Crash and Burn

The saga of our IMPAX crashes continues. For the full background story, read THIS post and THIS post. Sadly, we have no resolution to this point.

Discussions with Agfa have yielded only the suggestion that we change our workflow, because it is the activation of the “dictation” button while images are incoming that leads to the crash. That is actually not an unreasonable suggestion, but it is only a small part of the solution. Having my client crash when I do a “no-no” is an even bigger “NO-NO” in the software world. An anonymous Canadian commenter on my last post said this:

I hope Agfa is not implying that it is acceptable in any way to get this type of error message; you are offering a work around, not a solution. As an Impax user (and someone with a degree in Computer Science) I find it totally unacceptable that a live clinical product has this type of bug. Furthermore, Agfa makes little or no active effort to correct or prevent these types of bugs.

Frankly, I have given up on reporting bugs. The usual response from Agfa support is…after 1 week level 1 support says you are doing something wrong…after 1 month level 2 support says they will look into it, and have never seen this problem before…after several months level 3 support says ‘Oh yes, that is a known issue, but it has not been given priority’.

And indeed this one turns out to be a known issue. It’s time to give it priority, before it gets too cold up there in Waterloo.

Here are two quick and dirty coding fixes that would keep me from whining louder and losing sales for Agfa:

  1. Throw up a dialogue box when the error conditions occur saying something like, “There are new images being received for this study…please stand by.”
  2. Grey-out the dictation button.

I prefer the first, personally.

Crashing the client is NOT an acceptable method of warning me about something. Fix this, please. Your customers are watching, and based on the comments I’m receiving, they aren’t surprised by this. Is that a reputation you want to cultivate? I didn’t think so.

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