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Re: Done

On Mon, Sep 15, 2003 at 01:24:16AM -0500, Manoj Srivastava wrote:
> On Sun, 14 Sep 2003 14:53:53 -0500, Steve Langasek <vorlon@netexpress.net> said: 

> > 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

> 	Umm. 

> Package: blacs-lam-test
> Description: Basic Linear Algebra Communications Subprograms
>  This package provides programs to test your BLACS libraries.

> 	Let us see. Whats is a Basic Linear Algebra Communications
>  Subprogram? What kind of tests are provided? Why should I want to
>  install this package?

> 	I recognize this desciption is inadequate, mostly because I
>  have no idea what the package in question does.  What are Linear
>  Algebra Communications?  Are there communications programs, as
>  opposed to subprograms? Heck, I don't even know enough to ask
>  intelligent questions. 

There is a distinct difference between recognizing what is missing from
a description, and being able to fill in the gap.  The two acts are
complementary.  What helps maintainers is to understand what the
questions *are* that users are going to ask about their package
description.  It's hard to know what questions are going to be asked
when you already know the answer yourself; this is not something that
can be changed through expressions of disdain.

> 	This is not about people not turning out perfect description
>  for people unfamiliar with the package; I understand how one can be
>  too close to a package to figure out exactly what areas need further
>  explanation. But if you can't expand the *LONG* description beyond a
>  measly 80ncharacters, you are not even trying.

Perhaps not, but it's not obvious that a 5-line description will be
better than a one-line description.  Indeed, the more useless text I'm
forced to read, the more surly I become.  I definitely think the
emphasis needs to be on quality, not quantity.

> 	And, BTW, you did not see me whining that people who
>  complained about the ucf man page provide me with a working patch to
>  improve it -- or worse, yelled at them for daring to complain without
>  providing clues, helps, suggestions, and patches. I took a poll, and
>  fixed the man page ti the best of my ability.

Nor am I whining or yelling -- rather, I'm pointing out how the chosen
strategy for getting these bugs resolved is suboptimal on a large scale.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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