Gentoo Archives: gentoo-dev

From: Daniel Drake <dsd@g.o>
To: gentoo-dev@l.g.o
Subject: [gentoo-dev] Bugzilla etiquette suggestions
Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2006 21:10:40
1 I wrote most of this a while ago but didn't get round to finishing it.
2 This seems appropriate at this time, so here it is :)
4 Here are some small *suggestions* for how I think we can motivate users
5 on Bugzilla to contribute more, and to contribute more often. I'm not
6 suggesting this be enforced as policy, but it would be nice to see other
7 developers giving this some thought. I'm far from perfect here, but I am
8 working on sticking to my own suggestions more and more.
10 Remember that Bugzilla is the only way we communicate with most of our
11 external contributors so it is important to make them feel appreciated
12 and give them a good impression of the Gentoo developer community.
14 1. Don't bitch at contributors
16 Even if they did something totally wrong, violated all known policies,
17 and you are *sure* they just filed the bug to annoy you, don't write
18 aggressive sounding responses.
20 Reasons being:
21 - You'll reduce the chances they'll think about contributing again in
22 the future
23 - They probably won't listen to a word you say, yet will feel the need
24 to respond
25 - Bugzilla is a public medium, and other potential contributors (who
26 maybe wouldn't have made such 'obvious' mistakes) will be put off when
27 reading the aggressive dialog.
28 (I'm not suggesting that you send abuse privately instead!)
29 - Like we aren't paid to fix bugs, the users aren't paid to file them:
30 at the end of the day, someone went out of his/her way to file the bug,
31 to try and help.
33 2. Be careful with INVALID resolutions
35 The term invalid _is_ harsh in bugzilla context, so make sure you write
36 a quick thankful-sounding comment to go with it.
38 Maybe we should consider alternatives. I quite like the NOTABUG
39 resolution they have on the GNOME bugzilla.
41 Marking bugs as duplicates is also dodgy ground: Comments like "Please
42 search" can easily be taken the wrong way. I'm probably asking too much
43 for people to spend lots of time thinking up appreciative duplicate
44 messages, however...
46 3. Always record contributions by name
48 If you commit something in response to a bug report that has been filed,
49 always thank the user by full name (and bug number) in the ChangeLog and
50 commit message.
52 Do the above even if you already knew about the bug (i.e. you would have
53 committed the same fix even if the user hadn't alerted you).
55 This also applies for ebuild requests, ebuild submissions, and version
56 bump requests/submissions. Might sound pointless for 'trivial'
57 reports/requests but it is important to credit the user if they have
58 gone to the trouble of filing a bug.
60 This also applies to contributors who you know well, contributors who
61 you have named 9999 times before, and other Gentoo developers too.
63 4. Give the user a chance to make minor corrections
65 If a user contributes a patch/ebuild which is slightly wrong, and the
66 issue is non-critical, don't immediately correct it on their behalf and
67 commit it to get the bug out of the way.
69 Instead, provide an explanation of their mistake and give the user a day
70 or two to correct it and attach an updated version. This has the bonuses
71 that the user definately won't repeat that mistake in future
72 contributions, and they will have the nice feeling of full credit for
73 the contribution after you name them in the ChangeLog :)
75 If they don't respond in that time, make the correction yourself and
76 commit it anyway.
78 5. Be thankful when marking FIXED
80 When marking a bug as FIXED, I often forget that the user has tested 4
81 kernel versions, moved their network card over to another computer,
82 filed an identical bug report upstream, tested the solution, and
83 reported back to me.
85 I think a short note of thanks in the bugzilla comment can go a long way
86 (suggestion: thank them for something in particular so that it doesn't
87 sound so generic).
89 6. Don't forget about email
91 As a Gentoo developer, you have been automatically granted the ability
92 to sound important and make others feel important too.
94 When Seemant mailed me over 2 years ago, I was a relative idiot and was
95 a new Gentoo user at that time. It felt great to receive a complimentary
96 email from a well-known and respected Gentoo developer, and that email
97 eventually led to me becoming a developer myself (amongst other things!).
99 I've had the same kind of effect on people since then, for example, I
100 sent a very quick "thanks" mail to the guy who authored the wordpress
101 theme I run on my weblog, and he was overjoyed that I was using it - he
102 happened to be a Gentoo user who already read my blog via the Planet site.
104 There probably aren't many situations where you would email a user who
105 communicates with you on bugzilla. But don't forget about this nice
106 ability that we have :)
110 That's all I can think of for now. I'd certainly be interested to hear
111 any comments on the above and similar suggestions that others may have.
113 Daniel
114 --
115 gentoo-dev@g.o mailing list


Subject Author
Re: [gentoo-dev] Bugzilla etiquette suggestions Henrik Brix Andersen <brix@g.o>
Re: [gentoo-dev] Bugzilla etiquette suggestions Marien Zwart <marienz@g.o>
[gentoo-dev] Re: Bugzilla etiquette suggestions Duncan <1i5t5.duncan@×××.net>
Re: [gentoo-dev] Bugzilla etiquette suggestions Ned Ludd <solar@g.o>
Re: [gentoo-dev] Bugzilla etiquette suggestions Shyam Mani <fox2mike@g.o>