


commentCommented on: Fri Nov 26, 2010 @ 07:43am
hi smilies/icon_sweatdrop.gif



AngelSwagger
Community Member
yuwemino
Community Member
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commentCommented on: Fri Nov 26, 2010 @ 09:38am
hi there you guys
nice one thanks for the info. and it's nice to know something about ..
^"^:smilies/icon_3nodding.gif


commentCommented on: Fri Nov 26, 2010 @ 10:42am
oh.



lolipai
Community Member
--x Mikey Boii
Community Member
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commentCommented on: Fri Nov 26, 2010 @ 12:34pm
TY. and hi.


commentCommented on: Fri Nov 26, 2010 @ 12:36pm
thank you for the new market preview, it's so handy =w=

I never thought fixing a bug would be so complicated. I just thought you could just change a bit of code and--BAM! bug is fixed. xD

Thank you for the hard work, team



--x Mikey Boii
Community Member
aiyana762
Community Member
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commentCommented on: Fri Nov 26, 2010 @ 05:03pm
i will be posting u


User Image




url=http://tektek.org/avatar/40205213]User Image
commentCommented on: Sat Nov 27, 2010 @ 01:43am
smilies/icon_heart.gifsmilies/icon_heart.gifsmilies/icon_heart.gifsmilies/icon_heart.gifsmilies/icon_heart.gifsmilies/icon_heart.gifsmilies/icon_heart.gif


nice journal...

impressive...



TaKESHIrO KrOLiX KaIZeR
Community Member
I Electra I
Community Member
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commentCommented on: Wed Dec 15, 2010 @ 04:43pm
Im not being rude or anything,
But on zOMG,
You can get stuck,
In alot of places,
Maybe you can try fixing that?
I think its because when an creature attacks you
And your near the border
You get knocked out of the lining you can go to
So you cant move.

I'd appreciate it if you fixed it
And if you do tell me please.


Many Thanks,
Lightangel786


commentCommented on: Fri Dec 17, 2010 @ 02:46am
stop sending me alerts i did not even sign up for this



raptisadam7
Community Member
chanelcc50
Community Member
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commentCommented on: Sun Dec 26, 2010 @ 09:17pm
its not good or ........


User Comments: [49] [add]
 
 
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