Re: some thoughts about contributing to gnome

Hi Ronald,

On Tue, 10 May 2005 20:55:47 +0200, Ronald S Bultje wrote:
> On Tue, 2005-05-10 at 19:38, Christian Krause wrote:
>> a) Bug reports are sometimes completely ignored, not even set from
>> UNCONFIRMED to NEW for several weeks. No reaction. No questions to the
>> reporter. Nothing.
> [..]
>> You (the developers) can't say on the one hand "please help us, please
>> contribute, please file bugs, ..." and reject (or ignore) the help on
>> the other hand.

> It's not like we don't want to, but we're swamped in work. We really get
> tons of new bug reports. Fortunately, we have the bugsquad to help us
> find most dups, ask for better stack traces and such (bugsquad people:
> you guys deserve an enormous amount of beer at guadec, prepare to get
> drunk), but that's not always enough. If you have more than, say, 50 or
> 100 bugs, you tend to lose track of the new ones and just work on random
> bug reports in the list and not spend too much time on "paperwork" like
> confirming or so. Bad behaviour, sure, but understandable nevertheless.

Yes, this is completly understandable. But the question what should the
users do? I speak of normal users, not developers/hackers. I believe
they could get really frustrated if they are just ignored...

> The problem is circular. We need more people to help us figure such
> stuff out, but in order to get those new people in, we need to spend
> more time on each of those parts, too. Helping us to triage bugs is a
> very good start already, but there's more. E.g., you could focus on a
> few products in bugzilla in particular, try to get familiar with how the
> maintainers work, kind of patches that are easily accepted etc, and try
> to identify such patches and get the maintainers attention (not
> necessarily via bugzilla, but also via email or IRC). Maybe you could

You are right. To get the maintainer work on a special bug out of 100 he
must be triggered somehow. But on the other side, most developers prefer
an efficient communication and dislike private mails. I can't remember
how often I read "please use mailing lists if you have questions, private
mails go to /dev/null". I think the synchronous communication with IRC is
also a little bit problematic, because not all people are online at the
same time.

Nevertheless I'll give a try to your suggestion to contact the people in
different ways than bugzilla. If it doesn't work I'll tell you. ;-)

> even try to help debug (by reproducing, providing better traces, etc.)
> some bugs, so that new contributors also have a new better entry point
> there, etc. Don't forget, the quality of the bug report makes it all. As
> Jeff always says: be the signal, not the noise.

> Let me know if any of this makes sense. ;).

Yes and no. Your ideas makes much sense: try to reproduce, help debug,
... . But I mostly already do this. If a bug really disturbs me (I can't
even install the program, it doesn't work, ...) I already do what you
suggested. But even then bug reports are sometimes just ignored.

I've seen that in gnome's bugzilla the patch states are
activated. I think summaries like
are really good ideas. Let's hope that they will be used...

Best regards,

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