[Techtalk] Projects that respond well to bug reports

Felicia Berryman berryma5 at msu.edu
Tue Feb 13 13:31:01 UTC 2007

> I don't know about how well any major projects respond to bug reports
> - but one that might be sort of organized about it is OpenOffice. One
> of the guys here gave a talk that sounds a lot like yours - using Open
> Office as the example http://kegel.com/openoffice/triage.html
That's a really good site.  I just checked it out.  I probably shouldn't 
rant on techtalk, but how come QA and triage volunteers are not 
considered developers?  Maybe, just maybe, more linux volunteers would 
want to do this work if they would get the respect of actually being a 
key part in the project development - not just some triage worker, but a 
full member of the development team by being called a developer just 
like the programmers.  It takes skill to deal with people who are upset 
and reported a bug.  It takes skill to discuss the problem and turn 
complaints into reports that get to the point and make sense to someone 
doing the programming.

Also, I think more people would do QA work if you could actually be a 
super-worker in this area.  Yes, this means some people will compete.  
Does it matter if inflating egos helps get volunteer involved though?  
For example, developers can see how many bugs they've fixed or how many 
lines of code they wrote.  It would be cool if a QA worker could somehow 
see how many duplicate bugs they've helped eliminate and get some sort 
of ranking (virtual money) for it (master-exterminator ranking 
perhaps?).  Finally, instead of just telling people to find a recent 
bug, why not just have a button where we can randomly get a recent, 
unverified bug to both verify and compare to other reports for 
duplication.  This would be similar to the Project Gutenberg Editing 
project where you are just randomly assigned a page or two to edit.  
That way, editors don't have to choose a book and go through the 
daunting task of doing it all by themselves.  Also, the volunteer work 
is highly modularized so you can easily give a few minutes a week or 
hours a day - it's the volunteers choice.  See the Project Gutenberg 
editor volunteer site at http://www.pgdp.net/c/ for 
background/inspiration.  Bug reporting, validating, and comparing really 
needs to go web 2.0 you know. 

I'd love to help projects by brainstorming ideas so they can spread 
their volunteer efforts to accessible across all levels and skills.  
Email me off the list if you'd like to talk about this sort of thing. 

Oh, and by the way.  Please don't take my comments too personally.  I'm 
probably in the minority by liking Linux and open source but not really 
liking programming.  I'm making huge, sweeping generalizations and I 
know it :)  If I were reading this aloud, my tone would be less about 
complaining and more about persuading through questions.


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