I just had a great time debugging a problem that turned out to be my vendor’s API.
I’ve contributed a lot of code to the ruby gem that talks to the REST API. As far as I know it’s the only library for SurveyGizmo (or any web survey vendor) that’s close to comprehensive.
Unfortunately this isn’t the first time I’ve wasted hours, days, weeks, isolating and providing repeatability instructions for defects.
I’ve learned that you will get absolutely nowhere unless you can provide a single URL that demonstrates the problem. Even then there’s a chance they’ll tell you that they’ll let you pay to have someone look at your code for you. URL’s count as code when the developers won’t admit there’s a problem.
So, this time I had a much better experience. I only wasted a few hours, and I did the combined Urgent ticket & phone call. I’m sure every yahoo marks their tickets as Urgent, and there isn’t a “no seriously, I know what I’m talking about and this is a real problem” option.
This time I luckily found the only person I could talk to that would know that this was a live defect that they’d released yesterday. She was pleasant, helpful, and offered a workaround. It was sterile serendipity.
I could roll out changes to my applications, and/or changes to the library, which I would then have to roll back when SurveyGizmo is fixed. The fix, which is scheduled “ASAP” but no later than Monday. They broke it Thursday, so that’s a 5 day window.
In the meantime I’m updating the README for the gem (library):
SurveyGizmo doesn’t test their REST API when they roll out changes. They don’t publish a list of active defects, and when you call/email for support it is unlikely you will geto a person that knows anything about programming or the REST API. You can’t talk to level 2 support, although they might offer you a discount on their paid consulting rates if the problem persists for more than a few weeks.
You might be able to work around an active SurveyGizmo debacle by change which API version you use one of:
export GIZMO_URI="https://restapi.surveygizmo.com/v2" export GIZMO_URI="https://restapi.surveygizmo.com/head"
…and then your application might work again.
If you’re still reading, I’d love to hear about other Survey vendors that have a robust API.