Mats Lidell writes:
Stephen> What do you mean by "that seems essential"?
I mean that a developer ought to be interested in the bugs that get
filed. The job of ...
Stephen> ... classify and prioritize them, identify duplicates, link
Stephen> issues to relevant mailing list threads, and close fixed,
Stephen> bogus, or unfixable issues.
... needs to be done anyway and also communicated back to the person
filing the bug and the rest of the team whatever system there is.
Uh, this is a volunteer project creating free software. There's
nothing that *needs* to be done, because anybody who wants it done
always can just do it (if necessary, in a fork).
You suggest (by writing "ought") that this is somehow an obligation of
the developers. It is not. For XEmacs, that was settled in long and
acrimonious discussion in which I lost a lot of goodwill from other
developers, as well as the argument. Basically, developers in this
project have no obligation to do anything except produce good code
according to their own standards, and to not damage the results of
others' work. All other "obligations" are self-imposed.
I will say that such volunteers are rewarded with respect and other
"good and valuable consideration" in this project in my experience.
And the core developers do pitch in and help greatly when somebody
takes a valuable initiative. The project does (mostly :-/) "work"
under this minimalist "social contract."
But often, as with a bug tracker, that initiative has be backed up
with a long-term work commitment. I'm willing to shoulder some of the
work, Mike is too, but up to now the offers that we've had are hosting
and site admin---not bug tracking. I'm sorry, the host and the
software help, but alone they are low value-added. This project has
plenty of access to hosts, and several core developers are able and
willing to install and admin software on them.
It's the bug tracking *work*, today, tomorrow, and the next day, that
is the sticking point. In this project, under the current "social
contract", that is not an obligation of the developers. With Mike
pushing it, we now have a critical mass of core support for an ITS and
it will happen.
But without new volunteers we can't do it *well*. On a day-to-day
basis, we need people to assign bugs to developers, to classify them
so users can search them, and critically evaluate the classifications
and admin interface so that we can improve them. (One reason I'm
pushing Roundup is that I know that its architecture can in principle
support a lot of improvement and innovation in those areas without a
major rewrite, and I know I can personally do the work (if nobody
beats me to it ;-).) Even an hour a week of assignment and
classification work from two or three people would make a big
difference in the quality of the database.
(By the way, I believe that most of the Review Board would sign on to
much of what I wrote above, although they might prefer to word it
differently. But I do not claim that my views are representive of the
Review Board here.)
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