BZ 2138 (was Re: ANN: BreakpointNavigator Plugin release)

graham samuel graham.samuel at
Tue Apr 12 16:50:08 EDT 2005

On Tue, 12 Apr 2005 13:57:28 +0100, Alex Tweedly <alex at> 
> I spent 20-some years as a software development manager - a significant
> (arguably *the* significant) part of that job is figuring out the
> balance between new feature development and bug fixing, and then 
> setting
> priorities between various bugs. Some are very serious and very hard 
> and
> will take a lot of time to investigate (and more to fix), others are
> straightforward, and give you quick boost for little effort, etc.
> The existence of the voting system is (I hope) only one more helpful
> input to the prioritization task of the development managers (and the
> individual developers) at Runrev. The developer and/or manager
> responsible for this area must be able to look at the bug, evaluate its
> impact (on users and potential users), estimate the effort involved in
> investigating, developing and subsequently testing a fix to this bug; 
> if
> they've not yet picked it to work on, it's got to be because there are
> other more important issues (or better ROI efforts) underway.  Those
> decisions involve a lot more than vote-counting.
> I just don't accept the blame (or guilt) implied by saying its *our*
> (the users) collective fault it hasn't been voted for, and therefore
> hasn't been fixed yet :-)
> I have to admit that at the moment, I haven't cast any votes for any
> bugs. To do so would imply that I have *chosen* the ones to vote for -
> and (with my sw dev manager background) I just can't do that without at
> least a brief review all the outstanding bugs.

Well, said Alex - I agree with you for the same reasons (including 
having been a software development manager. I would be shocked if the 
RunRev team felt itself bound by the pseudo-democracy of the Bugzilla 
voting system (having said that, I have indeed voted as an expression 
of interest in issues that affect me personally, but I don't have high 
expectations for particular bugs to be fixed just because I voted for 
them). There are several dimensions to assessing the seriousness of 
bugs and the realistic chance of fixing them by the next release or 
whatever. Clearly RR should keep its collective ear to the ground to 
see what is worrying  users and where the show-stoppers are; but given 
the inevitable imbalance between the bugs and deficiencies that will 
exist in any complex software product and the amount of resources 
available to deal with them, I think we have no choice but to trust the 

If I do have a criticism of the bug database, it is the number of 
'unconfirmed' bugs that are really pretty much known by the user 
community to be real. IMHO it would be worth updating BZ (again) in 
this respect.

Graham Samuel / The Living Fossil Co. / UK and France

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