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Re: Exception

From: Hyrum K Wright <hyrum.wright_at_wandisco.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Oct 2011 08:51:46 -0500

On Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 5:17 AM, Stefan Sperling <stsp_at_elego.de> wrote:
> On Wed, Oct 12, 2011 at 12:05:20PM +0200, Daniel Shahaf wrote:
>> Stefan --- could you make the error below clarify in bold red capital
>> letters the part that says "with as much information as possible about
>> what you were trying to do"?
>>
>> There's no reason our users@ volunteers should be answering five times
>> a month "Read the error message" to random people who insist on
>> copy-pasting the error message and sending it to us with zero context.
>>
>
> I think the text is clear enough as it is.
> We can only do so much to guide users in reporting errors.
>
> Keep in mind that, first of all, the user has a problem, not us.
> We can help with fixing the problem, but not without information
> the user must provide. Hence, I have no problem simply ignoring
> posts like this to users@. We receive a lot of good quality reports,
> so it's not like we had nothing else to focus on.
>
> However, removing the email address from the error message might indeed
> be a good idea. This will filter out those who don't even bother reading
> the list guidelines at http://subversion.apache.org/mailing-lists.html.
> I think people who don't take time to read the guidelines also won't
> take the time to put together a proper report. So this might help
> with reducing the amount of useless noise reports we get.

There's a balance we need to strike between 1) getting the bug report
with as much information; and 2) not wasting people's time. I don't
know where the balance is, but even information like "it's broken,
here's the error message" is quasi-valuable, and we shouldn't be going
out of our way to quash it. If a failure mode is common enough *even
without a reproduction script* it's a signal that we need to look into
it.

I don't have any specific action for this instance, just a warning
that if we're going to introduce barriers to bug reporting, let's not
let the pendulum swing too far.

-Hyrum

> So I would suggest changing the text to this:
>
> Subversion encountered a serious problem.
> Please take the time to report this on the Subversion users mailing list
> with as much information as possible about what you were trying to do.
> But please first search the mailing list archives for the error message
> to avoid reporting the same problem repeatedly.
> You can find the users mailing list address and archives at
> http://subversion.apache.org/mailing-lists.html
>

-- 
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Received on 2011-10-12 15:52:19 CEST

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