Bug reporting forms


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Hey fellows,

 

quite a while ago we started working on a better way to guide users through the way of properly reporting bugs at the correct places and help them avoid common issues the same time. We came up with a form that, depending on users input and conditional logic, leads to the correct place or a dead-end with explanation why specific bugs are not accepted.

 

A link to this has been added to the documentation, the download page for each board and will pop up when creating a new topic in the bug tracker forums.

 

We appreciate your feedback and bring issues with the form to our attention. We are also aware that using Google forms is everything but ideal but in my opinion it is a good point to start with. If you know a good way to implement this in WordPress or even have a proof-of-concept handy we'd love to hear from you. Put your thoughts below this topic:

 

For those who want to test it directly, here it is :) https://www.armbian.com/bugs

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4 hours ago, _r9 said:

I use

 

I assume you also know how to transfer our current Google form to this one without hours of investigation and much/any functional degradation? Help putting this together is probably more welcome @Werner? Even it's probably not a rocket science. 

 

... and we cover plugin costs :) 

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Okay, it seems to be rocket since ^^ to me it looked like if they encrypt the data that is exported. There's only one way to export the data and you can only import data exported by the plugin. (https://wpquark.com/kb/fsqm/fsqm-other-features/importing-and-exporting-fsqm-forms/)
 

On the other hand, with google forms you can export all your data easily as a .csv file (https://support.google.com/sites/answer/9759608?hl=en)

So I asked the developer of the plugin directly for help and received following answer:

Quote

Hello,

Sorry, the feature you requested is currently not a part of the plugin. But we will consider including it in our future updates.


On my research I found another survey plugin. I'll take a closer look an that too.
 

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Goal of this form is to guide users to right direction when they notice a problem.

 

IMO there is no need for import functionality. We have one form, which can be manually re-created in case we find a proper tool, ideally with the same functionality we currently use. Also close enough to this is just fine. You also don't need to make everything. We can share this load.

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IMO, the import and export functionality is needed to export the current form, its responses and other things so you can easily change from google forms to  another plugin. So this is my answer to your request:

 

Quote

I assume you also know how to transfer our current Google form to this one without hours of investigation and much/any functional degradation?


I didn't know this, so I researched and asked if there's a possibility to do that. After ten minutes of research I asked for it to prevent hours of investigation. So it wasn't really work I did here ; )

Google form is able to export the current survey and you could import all that data to another form plugin. But you can't import any .csv or other files to the plugin I suggested.
As far as I can see this, you have to setup the whole form inside the new plugin. I don't know how much data/work this is and therefore I asked if it is possible to import google forms data.

I don't know which benefits google forms really has to you, but with this plugin you can do any type of surveys, quizzes, ask for feedback and other things. So for the question: "Is it better or has it the same functionality then google form" my answers are:

- It's self-hosted so it's not google which relates to the statement of Werner (We are also aware that using Google forms is everything but ideal but in my opinion it is a good point to start with) for me google isn't an ideal solution because google properly owns the whole Internet and this harms the freedom of the internet. ; )
- I know that the form creation is simple

- I think that on this page https://eform.live/examples/ under the section "Other features" the form "Format String on Redirect URL"  shows an easy example to redirect the user to the proper solution... but there are others too.

- And you can easily analyse the reports (a very simple example of it attached as image)

So this is my answer ; )

BTW: I have nothing to do with the development of this plugin. It only came in my mind, because I already used it, it was easy to use, self-hosted and and as far as I can see this, has any functionality that google forms used for the bug report has. Haha still sounds like bad advertising ^^

 

Screenshot from 2021-01-26 15-14-38.png

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19 hours ago, _r9 said:

But you can't import any .csv or other files to the plugin I suggested.


OK. A compromise is also a good way. A manual transition is also an option since the hardest part is anyway to design the procedure, develop supportive text, form questions. Sometimes copy and paste into a new system is also a good way. We only have one form, which is not very complicated ATM so manual transfer is probably also fine. If suggested plugin covers functionality of course, otherwise someone else perhaps. Since this will probably be the only one we need, we only need some basic functions which means its not justified to go for a most advanced plugin app.

 

19 hours ago, _r9 said:

I don't know which benefits google forms really has to you


It was just convenient way to start and come out with something that works.

 

19 hours ago, _r9 said:

- It's self-hosted so it's not google which relates to the statement of Werner (We are also aware that using Google forms is everything but ideal but in my opinion it is a good point to start with) for me google isn't an ideal solution because google properly owns the whole Internet and this harms the freedom of the internet. ; )
- I know that the form creation is simple

- I think that on this page https://eform.live/examples/ under the section "Other features" the form "Format String on Redirect URL"  shows an easy example to redirect the user to the proper solution... but there are others too.

- And you can easily analyse the reports (a very simple example of it attached as image)


Then I guess it covers everything and more. So we "only" need someone to make it working on our Wordpress :) 

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Easiest is probably to get in touch with the developer and ask if the current form can be recreated with their software and if so how complicated this will get. I can do that later today.

If they have intention to sell their software they should contribute to that goal :P

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I did try the form at https://www.armbian.com/bugs and found it not very helpful.

I mean its ok to tell the people they are in the wrong place to ask or there isnt not enough information to answer the problem,

but this form isnt any help for many people.

 

Often I try to help people with simple questions and later they could provide some good informations.
But when we cant help they wouldnt learn much to use the system.

 

It would be better - in my personal opinion - to move simple questions to a beginner area or guide them to google or the forum-search and not to tell them something like "shut up" (so this unpersonal sample text sounds to me :( )

 

I know we havent enough manpower to solve every puzzle - but when there is a space for a tv-box-club, why not offer them a beginners-place? ;) 

 

If some of these invalids request had been moved to the right forum position and keept open I had answer some of the questions or had them guide a little bit.

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1 hour ago, guidol said:

found it not very helpful.

It is meant to accomplish two things: tell users that logs are mandatory and not asking for support for stuff that is not supported anyways. Something needed to be done to reduce pressure on people who maintain things and could make better use with their time not wasting it on avoidable issue reports.

 

It is never nice to tell people that nobody can/will help with their issue but basically all other bigger projects have some sorts of guidelines in which way issues should be reported and they don't care about invalid reports as well.

 

On the bottom line there is however always room for improvement :)

 

1 hour ago, guidol said:

to move simple questions to a beginner area or guide them to google or the forum-search

Who will maintain this section long-term? Besides that it would split  topics that are related to a specific hardware even more across the forums besides the major and minor garbage collector forums a.k.a. Board doesn't start and Common issues / peer to peer technical support.

 

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2 hours ago, Werner said:

It is meant to accomplish two things: tell users that logs are mandatory and not asking for support for stuff that is not supported anyways. Something needed to be done to reduce pressure on people who maintain things and could make better use with their time not wasting it on avoidable issue reports.

 

It is never nice to tell people that nobody can/will help with their issue but basically all other bigger projects have some sorts of guidelines in which way issues should be reported and they don't care about invalid reports as well.

 

On the bottom line there is however always room for improvement :)

 

Who will maintain this section long-term? Besides that it would split  topics that are related to a specific hardware even more across the forums besides the major and minor garbage collector forums a.k.a. Board doesn't start and Common issues / peer to peer technical support.

 

 

Yes - the people who maintain a thing or theme (supported images on suupported boards should not waste their time - Iam on your side :)

Its also Ok that its never nice to tell the people that the supporters cant help (because of time or they didnt know) - but because you are in germany you surely know the sentence "Der Ton macht die Musik".
That means not so "hardly" tell them that they have to pay for support, but guide them nicely to the peer-to-peer/user-to-user support (ak.a. the beginners or user-supported-section).

 

One "little problem" for most new users could be that the bug-tracker section is named for "supported boards" but it should named "supported boards with supported images". The new users mostly see the hardware sections and put their question in the right hardware section, but may have a self-compiled image (armbian-buid-system) or additional hardware/software questions which are not in the supported scope.

 

To not spread more these topics around other sections but to organize them I would suggest to create in the peer-to-peer section also these hardware sections or like in the past a mandatory pulldown-menu entry to sort the themes and make them more moveable in the future.

 

A few times - I dont know why - I did @Igor wrote about payed support in the peer-to-peer/user-to-user section and I did think the only solution is to write the users that they are wrote in a unsupported section and if they would get payed support the have to use another section (or maybe using better supported boards with supported images - then there is a better chance to have a public-interest-problem which can archive a higher-list-rang)

 

Sure - peer-to-peer / user-to-user is somehting like a "garbage"-collector, but also a pool for new ideas or guideing existing users to new topics/themes....

and YES @Igor nobody should demand realtime-support if they dont want to spent money on it. free-support should be a free-gift who is given by one's own choice. 

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22 minutes ago, guidol said:

"Der Ton macht die Musik".

Sure thing :beer:

As stated there is always room for improvements and open for suggestions :love:

 

23 minutes ago, guidol said:

"supported boards with supported images"

Should be possible, I'll adjust that.

 

24 minutes ago, guidol said:

To not spread more these topics around other sections but to organize them I would suggest to create in the peer-to-peer section also these hardware sections

So to have 10 sub-forums within p2p like H6, RK3399, marvell and so on?

Quote

or like in the past a mandatory pulldown-menu entry to sort the themes and make them more moveable in the future.

We used to have a forum plugin that allowed better control of prefix/tag usage. Unfortunately the author discontinued the support so it broke with the update to 4.5 a while ago and a proper replacement creates cost :(

 

 

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Because @guidol mentioned the German saying "Der Ton macht die Musik" I thought for myself why not making this "Bug report" a default gateway for new or even for senior users to get them to the right place. Not only for bugs. Something like "Armbians friendly assisstant", "The gateway to your answers" or more simple "Armbian Helper". I mean this is much more work and I don't know if all of my ideas are even possible to do with the software used for this forum. But I think this would prevent a lot of moderator work in the future. One could at more questions on the front page like:

  • Issue building
  • Issue running
  • Issue with third party hardware (W-Lan adapter, USB soundcard and so forth)
  • Issue with third party software (Questions like: "htop doesn't show a thing", "Messing around with iptables" or "apache2 webserver behaves wrong"
  • I have improvement suggestions for Armbian
  • I have a cool tutorial to show other Armbians what I accomplished with this awesome operating system ^^
  • I want to sell things...
  • Others

If some selects "Others" we could move the user to a forum named "Decision making" or something like that. Moderators get informed about this inquiry and can help the user to get to the right place.

 

Automatic topic creation


Another suggestion would be to add all supported or known SBCs to the end of each survey. To get this feature up and running, the form has to have the ability to create a new topic on the forum. The user can choose their board here. When they complete a survey a new topic will be created including multiple tags.
 

  • SBC Name tag
  • Supported/unsupported tag
  • maybe the user could be enabled to add his own tags like (iptables, apache2, ram issue, ...)
  • or choose from some predefined tags like (Security,  Server, Newbie Question, ...)

With this feature topics could be created logically inside the right forum and Armbian developers would be able to make fast decisions by looking at the tags and the content the users provide.

Help for moderators

 

This catalog of questions could at least serve us moderators on our daily work. New moderators could easily make their decisions about a topic by answering a few questions.

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9 minutes ago, _r9 said:

Another suggestion would be to add all supported or known SBCs to the end of each survey

For the current state this would need constant adjustments once boards support status is shifted from/to supported state which can become annoying.

We do have the template system application (https://invisioncommunity.com/forums/topic/429845-template-system/) and I played with it a couple of times already but never got a result with one I was happy with. Maybe lacking knowledge, don't know.

11 minutes ago, _r9 said:

One could at more questions on the front page like:

Should be possible. With the Google form it definitely would be. However with their system it quickly gets confusing if you have lots of sections due the lack of options for categories them while creating the form.

 

21 hours ago, Werner said:

I can do that later today.

Forgot about that. Will do that asap.

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On 1/27/2021 at 7:34 PM, guidol said:

but it should named "supported boards with supported images"


And perhaps adding to the description that self created images go below to development. Both are small details which probably won't bring much change. People easily overlook such things, but hopefully we catch some.

 

On 1/27/2021 at 7:34 PM, guidol said:

nobody should demand realtime-support if they dont want to spent money on it. free-support should be a free-gift who is given by one's own choice. 

 

Currently way too many people tries to abuse our time, entire forum is already a grey zone and when they (try to) do, damage - insult at minimum - has already be done. We will never prevent predators and ignorants and for those a quick ban is the only cure. People that are 100% on our time, have to understand that prior to asking anything. Technical support is a direct damage which users create, most of it. Added value / answered questions is created by doers we have to support at all cost, not by users that are creating and recycling questions. They have to feel bad about, not that we have to feel bad about because we had to defend with unpleasant comm.

 

How to communicate this properly?

 

I am tired of myself arguing and trying to reasons the standpoint that we can't afford to pay for everything. The extent of support is - at least for me - totally out of range. I have to cut people down just to survive and at the same time I don't want to hurt them. But being polite I risk person will try to persuade me ... 

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Just now, Igor said:

And perhaps adding to the description that self created images go below to development. Both are small details which probably won't bring much change. People easily overlook such things, but hopefully we catch some.

Not possible since this is a category rather than a forum. Description is not shown there IIRC.

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Well it is already there:

grafik.png

The problem is that basically nobody clicks on that because there is no reason to do so since you can directly dive into the equivalent sub-forum you need for your board.

And there we mention on topic creation to use the form which contains the hint about selfmade images.

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1 hour ago, Igor said:

How to communicate this properly?

 
I bought this software (https://www.toonly.com/) a few months ago. With it you could make explanation videos. Maybe we can find someone that has a few hours to develop a small video which can tell the people your site of the story. Users must watch this video before they are accepted on the forum. If no one has the time for it than there are cheap offers on Fiverr. There are lots of developers which work in foreign countries were they can make cheap offerings.

A customer of mine uses such videos to explain complex processes. Most people doesn't read forum documentation or instructions when they can simply ask. So to communicate this properly I suggest to force them to do a survey, watch a video or take quizzes to learn for what the Armbian Forum really is. Next problem I see is, that administrators or others are searching the web for their work with ARM based SBCs. The more they find topics on the Armbian Forum that help them the more of such people will come to this place.

 

1 hour ago, Igor said:

I am tired of myself arguing and trying to reasons the standpoint that we can't afford to pay for everything....


Therefore you should describe this once and anyone has to know this before they use this platform.

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