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Subject: Re: [office] Comments and feature requests

On 5/9/07, Michael Brauer <Michael.Brauer@sun.com> wrote:
> Dear TC members,
> below Rob and Patrick have made some suggestions how we could create a
> process for the comment handling. I personally like these ideas, and I
> think we should establish such a process. However, if we establish this
> process, we need someone who keeps track of comments, and the comment
> registry. Is someone of you interested in taking over this task, or
> volunteers to do so?
> We further may require some lightweight process for feature requests
> that we get as comments. I could imagine that the one who keeps track of
> the comments alerts the TC of new requests, and asks for a volunteer who
> may process the request within the TC. The task of this person would be
> to introduce the request to the TC so that the TC can accept or decline
> it, and, in case the request gets accepted, to advance the proposal to a
> state where the TC can vote on it. Obviously, there could be different
> volunteers for different proposals.

Based on hard experience, I would much prefer a process that is less
subject to breakdown and makes it easier on all concerned. There is no
shortage of software especially designed for tracking issues as they
are received and through their handling and final disposition. See
generally, <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Issue_tracking_system>; see
also comparison of issue tracking systems,

The suggested workflow is undependable and fraught with opportunities
for issues to be lost. E.g., dividing responsibility among different
volunteers to track different types of issues  in their own offices
invites the "I thought you were handling that kind of issue"
confusion. The biggest design flaw in the present system is
requiring/allowing people to submit issues via email. A link on the TC
public home page to a web form with defined fields for submission of
issues with a relational database back end would  be far less work for
all concerned and be far more reliable.

I am aware of the barriers to getting software installed in the OASIS
infrastructure. If there is not already an adequate tracking system
available for TC use, we might be better served by a volunteer hosting
such a service on their own system. There are also free SAAS sites
that offer issue tracker capabilities.

The web form could also easily allow self-categorization of issue
types by those who submit them.

The workflow suggested leaves the actual tracking off-line and
reuquires submission of a monthly report. A system that tracks such
issues dynamically and is always available for review would alleviate
such concerns. Fact: volunteers can and will become ill, take
vacations, get pressed for time, or experience other barriers that can
interfere with the process suggested.

Many issue tracking packages also enable automated email notifications
when issues are submitted or their tickets modified. I'm subscribed to
a couple such systems myself, and the TC mailing list could be
subscribed so that the notifications are automated.

We need issue tracking software.

Best regards,


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