As of 8/24, the VB team has 186 suggestions entered through the MSDN Product Feedback Center (up from 169 the week before), 168 of which have been entered since Beta 1. Of the 186 total suggestions, 104 have been resolved (up from 93 the week before).
Not yet resolved
What does all this mean? First a little background. As you hopefully know, you can enter not only bugs, but also suggestions, at the Product Feedback Center (PFC). Do you want features added to the product? Do you want existing features to behave differently? Do you want existing features taken out? Let us know. All bug and suggestions entered via the PFC are copied into our internal bug database where they wait to be triaged.
Every morning (Monday - Friday anyway <bg>) I run a triage query that shows me all the VB bugs and suggestions that came in the previous day. I assign the bugs to Marc Rodman. Marc reviews the bug, checks to make sure he can repro it (see http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/ProductFeedback/viewFeedback.aspx?feedbackid=19bbb25f-f51e-405b-ada3-d9c751ca142c for an example of when he couldn't and asked the submitter for help) and assigns it to the different team if needed (more on that later).
I am the first person to look at VB suggestions (again, this happens daily). Sometimes these can be answered right away. Sometimes they need to be sent to another team. The majority of suggestions get assigned to the Program Manager who owns the feature area. Language suggestions go to Amanda Silver, My to Joe Binder, Data to Steve Lasker, Projects and ClickOnce to Sean Draine, IDE to Jay Schmelzer and Express to Paul Yuknewicz. Some I assign to myself, particularly if they don't fall into one of these feature areas. Before I assign the suggestion to one of them I thank the sender and acknowledge that we got the suggestion and will look at it. I have to admit that this acknowledgement is a more recent thing and we didn't do this the first few weeks. Hey, we're learning. <g>
The table above shows 8 different statuses for suggestions. What do they mean?
Not yet resolved (82 of 186)The suggestion has been assigned to a PM, who has not yet answered. This doesn't mean the PM hasn't looked at the suggestion. It just means they haven't answered. Suggestions are very important to us, but let's be honest, they aren't as important right now as bugs. We are driving down bugs on the road to Beta 2 and if a PM has 25 bugs on their plate and 10 suggestions, they are going to focus on the bugs. That said, it does no good for a customer to make a suggestion and not hear anything from us for a month or more. We are trying to strike the appropriate balance and will get better at it. Thanks for your patience.
Won't Fix vs PostponedMarie has talked about Won't Fix vs Postponed in the Product Feedback Center blog and whether customers know the difference and what each means to them. Both mean we aren't going to implement the feature in VS 2005. Won't Fix means we won't consider doing it in the version after that and Postponed means we would consider the feature post VS 2005. That's what they should mean. I don't think we have been consistent in this usage although we are trying to be.
Won't Fix (26 of 186)Auto Update feature in Setup Project (http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/ProductFeedback/viewFeedback.aspx?feedbackid=31c09c32-de5a-422a-8a81-a60e073dad4e) is a good example of a Won't Fix. FDBK12582 asked for an Auto Update feature in the Setup project. Sean replied that auto-update is a feature of the ClickOnce deployment model and the feature would be in there rather than in the Setup project. So moving forward (this time and in the future) we will focus our efforts on ClickOnce as the deployment technology and are not likely to add this to the previous deployment technology.
Upgraded Windows Forms (http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/ProductFeedback/viewFeedback.aspx?feedbackid=120644d7-c1f6-442d-8ec8-297b6648f549) is another good example. Shorty points out that when you upgrade a VS 2003 project to VS 2005 the forms are not upgraded to the VS 2005 style (Form1.vb and Form1.Designer.vb). So your new forms will have the designer generated code in the Designer file but your existing forms won't. I responded that we looked at this but decided the risk of getting it wrong outweighed the benefit. We don't want to take a form that works and convert it into a form that doesn't. I also pointed out how to manually do the conversion.
By Design (24 of 186)Don't use ''' for XML comment designation (http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/ProductFeedback/viewFeedback.aspx?feedbackid=d38461b0-1cc0-4f2b-9b84-33276943f7eb) is a good example of By Design. FDBK12582 asked us to use /// for XML comments like C#. I explaned that quotes are the way VB has always done comments and that's why we chose ''' for XML comments.
Fix "And" and "Or" Keywords to shortcircuit and drop that goofy "AndAlso" and "OrElse" stratements (http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/ProductFeedback/viewFeedback.aspx?feedbackid=d3a0e50b-7025-4c0f-a33c-7060ebb2f6f2) is another good example. Matt Gertz (a dev on the VB team) responded to this suggestion from dkangel explaining that having And and Or shortcircuit would break VB6 (and prior) code so we chose not to do it. Also, dropping AndAlso and OrElse would cause much pain among customers currently using those statements.
Fixed (23 of 186)Very often these suggestions are for features the customer has not yet discovered in VS 2005. XML Comments, Renaming, TryCast are a few examples. In a couple of cases the suggestion was for something we are going to do in VS 2005.
Postponed (18 of 186)These are all fine ideas. But we won't be able to implement them this time around. We will consider them for next time. Keep these coming and vote on the ones you really like. These suggestions will help us build a better VB and a VB that is more of what you want.
Not repro (7 of 186)Either we couldn't see the same behavior the customer saw or we asked for more information and didn't get a response.
Duplicate (5 of 186)2 of the 5 were suggestions that had already been entered. 3 of these are duplicates of existing bugs that we are working on fixing either for Beta 2 or RTM.
External (1 of 186)This one is also an existing bug, but the work is being done by a different team.
Internal terminology vs external terminologyYou will not find any suggestions resolved as External in the Product Feedback Center. How do you know what that means? And if it is a bug, why should you care who has to fix it? The Microsoft Status of the External bug is still Under Review. The comments from Microsoft state that it is a bug. It is still Under Review because the team that is fixing it is still fixing it. Also, the 3 Duplicate suggestions have Under Review as their Microsoft Status on the PFC. They are duplicates of existing bugs and once those bugs are resolved the suggestions will be resolved as well (hopefully Fixed).
I will provide this summary every week so you can keep track, along with us, of the suggestions. Thanks to those of you who have made suggestions. And we encourage all of you to send us more.