[maemo-community] Filing bugs on behalf of $user (was: Re: Incorrect election title on voting page)

From: Karsten Bräckelmann karstenb at openismus.com
Date: Mon Sep 8 19:58:21 EEST 2008
On Mon, 2008-09-08 at 10:00 -0400, Reggie Suplido wrote:

> Yup, a great challenge is making end-users (non-techies) participate,
> which is still I think the majority of IT owners and eventually the
> main target. 
> Let's take Bugzilla for example. I don't think it's proper to force
> them to file a bug at Bugzilla. While some would file a bug, I believe
> that majority will just get turned off or not technical enough to
> fill-up the form, not mentioning you have to create a new account just
> to file a bug. A better solution maybe is for someone, maybe from a
> developer or contributer, to say 'ok, I've reserved a bug ID for you
> and if you click this link, all you have to do is detail what you are
> experiencing' or, 'I've filed a bug for you based on your feedback.
> here's the link to the bug just in case you want to monitor or expound
> on it.'

Agreed. And this actually has been (common [1]) practice in other
communities for, like, always. ;)

Whenever a user raises an issue, be it on IRC, a mailing list or a
forum, experienced users checked for dupes, replying with details, the
link and probably workarounds. If the bug isn't known already, the
common response is to "please file a bug". Maybe again with a

I've seen community members filing bugs on behalf of the original
reporter, though, for various reasons. This is not specific to a
particular community or bugzilla. I have seen this with entirely
different communities and products in the past. (Hence this is common
practice, even if it doesn't happen too often.)

In a nutshell:  Yes, it is perfectly fine to end up filing a bug one
didn't discover himself, on behalf of the original reporter. What's most
important is, that valid bugs be filed. It doesn't matter who does it,
but that everyone involved cares, one way or the other.

> Getting feedback is so important (I can't emphasize this enough) that
> we shouldn't hinder any end-user from giving them or let them rot
> because they weren't 'properly' reported. This will be a challenge of
> course but will eventually be a huge plus to the ecosystem, and to the
> enhancement of the 'user experience.'

Again, agreed. There is no such thing as a copyright for a bug. ;)  If
you stumble across an issue being mentioned somewhere, and can reproduce
it -- file it! :)

[1] Actually not *common*, because this doesn't happen too frequently,
    as it requires either having or creating a new account with related
    "forums", subscribing to a mailing list or using IRC. A barrier just
    like creating a bugzilla account is.

Karsten Bräckelmann  -- maemo.org bugmaster

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