Thank you for your positive comment. I am also grateful to @MultiTech_Visions for their excellent videos that got me started and convinced me about the power of this platform.
Here are some suggestions that I sent to AppSheet after this Office Hours webinar regarding Bug reports and Feature requests :
A- Bug reports
When I say “bug report” I mean reporting platform behavior that is incorrect according to the documentation or obviously inconsistent. I do not mean asking for help about how to properly use AppSheet or how to correct expressions. In the community there is “bugs-issues-errors” tag (not a category) and the posts are well moderated, in particular @Steve does a great job helping to find solutions. There are few real “bugs” under this tag, most are misuses of the platform. SUGGESTIONS :
A.1 Have guidelines, on the AppSheet main site and in the AppSheet community (a sticky post), about bug reporting :
- Where to submit (ex. community OR webpage OR email support …)
- How to document the bug (description, sample app, steps to reproduce, expected vs actual results, is there a workaround …)
A.2 All bug submissions are reviewed by an AppSheet staff person who checks that the bug is properly documented (if not he asks the submitter to follow the guidelines). He then verifies if it is a real bug, in which case he assigns a unique Id number to the bug.
A.3 No schedule is given by AppSheet staff about when a bug will be fixed. Feedback is given to the bug submitter about status changes (confirmed, solved), whether on a web dashboard or by email.
B- Feature requests
The AppSheet community has a “Feature Requests” category which has a solved/unsolved checkbox and the number of votes. However many Feature requests posts can be solved by workarounds, sometimes quite usable, and @Steve again helps a lot. The main problem is that finding the promising / well-described Feature requests is difficult. This has the side effect that users post new requests instead of enriching existing ones. SUGGESTIONS :
B.1 Have guidelines in the AppSheet community (a sticky post) about feature requests :
- Where to submit : In the “Ideas” (a new category) of the community.
- How to document an Idea (rationale, target use cases, how it enables things not currently possible OR how it simplifies/accelerates current ways of doing, a sketch, performance considerations …)
- Explain that AppSheet is the sole judge to designate that an “Idea” is properly documented and promoted to the category “Feature request” but that this does not guarantee that it will be accepted for evolution of the platform.
B.2 Have a new category “Ideas” in the community.
B.3 Only AppSheet Community moderators can “promote” a post from “Idea” to the “Feature Request” category, and assign it a unique sequential Id number (see B.1).
B.4 Community members can add comments to a Feature request and can vote on it. Feature requests can be sorted by Id number or by Votes or by date created/commented, and can be filtered by solved/unsolved. The Id number also allows direct permanent reference to a Feature request from other posts in the community.
B.5 When an improvement is implemented in the AppSheet platform, the announcement can refer to the Feature request Id number(s) that is(are) related. An AppSheet moderator changes the status of the Feature request post(s) to solved.
I care about AppSheet and I am willing to contribute bug reports and ideas. I hope that the above suggestions will serve as an example for the AppSheet staff to improve the process.