About bugs…

The problem with bugs is that you rarely know that they are there. A couple of days ago we fixed a nasty bug in Kettle that has probably been in the code for more than a year. The problem was only triggered once in a while under special conditions. However, if you were hit by it, our sincere apologies!

The problem with bugs is also that very often they can’t be reproduced. This was certainly the case in our situation. It was thanks to Jens Bleuel (from Pentaho partner Proratio) that we found out about it. He made a very simple transformation that proved something was wrong.

A lot of folks probably must have had a feeling that “something” wasn’t quite going the way they expected it to go. But very often it this feeling is then ignored because the next time they started the transformation, everything is going OK.

So again, here is an invitation to put every small detail that you think is not quite right on the bug list. Indeed, if it’s such a small detail, it’s probably fixed very easily. If it’s something worse, at least then we will know about it.

The conclusion:

bugs = bad

bug reports = good

Here is an overview of the current situation: as you can see, before each release we bring down the number of bugs to close to zero 🙂

Number of trackers : open / closed

Independence

Being a “non-American”, Independence Day completely caught me by surprise.
Independence is still something that goes to the core of what many people and companies take at heart.   It’s always good to keep that in mind.  A few days ago I read (and answered) some question on Nick’s blog concerning the level of independence that you would retain when choosing for the Pentaho Open Source BI platform.

Unfortunately, I know all too well where the concerns come from when companies ask these though questions.  Time and time again I have witnessed the failure of commercial companies to respond to critical business needs or problems in the software.  On one occasion I have seen a €50.000 piece of software simply “not work”.   Mmm, you say, didn’t you check with this fine company if the functionality would be in the software?  Yes, but against flat-out lies, there is little defence (besides not paying the invoice that is 🙂 )

Also, if you have been in the BI line of work for a number of years (like I am), surely you must have heard one of the “failed BI projects” stories too.  Projects that drag on for 6-12 months and then have little or nothing to show for but a nice-but-outdated-by-12-months requirements document.

Companies and the people working for these companies remember these disasters quite well.  There is nothing like blowing a milion dolars to make a company concerned that this kind of thing won’t ever happen again.

One way of making sure that it doesn’t is by turning to open source for your BI needs.  A (BI) solution based on open source will give you a better return on your investment in time, servers, software, but also guarantees you that you minimize the risk of never seeing a return on your investment.

It also makes you less dependend.

Happy 4th of July America!