[mythtv] Why MythTV didn't handle the UK Freeview lineup change

Stuart Morgan stuart at tase.co.uk
Sun Jul 26 17:18:11 UTC 2009

On Sunday 26 Jul 2009 17:32:47 John Barberio wrote:
> I only started using 'hyperbole' as you call it when you closed the
> bug report with the cryptic "Trac is not a discussion forum." and
> marking it as a duplicate, without saying what it was a duplicate of!

"Attention needs to be drawn", "hit all UK users", "Major design flaw", 
"breaks use of mythtv as a Set Top Box system".

I'll help you out with the second - 3 MythTV devs are UK users who never saw 
the problem you reported and we've gone through many lineup changes without 
your problem (as described) being seen.

They are all examples of hyperbole, dramatic exaggeration to make a point. 
There are hundreds of tickets submitted to trac which manage to report a bug 
without resorting to using anything but the hard facts.

> This is in fact one of the major fallacies of open source software.
> Most people not part of a large software project don't have time to
> learn the programming tools and system design used, even if they are
> programmers. Demanding that people 'earn your respect' by coding on
> your project before you'll listen to their bug reports is one sure
> fire way to stop getting bug reports, and probably frightening people
> off from even trying to learn what's needed to join in.

Whoa, you are twisting my words there. I make no demands that people learn to 
program, nor do I require them to do so in order to earn respect. People 
providing patches will earn respect, there is no question that is the case. 
However there are many other ways to go about it too, such as providing clear, 
detailed and accurate bug reports which stick with facts rather than 

> Ideally only people who are prepared to handle it like they're in a
> customer services department should really be taking on ownership of
> end-user filed bugs. If the project doesn't have any of those people,
> perhaps you need some non-programmers on board to handle your issue
> management and end-user support?

I don't think anyone would argue that programmers are good at front line 
support. Then again I've never met anyone who enjoys front line support and 
certainly not anyone who would take on the job and remain professional when 
they are unpaid. We have several non-programmers onboard handling ticket 
triage and end-user support, you met one - Dibblah, who closed your ticket.

Now I can't speak on his behalf, but I suspect your ticket was closed for 
several reasons, including the following:
1) You didn't read the Ticket Howto as directed at the top of the new ticket 
form, or you chose to ignore all the guidelines
2) The report seemed confused and full of conjecture. I can't say anyone 
really understood what you were trying to report.
3) The overuse of exaggeration designed to make your problem sound worse than 
everyone elses.

> You might want to look into why Debian ended up switching from Glibc
> to Eglibc, because of repeated incidents of one very good programmer
> being very bad at end-user issue management.

Threats like that just fall on deaf ears. It would be a mistake to think that 
the developers care what people chose to use, this isn't a competition, we 
work on MythTV for fun not fame, profit etc. Let Debian drop mythtv it doesn't 
affect us.
Stuart Morgan

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