Linden Lab today reported that they’ve effectively closed the Public JIRA system to users, and are launching a new “bug reporting project”.
The announcement, made in the Technology blog, reads:
User-submitted bug reports help improve the Second Life experience for all Residents, so we greatly appreciate all of you who take the time to provide this invaluable information to us.
Because we want to make it even easier to report bugs, today we are making some changes that will streamline the bug reporting process, allowing us to more quickly collect information and respond to issues.
Following is a summary of the JIRA changes:
- All bugs should now be filed in the new BUG project, using the more streamlined submission form.
- Second Life users will only see their own reported issues. When a Bug reaches the “Been Triaged” status, they will no longer be able to add comments to their issue.
- Once a Bug reaches the “Accepted” or “Closed” status, it will not be updated. You can watch the Release Notes to see when and if a fix has been released for your issue.
- Existing JIRAs will remain publicly visible. We will continue to review and work through these.
To those of you who have taken the time to alert us to bugs and provided the information we need to fix them — thank you! We hope that you will continue to help us improve Second Life, and this new process should make it easier for all of us. Ideas about how we can continue to improve the bug reporting process can be shared here.
As a part of this change the public JIRA is still browsable, but it appears the ability to comment on specific JIRA items has been turned off.
It’s hard to fathom why this has been done – and the stated reason actually makes little sense. If nothing else, the fact that users can only see the bugs they report will inevitably means that the system is liable to get flooded with duplicate entries - far more so than
is was the case with the JIRA system. Beyond this are other aspects which seem to make this move counter-productive:
- Users are often a part of the triage process. They can confirm when and how issues are occurring; they can test different hardware and different viewer options and ascertain if the problem is at all localised, or possible an artefact unique to the reporter’s system
- Developers can similarly – and vastly – help the triage / resolution process, bringing their own knowledge and skills to bear on user-reported problems
- Both users and TPV developers can speed the process on duplicate JIRA identification and cross-referencing, reducing the amount of work LL have to initially undertake.
All this move appears to do is further break another means of productive collaboration between Linden Labs and TPV developers / the user community, leaving everyone the worse off, and that in itself is hardly positive.
While there has been frustration within LL – and among those who do invest time and effort in trying to help LL deal with raised JIRAs – over the amount of (often pointless) feedback, bickering than can occur with a particularly emotive JIRA (comments like THIS IS BAD!!!!!!! FIX IT NOW!!!!!!! certainly don’t help anyone), this move can hardly be called a proportional response to preventing such problems.
Unless there is more to come, such as TPVs at least being allowed to engage in the bug / issue reporting / triage / resolution process, there is potentially only one adjective which some might opt to apply to this move.