multiple reports of same bug-needs fixing

Scott Kitterman ubuntu at
Sat Jun 2 05:55:37 UTC 2012

Jordon Bedwell <jordon at> wrote:

>On Fri, Jun 1, 2012 at 8:49 PM, Phillip Susi <psusi at> wrote:
>> Do you consider repeating a question on IRC once every minute
>spamming?  Every 5 minutes?  Most people would say yes.  You take that
>time out to once an hour and in that time frame new people often join
>the channel, or come back from AFK and tend not to read everything that
>was said while they were gone, so repeating after an hour is likely to
>get someone's attention that otherwise would not have noticed.
>On IRC I would not.  I don't know how subjective that POV is, we see
>repeats on development IRC's all the time, often not that spread apart
>and nobody gets bothered by it.  That is on... #ruby, #ruby-lang,
>#python and others.  If it was email I still would not, as I would not
>see the 'repeats', my mail client, as well as the service I use
>automatically hides accidental or perpetual repeats as to reduce
>clutter.  I would hope that most Gmail users also agree since they
>have the same feature except it doesn't hide them, just minimizes them
>(but my client actually hides them.)
>The time frame is subjective though, an hour could be a day, so... by
>that... he did not 'spam' as you put it.
>> On a mailing list, the audience isn't changing frequently and the
>messages generally are all read so if nobody replies, it is probably
>because either nobody knows, or nobody cares.  Often times people go 24
>hours or more before catching up on reading the list, so that isn't
>even enough time for everyone to have seen your message, and had a
>chance to reply.  Given those two factors, repeating yourself every day
>is a waste of everyone's time.
>Not caring is one of the big problems I see quite often, and as
>somebody who has an Ubuntu email, if you don't care we have bigger
>problems to deal with other than bugs that are considered unimportant
>(as another put it) and never responded to.  Big project is not an
>excuse to at least respond.  Picking your battles is entirely
>different then knowing and acknowledging future battles.  I think you
>wasted your own time (while blaming him for 'wasting your time' by
>responding with something other then a proper answer.  What I am
>saying is you've created your own inefficiency by responding at all
>and then blame him for creating one too.
>Perhaps the more prudent to (when somebody files a bug) tell the user
>in the success message "if this ticket is not responded to within 2
>weeks please ping a developer via [insert mailing list email]" and
>also (which is quite easy) do the same to users who don't post,
>stating something to the effect of "this ticket is still rather new
>and less then two weeks old, please do not ping any developers" and
>"this ticket is older than two weeks, if you are experiencing this
>problem please ping a developer" This would curve this so called spam,
>somewhat. People will still ignore it, such is life, but being more
>intuitive from your bug system would ultimately create more
>There are even other ideas, such as just creating a ping button on the
>tracker itself one that would first ping bugsquad and then after it's
>been confirmed or otherwise pings a developer or the team behind the
>package or feature.  This would keep people off the mailing list...
>And you could even limit it globally to two weeks or whatever.
>That said... If your email client and you aren't efficient enough to
>figure out that they are repeats we are starting to see why you can't
>respond in a timely fashion.  Though I still find it ironic you state
>it's a waste of your time for him to do this yet you wasted your own
>time by telling him he wasted your time.  Regardless of changing
>subjects and changing text in the email one should be able to quickly
>deduce it as a repeat and skip over it... by the subject alone.

Or even easier, unsubscribe from a list with perceived low signal to noise 

I agree that using the word spam was over the top, but that doesn't in turn 
give you the right to assume developers don't care.  We certainly do, but we 
can't do everything.  Multiple posts on the same topic to this list simply 
don't help.  What they cause is developers looking up the unsubscribe 

It is a simple fact that if you want developers to participate on this list, 
then it's up to you to make it a place they want to participate.  AFAICT, most 
developers don't because they got tired of the tone from many (not all) non-

We don't need more ways for people to clamor for attention to get their pet 
bug fixed.  We need more people fixing things.  BTW, other than commercial 
support, the other way to get more attention paid to your problems is to get 
involved in the project.  Even if you aren't up to being a developer, Ubuntu 
is big enough that anyone can contribute if they care to.  I certainly do pay 
more attention to issues raised by people I know are active in the project.

Scott K

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