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Issues with this forum (cont.)

 
John McL
Trusted Contributor

Issues with this forum (cont.)

About 24 hours ago I posted a new thread here, with the subject "Issues with this forum".

 

Some moderator(?) has taken it upon himself or herself to move this to the group "Community Feedback & Suggestions" without telling us.

 

This individual doesn't appreciate that we have moved from the old ITRC forums - as have some other groups - and it is useful to discuss issues by comparing them to the old system.  Also, it doesn't seem to be appreciated that there are VMS-specific issues that need attention, as Steven Schweda mentioned in a response.

 

I think it's time that HP bit the bullet and admitted that this new system has many failings and took steps to correct them, starting with listening to those users who haven't yet given up in disgust.

20 REPLIES
Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: Issues with this forum (cont.)

For those that might wish to follow this relocated discussion...

 

That reply took a second try, as the cut-and-paste into the URL dialog box was acting like, well, like it was part of this forum software.  

 

I note the button order and design around here is inconsistent, too.  The insertion form used for this post uses the Cancel and Post buttons, and the URL insertion box uses Insert and Cancel; wih the order of the actions reversed, and with blue for both here and green and red in the URL dialog.  Yes, it's the little things.  Well, that and the weirdly broken cut-and-paste.

John Gillings
Honored Contributor

Re: Issues with this forum (cont.)

John,

 

   History repeats... back in the pre-internet early '90s, in Australia there was a dial in "bulletin board" type service as part of DSIN (can't remember what the acronym means Digital Services Information Network?). It was very simple, a captive VMS login into a VAX NOTES session. We had reasonable population of quite satisfied customers interacting with Customer Support engineers. The host system was isolated from the corporate network, accessed from within by reverse LAT. Traffic was measured in 10's of posts per week.

 

  Some bean counter "visionary" up the corporate chain decided that they would force a "better interface" on the community and came up with some hideous PC base GUI which was essentially a shell running on the PC, screen scraping a backend interactive NOTES session. It was dire. Slow, limited, and full of bugs (sound familiar?).

 

 There was one bug in particular which I reported, where something (can't remember exactly what) didn't work for notes with index numbers less than 15. My report was brushed aside "Don't worry that won't affect the live system as it has lots more notes than that". Um, no it doesn't, that IS the live system! Users hated it so much we never reached 15 base notes, the population dispersed and a worthwhile customer service died of attrition. The perpetrator probably got an award, promotion and bonus for their "brilliant use of emerging technology".

 

  The lesson is that this kind of service should only be changed from within. It's blindingly clear that whoever invented this interface has never actually used it. How can ANYONE design a text box in the 21st century which doesn't have copy and paste?

A crucible of informative mistakes

Re: Issues with this forum (cont.)

Thanks John.  My own profile didn't transfer (yes I followed the procedure) and eventually got patch access.  I submitted a forum reqeust but never heard anything back.  Not that it's a big deal or worth the time to chase down.  But it does seem that traffic here took a sharp drop.  HP will probably decide that's due to lack of interest in VMS. 

 

I still fondly remember DSN-Link and the articles available.  Try finding some of the "cookbooks" that used to be posted there these days. 

John McL
Trusted Contributor

Re: Issues with this forum (cont.)

Andy (and anyone else), what's happened to the participation of the current OpenVMS engineers?

 

They were very active (and much appreciated) in the old forum, but I can't recall seeing any postings from them on this new forum.

 

Have they been banned by company directive?

Lester_Dreckow
Occasional Advisor

Re: Issues with this forum (cont.)

Did attachments from the previous forum come across to here? (Or perhaps I just don't know how to find them?  I'm using IE9.)

 

I was looking for PPF.MAR re http://h30499.www3.hp.com/t5/General/Batch-Job-Info/td-p/5054380.

 

Thanks,

Lester

 

Re: Issues with this forum (cont.)

>Did attachments from the previous forum come across to here?  I was looking for PPF.MAR

 

They were suppose to have been copied.  And there have been comments about missing attachments.

It seems that if they didn't have a "valid" suffix, they were removed??

http://h30499.www3.hp.com/t5/tag/missing%20attachment/tg-p

Robert Gezelter
Honored Contributor

Re: Issues with this forum (cont.)

Dennis,

 

With all due respect, the phrasing "valid suffix" has problems. Specifically: Valid to whom?

 

Many commonly used OpenVMS file types are not used on Windows or other platforms, and several have dramatically different semantics (e.g., COM -- under Windows is an executable, under OpenVMS it is a DCL script).

 

In the past on ITRC, this has caused annoyance. If it has resulted in material being lost, it is far more than an annoyance. Once again, with all due respect, I suggest that the powers that be rescan the archives and propogate ALL file attachments from the OpenVMS forum, regardless of whether they file types are "valid" or not ("valid" refers to whether the file types are commonly used on Windows/Hp-UX/Linux).

 

- Bob Gezelter, http://www.rlgsc.com

Re: Issues with this forum (cont.)

>the phrasing "valid suffix" has problems. Specifically: Valid to whom?

 

To the migration program of course.  ;-)

That's hand waving programmer talk that explains away what you can't explain.

>I suggest that the powers that be rescan the archives and propagate ALL file attachments from the OpenVMS forum, regardless of whether they file types are "valid" or not

 

I don't disagree.

Then you should provide this feedback in the proper forum.  Possibly here:

http://h30499.www3.hp.com/t5/Community-Feedback-Suggestions/Migrated-Post-where-do-I-find-the-attachments/m-p/5319839

http://h30499.www3.hp.com/t5/Community-Feedback-Suggestions/bd-p/community-feedback-suggestions

John McL
Trusted Contributor

Re: Issues with this forum (cont.)

And how, Dennis, are we supposed to know what the "proper forum" is?  Clairvoyance?

 

This new forum is pathetic.  The old one was clunky but at least it was relatively simple.  The designers seem to have forgotten that simplicity is important.  Most users will access this forum intermittently when they have problems that they are trying to solve, and is the case with systems used intermittently, the procedures are easily forgotten and must be rediscovered.  You're dreaming is you expect someone to know what the "proper forum" is.

 

And I doubt very much that there's just a few of us who are unhappy with this.  Would you care to give us the statistics on visits and postings for this VMS forum compareed to the old ITRC fourm?

Re: Issues with this forum (cont.)

>And how are we supposed to know what the "proper forum" is?


Look for the Feedback & Suggestions link on each category?

(Or did you want it to include the word "complaints" too?  ;-)

>The designers seem to have forgotten that simplicity is important.


There has been lots of feedback on that too when the ITRC forum was migrated to the EBC forum.

John Gillings
Honored Contributor

Re: Issues with this forum (cont.)

Who'd have thought it possible to make this forum platform worse? yet HP have succeeded spectacularly. Whereas it used to be just cumbersome to navigate and interact, it's now all but impossible!

 

Ignore the requests to provide fundamental functionality like "PASTE" in a reasonably sane manner, instead just move everything, hiding the most useful things (like a list of recent posts within a category) and replace them with some kind of global version and a bunch of useless "follow us" links.

 

As predicted, post volumes have all but dried up.

 

 

A crucible of informative mistakes
Hein van den Heuvel
Honored Contributor

Re: Issues with this forum (cont.)

[ duplicate of reply to  http://h30499.www3.hp.com/t5/Community-Feedback-Suggestions/New-Format/m-p/5381347 for my OpenVMS friends. ]

Let me be a second to give a thumbs down to the new format.

Just when you think they could not possibly make it any worse... they do.

 

Haloween prank gone awry? What a nightmare.

Stop playing with the crayons already and do some real work to make this mess better.

The old crap...

- Can't login using Chrome... Bad Gateway.

- Have to re-login all the time ... Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, Facebook, Twitter all have a button to keep me logged in, are they all stupid  failuers and is HP so much smarter or is HP perhaps just a bunch of super arrogant NIH fans?

- IE (6.0) screen keeps jumping while typing

New crap...

- Terrible performance.

- ZERO, aboslutely ZERO actual content on the first click. Check the attache Jpeg please.

- More crappy smiley faces in blocks of glamor to present totally redundant information

- I selected : http://h30499.www3.hp.com/t5/OpenVMS/ct-p/itrc-288

... Now I get 120 pixels of black, 170 artwork,  50 pixels of actual useful data, 100 more pixels of redundant white header, 100 pixels of  artificial categories i happen not to care about (but that's me),  And then 500 pixels for a 4 - way menu that leads nowhere useful. Score : 50 out 1000. How high is your screen  ( I use 2x1600x1200)

- In the first 500 pixels the word COMMUNITY is repeated on 3 lines, and my choice of  'OpenVMS' is also there on 3 lines.  And nothing else.  Once would seem enough.

- I picked OpenVMS... ALL OF IT, but I now I have to drill down in each sub-Category or whatever you call those?

- Latests topics show (just 2?!) OpenVMS topics. Ok. But  when I click on 'see all' under that, I get to see topics from all over the place! Printers, PCs, OMS,....  WTF !?!?!

 

Dissapointing, very dissappointing.

Sadly not unexpected though. HP has a knack for picking form over function.

Anything to please management!

 

Cheers,

Hein

 

John McL
Trusted Contributor

Re: Issues with this forum (cont.)

Yup.  I didn't think that this system could be made any worse, but someone has certainly managed it.

 

Another triumph of gloss over substance.

 

I wonder if a privately run VMS forum wouldn't be a better option.  if their web pages loaded faster I'd think about talking to the guys at OpenVMS.org about running such a system. 

H.Becker
Honored Contributor

Re: Issues with this forum (cont.)

For what it is worth, if you have a bookmark for "All Posts", aka recent posts, it should still work. In other words, the page and the information is available, at least until the next "improvement". But in the new format I couldn't find a way to navigate to it. If you don't have a bookmark, try http://h30499.www3.hp.com/t5/forums/recentpostspage/category-id/itrc-288/post-type/message/page/1

 

Obviously, itrc-288 is the VMS forum. A modified link works for other forums as well.

 

Hoff
Honored Contributor

Re: Issues with this forum (cont.)

The RSS feeds do work; you can access new postings that way.

 

I'll refrain from further and specific comment on this morass, beyond requesting an upgrade to the older ITRC forums, to a box of crayons, or to Stack Exchange or other functional forum software.

Mike Kier
Valued Contributor

Re: Issues with this forum (cont.)

I'm in absolute agreement.

 

I saw two topics with no indication of recent postings.  Clicked on one - no new activity.  Clicked on the other and discovered there was a new posting.  I do not have the time to drill down blindly.

 

I'll log in periodically to check to see when this forum returns to something that can be used, but I won't go beyond my initial landing page until then - I'll simply log back out.

 

This forum has gone from being an asset to my work to a drag on my time.

Practice Random Acts of VMS Marketing
RBrown_1
Trusted Contributor

Re: Issues with this forum (cont.)


John McL wrote:

I wonder if a privately run VMS forum wouldn't be a better option.


It would.

Try telnet://eisner.decuserve.org

Or if you prefer to use a web browser: http://eisner.decuserve.org

The software remembers which notes you have already read, so you can quickly read what's new and then bet back to your business.

Define NOTES$SECTION ONEKEY in your LOGIN.COM file, type NOTES at the DCL prompt, and then keep pressing keypad ENTER until there are no more notes that you have not seen.

Easy-peasy.

GuentherF
Trusted Contributor

Re: Issues with this forum (cont.)

Couldn't find the "Mark as read" clicker with the new version. Where is it?

 

Thanks,

Guenther

Re: Issues with this forum (cont.)

>Couldn't find the "Mark as read" clicker with the new version.

 

For a Post, you already read it.

For a Topic, it is on the top Left under Topic Options.

For a Board, it is on the top Left under Board Options.

For a Category, under User Settings is: Mark all posts as new

Caution, not sure if that's ALL or all in category?

GuentherF
Trusted Contributor

Re: Issues with this forum (cont.)

Ah, an option, qué?

 

Thanks Dennis!