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Subject: Re: Rockbox User Con

Re: Rockbox User Con

From: Paul Louden <paulthenerd_at_gmail.com>
Date: Sat, 27 Jun 2009 12:37:38 -0500

Mark Allums wrote:
> By contribute, I mean time, not necessarily money. Rockbox doesn't
> need much money, since the Devs are volunteers and the players and
> equipment and server space, etc. are mostly donated, but what the
> Rockbox community does need is input, and work on documentation (such
> as language translations) and organization skills, and other similar
> needs.
I'd say what they need is "feedback (specifically clear, detailed bug
reports), code, and documentation."

I'm not sure what you mean by "input" but generally suggestions and "I
have this great idea" style input aren't really that wanted (which is
why feature requests were removed from the tracker).

I'm also not sure how much "organization skills" comes into play. You
can't really boss around volunteers. They'll do what they want, and if
you tell them they can't do it because they need to do something they
don't want to do, they'll just stop doing anything. There's really not
so much to "organize" when you don't have a significant say over what
actually gets done.

One clear demonstration of the difficulties faced is in the blind
community. I don't mean to single any specific group out, but it's an
easy to reference one here because it's happened on these lists. There
have been complaints about the blind accessibility of Rockbox utility
for a considerable period of time, and over that whole time the
developers primarily working on it have made it clear that being sighted
they're unable to effectively improve things without very detailed
feedback rather than simple "it doesn't work" style reports. It wasn't
until very recently that a single user (of our many blind users) came
forward and tried to offer some of that more detailed feedback.

I'm not sure how much a user-oriented conference can improve the
project. Unless the users are going to get together and try to
methodically test for bugs and through discussion write improved bug
reports, or attempt a similar thing with documentation, there's just not
that much that can be gained from a face to face gathering of users.

I think the primary benefit would be for the users themselves. They'd
hopefully get to meet some Rockbox developers and maybe learn some
things about what goes into Rockbox. See how other people use their
players, and be exposed to the variance in hardware and features they
may not have been fully aware of. It wasn't uncommon in the past that
users of Rockbox would suggest ideas or features that already existed in
Rockbox. There's so much there it's hard for a person to know about all
of it.
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Received on 2009-06-27


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