A few days ago I posted messages to Cpod on 5 separate lesson boards, saying:
"Cpod, this lesson's PDF link to the HTML text version does not work."
On Monday, each link was fixed, with a note from John saying "fixed." On one of those discussion boards I then asked whether I should keep reporting these missing links as I found them, or whether Cpod will deal with the issue themselves.
On Tuesday, I find this enquiry, along with 4 of my 5 earlier requests, and John's "fixed" replies, all deleted by Cpod.
What message am I being sent - Cpod no longer wants to know about lesson faults??
TalNovember 04, 2009, 05:51 AM
As far as I know it's always been standard CPod practice to delete messages informing of faults and the 'fixed' notifications after the fault(s) have been fixed.
I don't think there's anything to be alarmed about Bob. As I recall a staff member thanked you for all the fault reporting you did.
JohnNovember 04, 2009, 06:10 AM
I sent you a PM to let you know, and then later even a direct email, because I suspcted you hadn't gotten my PM. (You never replied to a PM I sent you once before.) I guess maybe when you signed up for ChinesePod you used an email you never check?
Anyway, yes, we do delete technical problem reports and the responses to them after a time, because past issues are of no use to learners who are just looking for more insight into learning Chinese.
go_manlyNovember 04, 2009, 09:20 AM
I do check my email, and have received neither a PM nor a direct email from you in the last few days. And I have received PMs from other users recently who were requesting my character dictionary, so the settings at both ends must be correct. (Yes I did receive the PM you sent me 'once before'. To answer your question there - I am not a programmer, unless you count the programming in Pascal I did at Uni 25 years ago - all forgotten now).
I have no problem at all with you deleting my reporting of faults and the responses to them. I was mentioning them simply to put my main worry into context - the deletion of my final post asking whether you wanted me to keep reporting identical faults with other lessons - I have already found one more. I have not received an answer to that as yet, by the way.
JohnNovember 04, 2009, 10:07 AM
It's strange that you didn't receive either the PM or the email I sent from my praxislanguage.com email address, but they were sent pretty close together.
Anyway, I answered your question in the PM/email. I invited you to email me personally (or via PM) anytime you have something you want to report.
(There's also the contact form, with its "Report a Bug / Problem" selection.)
go_manlyNovember 04, 2009, 10:44 AM
Thanks for the reply John. I'll continue to report those bugs directly then.
By the way, it seems you have flooded the boards with new staff today. This should definitely make a difference to all those unanswered questions. I've noticed lily, lilac, gloria and helen_cao, and ousijia has been around for a few days as well. Have I missed anyone?
Another 'by the way' - does anyone know where rjberki has gone?
simonpetterssonNovember 04, 2009, 12:42 PM
Reporting bugs with the contact form has the disadvantage of people not seeing that the bug has been reported. Or seeing the answer that it's being worked on. Thus I think doing it publicly can be a good thing.
(If you're gonna implement a question marking system, as suggested elsewhere, you might as well have a marker for bug reporting, too, yes?)
TalNovember 04, 2009, 01:22 PM
RJ is on a business trip in China at the moment. I expect he's too busy and/or having too much fun to be looking in here much. He told me he greatly enjoyed reading Scarlett's Unforgettable 中国 experiences thread though.
paulinurusNovember 04, 2009, 10:42 PM
I'm with Simon that it is an advantage to Cpod that a bug in the lesson material be reported as a post. Otherwise, you'd have to deal with repeated contact forms/emails from others reporting the same bug.
Also, it is much more convenient to just quickly post a one-liner on the discussion board (since we are already on the lesson page) rather than open up forms or emails and having to describe where and what the problem is.
Also, when people realize that there is a bug in a lesson file which they have already downloaded, they can download again after the bug has been corrected.
I find that Cpod does not correct reported bugs consistently. For example, out of the three bugs I've reported the past month, only one was corrected, which you had quicly corrected and sent me an email. The HTML files "Buying A Bike" and "Two Tough Ladies" remain uncorrected.
As you are aware. the HTML file is very important to some users (like me). We make notes on the lesson and copy and paste any pointers gained from the discussion board in this text file.
Most of the bugs now are in the HTML file - either unavailable or the vocabulary section truncated.
Hopefully you'll assign someone to deal with all reported bugs and in a timely fashion.
sebireNovember 04, 2009, 11:08 PM
Gosh, I had never used the HTML files till about yesterday, and the first one I tried to use was Buying a Bike, and I thought "where on earch is the Key Vocab"?
I was hoping that I could use the HTML files a bit more, but if they are buggy, well that's just not ideal.
go_manlyNovember 04, 2009, 11:33 PM
I think the most significant point raised by paulinurus is that when there is no public reporting of bugs, no-one knows when they are in possession of a faulty copy of a file. At the very least, every download should come with a 'last amended' date - preferably an amendment history.
paulinurusNovember 05, 2009, 12:56 AM
Most times the HTML files are OK. Only occasionally the file is inacessible or the vocabulary section is missing.
The HTML file is much more useful than the pdf file. I use Word to open the file and make notes when studying the lesson, also to add useful phrases/words found in the lesson's discussion board.
Yeah, it's strange that all the files in the Me section show today's date when you click on their properties. Perhaps John can tell us how to detect a file when the bug has been corrected.