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Re: contacting Debian is too easy to get wrong

Ian Jackson <ijackson@chiark.greenend.org.uk> writes:
> Ritesh Raj Sarraf writes ("Re: contacting Debian is too easy to get wrong"):

>> When a user asks for a question, most usually end up on a web
>> forum. Developers mostly prefer monitoring hand-picked mailing lists
>> only. That's where the disconnect is, in my opinion.

>> What we need is to relate these interfaces to one another.

> I think the problem with user questions is even worse than that.

> Many developers don't actually want to spend much (or any) time
> answering user questions.  Partly for bad reasons; but also for the
> very good reason that it doesn't scale.

I was about to follow up to make this point, but Ian beat me to it.

When I had lots of time to spend on Debian, I would occasionally get some
satisfaction out of helping a user debug some sort of general issue with
Debian on their system, or thinking through an odd use case for a package
to find some solution, but that sort of thing usually takes quite a lot of
time and back and forth, and it's often not high-leverage in the sense
that an equal amount of time put into packaging a new upstream release or
fixing a known bug will improve more things for more people.  As I've had
to cut back on the number of hours I spend on Debian, I gravitate towards
higher-leverage activities.

At this point, I just don't have time to read and understand most user
questions, let alone help with them, so it's not so much that I prefer
forums that use a different format than users prefer as it is that I
prefer forums that don't have user questions.  :|

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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