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Re: bug tracking system (was: mini-HOWTO)

On Tue, Feb 01, 2000 at 10:12:55PM +0000, Terry Dawson wrote:
> David Lawyer wrote:
> > > How is this any less true for any other feedback mechanism? The point
> > > here is that sometimes it takes an author a week, a month, three months
> > > or six months to produce a new version of a document.
> > 
> > It shouldn't take this long.  As soon as it's realized that something
> > important (that people are asking about) is missing (or hidden) in a
> > HOWTO, the author should modify the doc and create a new version the
> > next day.
> I think is one of the most unrealistic things I've heard said on this
> list.

Well, I didn't mean to imply that most of them will do this.  It also
depends on how important it is.  But in some cases it can happen this
way.  I usually make changes in a HOWTO while I'm reading an email.
I've also submitted them just after that but alas; it doesn't get
uploaded the same day.  It should.

> There are whole classes of questions that I'd answer that do not warrant
> an update to the document.

If it doesn't warrant changing the doc, then it's likely that almost
no one else will need this info (or that it is or should be in another
> I've received countless questions from people about things related to
> HOWTO documents I've authored or maintained. Often those questions are
> asking for information on things that I've intentionally not included
> because I believed they were out of scope, or that are already
> documented in other HOWTO documents. There is no way in the world that
> I'm going to modify my document to include clauses to that effect for
> every such question.

I seldom answer out of scope questions.  One reason is that I can't
revise another HOWTO where the response may need to go.  Another
reason is that I often don't know the answer.  If Linux becomes very
popular there will be more and more questions which will perhaps
require more than one person (part-time) to answer questions regarding
a HOWTO.  

Anyway, I don't think that out-of-scope questions for a certain HOWTO 
should go into a reader-response file for that HOWTO.  That would be
poor organization.  Almost all of the reader responses to my HOWTOs I
delete.  They are just not worth saving --and besides I'm short of
disk space.  Often in asking questions and describing what they did,
readers use incorrect terminology and fail to clearly, completely, and
correctly describe their situation.  I don't think this is good
learning material.  Of course it's often better than nothing if it's
not available elsewhere (like in an update to a HOWTO).
			David Lawyer

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