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Re: helpdesk@debian.org (WAS: Re: Simpleminded members better than abusive members)

Hi Rodrigo, 

On Mon, Oct 02, 2006 at 06:35:42PM -0500, Luis Rodrigo Gallardo Cruz wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 03, 2006 at 12:54:09AM +0200, Maarten Verwijs wrote:
> > On Mon, Oct 02, 2006 at 08:37:55PM +0200, Frans Pop wrote:
> > > Try filing better bug reports instead. 
> > 
> > Since this is an ongoing problem, how about the following:
> > helpdesk@debian.org
> > ...
> > Tis just an idea, and it may have it's do's and don't's, so please:
> > what are the general thoughts on this?
> I think I see the answer to this, but still: How is this different
> from the -user-* lists?

Please read my reply to Frank Kuster. Thanks. 

Also, my idea is not to replace the user-lists. The goal is to relieve
the developers and packagers to allow them to do the developing and the
packaging. Maybe all it takes is for posted bugs to be assigned to
helpdesk@debian.org, instead automatically to the developer. After the
helpdesk as varified that the bugreport is sensible will the bug be
assigned to the developer.

                                   /            \
End User -> New BugReport -> Helpdesk ->  Developer
 \                             /
   --- --- Feedback --- --- --

> If i'm guessing your intentions correctly, I think it's a great idea,

Thanks. :)

> However, there's a very big problem. How do we avoid burn out? 

Maybe we don't avoid burn out. :)

> It gets *really* tiresome after a while, answering the same 'please go
> read the FAQ and don't post in HTML and don't expect me to do your
> homework'-kind of questions.

I know. I've been helpdesker for too long in order for me to deny that. 

> So, before we try it, any ideas how to avoid that and keep us possible
> volunteers motivated?

One thing I think Debian could do, is acknowledge the helpdesk by giving
them a formal status. The helpdesk already exists! It's in the forums,
on the lists, on IRC. 

But: there is no cohesion, and: no formal 'helpdesker'. I think people
would flock to Debian if they could become an official part of it by
helping other people use Debian.

So that is one thing. There are bound to be others. We could get some
other project to pay them?

Helpdeskers could update the documenation? Or post bugs and suggestions
to the DDP? Helpdeskers could recruit more helpdeskers? Fast roulation:
don't helpdesk for more than half a year? 

I would also suggest some form of mentorship. Experienced helpdeskers
showing new recruits the ropes. Watching their actions and correcting
where needed. Dumping new recruits in the Deep End could be overwhelming
and demotivating.

> [1] And that points out another posible task: Mediating between
> non-english-speaking users and DDs. Many won't do bug reports because
> of language barriers.

Very true! Hadn't thought about that one!

Kindest regards, 


Maarten Verwijs <maarten@projectie.com>

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