Ionic is becoming difficult to keep up with


#1

I have been trying to keep up with the nightly builds of Ionic because of some ongoing, unresolved issues with Android Ionic + 4.4.4 (tap-hold not working).

Unfortunately, the deep, structural changes that have happened recently in the nightlies have sent my project completely off the rails. I’m not a pro developer, I just started learning web dev about a year ago. I was getting comfortable in Angular and Ionic, and had my app running great on Ionic Beta13 on Android 4.4.2. Then the dreaded 4.4.4 update, wherein I discovered that a large number of my users had a completely unacceptable UX. I jumped on the nightlies train and logged my major issues, made codepens, etc. Living on the bleeding edge, hoping that some slide-box update will fix the problem…

Unfortunately, it has been a really bumpy ride. I’ve been beaten down by recent updates. My app, which used to be 95% there, is repeatedly breaking. My entire interface disappeared yesterday – it appears in the DOM but not on my device – haven’t resuscitated it yet and don’t see anyone else with this specific issue. The new caching scheme broke all of my navigation and the way controllers update my data. Back button breakages, style breakages, they just keep coming. I’ve been patching holes in the wall but I feel like the river is about to burst through. Every time I fix a problem, a new one pops up.

The Test Angular 1.3 topic has over 300 posts now, with just random topics all mashed together. Once in a while I see something incredibly important on there and then have no way to reference it later, I have to go digging through that monster post again, dealing with infinite scroll loading of the comments.

I realize that some of this is the nature of the beast. I nod my hat to software engineers who deal with this day in and day out. But I wanted to speak up as an intermediate user just trying to make an app that works. One of the things that attracted me to Ionic was the ease of use, the great documentation, the furious development. Ionic is built around the idea of making the dev process fluid, easy, and powerful, right? It’s not feeling like it at the moment. I’ve been so close that I could taste it. But right when I thought it was in my grasp, it was smashed to bits.

I have the utmost respect for the team… the product is amazing and groundbreaking in so many ways. But I’m just feeling down in the dumps, worn out. Maybe I need a real software engineer to lead my project. I guess maybe I just need a pep talk. How is everyone else feeling?

no disrespect,
marc


#2

Hey Marc,

I really appreciate you making this post. I’m truly sorry for the troubles you’ve had getting Ionic to work and with the nightlies.

The navigation changes in b14 will not require you to change anything about your app…unless you’ve been using Ionic in a way that we did not intend (which is our fault). The changes should be isolated to internal operations, such that your app won’t have to change much of anything (at least no more than any beta would require you to).

At the risk of being dismissive, I have to point out that nightlies are for very adventurous devs. You are basically getting stuff that we are actively working on, but are still just getting to test on lots of devices and in lots of developer setups. I cannot recommend you use them at all given your current needs. Kind of like how I would never use a nightly build of the Linux Kernel for my home computer :slight_smile:

One thing we’ve realized with the b14 changes is that a lot of Ionic devs are not quite doing things how we expected them to. <ion-view> inside of <ion-view> inside of <ion-view> comes to mind, but the point is we need to document this stuff much better.

We strongly believe that in order to make Ionic last for years and years we need to be aggressive about making it better always. I don’t need to name names when it comes to great projects that failed to change with the times, because you maybe used one and ripped it out for Ionic. We want Ionic to be the framework you never have to rip out because it’s always ready to meet the challenge of building great apps on the best phones that most people are using today. Sometimes that means going back and fixing things we didn’t do right, or taking advantage of better phones to create better user experiences.

As for the forum post, yea, that got way out of hand. People are really passionate about the changes :smile:

And as for the 4.4.4 issue, have you filed a bug on that? I am not aware of an issue there, but it would be interesting to see how you are doing it.


#3

You’re right Marc… we’re changing a whole lot, and following the nightlies must be hell right now.

The problem is, Ionic in its current 1.0.0-beta13 state is not ready for a 1.0 release. The old navigation API is inflexible, and there were a good lot of bugs (like the 4.4.4 problem you’re having, and slidebox being non-performant!).

So before putting out Ionic 1.0, there are things that must change. And unfortunately, changes like the new navigation touch almost everything. It takes a lot of time to test those kinds of changes, and as a result it’s been two months of “either stay with the old problems, or go into the new and possibly break your app.”

We are continually striving to do better at making changes between versions easier for you guys (the developers using Ionic). And we do have room to improve. But the fact of the matter is, these changes had to happen to make Ionic the best it can be. And that is why we make every change: because we see something that can be better.

And yes, we definitely can and will work on making these between-release periods easier after we get 1.0 out by improving our release process, and having more separation between bugfixes and new features.

But for now, we can’t release Ionic 1.0 until we’re convinced that developers will be happy with it. We have very high standards, and we must change anything that doesn’t meet those standards.

Lucky for you, we are very near where we want to be. 1.0 is on the horizon.


#4

@andy and @max

First off, thanks for the detailed responses, I appreciate that you guys are looking out for users and always looking to improve. I hope that you keep up that enthusiasm and focus and become the platform that I never have to rip out, for sure.

I do understand that living on nightlies is not for the faint of heart… I thought I could handle it but clearly not quite. :frowning: I will in fact be going back to a previous version. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can go all the way back to Beta13… I need a nightlies version shortly after the slide-box refactor. Is there a way to see all of the release notes and download specific nightlies versions? This would help me immensely in reconstituting my broken app and working around other issues.

The tap-hold problem with 4.4.4 still persists and yes I did finally open an issue on it at the beginning of October. Someone took a look (Ionic team member?) but didn’t really get to the bottom of it. I’m actually surprised that more people haven’t chimed in by now… it seems significant enough of a problem that if it were widespread it would cause an uproar. Unless nobody uses tap-hold interactions anymore? It makes me think that I’m the only one having this problem, and I’m not sure why. Anyway, here is the open issue:

Again, thanks for all the hard work. I’m looking forward to Beta14 and/or Ionic 1.0 in a big way. I’ll freeze my nightlies adoption so I’m not so close to falling off the cliff every day, and push on.

Cheers,
Marc