Why all the changes???

Discussion in 'Brewer's Friend Announcements' started by J A, Jan 25, 2019.

  1. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I've been using the BF calculator for several years and it's been great. Now there's the useless (to me) graphics in the recipe view with information that only updates with specific types of log entries, issues with ingredient lists/inventory items and even changes to saved recipes. Plus other annoying things, I'm sure, that I just haven't run across yet.

    What's the deal??? Everything has been working fine...why not leave well enough alone? I keep recommending BF to brewer friends, but now I can't because I don't even like it myself.
    I want my old BF back!! :mad::mad::mad:
     
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  2. TxBrew

    TxBrew Administrator
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    We try to keep expanding the product to offer a broader range of features.

    It's a balancing act though to keep people like you happy.

    1. When you say graphics do you mean everything under "Brew Log History" ?
    2. Are you still having issues with the list/inventory items? What specific issues are you having?
     
  3. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    We've had requests for new features, and have been adding them. Unfortunately, that means changes that some may not not like. However, we definitely don't want to alienate those users! John, you've been with us for a while and I've enjoyed hearing your thoughts on things.

    Can you tell me in more detail what you don't like? Here, or a PM is fine.

    This probably sounds really strange, but given your feelings about the changes, would you consider becoming one of beta testers to test/see new features and updates before they come out, and then give us your thoughts and opinions? The reason I ask is because while we all enjoy praise, criticism is what will make us better in the long run and we'd really like to hear from you. Please let me know if you have time and interest in doing that.

    Edit- I posted about the same time as @TxBrew and didn't mean to contradict him or jump on you as two admins at the same time bugging you. But I know he will agree that you would make a great beta tester and your thoughts and opinions are important!
     
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  4. Nosybear

    Nosybear Well-Known Member

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    JA, I got tired of complaining about the changes and signed on as a beta tester. I'm frustrated too, I see a simple, useful tool that worked fine being converted into something like a "Siri, make beer" app. I think what happened is too much at once, stuff got broken in the process and those of us who have been around forever don't like some of the changes. But I think this can be salvaged and the end product will be better. You can help.
     
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  5. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I don't mean to complain or be a Luddite but there's a lot of "if it ain't broke..." at play here. I've noticed some of the new features and assimilated them into my process and I've seen glitches that clear up pretty quickly. But...there seems to be a loss of some of the fundamentals that at best are unproductive and at worst are a hindrance.
    The new graphics would be fine if every entry was tracked for use in the chart. If I use "Other" as I usually do to record temperatures over the course of the fermentation, it would be perfect if entering the temp in the box in the entry showed up in the graph. It doesn't. If I use "Sample" as an entry, the temperature will show up but only if I enter a gravity reading. So keeping track of temperature variations separate from gravity doesn't seem to be an option. At this point the hop additions in a "New Recipe" all change to "boil" when you sort them. I haven't even looked at mash stuff, let alone water and chemistry issues.

    Then there's the disappearance of the inventory from ingredient lists. I'm not going to re-enter a custom fermentable for every ingredient on every recipe. I'm sure that can be fixed but what was the purpose of making a change to that function in the first place? It worked great and kept track of inventory. Most alarming is that recipe snapshots from the brew sessions and saved recipes open up (edit mode) with ingredients completely missing!! Losing track of valuable information altogether would be really rotten.

    Bottom line is that it wasn't broke, but now that it's been (or is being) "fixed", it's very, very broken.
    I should put in more time as beta tester and adding whatever I can to the group effort of making this a better site and I really, really appreciate the time and effort that @Yooper and other mods invest. Unfortunately, I've been a little tight on scheduling "extracurricular" activities and whatever time I can devote to brewing pursuits are is largely taken up with brewing, cleaning, etc, etc.
     
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  6. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    We all appreciate your honesty, as well as understand the lack of time.

    Sorry for the brevity here and we can definitely "talk" later, but in short the answer to the additions is while some brewers like the (for example) "UK - pale malt" choice, even more like being able to choose their brand and specific malt, like "Crisp- Marris Otter, pale malt". So currently, we have it set so that you can choose either, and have either in your inventory. Unfortunately, while doing that we are approving them as fast as we can, and not all are available when needed to put in the recipe builder. This will be fixed and you will be able to "turn off" that extraneous stuff once we are done.

    Even if you can't dedicate any time to beta tasting, feedback like yours is valuable to us and we really do listen to each and every one of the comments we receive. So please always feel free to tell us what you think or let us know of any problems or issues you have. Our goal is not just to be the best brewing software in the world, but to stay the best and sometimes that means some growing pains. The growing pains should be for US, though, not you or other valued customers, and so we want to know if you aren't happy about something.
     
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  7. Head First

    Head First Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree with @Nosybear, I think this can be salvaged. But I also agree with @J A , You fix it! You look at your beta site and make sure things work right before turning it out for your paying customers and expecting us to tell you what you do wrong. You want constructive criticism to fix things that are broken because of upgrades? Wow. And even as a world wide site, what makes you think I need to know the makeup of all the malts in the world? You better start thinking outside the box and get this malt mess fixed soon.
    End Rant for now.
     
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  8. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Those improvements are great and are appreciated by all, but why does it mean that my inventory leaves the list? Or, very importantly that they simply disappear from a recipe in edit mode? I have no idea how the coding works but it seems like including specific data bases including inventory shouldn't be an insurmountable problem. The code was there and the patch for choosing specific malt brands wrote over it. It should be something that could be pasted back into the current code.
    I have confidence that you guys are working hard on it and it'll be right. For now I'll start making screen shots to save my information in the event that data doesn't stick around for some reason.
    :cool:;)
     
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  9. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    That was an unexpected problem on the site- and we are working like crazy (all of us!) to fix it. Well, I'm no coder or developer, but I"m testing things as they are worked on.
    We really are sorry for the issues this has caused you and our other customers who depend on us. We are fixing it and will keep you updated as we go.
     
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  10. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I definitely trust you guys to be on it. I'm sure it'll all be resolved. As I mentioned, I've seen a few little glitches pop up and then disappear almost as quickly. :)
     
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  11. AHarper

    AHarper Well-Known Member

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    I agree. Standard Malts etc for everyone - and their own specific (perhaps locally available) Fermentables left to the users Inventory. As long as you can adjust the specific PPG and EBC for your used grain why do we all have to have access to everyones subtly different entry in the list? Makes for an over crowded dropdown list (480+ now and only 344 before the"Users Additions". It can only get worse and more difficult to go back - even if you wanted to.
    I'm speaking here as a software writer not as a brewer - still a novice at that.
     
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  12. E K Brewer

    E K Brewer New Member

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    I agree with J A. I've been a guest member for some time, then signed up recently. The old format was much better, being compact, and therefore generally on one page. The fermentables drop down was more user friendly. On the hop drop down, previously, when you selected a hop, if you changed the AA from the given value (which is bound to happen) this was remembered and would be given as an option the next time you selected the hop, which obviously happens frequently in the same recipe. Now you have to edit this every time. Unless I'm doing something wrong! Bring back the old BF.
     
  13. Yooper

    Yooper Administrator
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    Thank you for all the feedback.

    We've fixed just about everything you guys discussed here, and we appreciate your input.
    Your issues should be repaired, but if there is anything else at all that you find is problematic, or if you simply just don't like it, we want to know about it.

    One thing that may help is in the general settings, there is a toggle to turn off "custom ingredients" that seem to be an issue for many:
    Untitled.png


    Also, that "show fermentation chart" means that you can click no there, and not have to look at those graphs/charts if you don't use them.

    Between the fixes pushed out late last night, and those toggles (if you want to turn things off that you don't want), I think this will get you back to the "old" BF you know and love while pleasing those who do want those features.

    Thanks so much for your patience and your feedback. We really want to continue to be the best brewing software around, and your input is important to us. Please feel free to send any of the staff members a direct message anytime you would like to share an idea or a criticism with us.
     
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  14. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    Still no interaction with inventory items. They show up as custom fermentables when going to edit an existing recipe but then disappear if anything else is selected in editing. Requires making new custom fermentable for every inventory item in every recipe. Not a fan...:cool:

    But thanks for the heads-up on the fermentation chart. Much handier to look at the recipe without it.
     
  15. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    @Yooper , @Josh (Brewer's Friend) , etal...Is there a projected timeline that recent fixes and changes will show up? I'm still getting the same basic interface with the fermentables/inventory filter, etc with no access to my inventory items. When the changes or fixes are all functional and the "new version" actually works, will the fermentables and hops drop down include inventory items or not? I'm sure there must be demand for the options that have been included but those of us who actually used and benefited from features that have been dropped are left with an inferior product.
    I'm fully invested in BF and have built my brewing regimen around the way it works and interfaces and I have years of brewing records stored in the form of past Brew Sessions and recipes. I have to say though, that between now and the time my current membership expires in February, I'm going to be seriously assessing other options and storing information in the event that I need to change to a different platform. I hope that when the dust all settles BF is still something that's easy and effective for serious brewers to utilize.
    Thanks for all your hard work. I hope everything gets straightened out.
     
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  16. DanC

    DanC Active Member

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    ^^^^^^ I'm with you JA.
     
  17. Josh (Brewer's Friend)

    Josh (Brewer's Friend) Administrator
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    Hi guys, thank you so much for your continued patience and willingness to give feedback on all this. I know how frustrating this must be, and I want you to know that I'm personally working as much time as possible the last several days to fix all the issues being reported and get Brewer's Friend back to the quality bar you all deserve.

    I've been making some changes directly on the live site for obvious bugs, or minor fixes, but there's a set of larger fixes on the beta site currently that (hopefully) addresses some of those problems with Inventory changes, incorrect Origin being saved for fermentables, some color conversion fixes, etc.

    If you have time (and I appreciate how much time you all are putting into helping test things right now), it would be great if you could take a look at the beta site and see what of your issues it helps, and/or if there are other problems you notice on there:
    https://beta.brewersfriend.com/

    Please include as many screenshots, details, and specific steps you're taking when reporting problems, and I'll get to them as soon as possible. If we can refine the beta fixes to 100% confidence, we can get those deployed live and, fingers crossed, get everyone productive in brewing again.
     
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  18. J A

    J A Well-Known Member

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    I'll definitely take sometime with the beta site. Hopefully it'll give me a better idea of what to expect from the new and improved version.
     
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  19. I_playdrums

    I_playdrums Well-Known Member

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    Let's write and edit recipes, and brew beer. Simple. Beta test? No thanks. Moved a recipe to BS3, brewed it Sunday, hit my OG. BS3 seems cumbersome at first, once you are backside of the learning curve, it's good.
     
  20. Misiak

    Misiak New Member

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    Don't be so critic. I agree the beta should be tested heavily before to go live and this was a little bit mess but I really like the new features and with some inventory tweaks my brews are spot on with BF as well. It's way more convenient with BF and all is in the cloud. I believe BF will become the best brewing platform soon. Of course still lot to be done, but BF is a young platform. So let's see. Fingers crossed.
     

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