The Adium blog is not a support forum. Support requests, bug reports, and enhancement requests will always be ignored if left in the comments. Use trac.
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on Saturday, May 26th, 2007 at 1:39 PM by Evan Schoenberg and is filed under Uncategorized.
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Projects need to offer a no-pain way to offer feedback, and if your blog is the only way to do that without registration then that’s where you’ll get it.
It obviously increases the burden of the maintainers/managers, but the alternative is to not get any feedback at all. I’ve not bothered to report bugs because doing so is such a fucking pain (and that includes Adium), and I know I’m not the only one.
Trac is not particularly complex; certainly no more so than other popular solutions such as bugzilla or mantis.
If the way you want to submit a bug report is simply to type it, submit it, and let someone else deal with whether it’s a duplicate, a useful report, a problem with an outdated version, etc., then let me be clear: we don’t want your bug report. This is not an attempt at elitism; it is simply a fact of a wholly volunteer development and support team with limited resources doing the best it can to produce high quality software.
If I had someone being paid to answer support requests and triage them into bug reports, things would be different, but as it is, we need users to take the first steps in helping to fix bugs: submit good, unique reports; comment on and expand upon existing reports when appropriate; write the code to actually fix bugs; and so on. If a slight barrier to entry decreases many bad or useless reports at the expense of a few good ones, resulting in a significantly better signal to noise ratio, that’s a good thing.
There exists an email address which is monitored by several developers and lets users ask for help in a more freeform way. ContactUs.
How many logins that you’ve only ever used once do you have? Do they all have good passwords, and how do store them all? How many throwaway email addresses have you created just for the purpose of registering somewhere? Just generate an ID after the report is submitted that can be used to add info to the item if needed and the submitter cares enough.
By the way, has anyone even noticed that ticket reports 6 and 18 don’t work?
Here’s an idea for all of you that are just too lazy to create a new account (yet I find it amusing that you still have time to leave a comment to complain about it…) why don’t you just have ONE email address, ONE username, and ONE password that you use for all of your “junk” signups that you don’t care about. WHOA! I know, it sounds crazy… but take it from someone who does JUST THAT… IT WORKS!!! (I know it’s surprising.) and once you take the 20 seconds to set it up you can use the “remember me” feature so you won’t have to login again.
You still have to sign up, confirm, login. Pointless registrations are a scourge and must be eradicated. If you want help, register, but if you just want to say “hey, this doesn’t work” forced registration is completely unnecessary.
The problem is, “hey this doesn’t work” doesn’t help us fixing the problem. We just know there could be one, but there’s no way we can verify or fix it. So why bother telling us in the first place? It just gives us a bad feeling, but we can’t do anything about it.
Proper bug reports require certain information and certain tests to be performed by the person reporting the bug. Even Apple requires this for real bug reports (see bugreport.apple.com). We can’t expect our users to know about what and how, so we have to ask them about this additional information. When there’s no way to contact them, the bug report is worthless.
The need for feedback depends entirely on the nature of the issue. Most/many are obvious enough that the only thing that’s needed is for someone point out that the problem exists, eg. the fact that your Trac reports are broken as above. Do you really need more info than that? Also, the fact is that most of the times you’re not going to get any useful info from the reporter anyway. The circumstances have changed so more tests can’t be done or the requests simply go unanswered. Just take a look at say the Fedora Bugzilla and count the number of bugs that have been left hanging or been closed due to inactivity on the reporter’s part.
Look, I paid good money for this Adium! I expect support whereever I ask for it! I fully expect you to be searching Google for questions I’ve asked in the comments of other blogs! What kind of shoddy business is this???