I suspect it'd be nice if we were all reasonable here. Sometimes a bug
is defined as a functionality that doesn't work as expected, and
sometimes it's defined as a functionality that doesn't work as expected
in a particular environment, and sometimes it's defined as a
functionality that doesn't work as expected in all environments.
There is a lot of software that doesn't work as expected in all
environments. When we find our software utilizing multiple
technologies, we have to expect that sometimes it won't work as
expected, then try to find out what is it, within the "other
technology", that prevents the software from working. Sometimes a fix
will work and sometimes not.
For instance, many times, in a web browser, we can't do things unless we
allow a particular domain to become one of our "Trusted Sites". This is
totally a user requirement, but it causes our application's
functionality not to work as expected in this environment. Is this a
bug? I don't think so. Can I "fix" it? I can create help files on our
web site to provide instructions to a user how to fix it. Many other
issues, within the technological nightmare we find ourselves in, are far
more difficult to track down and resolve, and the "bugs" we find are
mostly a configuration issue. :-(
I'm always willing to "give-away" any knowledge I have of the MV
environment. I'm happy to fix something at my end and publish what I've
done. I've always thought that increasing the size of the market has
more advantages to everyone than limiting the information "leaked out"
to the user and developer base. But...that's just me, and I wouldn't
want to insist others to go along with the same view of our dbms
environment. If you can make money, fine. If you want to give away
solutions fine. That's why we have a "wiki" and why the B&B group wants
this all in one location so everyone can benefit, and the market can grow.
Just a few thoughts. :-)
----- Original Message -----
*Date:* 8/31/2012 11:13 AM
*Subject:* Re: [U2] U2 Bug reporting / list monitoring
Three topics here...
1) Not support though. Bugs.
In my book, they are opposite ends of the spectrum.
And a company that ignores bug reports because they don't come
through "approved" channels is heading in the direction of Netscape
and Liquid Audio.
Questions and answers aren't always simple. The bug you see in your
system might only manifest under specific conditions. It takes time to
understand those details and then to reproduce the case internally so
that a vendor can then fix the problem. Even when you publish details
about a bug, a tech needs to verify the information. Usually notes in
forums are incomplete - often simply wrong. It takes technicians time
to verify, diagnose, reproduce, and log anomalies. Someone must pay
the techs for their time. That's what Support/Maintenance fees are
Sure, sometimes it's a slam-dunk - someone reports a bug and the issue
seems like an obvious bug that should get logged and processed. But
then comes the question about "why are we doing this?" Can a company
justify a product change because "someone in a public forum" reported
it? What's the priority of this compared to other reports logged by
paying clients? If a paying client doesn't report an issue, might this
not be an indication that this is not a serious-enough issue for
paying clients, and thus not worth a development effort? On this
notion I've had strong arguments with many people - I believe people
are often more inclined to leave a platform than to report bugs, so
bugs need to be identified and squashed however possible. If the
process of reporting issues is too rigorous, That is a separate
problem that needs to be addressed with paying clients. All of these
things need to be considered, but without following processes, chaos
rules. WJ, you're a huge fan of chaos. That simply doesn't work well
in the real world.
2) I agree there are consultants who know tricks and make customers pay
for not only their knowledge of those tricks, but the hours it took
them, perhaps unpaid, to acquire that knowledge. But to make the 20th
customer pay the same hours as the 19th customer did, is really a
As long as people are asking specific questions there will be someone
charging for related answers. "Quality" is a factor that can make the
20th answer as valuable as the 1st or the 19th.
Information has just as much value to the 20th customer who does not
have that information as it did to the 1st customer who did not have
that information. As long as there are people out there who perceive
"value" in something, there will be others who offer that value at
varying prices and with varying degrees of quality.
There might be people willing to pay for information because they
believe it has value to them. Others will not be willing to pay
anything or as much, because to them the information has less value.
By offering information for free, because a consultant has earned
"enough" for it, he/she is re-defining the value of the specific
offering for everyone. The market also redefines value. Pricing based
on what consumers will bear has been the basis of trade for thousands
of years, and defines the nature of the stock market.
Your notion of "shocking" doesn't fit the world as it has existed for
3) That *some* people in the professional services world, wish that
user groups didn't exist, so they could keep charging high prices for
simple questions... is perhaps too bad on them.
I don't believe anyone has said what you just suggested.
Will, this has been an ongoing subtheme of yours for years. Really,
anyone can go back into archives and check that we've talked about
this many times. You expect other people to do research and then to
provide complete, site-specific answers in public forums so that you
can then get your customers to pay you for solutions. We're not here
to do your research, and those of us who continue to do research every
day and night can't pay our own bills if we keep giving away our
findings. We use data as raw materials, and manufacture knowledge and
context-specific, actionable information as our product. Take your
time to manufacture a product and give it away if you wish, but those
of us who are not independently wealthy cannot afford to do so,
especially for your benefit. So please, once again, stop asking.
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