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Re: Draft email to maintainers regarding Priority / Severity in Bugzilla

Adam Williamson wrote:

At present, the status is that these are more or less ignored by
Bugzappers and most maintainers; some maintainers use and set them for
their own packages according to their own system. The reason for their
neglect, as I see it, is that there's been no convention for their use,
and no overall responsibility in setting them - they're usually set
arbitrarily by reporters, and thus convey no useful information.

This is offensive. I am one such user.

I set fields as thoughtfully as I'm able, given the lack of guidelines. I've mentioned my thoughts on reasonable values and meanings here before.

I'm the only person able to assess the importance of a bug _to me._ If a bug in any package, no matter how unimportant it might seem to some triager, prevents my use of a computer, then that bug is critically important to me.

That importance does not mean that anyone has to assign massive resources to fixing it, but dismiss my assessment as irrelevant and I will be offended.

An example.
I bought a computer to learn about virtualisation. At the time, xen was supported in Fedora, including host support.

Xen proved not to work satisfactorily, and I spent more time fighting with it than enjoying it.

Over time, xen dropped from supported Fedora, and KVM appeared. Sadly, KVM does not work reliably either.

For me, those are critical problems. Today, the best solution I have is to run Windows XP on that computer, even though Windows doesn't use all the RAM.

A triager might assess problems with those packages as relatively unimportant "because 90% of people don't use those."

Another example.
I am one who does not like KDE 4.0. At least, 4.0. I haven't had a decent chance to play with newer KDE. I've used KDE for years, since 1.x and GNOME was a contender in my affections, ruled out because of its lack of reliability. Recent GNOME's reliability is fine, though it has some annoyances (where's klipper? Heck, I had something of the kind on OS/2), but basically it gets the job done. So does XFCE, and both are workable alternatives. From the package perspective, KDE's new design (IMV) is a serious problem, and I don't normally use it, but it doesn't prevent my use of the computer, and I don't care _that_ much about it.

I accept that:
. Most users are less knowledgeable than most triagers. I deal with users in my job. . Most bugs (probably) are user mistakes, particularly in Fedora (vis a vis RHEL).

In return, triagers (and maintainers for that matter) should accept that
. Some users know more than they do
. Some bugs are in design. "That's how it's documented to work" isn't always the right answer.
. Users are people. Their feelings and opinions are important.

I remember 12-year-old Diplomatic John told the teacher, in class, "You're wrong." The teacher maintained his position, and during the recess that followed, erased the evidence of his error (it was arithmetic, not a matter of opinion) rather than fess up.

Diplomatic John has learned a little since then.

If I don't follow up on any reponses to this, don't associate any significance to it, I'm going away for a few days, and I will not be reading any missed mail.



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-- Advice

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