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MathGroup Archive 1997

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Re: Bug Reports or Technical Support?

  • To: mathgroup at smc.vnet.net
  • Subject: [mg7329] Re: Bug Reports or Technical Support?
  • From: tburton at cts.com (Tom Burton)
  • Date: Fri, 23 May 1997 02:23:55 -0400 (EDT)
  • Organization: Brahea Consulting
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at wolfram.com

On 22 May 1997 10:53:41 -0400, in comp.soft-sys.math.mathematica you wrote:

>Here is a question for discussion:
>
>The much-heralded release of MMA V3.0 included many bugs.  As a beta-tester,
>I sent in many reports, including printing problems on the Mac. Some of
>these were fixed, others reasonably resolved.  Some have had no response,
>other than an acknowledgement.  After a while, I get a message saying that I
>have to start paying for Technical Support.  Then responses from Technical
>Support seem to take a VERY long time. 
>
>The question is: At what point does the reporting of Mathematica bugs and
>expecting a timely and reasonable response constitute "Technical Support"? 
>Are we actually expected to pay for this?  (Please let me know if I am
>off-base.) Is there even a distinction between the two?  Users and WRI reps
>can join in here...
>_____________________________________________________________________________
>
>David M.F. Chapman                    Defence Research Establishment Atlantic
>dave.chapman at drea.dnd.ca                                        P.O. Box 1012
>(902) 426-3100 ext. 228                                Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
>FAX: (902) 426-9654      ---CAA---RASC---ASA---TTCP---      CANADA    B2Y 3Z7
>_____________________________________________________________________________
>
Coincidentally, I recently conversed with WRI Tech Support on this matter. I was told that WRI intend to respond to SIRs (software incident reports) from all customers, including those who do not pay for Tech Support. Paid Tech Support is primarily directed at those who need help to run the program.

Responses to SIRs do seem longer in coming. Some in this newsgroup have alleged that WRI receive many more SIRs than they had anticipated. Perhaps they are a bit swamped.

Now that the beta period is long over, I think it is reasonable to assume that many SIRs will receive only an acknowledgement, perhaps with a reference to an FAQ or other help on WRI's web site. A symptom reported at this late date is likely to be either a duplicate or baffling enough that all WRI can do is schedule it for review.

I have already received one "bug-fix" release, Stealth 3.0.1. It came without warning or release notes. I don't know what insects were spayed! So far, I've found no acknowledgement of the release on the web site. But my general impression is that 3.0.1 is better than 3.0.0. So although WRI may not be talking much about defects, apparently they have been correcting some of them.
Tom Burton


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