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Show HN: Monito, a browser extension for software testers (getmonito.com)
62 points by bjarocki 4 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 29 comments

Disregard the style complaints, they make no sense. The tool seems super cool and I'd definitely give it a try if there was at least some sort of usage demo as it's not something that would let me do things I can't do already but something that would make it much more comfortable and to evaluate that I need to at least take a look at it.

Thank you! Regarding usage demo, do you mean something like video explaining what this tool can do and how is it better than existing solutions?

This seems to be aimed at developers / testers but it might be useful for end-users too.

If a customer reports a problem we can’t reproduce, it would be handy to just direct them to a plugin they can download to generate a report.

But the up-front pricing model doesn’t work for that kind of scenario because customers wouldn’t pay for it. It would be better to have the customer download it for free and enter a one-time code that allows them to use it under my subscription.

FWIW, that scenario is closer to the problem Sentry is trying to solve, and their feedback capture mechanism allows the end user to contribute anything relevant, or even just rant!, which can be helpful beyond just the raw data of an error capture

I do recognize that this tool seems like it's oriented toward logic bugs whereas Sentry really shines in the unforseen outcomes case, but I'd bet a well placed "send feedback" link could still capture the browser details and breadcrumbs without requiring a formal error per se

That's interesting. I'll add that to my to-do and think about possible solutions. Thank you!

Looks similar to https://birdeatsbug.com

This looks awesome. Is the underlying recorded data available in an easy to parse format like JSON?

Would be quite powerful to do 90% of the work of transforming that recording to a puppeteer script to add to one’s test suite.

Speaking of which, what is the state of the art right now for browser automation scripts?

Thank you! And yes, it's all JSON. It's not super easy to read when you get all the data this way, though. I'm planning to add a web-based log reader to parse the logs and display them in the same way it's done in the extension.

Also, generating Cypress/Puppeteer/Playwright tests is on my to-do list. It should be fairly easy because all the data, including selectors, is already there. I wrote more about my plans here: https://jarocki.me/blog/monito

Regarding state of the art for browser automation scripts, I think the most popular tools are Cypress and Puppeteer. I'd like to get some feedback from QA folks, though.

Hi, just to chip in because I read your request for feedback and also because I'm interested in seeing what Monito can do. I’ve been heading QA depts at large tech companies for a while now, and part of my job is to be up to speed with the latest tools and trends, and to write automation tools for various tech stack layers. To answer your question, my preferred front-end tool at the moment is Playwright (via C# binding). Playwright is the new kid on the block, but it has great potential; I’ve migrated all of our Selenium tests to it and I couldn’t be happier.

That's good to know, thank you! Is there anything I can do to make Monito worth adding to your toolset? Have you tried it? Thanks!

As a developer, why would I want to use a special browser than isn’t mainstream for anything. It’s just going to need retesting in the mainstream ones and I’m not sure what this offers that grease monkey and vanilla developer tools doesn’t.

Any open source alternatives?

Yeah, I would be interested in this as well. I'm not really up for paying $39 for a half finished landing page of info built using reworded Tailwind UI components.

I agree. The landing page isn't the nicest one. I'm not a designer, though, and I'd rather spend that time improving the product. Is there anything you'd like to see in the extension that'd convince you to pay for it? Happy to improve!

I totally understand the use of Tailwind UI for an easy way to achieve professional looking components; I use it every single day at my job.

At the same time, you're targeting this product towards customers who are already developer-oriented — a crowd that is familiar with, or can easily recognize, the same technologies you've used to build Monito. Tweaking the designs to have a more custom flair so it doesn't seem so copy and paste, avoiding the same icons for multiple figures, and especially lowering your price are all things that would probably help with early and continued adoption IMO.

As for things you could include to justify the existing price, I really don't know. There's a heavy difference between paying for a desktop-application license vs a browser extension.

Valid point. I started noticing Tailwind UI everywhere, and it starts to be a bit annoying indeed. Will def work on it.

We'll see about the price. So far, it sells ok. I'd rather focus on improving the quality and adding useful features.

Regarding the icons, I've just noticed and fixed that, thank you!

we developers are a stingy lot. I wouldn't base any pricing decision on what technical/developers say. The ultimate customer for this is a support person who is going to give feedback to a developer. To them and/or a QA team, you could be saving them a ton of time with this product. Consider that birdeatsbug starts at free for personal use and then $39/month. You might actually be leaving money on the table if you go $39 one time. Just something to consider.

At this point the price is 39$ because the product itself isn't polished yet. Now I can see it's actually needed and I'm going to add some nice features. Then it'll go up to ~59$ as it won't be an 'early access' anymore.

> anything you'd like to see in the extension that'd convince you to pay for it?

Different pricing scheme, at least in the beginning. While $39 (or even $59) is acceptable as one time payment, I am not sure if I am willing to pay this for a product that's been on the market for only 3 weeks and whose future is unknown. Charging something like $1-$2 per month will earn you more in the long term and will provide a safer option for the customers (they won't loose too much if you disappear in a couple of months).

BTW, at the organization where I work, we can only make payments to established entities, i.e. someone who has address, account number and can issue an invoice. I guess Gumroad, as a middle party, can provide all of these, still it would add to your credibility if you had an "About" page with the necessary data. Oh and a Privacy Policy would be nice too - some organizations won't allow installing any extensions that are not reviewed by a security team and such reviews often involve checking privacy policies.

Good point about credibility. I'm going to improve the landing page with a proper about page. I'll also add a privacy policy. From the start, I wanted it to work 100% locally, so I don't have to worry about sensitive data. Now it only uses some ids needed for trials and licenses.

About pricing, I don't think that model would be better. As a solo developer, it's better to charge more and provide better support to fewer customers. I'm not saying no, but it seems to be working well for now. Thank you for the suggestions!

I’m also not sure exactly what’s being sold, but I don’t get why tailwind is a problem?

Is Firefox on the roadmap?

Would the Brave add-on work in Firefox?

Now I know people are interested in this so I'll be looking into adding more browsers support. I _think_ Firefox is doable. Safari most probably not (nobody cares probably, but still).

Can i see a report somewhere?

Sure, https://www.dropbox.com/s/zffejt4u2l5d3x1/logs-1620070042074...

When you are extracting logs, it creates a single archive with all the items you selected. Usually, it'll be: 1. Combined logs - everything in a single file 2. Network logs 3. Console logs 4. User interactions 5. Navigation events

One user already suggested it'd be nice to include generated HTML with more human-readable logs. I thought about having a web-based log reader, but this seems to be an even better idea.

Thanks, this is interesting. Yes, a pretty report would def help getting more users.

I'm working on this as we speak.

May I suggest adding Jira integration?

It'd require storing user login data. For now, I'm not planning this, but we'll see what the future brings.

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