Doesn't anything work around here?

Miles Nordin carton at Ivy.NET
Sun Nov 4 15:55:57 PST 2007

>>>>> "ml" == Mark Linimon <linimon at> writes:

    ml> And thus, your recommendation is?

I wouldn't risk hazarding one.  I'm not blaming anyone.  It just sucks
is all.

    ml> If you want things fixed, you're going to need to be proactive
    ml> in identifying sources of breakage and notifying the people
    ml> that caused them, whether that's via email or send-pr.

yes, agreed.

but it can be overwhelming to spend one's time compiling things over
and over again just to keep security-patched what used to work fine
yesterday, especially for someone who is bored with sysadmining and
would like a stable platform from which to work on something else.

Also I've found that reporting problems is a poor way of getting them
fixed.  It's much better to fix yourself the one problem you find most
bothersome, than to meticulously report ten other problems.  In my
experience filing problem reports mostly earns you yearly emails,
``I'm thinking of working on your problem, but before I work on this,
please rebuild your whole system with our latest CVS and report back
whether you're still having the problem.''  This goes on ~forever.

For something like a broken web browser, it's _so_ ubiquitously used
that I think the few people able to fix the convoluted mess will
become interested in fixing it and discover the problem at
approximately the same time.  ``Firefox doesn't work'' probably
already isn't some obscure bug for which we need more testers becuase
it keeps slipping through the cracks.

The other issue is, the web browser keeps breaking, so if what some
user wants is a *stable platform* from which to do other things
besides repeatedly recompile FreeBSD, reporting doesn't get you what
you want because it's just going to break again.  What helps get you
what you want is: knowing that the web browser keeps breaking on
sparc64.  Knowing this, you can avoid running this platform on
desktops, which will get you what you want!  As a user who doesn't
know how, or want to learn how, to fix web browsers (yes, such people
*DO* exist and shouldn't have to appologize for existing!), stubbornly
continuing to use the platform while blaming yourself for not
operating a bunch of constabuild labs and aggressively keeping up with
a dozen PR's won't get you closer to what you want.

I hope no one feels like I'm discounting his or her contribution, or
blaming volunteers for something, even if I don't consistently keep my
frustration politely hidden. :) I am allowed to be frustrated, right?
That's not wrong, is it?
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