[rc5] Re: rc5-digest V1 #44

Rebecca and Rowland rebecca at astrid.u-net.com
Thu Jul 17 02:43:28 EDT 1997

>> 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?

No - I'm pointing out that there's two sides to everything.

>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.

How about someone who's careful, methodical, and polite most of the time,
and finally blows a fuse after being told for the umpteenth time the `The
Mac client works fine in default mode! The really great things is you don't
need to know anything about it, just run it, its works great!'

It's really galling to get a message like that, after requesting help
because you suspect that something's not right.  What that message tells me
is the the person replying to me hasn't read my message at all, or is
treating my problems with contempt.

(It's especially irritating in my case, because I'm running the v2 Mac
client on a 68K Mac, and I know that the developer never tested it on a 68K
Mac, so how can anyone be sure if it works right or not?)

I tend to find, with people like that, that you only ever get any useful
information by getting irritated.

Of course, with people who have some respect for others, and actually read
what you've written and try to understand it, things are different.

>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.

I have a pretty good idea of the effect of my words...

> 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 if your polite, comprehensive reports are ignored, one way or the
other?  I find that an irritated tone, in such circumstances, at least gets
the complaint considered seriously - there are some people who *only* take
notice of people who sound angry.  Perverse, but that's life for you - I
don't like it at all, but what can I do about it?

>> 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...  I'd like to use my Mac to help crack rc5.  I can't - the only way
of `coping' with this in that fashion is to give up.  I don't want to do
that, but the developers are making it bloody difficult for me to use my
CPU on their job.

>  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.

I have sent a list of what I think the documentation is lacking to the
developers, along with an offer to help write adequate Mac documentation (I
used to be a technical journalist - this is my field).  I have received no


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