Just completing Pedro's answers inline...
Le Tue, 12 Nov 2013 05:23:31 -0800 (PST),
Pedro <firstname.lastname@example.org> a écrit :
I think there's a dangerous perception here: The perception that
the LO developers work on nothing except what they want to work on.
I didn't mean to say that.
I'm aware that some developers work on whatever is needed and fix the
most urgent bugs/regressions.
But out of 300 developers, there must be people who can fix the
"boring" bugs and the "not important" bugs... Of course you would
have to ask these developers to start with bug #1 and fix it before
moving to #2
Michael Meeks once wrote "Developers don't like to be told what to
do". I'm sure they don't. But if nobody does then there is no
solution for bugs that keep lingering...
and nobody says the system is perfect. ;-)
But to come back to Paul's objection, yes, developers work on what they
want to work on. Their motivation can be anything from a salary to some
dream they want or yet another thing that keeps them awake at night.
Somewhere in between I'm sure there's a reasonable guy . But "whatever
is needed" is prone to a wide range of interpretation.
Let me give you an example. While "your" bug (good point Pedro, by the
way) wasn't being fixed, some guy called Caolan McNamara, who wrote the
code of the word processing module back in the days of OpenOffice.org
took on the daunting task of rewriting the entire graphical system of
LibreOffice. And mind you, we're talking about over 6Million lines of
code for a suite like LibreOffice. Was it necessary? Hell yes. Was it a
high priority? Absolutely. Did he have the time to focus on the bug
you're mentioning? No.
But to him, this objective was of the highest importance and it was
*sorely* needed. I'm not saying the bug you reported wasn't important.
I'm saying that while you may be complaining, others are cheering.
Other bugs get fixed. See my point?
I have pointed out in the past that you cannot expect a developer to
work on your bug, because there is nothing forcing him to work on
anything but what he wants to, but that doesn't mean that is all he
does. It means you can't *force* him to work on what *you* want him
to work on. I'm sure the developers *do* give careful consideration
to what they work on, it just might not be what you feel they
should work on, but they've got a bigger picture than you.
First, it's not *my* bug. The bug is the software. The software is
not mine. Second, many times I already have a solution for the
problem. I only report it so that the bug is fixed for the benefit of
the community. I even report bugs that don't affect me at all.
Third, "there is nothing forcing him to work on anything but what he
wants to" is exactly the problem IMO.
And yet that's how most of the FOSS projects work. But then again, no
system is perfect.
Remember, we do have to keep the developers happy to some extent,
otherwise they leave.
Yes, so do other people. But they are not so important, right?
If you can't tell developers what to do, some bugs will always be
there because they are boring to fix or because they are "not
I'm suggesting that a compromise based volunteer model is applied to
all, not just to developers. Then you might start to see a change and
a real community ;)
Motivation is a hard thing to assess. Rather than reaching a
compromise in abstracto, I'd say that the compromise is found through
social engineering and everyone's motivation. Let's say that you are
reporting bugs on a regular basis. Some of these bugs are particularly
hairy ones, and it catches developers' attention. It's likely that
after two or three bug reports of that kind, developers, at least some
of them, might be paying attention.
Yet another way to look at it is that the number of volunteers
reporting the bug or making it an issue to tackle over the various
collaborative and communication channels we have around the project.
Basically, this is an invitation to contribute and get recognized. By
contributing, you get recognized, you get bonus points, and your
credibility grows. Mind you, it works the same way for developers. And
because of that, the fact that you, a known contributor points out that
there's a leftover bugfix that may even already have a solution has
more chances to get fixed.
Hope this helps,
Co-founder, The Document Foundation,
Kurfürstendamm 188, 10707 Berlin
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