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Re: Maintainer Responsibilities





On Wed, Jun 3, 2009 at 06:46, Ralf Corsepius <rc040203 freenet de> wrote:
Michael Schwendt wrote:
On Wed, 03 Jun 2009 14:06:45 +0200, Ralf wrote:

I consider users (esp. bug reporters) not to be "the dumb pigs eating the hog wash they get for free", or "clueless comsumer masses" aborbing anything they don't pay for with money, but them to be the foundation of your work and them to be valuable business partners, paying in immaterial payment (e.g. feedback, such as bug reports).

That's an idealistic [over-simplified] point of view which I don't want to
agree with.
Well, whether it's idealistic or not is irrelevant. It's one of the foundations of open source.

Or less abstract:
I stopped reporting bugs against Fedora's evolution, because its @RH maintainer preferred to close bugs and tried to push me around to upstream. Wrt. evolution, I was an ordinary user and am not interested in getting further involved.

As simple as it is: I felt sufficiently pissed of by this guy to leave him and his upstream alone, ... so be it, he wanted it this way.

There are other packages and packagers (noteworthy many of the @RH) who exhibit the same "push reporters around" behavior.

So is still anybody wondering why Fedora is permanently lacking people? This is one cause.

Now combine this with the "report bugs" phrases certain people tend to reiterate? ... Experiences, such as the one I encountered with the evolution maintainer, are the cause why at least some people sense a foul taste when listening to them.

As a bug reported I've come to peace with the concept that maintainers and upstream have personalities too. Sometimes people are happy to see bug reports, sometimes they ignore them and sometimes they seem to go out of their way to be unhelpful.

For the same reason it can be difficult to report bugs since different packages can have wide variations in the amount of information they want you to collect, and strange incantations and commands you've never seen before. (Often of the "gee I never knew that was even possible" variety).

The ones that get to me are

1) Bugs return over and over again with each new latest and greatest version or rewrite of previously working code. A few years ago it was USB devices that would mount one day on the desktop, then not mount, then mount, etc. Today it might be screen display powers off (or doesn't), battery level is correct (or reports battery-critical), sound works (or doesn't), compiz works (or doesn't), boot with graphic boot (or nomodeset yet again).

2) Bugs that get no attention, not even an acknowledgement.

3) Bugs where the maintainer (or triager) seems to go out of their way to be completely unhelpful.

I think it is easy to forget how difficult and time-consuming it can be to produce a really good bug report.

I'd say that 9 out of 10 bugs that I report leave me feeling that the not much was accomplished. It is that tenth bug report, the one where there is a reasonable interaction, where a problem gets resolved (and doesn't seem to reappear) that keeps me doing them.

darrell

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