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rjbs (4671)

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I'm a Perl coder living in Bethlehem, PA and working Philadelphia. I'm a philosopher and theologan by training, but I was shocked to learn upon my graduation that these skills don't have many associated careers. Now I write code.

Journal of rjbs (4671)

Tuesday June 24, 2008
10:49 AM

please erect no barriers to entry for bug reports

[ #36766 ]

Yesterday, we found a serious bug in the IMAP library used by RoundCube. To report the bug, we had to click through a pile of links and sign up for an account. When we tried to send a report to the mailing list, it was rejected (500 error) because you may not post in the first few minutes of being a list member.

Today I tried to watch the QuickTime screencast video for Today. It was unbearably quiet. I tried to report this to the software vendor, but after I finally found the right link to click and entered my problem, and after I clicked a emoticon representing "how this made me feel" and then typed a description of what I meant by that emoticon, and after I clicked the submit button, I was prompted to sign up for an account.

I need an account to tell you why I can't view the video for the software I haven't decided to use yet?

Right, we're done here.

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  • Last week I wanted to report a bug on a Sourceforge project. I could choose between logging in with a Sourceforge ID, or with an OpenID. I thought that, since I had neither, perhaps getting an OpenID might be the more universally useful approach. So it took me almost half an hour to read up on what an OpenID is, and how to make it work... Eventually, I got me one.

    So happily, I used it to log into Sourceforge... It worked. And next, it required me to get a Sourceforge account.

    • The Sourceforge user name and password are used for CVS and other SF tools(? - definitely CVS) that aren't OpenID-capable. For most other websites that won't be the case.
  • I describe a similar, (but tangential) problem with Ubuntu [] on my blog. The first comment misses the point that while my email was annoying, it was still good-intentioned, and that I should be treated with more restraint.

    But the problem was that Ubuntu kept thinking I owed them something and that I should jump through hoops to try to remedy their problems. I'm a happy Mandriva (Cooker) user myself, and while I'm trying to promote FOSS in general, I'm glad I have enough options to choose from.


    • I don't know if it's related to the problems I've encountered, but it seems likely that Ubuntu will lose mind-share among the power users/developers and evidently among more mundane users too.

      In English, we call this a "hasty generalization".

  • There are sites - I forget which, but I've seen some - that require a user account, but integrate the signup process into using the site for the first time. How I'd implement it for a bugtracker:

    Box for your new bug title. Box for your new bug text. Box for your email address. Submit button.

    When you hit submit, one of those nice CSS-powered dialog boxes (such as use.perl is now using for login) appears and says "We haven't seen you before, please enter a password to log in next time." You enter a passwo

  • Some recent sites - I forget which - integrate account generation into the first time you use the site, which makes it a seamless experience. Pretty simple - enter your bug text, and email address; after you submit, it asks you to pick a password, and there you have it, a user account. I wish more sites would (hear of and) adopt this model.

    Secondary gripe: the "repeat your password" box. Most people are fairly good at typing and this only serves as an annoyance. Whatever site it was that introduced me to