06 September 2012

LL shoots itself in the ass again: public JIRA is closed

Today, Linden Lab closed access to their JIRA. Anyone can still file bug reports, but only the one who filed the bug can see it outside of LL. This has always been the case for a few JIRAs, such as the ones in the SECurity category, but now it applies to all of them.

This is only going to hurt LL. It will cause many, many more duplicate JIRAs for them to sort through. Right now, it's common and good practice to search for an existing JIRA to make sure that the problem you're about to report isn't known. That will go away.

There's also a bunch of people who watch the LL JIRA and help with triaging, work with reporters to make sure the needed information it present, and suggest fixes without ever writing a line of code. Those folks just got the finger.

And, as I said in my last post here, having the JIRAs be secret hurts TPVs, too. It makes it much harder for us to know whether the bug we're hunting is a LL bug. It also makes it harder for us to realize that we just fixed an LL bug and contribute the fix back to them. They spend a lot of time assuring us they want our contributions. This change makes that much more questionable.

The stated reason is that the change will make the process easier for reporters. My guess is that it will: it'll be so much easier when bug reporters give up because their bug reports get ignored in the flood of duplicates and support requests that aren't bug reports and anything else.

I've heard speculation that this change is because the online games don't have publicly accessible bug trackers. Given Rod Humble's background, this reasoning certainly is plausible. The problem is that Second Life, fundamentally, isn't a game. It's a community. The more LL forgets that, the more they alienate users.

This is a poorly-thought-out change. It needs to be reversed, ASAP.