Clicking "Send Error Report" really helps us make Team Foundation better

I wanted to write a post to let folks know how useful it is to us when you choose to send us your error reports with Windows Error Reporting (also known affectionately as Dr. Watson) and to encourage you to click "Send Error Report" when something goes wrong instead of opting for the quick "Don't Send" button.

Yesterday I went and did a little bit of data mining on how we've handled these "Watson" issues in Team Foundation. Up until 11/17 the Watson reports we'd received constituted 222 unique issues (some reported multiple times). Some have come from internal users, others from our Beta customers. Every single issue has been logged as a bug, investigated, and resolved. Jeff Lucovsky and Jiange Sun deserve much of the credit for making this happen throughout our whole product cycle.

I thought it might be interesting for you to see how we've actually resolved the issues. Here is a breakdown:

By Design 0.50%
External 0.50%
Fixed 78.11%
Not Repro 10.45%
Postponed 1.49%
Won't Fix 8.96%
Grand Total 100.00%

I went through all the issues we resolved as "Won't Fix" to make sure we made the right decisions.

  • Several of them relate to functionality we've now pulled out of the product (such as our usage of AD/AM) or are in files that we've since rewritten.
  • Others we didn't have enough information to investigate and, although we've currently resolved as Won't Fix, we've also added extra information to Watson so that the next time we receive the same crash report we'll pull down more diagnostic information to enable us to investigate further.
  • A couple of issues haven't been fixed directly, but we've made code changes elsewhere to stop the issue happening (e.g. different SQL server isolation levels to stop deadlocks).
  • A couple of issues look like internal users trying to do illegal operations against our dogfood server (trying to run SQL queries which failed and therefore logged SQL exceptions)

I also went through all the Not Repro issues. All of had been investigated and most were in code that has since been removed, or were caused by internal folks doing things illegal operations during development - the rest we've updated Watson to pull down more information next time they occur.

So, I'm pretty happy that we've fixed the right bugs, and for those we haven't fixed we've made the right decisions. Please keep hitting the Send Error Report button - and a big "thank you" to everyone who has been doing it so far. I hope this post shows you how much of a difference it has made.