Accuracy • Independence • Integrity

October 24, 2016   |   Ithaca, NY


Editorial: HomerConnect 2.0 needs improvement

The latest update to HomerConnect is called “HomerConnect 2.0,” which implies that this is a major update with significant improvements. In the software industry, version numbers typically follow a pattern: 1.0, 2.0, etc. for major releases; 1.1, 1.2, etc. for minor releases; and 1.0.1, 1.1.1, etc. for bug fixes and very small releases. HomerConnect 2.0 should be a major release and should include new features, not just a minor update to the design.

Some improvements were made to the application, including the responsive reaction to smaller screen sizes of phones and tablets and a restructuring of the menus. However, these changes do not fix all of HomerConnect’s functional and design flaws. The new HomerConnect, while responsive, does not display tables in a mobile-friendly way. Additionally, making the back button functional should not be considered a new feature but rather a bug fix that should have been completed long ago.

Freshman Aaron Zufall’s “Less Terrible HomerConnect” offers a much more modern design. Although the enterprise applications developers did consult with Zufall, they did not take the new design of HomerConnect to or past the level of “Less Terrible HomerConnect.” Ithaca College could have purchased or asked to use Zufall’s “Less Terrible HomerConnect” design and implemented it for all users. Instead of hiring a designer, enterprise applications developers worked on the design update to HomerConnect.

We consider the new changes to be a minor improvement. It is disappointing to see the lack of improvement that was made, despite three developers working on the project over several weeks.