I don't like this article too much.
Adrian was not complaining the release cycle was too short. "You want over-long cycles" is the spin people who didn't listen to him put on his message. Ideed some of the examples Adrian pointed at were problems reported a month ago (so there was definitely no lack of time to look at them).
Adrian was objecting to the general attitude consisting of silently ignoring problem reports if you feel like it.
His argument went this way. Developpers used to complain:
- no one tested rcs
- testers didn't write good bug reports
- bug reports were submitted via bugzilla instead of direct mail
- reports arrived to late for problems to be fixed
- people lumped toguether all kind of problems (RFEs, long-lurking bugs never reported before, hardware problems, etc)
- collected the supposedly non-existent rc problem reports
- reformated them
- wrote personnalised repeated mails difficult to miss
- documented their early date of submission
- kept only regressions reports (bugs we know were introduced by recent code changes)
This is a mass of heavy and painful work to undertake. And despite all this documentation efforts, some problems which had no good reason not to be fixed were not even looked at. And no one saw any problem with this (Indeed people told him to lower his expectations, and that of course they could ignore as many reports as they wanted. And when he asked for process/tool changes to make his work easier people asked him to do even more work without any promise to look at the result)
I perfectly understand his reaction. This was a blatant lack of respect towards his work (and the reporting work others did before, which he was the only one to acknowledge). When you ask a lot of volunteer work of someone the minimum is to do something with the result.
You have healthy projects where dev & test teams respect each other, and you have projects where developpers play prima-donas and consider every other bit of the ecosystem canon fodder. I guess the ugly truth is that the Linux project is in the second category.
We'll soon see if Adrian is replaced and if alienating him to save some inconvenient developper effort was the right thing to do.
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