So, Eugenia went and wrote a whole article on how
Gnome developers supposedly aren’t interested in user feedback. I’m
having a difficult time seeing how she could have misunderstood so
many comments from the email thread
that started it all. Some examples:
We [are interested in user feedback], but we have better ways to find
out than web polls.
I’m interested in what your features are, because I like as much data
as possible. But I’m not going to be surprised or think it reflects
any fundamental breakage in GNOME if nobody gets around to those
features. There are only enough developers to implement maybe 1% of
what gets requested.
In general, field research would be more beneficial in the long
run. Real users — random people who go to Brazilian Telecentros,
office clerks in European cities — don’t know where to report their
annoyances with free software. They don’t have time to find out about
it as they just want to get things done. You have to go to them, ask
them, and watch them use the software.
I usually implement features when they are unintrusive, make the
software easier to use, and when people ask nicely for them, without
spamming or rambling on about them.
The problem with all these voting systems is that they have sample
bias written all over them. The majority of users, real users, don’t
go onto bugzilla, and they don’t vote in web polls on osnews. Market
research is not the same thing as polling the enthusiast
And I *did* implement a voting system for Yelp features, but nobody
explicitly pointed out her misunderstanding and misrepresentation
3 days before she posted the article:
Doing votes often appear as “developers must do users bidding”. You
took the response here that we avoid votes for that reason as
“developers will not listen to any requests, whatsoever” (which is
totally false; I have tried to implement several bugzilla requests
that weren’t interesting to me personally).
But she still persisted in portraying that thread as “Gnome developers
are not willing to listen to user requests”