Hooray, I’m getting crashes!

Well, Hooray, I’m getting crash dumps is more like it. One thing I’ve noticed when the Work Day Logger is getting so many downloads is that it sometimes crashes. Even though I’ve taken great care to write good code, it will inevitably crash. Sometimes it’s because of external things, of course, that’s hard to predict. All you can do is try to make the app resilient. Sometimes it’s because of errors you’ve put into the code yourself. But either way, in order to effectively fix the crashes, a crash dump is very, very useful.

Since a couple of releases back I’ve added crash dump sending to Work Day Logger. If the app crashes, a form with the crash information and some other information should appear and the user has the option to send this data (or edit it first, if there is some information that he or she does not want to send) to my bug tracking system, Mantis Bug Tracker. It’s pretty much automatic except that you have to click the send button.

Some people do this, and I am so very grateful for that. It gives me a chance to correct bugs and make the app more resilient to external factors and, ultimately, get the app to give you, the user, a better user experience. As the Work Day Logger is about collecting information about your workday it is both personal data and very important data, so it is crucial that the app signals stability and resilience. Without that, no user confidence and, in the end, no users.

Currently, I am chasing issues that make the app sometimes crash the first time it is started. Of over 3.000 downloads, there is seven crashes reported on the Microsoft Store and a few of their crash dumps has been sent to me, indicating problems at startup just as the local database is about to be created. I suspect problems with the SQLite database framework, and I need to harden that up a bit. Over the next few releases, I will add code to do just that.

Other things that are upcoming is, for instance, a daily view which will show and let you edit one specific day at a time. That view will be useful if you’re updating your company’s time sheet and you’ve forgotten to report something in Work Day Logger. I know I do that all the time, and isolating just that day and have access to tools to manipulate the daily outcome is a big help.

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