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Re: Done

On Thu, 11 Sep 2003 23:14:01 -0500, Steve Langasek <vorlon@netexpress.net> said: 

> I think that many of these bugs have been filed at an overinflated
> severity, and should be prioritized below many bugs that affect
> users of the packages in question -- rather than simply offending
> *non*-users of the packages who would most likely never have noticed
> them at all if not for this discussion.

	I am not defending the priority level of the bugs, no. I would
 have personally used a lower priority as well. 

> The premise that short descriptions hinder an administrator's
> ability to decide whether or not to install the package is false,
> predicated on the assumption that all pieces of software are, or
> should be, equally accessible to all users.  The standard set by
> Policy 3.6.1 is as follows:

	I see. Some software should be less accessible to users? Only
 'eleet' cognoscenti get to use them? Elitism through obscurity? 

>      The description should describe the package (the program) to a
>      user (system administrator) who has never met it before so that
>      they have enough information to decide whether they want to
>      install it.  This description should not just be copied
>      verbatim from the program's documentation.

> The burden is on the bug submitter to establish that a curt
> description does not provide the administrator with enough
> information "to decide whether they want to install it" -- a metric
> that does not necessarily require that the administrator actually
> understand what the package *is*.

	Informed decisions are always better than not installing a
 package since you have no clue what it does. This is a quality
 of distribution issue: A plethora of bad descriptions leads
 one to conclude that the distribution it self is shoddy, and very
 unprofessionally put together.

> There are plenty of packages in
> the distro for which more detailed descriptions could only serve to
> entice users to think the package would be useful to them when it
> isn't.

	I find this disturbing. We are withholding information from
 you from your own good? I know far better than the users what they
 ought to know? Informed decisions are for the birds -- novice users
 not wanted.

	This level of arrogance and hostility towards novices does
 not, in my opinion, jell with the spirit of the free software
 movement, which is one of liberating users, not doling out
 information only when they have run your little gauntlet. 

	Part of promoting freedom of software is educating the user,
 and gently introducing them to the unfettered power of freedom. Given
 this, this idea that novice users hsould be treated like mushrooms is
 abhorrent, and does not put the project in a good light.

>        Without such evidence that a real user had a real problem
> making a decision about the package in question, these bugs are by
> and large classifiable as "unreproducible".

	If I am a real user, the you have a problem: most of the
 reports I have looked at (about 50 or so) are reproducible. (I can
 read sources, and have means of making a determination despite lousy
 descriptions, but the criteria is that the description should have
 allowed me to make the determination by itself).

	I sincerely hope that the sentiment in the argument above is
 not widely held. Because of this sentiment, though,  I am reluctantly
 beginning to come to the conclusion that there may be something of
 substance in user complaints that debian developers are arrogantr,
 novice unfriendly, and the distribution is one for steeped in


Any coward can sit in his home and criticize a pilot for flying into a
mountain in a fog.  But I would rather, by far, die on a mountainside
than in bed.  What kind of man would live where there is no daring?
And is life so dear that we should blame men for dying in adventure?
Is there a better way to die? Charles Lindbergh
Manoj Srivastava   <srivasta@debian.org>  <http://www.debian.org/%7Esrivasta/>
1024R/C7261095 print CB D9 F4 12 68 07 E4 05  CC 2D 27 12 1D F5 E8 6E
1024D/BF24424C print 4966 F272 D093 B493 410B  924B 21BA DABB BF24 424C

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