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.


  1. AMEN
    I think Nalates is on to something -- LL is tired of reading all of our inputs. Granting that there are wackadoodles and the just simply ill informed, they are easy to skip over to find real meaty contributions. Often we define a problem in considerable detail for LL, sometimes even offer a solution.
    The Ivory Tower just got higher and added a firewall above the first floor!

  2. This is part of a deliberate anti-TPV policy, and nothing but. Forget the usual corporate doublespeak which always sells a cutback on services as a customer benefit.

    Linden Lab are going to turn Second Life into a closed-shop system, something which is not really unheard of in the industry these days.

  3. It's been a few weeks since I last reported a new bug. I have heard about LL's move to a "new reporting system", but, frankly, I didn't bother: I continued to add reports to some of my existing bug reports. Since I'm rather slow in catching up, it took me a while to notice that on one particularly nasty reversion bug (something working flawlessly under 3.3 stopped working in 3.4 without any reason whatsoever), which had had some input from a Linden, suddenly seemed to be completely abandoned. Puzzled, I continued my reporting, but the silence was deafening.

    Today I noticed a new bug with the recently released 3.4 (on my old iMac, Atmospheric Rendering turns everything almost black except for avatars and some exceptions), so I promptly went to the JIRA to search if someone else had the same issue, to see if there was a workaround, or if at least someone had reported it already — a common procedure when filing bugs. And it just hit me: under the new system, nobody has a clue of what bugs have been filed or not!!

    So what am I supposed to do? If people keep filing the same bugs over and over again, having no feedback from the 'Lab, how they are supposed to know that anyone is working on them — or that someone has already reported them?

    Gosh, I wish that LL were a bit more like Google, where bugs in Chrome get corrected... in less than two days after they have been submitted (and confirmed as bugs).