Saturday, March 22, 2014

JIRA Shenanigans - Attach Screenshot Feature

If there was a feature in JIRA that was both awesome and not-awesome at the same time is the Attach Screenshot feature.  For an organization whose culture, for some reason, has been imbued with pasting screenshots into word documents, and then attaching the word documents in ALL of their tools, the attach screenshot feature can be both a time-saver for both the one reporting the Issue and the one consuming it.
ಠ_ಠ

Of course, one can point you to JIRA Capture, which, I'll admit, is a super awesome tool for testing web applications and contains a slew of features to aid QA in recording their test sessions and providing visual aids to others of what they're observing.  

Convincing an organization to drop more money on a tool is very hard, so let's get back to why the Attach Screenshot feature can be a pain:

Chrome and 64-bit Java + other Java Shenanigans


So straight out of the box, if you like to use Chrome and if you only have 64-bit Java installed, the applet will not work.  If you're not the admin to do the solution I'm going to describe below, you're going to have to do some configuration.

JIRA has historically been a tool directed at more technically minded users, but this specific limitation is extremely tough to get some people to A) find a fix on their own and B) actually be able/willing to fix it. 



Additionally, you can easily get the question:

"Why should I work so hard to get a tool that we PAID for to work the way I want it to?!"

My answer to that is that most people don't realize other comparable tools cost way more without the customization capability, but nobody wants to hear that.  It then isn't surprising that this very same culture will lead people back to the word doc attachments (without even considering that they can attach saved images).  It is quite the endless cycle of violence.

I didn't pay for Linux so it's OK that I have to
spend hours to make it do what I want!

So is JIRA going to fix this?  Indeed they are!  As of this posting the issue is "In Progress" so I'm hoping it shows up in their next minor version.  


Fortunately, we don't have to wait for the next version of JIRA to get this feature.  Atlassian Labs has a plugin in the Marketplace that isn't dependent on any 3rd party installation.  

Better yet, if you have troubles in your organization with making upgrades to existing tools (aka you're not going to make an upgrade to JIRA even if this feature is availble), you can install this plugin on older versions of JIRA.

Ripped off the Marketplace page
Getting a feature that works right away for all users is the best way to get adoption and can aid in quashing that Broken Window affect that may be plaguing your cultural processes.  

While you're at it, definitely check out other features that Atlassian Labs has developed that may go into future versions.  Find the appropriate feature request in JIRA, watch it, and upvote it.  The more you use Atlassian's JIRA as a user, the more you can figure out how it can help your organization.

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