FLOSS


One of my current research projects (DESVALDO, funded by the CIGREF Foundation) involves surveying people about their use of digital data. While our primary target is non-expert computer users, expert users are also welcome to take it. This is the survey.

A copy of a message I sent to Bugzilla today.

I would like to be able to report crashes on my system using Bugzilla. However, I will not sign up for an account on that service because they violate a basic principle of user privacy, and for no good reason so far as I can tell. They require an email address for people to sign up, but this email adddress is then visible to all on any bug reports submitted. They “helpfully” suggest that users should use a “secondary” email account to avoid spam on their main account. This is just a ridiculous suggestion. If I wish to make use of bugzilla to do more than just submit automated bug reports, such as actually track the status of my bug, I’m going to want to use a “push” service to report changes to the bug, and that means accessing the email account I register with them, making it pointless as to whether it’s a primary or secondary account – I’m still going to have to wade through any spam to get at the real contents, and the publication of the email address will pretty much ensure that it gets spammed. Why not follow the more-or-less standard approach of having users select a username which is visible to other users and if it’s really necessary to allow users to contact others for whom they don’t separately know an email address, provide a simple user-to-user personal message system? Since the purpose of Bugzilla is to allow community-minded users to report problems with software to the development community, discouraging them from doing so degrades the whole community effort.