[Wikipedia-l] Discussion forum for bugs/features

Ray Saintonge saintonge at telus.net
Sat Aug 10 00:45:24 UTC 2002

Toby Bartels wrote:

>Under Phase II, we used [[Bug reports]] and [[Feature requests]]
>not merely to list desired features and undesired bugs
>but also to talk about them in a wiki way.
>Under Phase III, we instead use SourceForge for this.
>But SourceForge doesn't lend itself to discussion.
>In short, I think that we miss the discussion that we had in Phase II.
>We need a place for people to submit items for Wikipedians' approval
>other than SourceForge, but we need to use SourceForge too.
Toby makes a good point.  It strikes me that this is just another of 
these techie/non-techie debates.  Whatever the value of SourceForge (or 
Bugzilla for that matter) it still means going to another site with a 
whole new set of rules and operatiung procedures.  These are certainly 
essential for any system but sometimes for the non-techie even little 
bumps in the road can seem like huge learning cliffs to climb.  The mere 
thought of going to another site can be user unfriendly.

My guess is (and the techies can probably confirm this) that many of the 
"bugs" are rooted in a user's failure to grasp some technical detail 
that is second nature to another user.  If these problems are put on the 
bug report page, it's also easier for another non-techie user to 
respond.  The techies can scout that page as easily as anyone else, and 
move it to a more technical environment as appropriate.

The argument that these pages just seemed to get longer makes sense too, 
but a little housecleaning from time to time helps too.  Once a simple 
answer has been given to a simple question that thread will have 
outlived its usefulness after a month, and should be deleted.  If the 
article is too long and a new person has the same problem, he will 
probably enter it anew instead of reading the whole long article.

As Toby said, the article is still there and editable, so why not just 
use it if you don't feel like going to SourceForge.


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