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Unacceptable changes in update with no mention in changelog

Posted: February 1, 2017 at 2:33 pm


Akseli Olavi Ahopelto

February 1, 2017 at 2:33 pm

Hello,

As you know, we’ve been using EventEspresso for a while now with great results, but — and there’s always a but — now that more and more companies are relying on your software, you must take more care when updating your software.

For the second time in about a year, year and a half, you pushed an update which broke our system completely with no mention of the modified code in the attached changelog.

I understand that if new functions are implemented and these are documented in the changelog they may break current installs. In this case it is up to the administrator to review changelogs and make sure that no changes in the code break their site before accepting the update, but this becomes impossible if you do not include exhaustive information on all pertinent changes in the changelog.

The first time there was a small modification in your code which broke our payment platform. We spend hundreds of hours combing through our payment gateway code to find the error seeing as your changelog reported no modifications to anything remotely related to payment processing. Only after reviewing, line by line, changes in our git repository, did we find that you had, in fact, changed a single line of code which broke our payment gateway. We didn’t make a big fuss out of this because we were, in the end, using proprietary code on our gateway and you had no way of knowing your modifications could causes the problems. OK but as the administrator I still had to explain to the CEO why he had lost nearly a week of sales.

But now, and this time is much more serious the issue wasn’t with any proprietary code. Your recent update of EventEspresso (4.9.29p) just broke our event shortcodes!!! This is part of your software implementation. We found that our site’s event pages were suddently listing no events.

I figured I’d missed something in the changelog. I reviewed it once, twice… nothing mentioned about changes in shortcodes. I resorted to the documentation … Maybe that had been updated and we could find an answer there. Nothing

According to the latest documentation as of 01 Feb 2017 22:30h (GMT+1) EventEspresso 4 documentation on Shortcodes states that: [ESPRESSO_EVENTS month="December 2015"] works.

It does not. It seems that as of the latest update the shortcode must be modified to:

[ESPRESSO_EVENTS month="December"] for example.

Debugging issues such as this one which are, in no way, documented, take up valuable time and cause downtime which, to our company, means money lost. I have to, once again, try and explain to my CEO why this software he pays a yearly subscription for once again stopped him from selling tickets to tonight’s event.

I truly appreciate the quality of your software; it fits our needs better than any of the competing solutions, but this also means that more and more companies are relying on your providing stable software that can be relied upon to work always.

Thank you.


Josh

  • Support Staff

February 1, 2017 at 4:38 pm

Hi there,

The reason that nothing was mentioned in the change log about the shortcodes is because nothing was changed with regards to the code for the Event Espresso shortcodes. The differences you’re seeing in short code behavior may actually be the result of changes to the WordPress short code API.


Akseli Olavi Ahopelto

February 1, 2017 at 5:02 pm

Hi Josh,

Firstly, I don’t mean to attack anyone personally with this post. I’m just trying to explain the situation I’ve been put in. I appreciate the excellent work you’ve been putting into the platform since we started using it.

Now, you say that no changes have been made by EventEspresso that could affect the behavior of shortcodes. This simply doesn’t allign with what we’ve seen on our end.

Our last WordPress Core update (which, as I understand includes the WP Shortcode API) was to version 4.7.2 on 30/01/2017. The issue with the EE shortcodes appeared today (01/02/2017) after the EE v4.9.29p update. Until this update, our original shortcodes were working.

You obviously know your codebase better than I do, but from what I gather, it seems that albeit you did not change your shortcodes directly, the modifications you made to event-espresso-core-reg/modules/events_archive_filters/EED_Events_Archive_Filters.module.php seem to have had an unexpected effect on your shortcode.

I hope that I haven’t upset anyone on your team with my post, but it’s important for us to be clear on what caused our issues. If none of your code turns our to have been the cause, I’ll start investigating our whole codebase, as our git commits show no other modifications to our code, which only leaves some type of malicious attack as the cause.

Thank you!


Akseli Olavi Ahopelto

February 1, 2017 at 5:25 pm

Hello again,

I’ve been digging a bit more into the code involved in shortcodes, and it seems that the changes made to: event-espresso-core-reg/core/helpers/EEH_Event_Query.helper.php may be the root of the cause.

You changed the way that EEH_Event_Query.helper.php handles dates and if we look at event-espresso-core-reg\shortcodes\espresso_events\EES_Espresso_Events.shortcode.php it calls EEH_Event_Query which seems to use posts_where_sql_for_event_list_month to filter by month when pulling from the SQL database.

Hope this helps!


Josh

  • Support Staff

February 1, 2017 at 5:53 pm

Let’s be clear, this is what I wrote:

nothing was changed with regards to the code for the Event Espresso shortcodes

I did not write that nothing “could affect the behavior of shortcodes”. Those are two different things.

The change log item that dealt with changing something in the EEH_Event_Query.helper.php is listed as “Fix end of month bug in Event list table month filter selector”. As you mentioned, sometimes a bug fix can lead to some unintended breakage somewhere else.

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Updated by  Josh 2 years, 3 months ago ago

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