Why Open Bug Tracking Fails

Filed under
Ubuntu

Unlike proprietary platforms, Ubuntu allows end users to interact directly with developers through Launchpad’s bug-reporting system. In some cases, this approach allows bugs to be discovered and resolved quickly. In most situations, however, open bug tracking is a fiasco that Ubuntu would be better off without. Here’s why.

Open bug reporting policies, which allow anyone to file bug reports that developers are expected to address, operate under the principle, famously decreed by Eric S. Raymond, that “Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow.” In other words, the more people you have searching for and reporting problems, the faster they can be fixed.

In the best of all possible worlds, where end users are also professional programmers, Raymond’s logic may hold true. But in real life, only a fraction of the people using a given software product have any idea how to read code or troubleshoot problems.

Distracted developers and frustrated users