I submitted a proposal to OSCON called “How To Report A Bug” about the social issues involved in reporting and accepting bug reports. Its still pending, but its caused me to do a little writing for it. I came up with this introduction which I feel sums up the problem well. I’m also tickled that one measures bug report frustration in bags of shit.
Developers often treat bug reports like someone dumping a bag of shit on your doorstep, ringing the bell and telling you to clean it up. That’s not what they are. A bug report is someone pointing out that there’s some shit on your doorstep, they stepped in it, and maybe it should be cleaned up.
Either way, nobody likes stepping in shit. And nobody likes cleaning up shit. So the whole interaction starts off on the wrong foot, perhaps the one covered in shit. Your job, as developer or as reporter, is to deliberately steer it back to being a positive one where the developer wants to fix shit and the reporter wants to continue to report shit.