Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Re: User Advocacy in Ubuntu

On Tue, Dec 17, 2013 at 05:22:15PM -0800, Benjamin Kerensa wrote:
> On Tue, Dec 17, 2013 at 12:52 PM, J Fernyhough <j.fernyhough@gmail.com>wrote:

> > Wasn't this the purpose of Brainstorm, which was closed earlier in the
> > year? How would an advocacy group produce a different result than
> > Brainstorm in producing "popular" ideas that are ignored or judged as
> > against the desired Ubuntu direction?

> Good question. The problem with Brainstorm was it was a tool and time was
> never really invested in pushing the ideas out of that tool and acting upon
> them in our development process.

I don't believe this is at all accurate. There was a period of at least a
year when the Technical Board was routinely reviewing the top ideas from
Brainstorm and attempting to distill these down into actionable bug reports
for the developers.

Toward the end of Brainstorm's run, it became clear that almost none of the
remaining top issues were going to be actionable, either because they were
too hard (= would require too many resources to resolve), or were contrary
to broader design goals of Ubuntu, or were matters for upstream to decide.

I don't see any reason to think that some formally designated user advocacy
group would yield different results.

> This is why an advocacy team is needed because the team would use the
> tools and data available to them to produce actionable reports that could
> be acted upon by developers.

> UA teams are not just about features but also addressing all the things
> that impact our users including bugs that have simply been ignored for too
> long or new bugs that have such a major impact on users that they need to
> rise up to the highest priority for our developers to fix.

What is preventing you from advocating for the fixing of such bugs today?
There is lots of existing information in our available systems to help
someone identify bugs that have a major impact on users: bug heat in
Launchpad, and top crashers on errors.u.c, to name just two.

You discount Brainstorm because it was "just a tool", but then seem to be
proposing the introduction of new tools for gathering data. I don't think
we have any shortage of data about what users want fixed in Ubuntu. The
question is, how will this data be turned into bugfixes?

Steve Langasek Give me a lever long enough and a Free OS
Debian Developer to set it on, and I can move the world.
Ubuntu Developer http://www.debian.org/
slangasek@ubuntu.com vorlon@debian.org