Sencha joined the IDERA team just about six weeks ago.
Since then, there have been a lot of upheaval and worry among the community. Unfortunately, the rumors you’ll find flying around on the internet right now are, at best, largely unsubstantiated and, at worst, actively malicious.
Will Ext JS be supported? When can new features for Ext JS be expected? What is the fate of GXT?
We’ve been hard at work diving into the roadmaps of each and every product – we’ve spent the last several weeks reviewing every product in the Sencha portfolio and comparing them with the forum feedback, error reports, and recent/open cases to try and develop cohesive, customer-centric roadmaps going forward. That being said, we are currently finalizing these roadmaps and reorienting ourselves to make sure we can deliver what our customers want and need more quickly and efficiently from here on out. In fact, we posted a high level overview of what we’re planning for our most popular products.
But there’s more, much more, beyond that initial peek into the future of Sencha. Detailed technical roadmaps will be forthcoming as we solidify the details, but in the meantime I wanted to share some more learnings and recurring themes we’ve come across in our discussions and interviews of engineers and customers alike.
Ease of Upgrades
As much as it’s reasonably possible, it’s important that we work to avoid breaking changes to APIs and the technology internals that force our customers to rewrite their applications. However, when such changes are inevitable, it’s key that we:
- Provide ample lead time to review with our customers and ensure that everyone understands the path forward and its role in the product roadmap.
- Provide extensive documentation and tooling around upgrading as seamlessly and painlessly as possible.
Improve Available Training
Training in Sencha products can be admittedly hard to come by. Because of this, new developers can have a difficult learning curve. It’s our responsibility to help create and maintain this content for use by the community.
Grow the Community
A healthy, vibrant community is key to the success of our products and our customers. As such, we are actively pursuing several efforts to attract new developers (through easier, less painful licensing processes for students and small dev shops), and nurture our existing community (through community engagement initiatives to tighten the loop between our clients and product roadmap).
More to come on each of these things in future posts.
As for GXT, it has not been abandoned – in fact, we are pushing ahead much more quickly than prior to the acquisition in order to show our support. We are currently finishing up development on many of the top reported bugs so we can begin QA on the next release. We don’t currently have a timeline on how long the QA iterations will take to reach the level of quality we expect, but the initial coding should likely be done in the next few weeks. That being said, you can expect a blog post on the next release as we look to move that code into QA.
Long term, we have some even more exciting plans incubating which would allow us to more fully support some of amazing Ext JS features in the GXT product. There will be more on that in official channels as it develops.
In addition to some of the more technical requests for Sencha Test (e.g. cleaning up the Futures API), we’re also working on several more general initiatives to ensure that it is fully ready to be an integral component of any production development flow.
Cleaning up the UX
We’re keenly aware that sometimes it’s the small things that make all of the difference. The general user experience of Sencha Test can use a good coat of polish to ensure that everything works how one would expect it to. Likewise, we want to iron out some of the small irritants that get in the way of streamlined workflow.
Improving the Documentation
We’ve been moving so fast on Sencha Test that sometimes the documentation hasn’t kept up with the latest and greatest that the product has to offer.
There have also been some issues around the forums – specifically concerning spam and lost support requests.
We’re working on the spam issue to bring things back under control. Things should hopefully be cleaned up in short order.
As far as support is concerned, there are traditionally several channels which clients could use to reach out to us, so we are working to streamline the support methods to ensure that nothing gets lost in the shuffle. Currently, the best and most direct method to reach out to support is via your support portal.
Stay tuned for more updates, and – as always – feel free to reach out to us to share your questions, comments, and concerns.