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[JR@YUKON.SCRC.Symbolics.COM: Incremental tape re-use]
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 89 10:41 EDT
From: JR@YUKON.SCRC.Symbolics.COM (Johanna Rothman)
Date: Wed, 9 Aug 89 08:31 PDT
From: Mr. Spock <Spock@SAMSON.CADR.DIALNET.SYMBOLICS.COM>
Date: Wed, 9 Aug 89 01:02 EDT
From: pan@Athena.Pangaro.Dialnet.Symbolics.Com (Paul Pangaro)
Some people don't buy software support, and use the SLUG mailing list as
a way to get support. That's fine with me. But, if we as a corporate
entity feel we should answer a bug report, we should do it in the approved
manner, i.e. redirect the bug mail to customer-reports.
Yes, and I realize SLUG generally gets added value from answers given on
e-mail, and 1gratis0. Controlling information flow has improved (i.e.,
become more controlled and hence more consistent and maybe, in general,
I find more reliable). This is an internal policy issue. I think it is
the case that e-mail coming from firstname.lastname@example.org will be
taken as correct.
There are any number of things Symbolics should do about this. Hiring
more developers, writers and SQA people are a good first step, to see
that the problems don't creep/continue in the system. Then, we need to
So far as QA on documentation, maybe, that is your province; so far as
the corporate memory goes, no, no, no and again no. This is the old,
"throw more resources at it" solution, which, lets face it, aint gonna
happen and aint gonna improve the situation anyway. Lets get someone
with a concept, an epistemology even, of the corporate needs of
corporate memory, and do something to address that problem.
I agree with Paul here. This is a methodology issue not a resource issue.
Ok. Let me paraphrase what I think you want: If you ask any product
questions, send bug mail, request product features, etc., and a
Symbolics employee answers the mail, you want to assume that the answer
is correct. That's an eminently reasonable request. That means we have
to determine that all mail sent to SLUG on behalf of Symbolics is
Hey, within reason --- we are not expecting proclamations 1ex cathedra0.
Unfortunately, the only ways I can see to do this are to either restrict
access to SLUG or to have every message proof-read before the message is
sent. The first alternative is against everything an open system stands
for, and the second alternative introduces delays. Is there an
alternative I haven't mentioned?
Well, sort of, or the right answer is in the middle of the alternatives
you appear simply to reject. What's a delay? A day? A black hole? The
problem is not proofing but making sure the information comes from the
right source, i.e., the most knowledgeable, on-the-spot, competant etc.
This means the "folks in charge" of a particular product, services, etc.
It seems already true that, unlike the old days, not just anybody from
SMBX responds to any given question. (It seems absurd to be proposing
mechanisms, like teaching my grandmother to suck eggs but...)
Rationalize and routinize that responsibility. Add one level of check if
needed, but I dont see why: as McCulloch said, the person with the
information (in this case, the specified manager/developer on a given
topic) is in control and should initiate the response to the net. Even
the addition of one level of check should not introduce delays of more
than 1 day, and in the absence of emergenices, good information is
better than the unreliable.
In terms of getting to a goal, is there a difference between, "I dont
see how we can do that because...." and "We would like to try to do that
and ...."? One tends to prevent, the other tends to enable.