[rc5] Re: rc5-digest V1 #44

Stephen Langasek vorlon at dodds.net
Wed Jul 16 03:24:15 EDT 1997

On Wed, 16 Jul 1997, Rebecca and Rowland wrote:

> >No.  Everyone who is complaining here is doing so because they have all
> >the manners and consideration of a two-year-old.  I want the clients to
> >work, too, but you don't see me kvetching about it.  Why?  Common courtesy
> >for one.

> Point: without feedback, the developers can't know about any problems the
> clients have.

Well, now, there's feedback, and then there's feedback.  From what I've
seen here on the list, there's been far too much squelch, and far too
little helpful input. :)

> But how about careful, methodical end users taking the time to fully
> investigate an apparent problem to the best of their ability, and sending a
> detailled and carefully-considered description of the problem to the
> developer - who then doesn't even bother to reply with a `thanks for the
> bug report'?

> Who has the manners of a two year old?

Is it all right for people to bitch if they've investigated the problem
fully beforehand, you ask?  All but the most lazy who seek tech support
feel they've investigated the problem to the best of their abilities.  Its
their attitudes once they're on the line with tech support that determine
whether they help or hinder the resolution of their own problem.

I do not defend the coordinators and programmers as angels in electronic
disguise.  If one of the developers fails to respond to their email, it's
possible that they have valid reasons for it.  It's equally possible that
they are simply being boorish; they are, after all, human.  I tend to
assume the former until the latter is proved, YMMV.  But as the old adage
goes, two wrongs don't make a right, and some of the messages I've seen
have indicated to me that there are those here who fail to appreciate the
effects their words are likely to have.  Even if consideration and respect
are not due the developers (and as an erstwhile programmer myself, I feel
that they are), rude complaints are more likely to be overlooked in favor
of the fully documented, courteous bug report.  And if they *are* taken
seriously, a belligerent tone can only add stress to their otherwise
hectic lives, which doesn't help to get the bug fixed any faster.

> But...  What about people who find that the client *doesn't* work on their
> setup, and have 1) No control over the client 2) No documentation to help
> them 3) No feedback from the developers - aside from the mis-information
> that `The Mac client works fine out of the box - it works fine!' which is a
> bit rich given that I have an email from the bloke who developed the v2 Mac
> client, in which he states that he didn't test it on a 68K Mac - what other
> tests did he miss?  It's clear that the Mac client *doesn't* work fine out
> of the box - so what are we to do?  It appears to do something other than
> what I thought it should be doing, but what do I know?  The documentation
> doesn't explain what it does, nor how to tell if it's doing it.

To such people, I say that it is an imperfect world, and that the act of
complaining does nothing to change that.  In short: cope.  But that's my
philosophy of life. :)  Saying that the documentation is insufficient does
nothing to help us help you, until someone comes forward and says *what*
it's lacking.  FAQs are built from frequently asked questions, but without
concrete questions, it's difficult to know where to start documenting. :)
Such is life.

                                 -Steve Langasek

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