Solving Stability Problems Requires Detailed Information

November 29, 2012

A couple of days ago I provided you with 11 Free Tutorials to Prevent CorelDRAW From Crashing. I got feedback from a reader claiming that Corel needs to address stability problems in CorelDRAW implying that I didn’t think there were problems. There isn’t software out that doesn’t have bugs, so I’m certainly not going to deny they exist.

Every time I hear someone saying “when I do this, it crashes,” I’m reminded of the old doctor joke with the punchline “don’t do that.” First, make sure you do what you can to keep your system in good working order (the 11 Free Tutorials post) and that alone should minimize crashes. Then it is a case of documenting exactly what causes the problems.

Let’s look at an example that someone asked me about recently. This user said that every time they printed to one of their output devices, CorelDRAW would crash. I asked what happened if they printed to another output device and the same files never crashed. What caused the instability, CorelDRAW or the driver for the output device? There is no way for me to know and the only way Corel could prove it would be to have that exact output device and driver for testing. If I had to guess, I think the driver is the issue.

There are always a litany of questions asked by tech support personnel so that they know as much as possible about a specific crash. In the case of CorelDRAW, they’ll often want to know exactly what you were doing as well as have a copy of the file being used when the crash happened. If they are going to fix a real problem, the first step is to re-create the problem. My experience over the years tells me that it can sometimes be almost impossible to re-create some problems and therefore it is difficult to truly “fix” what may be wrong.

I also remember situations where a user would cause the same problem over and over. A common request of users is to reset their workspace to defaults. This particular user was so flustered to not have their custom workspace that they would immediately re-import the workspace. Guess what, the custom workspace was the problem! See Never Import Workspaces From a Previous Version for more details on this type of problem.

There is no doubt more that Corel can do to improve stability going forward. Just understand that if you are the one running into these problems, make sure to give detailed information on everything possible so the true problem can be found. Make sure you also keep your system in good working order and I bet you find things will be a lot less problematic. I’m very serious when I say that crashing is incredibly rare for me in CorelDRAW and Corel PHOTO-PAINT and that is because I follow the advice in those tutorials as a way to prevent problems.

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