Apologies to some second graders

Posted by David Wagner on May 23, 2014 4:48:14 PM

I hate it when kids have a bad experience with our products. Since I am ultimately responsible for them, I take it very personally when I hear of a student losing work or being frustrated by our tools. I also have a second grade son, so when I hear it is a second grade class having a problem I can imagine how that would affect him. This week was one of those weeks. Calls came in from Wisconsin and Colorado. Both had the same issue, both were new to using Wixie, and both had frustrated kids and teachers.

After a couple of days of trying to figure out if it was a hardware issue (could there be a problem on x device), a network issue (maybe their firewall was blocking saving certain file types), or maybe there was a way students were getting logged out but were still working in Wixie, we finally came across the answer. Both classes were using the same template. One that has been in Wixie for years, but also, unknown to us until now, a template with an error in it that could cause saves to fail.

Wixie error dialog

Once it was discovered, it took about an hour to delete the template from the servers and upload a new template that did not have the error. 

We have also patched the production version of Wixie so if any other templates have the same error, Wixie will quietly fix the problem and students will never notice.

And this is one of the things that I love about Wixie. We can put that fix on our servers and everyone using Wixie in a browser will begin using that fix immediately. Tablet users will have to wait for the update to make it through the Apple and Google approval processes, but at least then it will just show up for everyone. We can never get fixes into the hands of our users this quickly for our desktop tools. Once we publish the fix, then we have to wait for people to install it, and that usually only happens a couple of times a year. It could be months before kids are actually using the fixed version.

I would also like to say that we are not in the habit of pushing updates live the minute we fix them. We have a system for QA that would normally take at least 2 weeks before we would ship an update. But, we thought this problem was important enough and the fix isolated enough to put it into production immediately after running just the critical suite of tests.

So, to those second graders, and anyone who may have run into this issue and not reported it to us, we are very sorry.

Topics: Wixie, Updates, Errors Saving

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