Do you feel bad because of the Python docs?

Roy Smith roy at
Thu Feb 28 02:26:36 CET 2013

In article <54967758-e84c-4b9c-a09c-10fbdbec230f at>,
 Rick Johnson <rantingrickjohnson at> wrote:

> do you /really/ expect that people have the 
> time to open an issue on the bug tracker? 

There's a certain amount of socialism involved in OSS.  "From each 
according to his ability," really is the way it works.  If your ability 
is that you've discovered that the documentation isn't as good as it 
should be, you owe the project a few minutes of your time to create a 
ticket describing the problem (and, even better, suggesting how it could 
be improved).

Looking at my activity, I see I've opened 30 bugs over 
the past 9-1/2 years.  Of those, 16 were explicitly against the docs, 
and a few more were of the "I'm not sure if this is a docs bug or a code 
bug, but it doesn't do what it says it does" variety.

> Do you really think that everyone 
> who uses python even knows about the bug tracker?

Everybody?  No.  But, anybody who uses OSS should understand that any 
non-trivial project has a bug tracker.  And even if they don't know 
where it is, they should be capable of typing "python bug tracker" into 
a search engine and finding it.

> Do you really think that people will believe that their opinion is 
> worthy of placing on the bug tracker?

In my experience, it's far more likely for people to over-estimate the 
important of their own opinion than to under-estimate it :-)

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