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Re: Done

On Sun, Sep 14, 2003 at 07:38:27AM +0000, benfoley wrote:

> and steve's untenable position that users' ignorance is their fate.

That is a gross misstatement of my actual position.

> i frankly find it baffling that manoj has had to struggle as hard as 
> he has to have the rest of you accept a point that is so blatantly 
> plain and obvious.

I do not, in fact, object to efforts to improve the quality of
descriptions in the distribution.  Indeed, I believe that improving
package descriptions is a valuable activity *in its own right*,
regardless of what Policy says on the question; which, given how weak
Policy's standard actually is, is effectively the *only* incentive for
fixing most of the bugs that are part of this mass-filing.

Given that the basis for these bugs does not lie with Policy, therefore,
the 'important' severity with which they were filed is overinflated.
And anyone who thinks the only reason their pet minor bug would be
allowed to languish in the BTS is a "lazy or incompetent maintainer"
needs a reality check.  The rhetoric expended on this thread in
upbraiding maintainers for the poor job they're doing of package
maintenance could have been much better spent on providing patches (or
at least suggestions) in some of those bugs that had been filed -- since
clearly everyone involved in this thread has English fluency to spare,
which can not be said of DDs as a whole.

> i wish, as i'm fairly sure most plain users wish, that i could contribute 
> more. one does what one can. these days, i run woody, and i have no 
> complaints. a year ago, i ran sid and participated much more on debian-user. 
> as ever, i am in debt to those of you who make it possible for all of us to 
> be free in our choice of operating system, but it's noticeable that, apart 
> from manoj, colin, and branden, there are few developers who regularly listen 
> to what goes on on debian-user. pose the question there, especially for the 
> novices' sake, whether the package description is adequate. we, the users, 
> are those who require adequate package description, if for no other reason 
> than to accommodate our desire to share what we can amongst ourselves. 

If you are able to recognize that a given package description is
inadequate, you are also capable of discerning *what* is wrong with it,
even if you don't know what the package does; and you are therefore very
much qualified to contribute comments to individual package description
bugs in the BTS, which is likely the most time consuming part of the
exercise of getting these bugs addressed, and which does not require
familiarity with the package.  Contrary to Manoj's sneering, there is
very good reason to believe that those most qualified to maintain a
given package in other respects are also least likely to be able to
identify those traits that render their package descriptions problematic
for users unfamiliar with the package.  So if you want good package
descriptions, don't complain -- help.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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