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From Ted Husted <hus...@apache.org>
Subject RE: thoughts on encouraging user development
Date Mon, 05 Jul 2004 11:01:07 GMT
I can personally guarantee that if two or three developers post to a ticket and say "works
for me", especially if they are names that I've seen before, the patch will be (and has been)
applied. [Of course, whether it "sticks" is up to the rest of the committers :)]

When I review tickets, the ones with additional comments do get the most attention, the ones
that stand alone do get the least. The ones without patches or comments will probably never
be pursued. The squeaky wheels get the oil.  Votes are nice, but what I really want to know
is if they've tried the patch themselves. This is a meritocracy, and hands-on effort counts
for more than does clicking on a radio button.

Here's a big reason why: If the ticket affected the applications I write, or the applications
any of the committers write, the problem would already be fixed. We need to hear from other
members of the community that this issue is a problem for people, and that this is a solution
that they would use. When the problem is one that our application do not share, this is not
a judgment we can make on our own. 

Here's another reason why: All the committers are very busy guys right now. We have very few
hours to spend on Apache, and need to take care that we spend these hours wisely. Seeing interest
in a patch helps us set priorities. All the reports do go to the DEV list, and older reports
often" bubble to the top" that way.

-Ted.

On Mon, 05 Jul 2004 02:00:52 -0700 (PDT), Hubert Rabago wrote:
>
> Steve,
>
> If I had to guess, I think it's more likely that a person will
> submit a patch than try someone else's patch and report its
> effectiveness.
>
> A great number of people use Struts, that's a given, but I think
> it's a much smaller percentage that use the nightly builds (mostly
> brave and/or trusting souls and those whose hands aren't tied by
> corporate standards or probably work alone or in a small team).  An
> even smaller percentage use the nightly build by building it
> themselves.  (Maybe some still remember the series of emails
> before, about the experience of other folks having difficulty
> setting up to build Struts.)  From that group, I'm not sure a whole
> lot of them would try out a patch on a bug report that the
> committers aren't noticing.  You'd have to find several people from
> that small group who are also affected enough by an
> issue/enhancement the patch addresses to be able to spend the time
> and apply, rebuild, and test, only to end up with a forked version
> which will be incompatible with the next nightly build/release.
> Although I can see this happening in an ideal scenario (poor guys
> with incompatible binaries, though), this just never struck me as
> realistic.
>
> With 262 tickets, or over two dozen with patches, to get "several
> people" reporting back on the same patch, enough to get the
> feedback that said patch is "probably good", seems unlikely.
>
> I can't recall several people reporting on the same patch so much
> that it prompted a committer to eventually review and commit it.  I
> think the closest I've seen is add'l feedback to get a bug solved,
> or an enhancement added, maybe by messages to dev list or add'l
> votes on the bug report.  There were a couple or more times I've
> seen someone else look at the submitted patch and suggest
> improvements or alternate solutions.  Still, s/he didn't really say
> "I applied the patch to my local Struts copy and tried it out and I
> think blah blah blah...".
>
> Maybe a more realistic scenario would be a call from a committer
> for volunteers to specifically review, apply, and test a patch that
> he's thinking of applying to CVS.  I think this has happened at
> least once during the time I've been lurking, and IIRC it got a few
> responses and the patch got applied.
>
> Also, I hope this isn't the only criteria for determining whether
> an issue is one that affects many people.  I know it's been said
> here before that "patches are the only votes that count", but
> still, maybe we can use the bugzilla voting mechanism to encourage
> users to give feedback on which ones affect them the most.
>
> Hubert


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