Discussion

Will Import be fixed in the current version or branch?

August 17, 2015 - 12:59 pm
kenmcd
6 comment(s)

The import from Microsoft Project files and from XML files is currently broken.

ProjectLibre 1.6.1 locks-up and never completes the import.

I tested ProjectLibre versions 1.6.1, 1.6.0, and 1.5.9.

Same problem.

Microsoft Project files and exported XML from MS Project fail.

For all MS Project versions - 2013, 2007, 2003.

XML files exported from ConceptDRAW Project also fail to import.

Multiple tests between Microsoft Project and ConceptDRAW Project worked as expected.

 

I did discover that if I remove the Resources from the projects that they will open in ProjectLibre.

If the project is just Tasks it will import properly - both MS Project files and XML files.

So the problem is probably in the ProjectLibre import of the Resources and/or Calendar.

Have not tested removing only the calendars.

 

I am currently working on video tutorials for ProjectLibre.

When completed this ProjectLibre QuickStart course will be available on Udemy.

I would really like to be able to demonstrate a working import feature in those videos.

The alternative is to explain that it is broken, and has been broken for a long time.

And there currently is no estimated date for a fix. or if it will ever be fixed.

 

This is a huge feature that is touted loudly by the ProjectLibre project - and it does not work.

 

So can we expect this to actually be fixed sometime in the near future?

Or should i just plan on telling every student on Udemy that import is broken, it has been broken for a long time,

and there is no estimate on when it will be fixed or if it will ever be fixed at all?

I want to be honest with the viewers of the course.

Given that the course will initially be free, I expect that a substantial number of the people representing

the thousands of monthly downloads will find their way to Udemy and watch the course.

 

I will not mislead the students and tell them that ProjectLibre has a feature to import MS Project files.

It does not.

So if their interest in ProjectLibre is contingent on that import feature, then

they need to find out quickly that there is no such feature so as to not waste their time.

 

The course should be finished within a week or so.

So what should I tell them?

 

Thanks.

 

 

6 Comments

August 24, 2015 - 04:35 am

Thanks for your note and work on the tutorials.  Can you email me at info@projectlibre.org.  We can connect and discuss.

 

Thank you,

 

Marc

August 25, 2015 - 09:02 am

Marc,

In general I think discussions about open source projects should be done in open forums.
This "openness" helps users know exactly what is happening and fosters trust.
Knowing the good, the bad, and the ugly about a project helps users when trying to use the application, and helps manage user expectations.
Knowing about a bug upfront is far easier for users to accept than to find out about the bug after many hours of frustration.
 - knowing upfront = I can deal with this or work-around it
 - finding out after hours of frustration = this application sucks!

There have been other posts here about import not working and locking-up.

In my July 5th email reply to your July 3rd email I asked you about the import problem.
I got no reply to that question - or to my other questions about the project.
That was 7 weeks ago.

Since I got no reply regarding the import problems via email, I thought I would try one more time here.
What else do you want to discuss in private?

Import does not work properly.
It has not worked properly in quite some time.
In my tests the last working version was 1.5.7.
Version 1.5.8 was released 2013-12-19.
So import has been broken for over 1 year and 8 months.

So again I have a couple simple questions ...
Is import going to be fixed in the current 1.6.x branch?
If yes, when?

I am assuming the answer is No.
Consequently I have already included that fact in my course outline.
 - Import does not work properly
 - Here is the work-around using v1.5.7

I would much rather make videos showing the import working properly.

A user who is told of a problem upfront is far more forgiving than one who spends hours and hours of frustration only to find out it is broken, and everyone knew it was broken and said nothing.

I would rate the import feature as a VERY, VERY, VERY important feature.
A feature which if not working should be at the top of the priorities list.

Every day this is not fixed the project is losing potential long-term users/supporters.
I would assume that almost every single one of the monthly thousands of downloaders is going try to do an import as they are evaluating ProjectLibre for the first time.
And thousands of them will decide ProjectLibre is broken and never come back.
This problem is alienating thousands of users each month.
Basically you are pissing-off 40,000+ people per month.
That is a BIG problem for this project.

I also considered just dropping my ProjectLibre documentation and video training projects.
But I have already invested many, many hours.

I spent over 10 hours on one Saturday cleaning-up and reorganizing the current User Guide.
The document is now organized and structured properly, but the content still needs a lot of work.
After spending all that time it still is not something I would publish with my name associated with it.

I have also already created a ProjectLibre Help with screenshots of every view and dialog box in ProjectLibre.
That is over 100 topics already, and there are a few more views to add.
So far I have done 39 of the screenshots, and have another 60+ to go.
This reference guide could easily become the context-sensitive help which is missing from ProjectLibre.
That is how I designed it.
ProjectLibre would just have to change the internal links to point to the proper Content ID in the CHM file.
This has taken many hours/days already.

There is so much potential here.

In the video training courses I want to tie ProjectLibre more closely other popular open source projects.
Just yesterday I outlined how to create your project task outline in a mind map using Freeplane (a FreeMind fork), and then import that into ProjectLibre to start your project plan.
This obviously depends on import working properly to import the MS Project 2003 format XML that Freeplane exports.
That will be a video tutorial.

LibreOffice Writer has an extension which can export an outline to a MS Project compatible file.
ProjectLibre can then import that task outline to start a new project plan.
That will be a video tutorial.

I have already invested many days in outlining and scripting the first ProjectLibre QuickStart video course.
Having invested all this time and effort I want something to show for it.
If nothing else that course will get me established on Udemy and gather a group of loyal students.

The current plan is to first create the QuickStart course, and then create a more comprehensive course.
Given there is virtually no information forthcoming about the future of ProjectLibre that plan is a big maybe at this point.
I have given many hours to open source projects that later disappeared.
So now I am more cautious about investing time in projects which do not display long-term potential.

Right now the ProjectLibre project is not displaying long-term potential.
Bad signs:
 - virtually zero communication
 - no published roadmap
 - no published goals
 - virtually no support community
 - no user forum
 - very little documentation
 - many features completely undocumented
 - development is done in secret
 - no developer forum
 - no development status reports
 - current version has unfixed bugs and no apparent plan to fix them
 - bug tracker (if you can find it) does not appear to be utilized - bug reports ignored
 - website is low quality - many broken links, minimal content, sporadic updates, broken registration
 - discussion groups - a poor excuse for a user forum, hard to register, hard to find how to post, no user-to-user communication
 - blog - 2 posts in 2015 - is this a joke?
 
Who is going invest their time and/or money in this stealth venture?
The idea that this poorly managed open source project is going to feed some commercial online cloud project management service is a fantasy.
There are many far better organized and administered competitors with a big head start.

I suspect that this project is heading somewhere commercial that I would not give my time to support in the future.
Hard to tell with all the secrecy about the future of ProjectLibre.

ProjectLibre gets the attention and the downloads it does because it is the only free open source project management stand-alone application which has the more advanced features to actually do higher level project management.
But I suspect that the number downloads is way more than the number of actual users.
I suspect that most users download it and take a look for awhile, and that is the end of it.

The number of actual users on a regular basis is probably quite small compared to the downloads.
"Over a million downloads!"
Yeah, and how many actual users?

If another competitor comes along that better manages the project, and has the features - they will win.
GanttProject has a far better interface, and the project is better managed, but it is currently missing many of the more advanced features.
They have comparable download numbers, and a similar situation with actual users being far less.
If GanttProject had the more advanced features it would win hands down.

Like I said above, there is so much potential here.
But that potential is being squandered.

Going forward my biggest concern is about the direction you are taking this project.

So little is known about the specifics of this cloud project that my natural skepticism leads me to believe that I am not going to like it, or want to support it.

Some actual specifics could alleviate those fears.

Again, I will assume the import is not going to be fixed.

And the videos, which will hopefully be seen by thousands, will:
 - show import does not work
 - has not worked in over a year
 - users can work-around the bug by using v1.5.7 to import

 

Regards,

Ken

 

In reply to by kenmcd

September 10, 2015 - 06:07 am

Thank you Ken!!!!! This is one of the most extensive and involve community posts we have recieved 'ever'.  It is really appreciated!!!!! Can you email me at info@projectlibre.org and I will respond further.  We want to do well for our community members and this is really appreciated!  I was on vacation and just catching up.

 

All the best,

 

Marc

September 11, 2015 - 02:16 am

Marc,

Again ...

In general I think discussions about open source projects should be done in open forums.
This "openness" helps users know exactly what is happening and fosters trust.

 

And again ... you have answered none of my questions.

Stop hiding and engage.

 

I see no reason to go private regarding the above issues.

Anyway you already have my email address.

If you have something to say to me directly which requires privacy send it over.

 

When are there going to be any concrete answers to anything?

Stop dodging and answer some freakin' questions.

This project is an information black hole.

 

September 17, 2015 - 03:31 am

Marc,

I have version 1.6.2 and have been very pleased with the standard functionality! However it is very IMPORTant to have a functioning import-export capability. When I save as a MS Project XML file it cannot import into other programs that accept MS Project XML. Also when I recieve an MS Project XML file I cannot open it. I notice on exports the SaveVesrion tag is set to 9, and when I get files from others the SaveVersion tag is 14. Is this an issue with conflicting schemas? I greatly appreciate a response.

Best Regards,

Terry

September 22, 2015 - 10:21 am

Thank you for the message..... I want to get our developers more information.  How is the exported file being generated?  What program and if it is MSP what version?

 

Thanks!

 

Marc