ABRT unusable again

Michael Schwendt mschwendt at gmail.com
Sun Feb 7 11:52:53 UTC 2010

On Sun, 07 Feb 2010 11:20:04 +0100, Stefan wrote:

> On So, 2010-02-07 at 09:03 +0100, Ralf Corsepius wrote:
> > 
> > To end-users, it's irrelevant "who is supposed to fix something". Their 
> > complaints are against the product call Fedora and thus expect "Fedora 
> > to fix their product".
> > 
> > That said: It's irrelevant to Toyota car owners, which supplier 
> > manufactured the parts which have caused Toyota to call back 1000 of 
> > their cars - To them it's Toyota who is reponisible, and Toyota's duty 
> > to fix this issue.
> But Toyota's employees do not do that after work in their free time.
> They get paid for it. If someone is paying me to fix bugs for upstream
> that's fine and I will try to fix every reported bug. I guess a lot of
> Fedora package maintainers do their packaging stuff in their spare free
> time and would say it is not the right thing to offload the work to
> them.
> The analogy between Toyota and Fedora does not convince me ;-)

That's likely.  Because the analogy isn't obvious - and reducing it to a
relationship between a paying customer and a paid worker makes it even
less obvious.

There is an analogy actually. Regardless of whether the Fedora Project
consists of many volunteers, who do unpaid stuff in their spare time,
Fedora delivers a product and will have to deal with its consumers and
negative feedback. The fact that the product is free (as in "free beer")
should not imply that it is worse than a commercial product. How far would
you want to go with regard to a fat disclaimer about "no warranties",
"free of charge", "no support", "hobbyist developers", to lower a
consumer's expectations?  A huge sticker on top of the product to
advertise against trying it out? What is the added value we [at Fedora]
try to add? Surely it isn't that we just lump together software in form of
RPM packages _without_ testing and _without_ carefully picking releases
and compatible components. Even if we don't guarantee anything, there must
be something quality related, which _we_ _try_ to offer.

It's clear that if upstream software quality is poor and if nobody works
on improving the software, it is more difficult for the Fedora packager to
deliver quality. To shrug one's shoulders in reply to problem reports is
the wrong way, however. And the more problem reports, the more important
it gets to do something. As a last resort, software could get retired and
removed from "The Product".

Michael Schwendt
Fedora release 12 (Constantine) - Linux

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