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RE: Emacs project mission (was Re: "If you're still seeing problems, pl

From: Drew Adams
Subject: RE: Emacs project mission (was Re: "If you're still seeing problems, please reopen." [
Date: Sun, 24 Nov 2019 10:31:39 -0800 (PST)

> > > The question was why a lot of users shy away
> > > from reporting bugs to us.
> >
> > That's an assumption at this point, no?  What
> > evidence has been presented, besides anecdotal?
> Only anecdotal evidence is possible, so I don't
> see that as avoidable.

Other ways to gather evidence are possible.

But even if anecdotal evidence were all that was
possible, it remains not super useful for making
decisions about which bug reporting, tracking,
and management tools to use.

That's all the more important if the choice is to
abandon the current system altogether and switch
to another one, instead of letting users continue
to use email, as well letting them use other ways
to report bugs and enhancement requests. 

> I will say this: my anecdotal evidence matches
> that of others here.

Which others?  What's your anecdotal evidence about
whether users report bugs if you suggest to them to
use `M-x report-emacs-bug'?

> In theory, the current bug reporting system is fine.
> In practice, it conflicts with the way modern users
> are used to doing things and with the configuration
> of modern single user systems.

That's not what I, and the post I responded to, was
referring to.  That's a much more general question.

I was speaking to the narrower question of whether
they report a bug, when we suggest to users (of
Emacs Q&A or discussion web sites) that, for their
particular observation, suggestion, or question,
they use `M-x report-emacs-bug'.

My anecdotal finding is that they do.  The anecdotal
finding I responded to was that they don't - because
they're scared of sending an email.

I've said that anecdotal evidence isn't super useful.
But it can be of some use - different observations
can help.

But at least we shouldn't jump from one person's
observation to a general presumption that "a lot
of users shy away from reporting bugs to us".

I offered my contrary observation.  And I thought
it was worthwhile to point out that we were both
offering just personal anecdotes.

Why is the narrower question useful?  It can speak,
even if only anecdotally, to the extent to which
users don't report bugs because they need to send
email (whether from fear or any other reason).

The claim for which I said evidence hasn't been
presented was that "a lot of users shy away from
reporting bugs to us".  That claim then tried to
direct discussion to why that presumed fact is so.

I asked how we know it to be a fact.  Shades of the
classic, "When did you stop beating your wife?"
The question why lots of users are afraid to report
bugs begs the question of whether they in fact are.

The claim you make is that `M-x report-emacs-bug'
"conflicts with" what "modern users" are used to,
and with the computer systems they use (no email?).

If such users don't hesitate to `report-emacs-bug',
then where's the conflict?  (I assume users on the
sites I mentioned include some of your "modern users".)

Whether there might be other useful ways to let
users report bugs is a different question.  That
possibility could be offered instead of, or in
addition to, `M-x report-emacs-bug' (email).  

I gather, from your claim of "conflict" that you
favor the former.  A priori, I'd prefer the latter:
let users optionally continue to use email to
report, if they like.

But whether such other ways (from Slack-like to
GitHub-like, to JIRA-like, to any number of other
"way[s] modern users are used to doing things")
might be _useful_ is quite a different question
from whether such ways "conflict with the current
bug reporting system".

Please don't confuse such different questions in
your zeal to promote a particular recourse.

These are (should be, anyway) still early days
wrt finding out what the actual story is and
then, if need be, examining possible remedial

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