Policy change for the blocking next release flag

Kent James kent at caspia.com
Fri Mar 12 16:32:39 UTC 2010

On 3/8/2010 3:58 AM, Ludovic Hirlimann wrote:
>   Hi,
> We are looking at ways to drive bugs into releases more efficiently one
> of these ways is ton control the size of bug list. One such bug list the
> bug list based on the blocking request flag. In order to be more
> efficient, we are going to restraint access to who can set the flag.
> I've posted a draft policy at
> https://wiki.mozilla.org/Thunderbird:Blocking_Flag_Policy with a initial
> list at https://wiki.mozilla.org/Thunderbird:Blocking_Flag_Policy:List.
> Comments welcome before we start actually implementing this.
> Ludovic
This change, along with the tb-planning list, are both in the category 
of "we would like less input from the community". So you are reducing 
the ability of people in the community to say what is important to them.

One of the reasons that these changes are needed is because there are 
few other good ways for the community to tell MoMo what it thinks is 
important, so people have migrated to the only method available to them 
(setting these flags) to get attention. You really need to think out the 
alternative workflow from the community perspective as you implement 
these things.

As I understand that plan, you are saying that instead of adding a 
wanted or blocking flag to bugs, you are asking the community to, 
instead, send personal emails to people on the "blocking flag policy 
list" (aside: this group needs a name) asking that person to nominate 
the bug. Is that really what you want, particular if you intend to 
promote this as the "official" way that the community notes bugs that 
are important to them? That method is clearly MORE difficult to manage 
than the current method of setting flags on bugs, though perhaps the 
work is spread over more people. So you are relying on two factors to 
slow down the input: 1) the policy is new, so it will take awhile to 
figure out that this is the new policy, and 2) it is more difficult for 
the community to send an email than set a flag, and you are betting that 
their slowdown will more than compensate for your slowdown in replying 
to the email (perhaps from many people with the same issue). I think 
that is a poor bet myself. One of the reasons that you setup forums like 
GS is precisely so that you can respond once to an issue, and people 
will find that and hopefully you will not need to repeat it to multiple 

So I would like for you to clearly state how you expect input from the 
community when they need to say "This is a bug or issue that is really 
important, and needs more attention than it is getting." If you don't, 
then you are either going to drive them away, or force them to give 
input in some other inappropriate manner. It sounds like "send an email 
to a driver" is now the official alternate plan. Is that right?

By the way I am not on the "blocking flag policy list" Perhaps I should 
be, though I very rarely have the need to set those flags, so it isn't 
really important to me either way.


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