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Re: Debian v9 it's a stretch

Borden Rhodes <jrvp@bordenrhodes.com> writes:

> You can't say that something is a stable upgrade from the previous
> version and then be surprised that users are annoyed when they find it
> isn't.

When annoyed users are unable or unwilling – and I make no judgement
here, in what we've seen described in this thread, about which of those
is the cause – to describe problems sufficiently for the problem to be
identified as a bug?

Yes, in that circumstance the developers are justified in saying that
the package has no reported bugs that prevent its release in a stable

That is not a claim that problems don't exist. It is not a claim the
developers believe no problems exist; most developers are not silly
enough to think that no bugs reported is the same as no bugs. Quite the

It means, though, that users who are annoyed must *describe the problems
in bug reports*, in sufficient specific detail to investigate, if they
expect the problems to be addressed.

While the problem is only evident to people who don't describe the
problems in sufficient detail for them to be investigated, those
problems can be expected to persist.

> I use open source software appreciating that I'm part of an experiment
> where I'll be on my own if something goes wrong.

Not at all! You are part of a large community when something goes wrong.
The barrier to investigating such problems is *lower* than with
proprietary software.

Unlike proprietary software, free software removes artificial barriers
erected against the community of users properly investigating a problem
and offering improved versions of the software to solve it.

> If the marketing and community stuck to that message, you'd get fewer
> complaints because you can say 'You knew what you were getting into.'

I'm glad that message is not promulgated further. It is a false message.

Instead, the message is: You have a community of peers that could not
exist without software freedom. Problems exist in any software; but,
unlike proprietary software, the community around this free software *is
permitted* to investigate problems. So, to the extent they are described
precisely and reproducibly, the community can help much more than with
proprietary software.

> I found it refreshing when someone said 'if you want your hand held,
> go some place else', because was an honest reflection of the facts and
> his ability to provide support.

I hope no one comes to any software *merely* wanting their hand held.

Also, the person who told you that was not saying anything I believe
about this community.

> So, yes, it answers how you reduce complaints from frustrated users:
> don't oversell your software in the first place.

I agree with that sentiment.

I disagree that the software has been oversold in any of the cases
described in this thread.

 \       “The fundamental principle of science, the definition almost, |
  `\             is this: the sole test of the validity of any idea is |
_o__)                                 experiment.” —Richard P. Feynman |
Ben Finney

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