One step forward, two steps back..................

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  • Updated 4 years ago
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Am I the only one who feels like we have taken one step forward, only to take two steps back?

Well, maybe two steps forward and one step back.

By that, I mean:

1. Audio recorder tx playback now has new issues.

2. Waterfall settings now not properly balanced between tx and rx. If set for usable rx display, tx display is unusable, or vice-versa. It worked fine prior to this release.

3. Noise burst from tx audio buffer filling in rx mode STILL not fixed!

4. When SSDR is in full screen mode, the lower side of the 5th sidebar box is truncated. And scaling still non-existent.

5. There are a few other bugs I noticed that are not worth mentioning at this point.

And the numerous others being reported, which are of a lesser concern to my particular operating habits.

I seriously have to ask, what the heck were the beta testers focusing on for the last 6 months? Some of these items were picked up on by users within minutes of the release.

We were led to believe all this time was to ensure that the release would be stable and glitch free.  It seems far from it at this point. 

I don't mean to diminish all the hard work the developers have put into this release, but I do question the procedures and reporting mechanisms of the testing process.

Oh, wait a minute, I seem to recall that they are referred to as "alpha testers", so does that mean WE are the beta testers? 

I am not one to bitch and moan, nor do I plan to dump my 6500 and move on, but come on, let's be real, and call it what it is.

I can't be the only one questioning it all.....................


Eric

K2CB




Photo of K2CB Eric Dobrowansky

K2CB Eric Dobrowansky

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  • frustrated

Posted 4 years ago

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SteveM

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"5. There are a few other bugs I noticed that are not worth mentioning at this point."


I gotta say, Eric, I think your whole list can be summed up by #5. These are all obscure ticky-tack bugs IMHO.

(Edited)
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K1FR

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Eric:

Understand your concerns, but to me it is one leap forward. For my operations the improvements are superb. Have not noticed the issues mentioned except for #4 which I believe was on v1.3x as well.

73, Tom
K1FR
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DrTeeth

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Eric, I was wondering the same myself, but did not have the cajones to break ranks and post.
Maybe the beta testers are too advanced and they are missing the basic stuff? I'm being serious. 
Maybe betas are being released too frequently? I once beta tested for a US company called 'MicroHelp' for an uninstaller product. No sooner had one loaded a beta, another was seemingly available. I just seemed to install betas and not have time test them properly, if at all.

It is like a manual being written by somebody really familiar with the software - the tome produced is often not that helpful to a basic user; often posing more questions in the reader's mind than it answers.
(Edited)
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George Molnar, KF2T, Elmer

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Have not observed any but #4, which should be (if I am interpreting correctly) worked on for 1.5's GUI refresh. There is a lengthy list of changes in the release notes that represent only a part of what was being focused on. I'd say the team did a great job!

As a wiser man than me said, "you can't please everyone."
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Sounds about right I think I counted about 6 items that Tim marked for bug tracker. Considering the deep deep surgery done on the software I think this number of bugs is simply remarkable. And as releases will be coming faster I'm sure they are right on top of them.
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James Kennedy-WU5E

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Oh mercy don't know where to start.1. if you have the processor on , turn it off. yesterday on 40m I guy with another flex 6500 and he told guy would other flex 6500 people said the recorder was broken, I use in contesting so I know it's not broke. My radio worked like a charm and he told me once I turned the processor off and drop the mic gain to 35 percent , no more bad tone  he said that turn off the processor clean up the audio of the voice recorder, Does Not you Mic support my setting. well I guess you need to look at you microphone setting.

Jim

WU5E


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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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Jim, it is impractical to turn off the processor and internal EQ (if you use it) to play a recording back then turn them back on for your TX audio. It is a regression from previous releases and it indeed is a bug.

I can concur with Eric on

#1 (need to have playback bypass compression & EQ automatically)

#2 RX waterfall has way too much gain vs TX waterfall.

#4 Need to scale so the 5 panels can be displayed properly on right side

Dave, wo2x

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Lee - N2LEE

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One area I agree with Eric on is the question of how wide of a beta group tested 1.4.  I can see some small things slipping through the cracks but the hardware ALC, which worked perfectly is now broke. This is one of those things that makes you go HUH ?   How could this slip through beta testing ?

I get annoyances like GUI issues and things like that basic features like ALC should not have missed the beta cycle.

I am hopeful that because 1.4 included major framework changes that the new updates will be a little more frequently.
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James Kennedy-WU5E

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Ok try and listen to the audio report. I was taking this a Flex 6500 owner and heard two guys talk about how bad the audio from the Flex 6000. I said let me try it. I turned off the processor and back the microphone gain to 35% and recorded his voice for 30 second and played it back for him , he said WOW! what a different from what , Now have to take his condition with a gain of salt , due to the solar conditions. but I went back to my setting I used 50% processor and 50% microphone gain and he said the Audio went bad.


This is live on the air testing , not reading out a manual.


Jim

WU5E


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Sergey, R5AU

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Hi James, i passed with step even on previous versions, pls use EQ !!!!, You know output sugnal some body sence like sytntetic and ofcourse that gie them discomfort, but i recommend be sure firstly personally ex.: via external control reciever what you ave you original voice.
Many hams like to hear i wanna to say Contest Signals with +10-20db on 2-3Khz, that really normal for them. I am using Heal781, where Default profile correcting haracteristic to provide a flat response in output signal, i have made correction due to the my voice aspects so afterwards get reports like "You Signal fantastic , like broadcast radio but for the contest purpose" - EQ, is my recommendation since July 2013 expirience with my Flex6700.
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David Decoons wo2x, Elmer

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Hi Jim

I use balanced input here. The mic gain makes no difference on recording playback. Having processor on or internal TX EQ on does affect the playback.


Dave

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Peter

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I too have noticed some issues that I am tracking, and to Eric's point, it would seem to suggest that Regression Testing was not detailed enough. Regression testing should be a BIG part of any software beta release as you want to be sure that old stuff didn't broken by the new stuff added.

I would think that these (or some of them) tests were completed:

1. Regression Testing
2. Stress Testing
3. Fallback testing
4. Fall Forward.
5. Negative Testing.

etc..





Just my two cents!

Peter/ve3pcd
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KY6LA - Howard, Elmer

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@Eric

"I am not one to bitch and moan,"

Really? Is that glass half empty?

Hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of changes, bug fixes and improvements. We should be rejoicing that only a few tiny minor bugs slip thru the Alpha testing process... Ever had a new release of windows with thousands of Alpha and beta testers no bugs slip thru? Even Apple had bugs slip thru on iOS 8.0.

None of these MINOR bugs are show stoppers. Tim has listed them in the bug tracker. So they will be addressed.

Suggest you have a tall cold adult beverage and start playing with all the great new toys Flex just gave us. Life will be much more fun if you look at the positives.
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Sergey, R5AU

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i am agree, 1.4 extremely stable in compare to previous and has a lot of advantages, bugs......... i never seen in my life  SW without the bugs with such functionalities.  Windows is a very good example -  plenty patches and corrections but in sometimes with negative final for the some functionalities of the system.
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IW7DMH, Enzo

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I agree with you.
Version 1.4 leads user and listening experience to a higher level. It is definitely a big step forward.
We could start to assume that the software, especially the one just released, has already new bugs. Nothing strange about that, but please stop with the complaints and recriminations (expecially vs Beta or Alfa testers - I am not one of both).
The biggest innovation that I'd like to see, in the next future, is the new way to release updates as Steve said in the last Flex Insider.
This is the the real and tangible improvement and this is my wish for the whole Flex team.
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Tom--W4FAS

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Good Morning Eric,

Sorry you are so frustrated. I really think FRS is doing an outstanding job. I suspect you are frustrated by the process. The SSDR Program will never be perfect. The issue  of when do you stop testing and release a version is a tough one. The opinion of this group seems to be FRS got it about right with the release of 1.4. The general feeling of the group seems to be let's start enjoying 1.4 and start dreaming about 1.5 and 2.0 and.....

After some previous releases it was suggested FRS is going too fast. They need to stop all software development until all shortcomings in the current version are corrected. While it may sound tempting at times, it is usually not a viable option for a company to take.

In my opinion Gerald and his FRS team have been doing an outstanding job with the development of the Flex 6000 series. They deserve congratulations not ridicule.

Tom(W4FAS)



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DrTeeth

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@ Tom W4FAS
"They deserve congratulations not ridicule".
There was no ridicule, just constructive criticism. There *is* a difference.
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Tom--W4FAS

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Guy,

"I seriously have to ask, what the heck were the beta testers focusing on for the last 6 months? Some of these items were picked up on by users within minutes of the release."

"We were led to believe all this time was to ensure that the release would be stable and glitch free. It seems far from it at this point."

"Oh, wait a minute, I seem to recall that they are referred to as "alpha testers" so does that mean we are the beta testers?"

I agree there is a difference between constructive criticism and ridicule; however, the above statements sound a lot more like ridicule than constructive criticism to me.

Tom  

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DrTeeth

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People who do not really follow this forum could get the distinct impression that you are quoting me. I am 99.9% sure that none of those quotes were from my postings - but feel free to correct me if I an wrong.

I was commenting on my posts and not those of others, maybe I should have made that more clear.
(Edited)
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Tom--W4FAS

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Guy,
I will try and clarify without making things even more confusing.

You are 100% correct those statements were NOT made by you, but by Eric in his now famous one step forward, two steps back post .

In my post, directed to Eric , I essencially said I thought FRS was doing outstanding work and should be congratulated not ridiculed.

In your post to me you stated there was no redicule just constructive criticisms. I thought you were referring to Eric's post , since I had made no comments on your post.

So, in my post back to you I included quotes from Eric' post because I thought that was what we were debating.

Apologies to all for any confusion I may have created.

73,

Tom
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DrTeeth

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Hi Tom,

No worries mate, easily done.

Take care

Guy G4DWV/4X1LT
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k3Tim

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To #2 - I've tried waterfall on transmit but turned off this feature.  I don't see the point of it especially when running CW - QSK.  Being open minded (at least trying my best) can someone kindly enlighten me if I am missing something.
The current (1.4) version of auto-scale of Water Fall is really good.  On receive the display is excellent.

To #4 - I only use / need 4 sub-panels at time displayed, no-issue. 

WIth the upgrade an underpowered PC is now totally usable.

_..--
k3Tim
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Guys they worked on over 2000 things in this release and only 7 or 8 bugs? I bet most company's would love these sort of results.
As Gerald said, now that the heavy lifting and ground work is finished, fix updates should come faster. So relax and enjoy. And the fact that the performance is about 70% higher then it was Is amazing...
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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Thanks Bill.  BTW, the bugs listed were the customer facing ones.  If we had listed everything the release notes would have become a novel.
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DrTeeth

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Bill , I agree.

However, WizzyMotors builds a top class sports car. Great roadholding and performance, but the dashboard buzzes annoyingly. You take it back to the dealership and they say, "What are you complaining about? You have a great car! It is probably a loose screw." You will not say "okay" and wait a year until the next service (bug fix release) to get it fixed. The reputation of the car manufacturer/dealership would be dented to some degree in your eyes. You would have some choice words for those who would say you were being over fussy, I'm sure.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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I'm sorry Guy you are disappointed with Flex because 1.4 has a few flaws. I don't believe their reputation is dented at all, and I noticed the na sayers have vanished for now.
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DrTeeth

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I am not disappointed with Flex, like most people, myself included, they are not perfect. I chose the words in my analogy very carefully. I do find it mildly worrying that regular users find even minor and not esoteric issues so soon after release.

As far as I am concerned, their big faux-pas was the way they handled the delay in 1.4, not the delay itself. So their rep was not dented even by 0.0001%? They dropped the ball and will have learnt how to keep it in play the next time, precisely by the constructive criticism here by their supporters; of which I count myself as one.

They have a saying about the people from the North of England (from where I hail), they call a "spade a spade"; meaning we are blunt.

Wave a great weekend Bill.

73
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Bill -VA3WTB

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The one thing that I have been wondering is how the record feature got so messed up, did no one ever check that? Oh well as Ken mentioned in his post there are a lot of great stuff that makes this radio even more wonderful.
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Steve K9ZW, Elmer

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Methinks having such a short list of errata after a complete under-the-hood overhaul/rewrite is an exceptional achievement!  Well done FRS.

And as reaffirmed by this performance these nits will be dealt with professionally, just like the thousands FRS has dealt with since the first pre-release software my 6700 came with.

Pointing out needed repairs is what FRS expects us to do - this is the feedback cycle that has been huge in improving the radio all along. 

And let's never forget that there are real people doing their professional best at FRS receiving those reports.  If our tone and demands would feel bad to us, if we were in their shoes, then we have missed a chance to communicate better.  Basically we need to have the same sort of bedside manners we expect from FRS. 

The whole 6x000 experience is so positive I can't help keep thinking of a movie that had a line that went roughly like:

 "Good day, gentlemen. This is a pre-recorded briefing made prior to your departure and which, for security reasons of the highest importance, has been known on board during the mission only by your FlexRadio System Signature Series Flex-6x000 radio server....." or something like that, right?


73 and all the best to you,


Steve

K9ZW


(Edited)
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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So far, with a few days' testing, I find this an amazing update that added features and corrected many, many frustrations, but which has a few bugs and a couple of added frustrations. Considering the unexpectedly large punch list, the errors are few.

On balance, I think it was a Great Leap Forward which should be improved with a point update (I hope). I will be posting a more thorough review later, today hopefully.
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Rich McCabe

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Loving 1.4.

My only complaints are ergonomic tweaks.  Radio works fantastic for my operating needs.

And in reality "One step forward, two steps back" really was 2000 steps forward and 5 steps back based on what has been mentioned here.
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John n0snx

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  it's comical to read some of these postings....some of the same people who complained "We want it NOW" are the same ones complaining of a few bugs that we normal users were expecting... There are always bugs when dealing with software... Even the best software has a few bugs. Its like I said in an earlier post...to some people Flex is damned if they do and damned if they don't.,..,, You can't please everybody....8 or 10 bugs out of a total overhaul is outstanding... KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK FRS!!!
(Edited)
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Lee - N2LEE

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I think everyone is over reacting to Eric's comments.

1. He is NOT saying that 1.4 should be perfect.

But he did point out a very valid issue and that is why were these obvious bugs not identified by the beta testers ?  Many of the issues brought up would not have been hard to find. It is not unusual to release software with a list of "known issues". I doubt anyone expected "perfect" software, but the purpose of beta testing is to help find potential issues.

The root of Eric's post was Flex should consider expanding their beta group. It was not that the improvements were not appreciated. This is a valid issue to bring up and jumping all over him or worse, drowning out his main point with nonsense cheerleading does not help Flex.

Ninety nine percent of people on the forum love their radios and want to HELP the 6000 series become the best possible radio it can be. Bringing up issues or giving blunt feedback (for the most part) is their way to help make that happen.

Most of us have faith in Flex and the platform they have released. But, repeating over and over and over what a great job they have done is not the way to make a better product. They appreciate it and know how much hard work was involved more than you do. What makes a better product is helping them find issues they are not aware of yet.
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SteveM

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Most see this thread as helping not one iota. Eric's list was compiled from previous threads and those threads are the ones that actually help, not this one. Go to one of those threads to see if you can find so-called "nonsense cheerleading".

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Peter

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BINGO!!

Peter
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Bill -VA3WTB

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While it is good to report something we think is wrong, it seems a little strange to recommend changes to testing. There testing was very good as there were over 2000 customer facing issues and only a hand full of bugs?
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DrTeeth

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Well said Lee. There is *always* room for improvement; and those who deny it will never do so.
(Edited)
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Rich McCabe

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Lee the points of his post are valid and I doubt many will disagree. However, 1 step forward and two steps back no matter how you look at it means you are going backwards. 

The title of the post set the tone. Probably wasn't his intention as if it really was I would hope he would have it for sale by now :)
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Lee - N2LEE

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Agree the title was probably used to show frustration. :)
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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I see it more like Ten steps forward and one step back... and a couple sideways!  
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Lee - N2LEE

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Ken, knowing what I know about product development and reading between the lines, I suspect there was a huge number of fundamental Code Base changes that were needed to add the additional features. These are things that are behind the scenes and will help in future releases. Down the road is where we will see the 10 steps forward in my opinion.
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Ken - NM9P, Elmer

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Absolutely.  The separation of the different audio processing routines, the new Audio CODEC, the separation of Panadapter source input from the Waterfall source input so each information stream can be processed separately, further refinement of the API's, major overhaul in algorithms netting vast improvements in data throughput and client workload, these are all MAJOR programming accomplishments, many are so "under the hood" that most of us will never appreciate the effort or the actual effect they will have.  

Once I began to understand a part of the depth of programming effort, I was not surprised at how long it took.  I do, however think it might be helpful for them to recruit a few more testers, if they can be properly vetted so that they add value to the effort and don't become a support problem.  But only Gerald can make that final determination.  (I would be available, however!  <grin>)
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Reggie-k6xr

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I'm sure not having anything but enjoyment! I just operate and it performs fabulously! Like they say at micky d's. I'm lovin it!
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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I read this thread carefully to see if there was actionable, constructive criticism, which I always appreciate.  

What I have learned in over six decades of life is that you always try to make the best decisions you can with the information and resources you have available to you.  100% of the time, looking back you wish you had more resources and perfect knowledge.  100% of the time you don't have them.  100% of the time there will be those who believe that even thought they don't have all of the facts you have, they could have done it perfectly.  

Such is life.  

I am very proud of the work our developers and alpha/beta/release candidate testers did on v1.4.  I am very glad that we took the extra time on this release to achieve the performance and stability enhancements that were accomplished.  Do I wish we had more time and resources - yes.  Will any release ever be perfect for every customer?  Not in this life.  I guarantee this conversation will happen again when v2050.4 comes out and every one in between, no matter what we do.  

Such is life.

From Wikipedia:

Constructive criticism is the process of offering valid and well-reasoned opinions about the work of others, usually involving both positive and negative comments, in a friendly manner rather than an oppositional one. The purpose of constructive criticism is to improve the outcome. In collaborative work, this kind of criticism is a valuable tool in raising and maintaining performance standards.
Constructive criticism must always focus on the work rather than the person. Personality issues must always be avoided. Constructive criticism is more likely to be embraced if the criticism is timely, clear, specific, detailed and actionable.[1][2]
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NM1W

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I'm liking 1.4 and being in sw I know releases are never perfect,  but my nits are:
1) daxiq doesnt remember the channel it was on
2) in dax control panel the daxiq stream always seems to revert to 48k
3) the slices are better at remembering their dax channel # but still seem to forget; I've not found a pattern with it yet that I can report..
4) I find I have to jiggle the audio level slider at times to get audio to come out; I've never had to do that in 1.38
(Edited)
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DrTeeth

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I am guilty of it myself, many more times than I will admit here, but when one resorts to trawling the internet for published definitions of things one is worried that one is losing the argument.
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Burt Fisher

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Many SEARCH the internet for better wording not because they are losing the argument.
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DrTeeth

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Many do not search for better wording, they search for definitions to bolster an argument, usually when losing. I used the word 'trawl' as the best definition that fits the purpose is invariably used.

It is as true as Godwin's rule and I claim first dibs on the name for this one.
(Edited)
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N3HQB

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Is there a roadmap for v2050.4?
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Tim - W4TME, Customer Experience Manager

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By then, we won't need roads....
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Gerald - K5SDR, Employee

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In another life.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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From what I read most are simply astonished with the release Gerald, I notice there are some and it is the same ones being critical and not helping. If I look at the release over all it seems great.
I was just talking to Dave W20X on 40M and we were having trouble setting the audio on remote as he likes it as it was before the release. He plans to explain this soon with his posting.
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Rich McCabe

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The way I see it there is no one more than Flex that wants to improve the product. Although they did not invent SDR they definitely mass pioneered it. Its here now and its the #1 receiver on the Sherwood chart.

Because Flex has made it work the competition is starting to surface. Either Flex makes the radio everyone wants or someone else will. I am positive they understand this concept.

I am looking forward to new releases as much as everyone else and cant wait to spend my $200 for a major upgrade.  I bought a flex because I have a good knob radio and figured it would be fun to play with. Oddly enough the Flex gets 90% of the air time and the Ic-7800 sits idle.

I wish there was a better wait to submit constructive criticism  as I would like to do it without turning it into a bitch session on for forum.
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DrTeeth

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I agree with you 110%. I cannot wait to see how FRS will tempt my $200 out of me.
One person's constructive criticism is another's insult or slight.
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Bill -VA3WTB

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Good comments, Rich. It is a fine line between complaining and simply stating a finding to aid Flex in improving . I find there are some who state a problem then go on to say they are not doing a good job because they found a problem.
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N3HQB

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The journey is the reward.