bug handling policy / interaction with users

Frerich Raabe frerich.raabe at gmx.de
Sat Mar 15 19:23:25 GMT 2003

On Saturday 15 March 2003 20:03, Scott Wheeler wrote:
> Sorry, this one kind of just rubbed me the wrong way:
> http://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=48620
> Here we have an example of a user doing exactly what we ask of them --
> doing a detailed bug report / wishlist type-of-thing.  There are 7
> paragraphs there; this obviously took some time to write.  The bug was
> closed with two short, semi-abusive comments.
> I'm not claiming this is valid or useful, but from a user's perspective
> it's relatively rational.  Again, this is our most useful class of users
> and they deserve at the bare minimum, "I'm sorry, this is not technically
> practical (or is already available).  Thank you for your time and input." 
> That would have taken no more time to do.
> So, what would be nice would be some sort of understood basic respect for
> users that report bugs or interact with KDE developers through the
> appropriate channels.  I assumed that such was an unwritten policy, but
> such is apparently not the case.  It would be nice to have something like
> this while creating a bugzilla account; there was already something similar
> with regards to @kde.org email addresses discussed at the Hamburg meeting. 
> I would like to extend that to a policy for interacting with users while
> filling an official role (i.e. application maintainer).

I very much second this. If your application's main repository is outside of 
the KDE CVS, you can do whatever you want, but if it's in a prominent place 
as the KDE repository is (and I dare to claim that the default KDE media 
player is even more prominent than the average KDE CVS program), you should 
adhere to certain guidelines, which I assumed were pretty much common sense. 
Since that is apparently not always the case, pointing this out was a good 
idea. I'd rather prefer not to start thinking about writing some "guidelines 
how to deal with users" document, that probably gives bad press and a worse 
impression for the outside observer, but clearing up what "common sense" is 
could help.

Common sense in this case is that if the bug reporter did not try to submit a 
rant but obviously spent time on coming up with a fairly detailed explained 
idea he had, and that should be honored and respected (If you ask me, people 
maintaining code should be grateful that other people voluntarily spend time 
on giving you feedback, just like the maintainers expect the people to be 
grateful for using something you voluntarily wrote in your free time). 
Kneejerk replies like "-1 Troll" might be funny for some people in an IRC 
/query, but it's not something which should go into a mail to a person who 
does not have much insight into the single characters in the KDE crowd.

- Frerich

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