Well, the aftermath of shock, anger and confusion continues to play out from the Lindens' decision to close the interactive view of the JIRA, but some obvious and predictable things have come to light: the "thought leaders" most voluble on the forums aren't for the masses having access to the JIRA anyway as they are too stupid, and the Lindens in fact have kept the view open for a select group of their little friends.
All of this has tended to confirm my notion that open source software cults are in fact closed societies of coders.
"Open" isn't "open" as in, well, "open". It's "open" as in "a searching device to find my vetted and cleared like-minded peers. So sure, open source is open the way a sink drain is open, except it has a heavy iron filter that closes it.
Sluniverse Sharia Court doesn't seem terribly interested in this issue although there have been a few half-hearted attempts to start separate threads or even groups or forums for bug reporting and there's a little bit of discussion. But it hasn't met with the animated 20-page response status of a threat to these anonymous hedonists' privacy.
Then in the Linden-controlled forums, you get a taste of what's centrally wrong with the JIRA from the authoritarians piping up.
Nika Talaj writes:
"Under no circumstances should support have ever told users to 'go post on bug <n> on the Jira'. I don't know when this started, but it was just silly to have these bewildered non-tech types show up and say "me too!"."
Jira is an engineering tool. But by permitting all and sundry to post to it, in fact ENCOURAGING random users to post, LL created their own mess."
This clutchy elitism is endorsed by that robot-girl fanatic about size proportions, Penny Patton.
If the masses were to show up, they might question the wisdom of these obsessive loons, you know? We can't have that!
But as I wrote there, the Lindens actively sought participation in the JIRA because they like bug reports. Or at least, they used to. And somebody who is making a bug report is *already* a self-selected person who is motivated enough to even see a bug, and replicate it, and understand enough about it to report it.
It's not rocket science, after all. I saw and replicated and reported a number of bugs over the years, and made a number of useful feature requests particularly on the scourge of the 16m advertising griefers, and they were taken and implemented and I even got listed in the credits along with the Lindens and their geek friends on some versions, notably 1.23. Imagine! It's really -- again -- not rocket science. In an interactive environment, if you have used the wrong term or not used a technical term, or placed something in the wrong category, somebody can move it. Of course, those moves were often very political and biased.
Jopsy Pendragon wants to stigmatize people viewed as "unhelpful" with a ratings system. He writes:
Sure it could be gamed, but people caught gaming the system, or repeatedly flagging 'unhelpful' content as 'helpful' (or vice versa) could easily be flagged by LL as a jira abusers... and their helpful/unhelpful tags completely excluded from issues/comment/users displayed totals.
I don't know if even Alexa and Oz and Soft Linden agree about the problem people on the JIRA -- and that wouldn't be me -- the furry Lindens created a monster by empowering some of these little furry bastards who terrorized everybody else. Rob Linden could never get beyond a definition of "good citizen" to mean "people I like and personally find helpful" -- for him, it could be the universally-loathed Strife Onizuka, who ran roughshod over the forums for a time and was an annoyance on the JIRA. I haven't been able to see the JIRA lately so I don't know who the culprits are now, but clearly, there were some that annoyed everybody with bullying and/or obsessiveness. And I suspect they're some of the lifers who have been there since the beginning.
So the Lindens have shaken those people loose, after using ban powers on people like me (or as Oz in particular did, threatening everyone with bans merely for keeping popular issues on privacy open).
And now they have their own little club, as Nalates reports:
Not Just Lindens
I filed BUG-9. It was not long (hours) until a Linden responded to it. But, it was not a particularly satisfying response. I realized what other facts I should have added to the initial report. But, initially there was no way to respond. Off went an email asking how I could follow up. I may have over looked the Comment Button at the end of the page, but I am pretty sure it was not there prior to the email.
Alexa Linden responded shortly after the email. Sometime after that Lance C. commented on my BUG-9. Now how did he see that bug report? Today I found out.
It seems active contributors, support helpers, and a few others can see all the BUG Project issues. It seems there are groups in the JIRA. If you are and active and have a signed Contributor Agreement filed, then you’re in a JIRA group that can see the BUG issues. Also, if you have been designated a Helper, then you can see the BUG issues. So, there are a few more people than just the Lindens that can see BUG issues and comment on them.
I gather from talking with the Lindens that some consideration is going into how to handle allowing more visibility.
Not much time has passed, but it seems the decision to change the JIRA was made at high level and the Lindens we meet are not going to be able to override it. Follow orders or follow the unemployment lines is basic corporate motivation… not that that is the threat here. But, it is common work place thinking.
The staff is looking for ways to make this work. There is no doubt the work-a-day staff realize where help was coming from. They are striving to figure out how to keep that help and separate out the wackadoodles.
It looks more and more like we are going to live with the change for a time before any big change to the current system is made.
The problem is in defining clearly and transparently what is "wackadoodle". People think I'm an example of that merely because I was persistent and wrote long comments. But I was right, and my proposal, Web-382, was accepted for implementation (only undid later in other ways). The principle I espoused here was one that even shockwave yeareach could agree with -- that no one should close somebody else's JIRA. It's basic. And yet I had to fight off Alexa Linden, Strife Onizuka and a host of other JIRA regulars to insist that the cadres at the Feted Inner Core shouldn't be allowed to close other people's entries.
Now everybody's entries are closed, because nobody but this select few can see them.
I am more and more motivated to try to make an independent civilian discussion group on this. Maybe the way to deal with it is to start a weekly discussion group on bugs in general and how to deal with them and file them and track them and share information, at a non-technical users' level.
But it's time-consuming and my time for SL is less than usual.