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Re: Maintainer Responsibilities



On 06/04/2009 01:30 PM, Kevin Kofler wrote:
> Jud Craft wrote:
>> Support != upstream.  It's a symptom of the fact that the open source
>> community is where people who create goods often don't do top-down
>> support of those goods to end-users, the final recipient.
>>
>> Here's the problem:  You all agree that end-users should seek out
>> support.  The reason why "they should go to upstream" is split isn't
>> because Seeking Support = Bad.  Seeking Support = Good.  You're split
>> because Having Outsiders Navigate Two/Three Layers of Community
>> Indirection = Bad.
> 
> Fixing bugs is a service we do to end users. If they don't want to use the
> service the way we provide it, that's fine with me, we can just close their
> stuff as INSUFFICIENT_DATA and move on.
> 
This is where a lot of us disagree with you.  There's several ways to
look at this:

* Maintainers are providing a service to users.  Users are consuming
programs.  Maintainers are fixing the bugs in those programs as a
service to the user.
* Maintainers are providing a service to upstream.  Upstream writes
programs.  Maintainers get their programs exposure, filter out things
that aren't really bugs, help to write good bug reports, write patches
to the software, etc.
* Users are providing a service to the development of the program.  All
code has bugs.  If there's bugs that you don't know about but your users
are running into, they could just choose to not use it and use a
different program.  If they report the bug, they're trying to make the
program better.

I think failing to realize that all of these services are being rendered
simultaneously is a grave mistake for us.  We all benefit from a healthy
ecosystem around bug reporting.

-Toshio

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