Issues are one of the rare occasions were, when everything is automated, you talk with users of your software. Recently I had some contact with users that liked my software but had some bugs :
SwiffOut, my browser extension is exactly the kind of problem I’d prefer to stay away of ; it’s unfixable : I parse webpages to find games and makes them really fullscreen in a browserless way. No website is built the same way, of course, so I use an heuristic to find what’s the most likely to be a game, pick up that and pray for the best.
Please god of mozilla, chrome, IE, add a way to get the position of an element across iframes…
Some time ago, one of my user suggested that I add a donation button because he’d like to give back. While a very nice proposition, I had tried it and I knew that very few people actually give back. Still, I would have really liked to accept and it cost me to refuse (who doesn’t want some money for their work ?). But, I’m not really in need for 5 or 10 bucks so I asked that he talk about it to his friends instead.
So he went and wrote that on reddit :
“It’s a pretty clever idea; instead of resizing the flash (which typically will cause lag) it resizes your monitor resolution to the closest / best size for displaying the swf full-screen. That’s why it’s called Swiffout — it gets the .SWF out of the browser. After playing a ton of games on Kongregate and Armour it’s pretty clear to me that many of these games were intended to be played full-screen. I gave the developer some love (and a crash report) via email and suggested he put a donate button on his page so i could support his efforts. He requested that instead of donating that I please spread the word about his plug-in. So that’s what I’m doing. If you check this out and give it a thumbs-up, please thank him by doing the same.”
Probably because it was a good story it did quite well on reddit up to the subreddit gaming home page.
Two weeks later ghack.net spotted my extension and wrote a nice review, then lifehacker.ru wrote another review, then some italian websites did too.
The fun thing is that all of this happened because SwiffOut didn’t work. A smartbear already spotted that tech support is sales some times ago, but I now realise how much it can be true.
So should I add more bugs into my software ?