[Fedora-marketing-list] Fedora usability : a new project?

Steven James Drinnan steven at easytec.com.hk
Wed Aug 9 03:17:40 UTC 2006

On Tue, 2006-08-08 at 14:53 +0200, Nicolas Mailhot wrote:
> Le Mar 8 août 2006 13:14, Paul W. Frields a écrit :
> >> We have a great product. That needs promoting and user feed back.
> >
> > The first is what Marketing is for.  The second is what Bugzilla is for.
> I strongly disagree.
> 1. The weight of a Fedora bugzilla report is pretty low,
> 2. A lot of Fedora packagers consider it's not their job to push user
> reports upstream.
> 3. Using upstream bugzilla is asking to be ignored - any feature evolution
> (and usability fixes are always considered feature evolutions) will be
> discussed in mailing lists/irc channels by developpers between themselves.
> Not in the bugzilla where the reporter can follow the discussion. Then
> when the user complains after a few months he'll be informed the decision
> was taken somewhere else without leaving him any opportunity to make his
> case or asking seriously fo his input. (and you and I know old bugzilla
> bugs will be ignored forever, since if they were important, someone would
> have acted on them before)
> Which means any problematic interaction between app A, B and C (typical
> usability problem) requires users:
> 1. to be able to locate the A, B, C forums where usability is discussed
> 2. to join them, learn the mood and discussion conventions
> 3. to convince A, B, C to work together (with zero credentials "just basic
> user report"), probably at an inconvenient date for upstream
> ie requires a *lot* of time, communication skills, mastery of technical
> english, etc
> Practically that means that without any group support a user report will
> go nowhere. Even if he found a perfectly valid problem.
> Distributions which create usability SIGs are able to influence upstream
> evolution the way their users need. They help formalise user reports in
> clean technical english. They are able to gather data and numbers that can
> not be waved away like an individual user-level report often is if
> upstream deems it inconvenient.
> Distributions which don't are only represented by their developpers, who
> are supposed to represent distro users but in practice only push their
> personal agenda (which may be good or bad but has often little in common
> with the wishes of users)
> No usability group gave us most of the UI gems of early GNOME 2, and an
> awful lot of the bad reputation GNOME and Fedora still suffer from (GNOME
> is not Fedora but Fedora/Red Hat people were certainly major players in
> the decision making process then).
> Till Fedora developpers/maintainers consider usability problems bugs (to
> be fixed) and not "enhancements" (to be ignored at will), someone else
> needs to mediate between Fedora users and all the upstreams Fedora
> distributes.
> Lastly this kind of group is a major generator of user goodwill - "let the
> users engage upstream alone" leads to the kind of Fedora-bashing articles
> we've seen lately.
> Regards,

My thoughts exactly, bugzilla is great to fix a particular problem but
it does not address what users needs are.


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