Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Fogbugz Feature Request

I was going to post this over on the fogbugz support forum, but halfway through I realized it might not be a great feature request and could probably use some debate, so I thought I would post it up here instead.... cause this is where I post my crazy half thought out ideas. Feel free to skip if you're not interested in software development or bug tracking systems.

Here is something I've noticed about software development in general that I would like to address. Hopefully Fogbugz can help.

First some background:

Typically when new bugs are entered into a bug tracking system, a priority is assigned. The priority is typically based on the "severity" of the bug, for example, a bug that causes data loss would be categorized as a 1. A bug that stops the user from accessing a part of the application but has a simple work around might be a 2. etc... etc...

Typically the prioritization of a bug takes into account the characteristics of the bug itself. What has happened in our fogbugz system is that all the open bugz are in one list, "undecided". Some of these are of high priority, we fix all of those issues before each release. There are many other bugs below the top that we don't always have time to fix. Prioritizing within those cases can be difficult. If we increase the granularity of the severities, then it becomes more difficult to enter bugs, if we use a more course listing of severities, then we loss some of the subtelies of prioritization.

Now onto the meat:

Most development shops would say that the source of a bug report matters. A bug coming from your biggest customer usually carries more weight than the bug entered by a small shop.

Here's what's interesting, in most organizations, bugs entered by internal QA get more attention than bugs entered by your customers. This makes sense during the early stages of development, when a customer hasn't seen the new features (fix bugs as close to their introduction as possible) but makes less sense as the product matures. During the beta period, bugs encountered by the customers should typically be given higher priority than the ones entered internally, as they are more likely to reflect issues that the customer base at large will experience.

The feature request basically boils down to an ability to keep track of the source of a fogbugz case. Before migrating to fogbugz we used a home grown bug tracking system that allowed us to associate a particular customer with a case. This way, when the bug was resovled, the original customer could be notified. This might require too much of fogbugz (it would need to interface with, or support buiding a customer list) but I'll admit that is probably the one feature I miss most since upgrading to fogbugz.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Spitzer shakes finger at Sony

Spitzer shakes finger at Sony: "Despite the fact that the XCP rootkit has been in the headlines of late, it's important to note that Sony uses other forms of DRM as well, some almost as nasty. SunComm's MediaMax software also comes as a free bonus on selected Sony discs, and because SunComm knows how much you want their DRM on your computer, they've gone ahead and given you an early Christmas present: MediaMax installs itself on your PC even if you decline the license agreement."

So yeah, I guess that means I should never buy a Sony CD again. Not that I have recently anyway, but now I have to be intentional about it.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Joel on iTunes

Joel on Software: "Econ 101 says that they should raise the price on these ultra-popular movies. As long as the movie is sold out, why not jack up the price and make more money?"

I thought of another reason that the record industries argument doesn't make sense. With movie theatres, there are a limited number of seats. To maximize profit for a particular movie, you will want to get the theatre as full as possible with people willing to pay as high a price as possible.

Unfortunately the iTunes music store doesn't work that way, neither does any of the web actually. So long as Apple is able to cover their bandwidth bills, there is no addition cost if one song sells more than another. Say 100 people buy song A, and 10 people buy song B. Obviously we should charge more for song A right, because only 100 people can buy..... wait a minute, that's not true. There aren't 100 copies of song A, there is the potential for unlimited copies of song A. There is no such thing as scarcity.

This cuts back to the core of the argument I've been making on this blog. The old model seemed to work because the intellectual property tax was tied to something physical. So nobody needed to know about the difference. But when you are talking about something that is almost infinitely cheap to distribute, all of a sudden people intuitively understand that copying a CD from a friend doesn't decrease the amount of music available in the world. They intuitively know that the physical model doesn't quite work anymore. The problem is, we don't have something to replace it....

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Congress gives Fair Use legislation a hearing

Congress gives Fair Use legislation a hearing: "In the meantime, the MPAA and RIAA want to nudge consumers towards their ideal marketplace: where we have to pay for the privilege of viewing or listening to content more than once. Consumers have let the industry know through decreased CD, DVD, and movie ticket sales that they are not finding the industry's value proposition very compelling. But instead of responding to market forces, the movie and music industries are continuing their attempts to legislate the market. If your elected representatives are not willing to support your Fair Use rights, don't support them next election."

hmmm, more arstechnica on DRM.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Sony sued over DRM "rootkit"

Sony sued over DRM "rootkit": "This entire fiasco could be one of the best things to happen on the consumer's technology rights front in recent years. A few well placed law-suits may raised consumer awareness to the oncoming onslaught of unfriendly technological measures supposedly aimed at curbing piracy, and may even prompt a re-evaluation of tactics similar to those used by Sony."

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Sony: what you don't know can't hurt you

Sony: what you don't know can't hurt you: "Thomas Hesse, President of Sony BMG's global digital business division, showed up on NPR to try and sweep the entire thing under the rug.

'Most people, I think, don't even know what a rootkit is, so why should they care about it,' he asked? 'The software is designed to protect our CDs from unauthorized copying, ripping.'"

Most people don't know what mesothelioma is either. Doesn't mean they want to get it.

Telegraph | News | Bush will veto anti-torture law after Senate revolt

Telegraph | News | Bush will veto anti-torture law after Senate revolt: "The Bush administration pledged yesterday to veto legislation banning the torture of prisoners by US troops after an overwhelming and almost unprecedented revolt by loyalist congressmen."

hmmm. I thought torture = bad.

Kansas education board rewrites science

Via Kevin Schofield
Kansas education board downplays evolution - Science - "In addition, the board rewrote the definition of science, so that it is no longer limited to the search for natural explanations of phenomena."

Who knew the Kansas Board of Education had the power to do that....

Friday, November 04, 2005

Dare Obasanjo aka Carnage4Life - Google Desktop is Back with a Vengeance

Dare Obasanjo aka Carnage4Life - Google Desktop is Back with a Vengeance: "The highlighted requests are requests to URLs of Atom & RSS feeds that were in my browser cache by Google Desktop. I did not configure the application to fetch these feeds. So not only does Google Desktop flood websites with feed requests in a manner bordering on the behavior of a malicious application, it also does this automatically without the end user explicitly subscribing to the feed."

Dare Obasanjo (who knows a thing or two about how to build rss aggregators) criticizes google desktop's behavior.