ABRT unusable again

Ralf Corsepius rc040203 at freenet.de
Mon Feb 8 05:59:03 UTC 2010

On 02/07/2010 12:52 PM, Michael Schwendt wrote:
> 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.

Exactly. As a "user" I consider the "Fedora distro" to be a product of 
the "Fedora Project", regardless of who the people behind this vendor 
actually are and regardless of its price.

> 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?

To me, "free of charge" only implies "user will not sue vendor". It's 
not a "card blanche" for "low quality" nor for "carelessness/negligence" 
nor for "unprofessionalism".

> 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.

Right, in such cases "the Fedora product vendor's representative in 
charge" of the "low quality component of the Fedora product" has decide 
upon consequences.

Car manufacturers do the same: It's called QA.

  If a supplier doesn't supply the quality they want, they decide upon 
what to do: "refurbish/fix the component", "return component to 
supplier", switch "supplier", redesign the "component" or even redesign 
a larger part of the "product", such that other component vendors' 
products can replace the "low quality component".

It's the same in Fedora: If a piece of SW in Fedora is broken, then the 
Fedora maintainers needs to take care about it to prevent to Fedora 
user-base to be exposed to this bugs. Of course, he can optionally 
consult upstream, consult others etc. ... nevertheless it's still the 
Fedora package maintainer who is responsible for is "user-base".

> 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".

Agreed - ABRT is such a case, IMNSHO. Remove it from the distro and send 
its devs "back to the drawing board".


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