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Re: do you care about bug reports?

From: Graham Percival
Subject: Re: do you care about bug reports?
Date: Tue, 27 Oct 2009 20:40:59 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.18 (2008-05-17)

On Tue, Oct 27, 2009 at 11:59:39AM +0100, David Kastrup wrote:
> Graham Percival <address@hidden> writes:
> > Maybe you're like me, and have never
> > written stuff with lyrics.  Yeah, those bug reports were fun to
> > handle... but if you just say "sorry, I'm not at all familiar with
> > lyrics.  What is this extender line thing supposed to look like?",
> > then you can't go wrong.
> It still implies that Valentin has to learn what the extender line thing
> is supposed to be like.  That's fine if he is the only one who is going
> to fix or understand the bug.  But if chances are that the people who
> will end up fixing the bug _have_ the requisite knowledge, it is not
> effective to pass the bug report through Valentin.

So it's more effective to have programmers handling the initial
bug reports and getting frustrated at people who haven't read the

You seem to have forgotten that I was Bug Meister for a year, and
moved all the bugs from the old format into the google code.  The
lyric extender example wasn't random.  It really happened.  It
took 2 or 3 more emails from the reporter until I understood the
problem, but a few days after the initial report, it was in the

I don't recall *anybody* complaining about my lack of knowledge,
either musical or lilypond-specific.  I apologized, explained my
limitations, and we worked together to find an explanation of the

> What are you going to do if somebody complains about wrong Chinese
> ligatures?  There may be somebody able to understand and fix the bug.
> And there might be somebody able to do this in a year when he joins the
> developers and sees the report in the bug database.

In polite terms[1], I'll ask what the mao a Chinese ligature is,
what they should look like, etc.  After a few emails, I might
enter the bug report as "The symbol under the first note should
have three horizontal lines, a vertical line centered through
them, and a dot between the 2nd and 3rd line on the right-hand
side, whereas currently there are only two horizontal lines and
the dot is floating in mid-air"... but the report *will* get in

If the Chinese user isn't willing to explain the problem to a
stupid gaijin[2] like me, then oh well.  It's not like we don't
have 300 other bugs.

[1] i.e. without using the term "mao".

[2] oops, that Japanese rather than Chinese.

- Graham

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