[Libreoffice-qa] Insulting comments in bug reports: what should we do?

Roman Eisele post at roman-eisele.de
Wed Jul 18 09:42:22 PDT 2012

Hello Alex and Olav,

thank you for your answers! I have waited for a while in order to watch
out if more people will reply, but now I take the silence as a kind of
agreement to your answers.

Am 15.07.12 23:04, schrieb Olav Dahlum:
> Seems like core developers, contributors, and others handle this well
> at the moment, so let's just observe what they do for now.

And, well, *how* do the developers handle this? It is not obvious for
simple QA volunteers like me :-) Do they just ignore it?

Am 15.07.12 22:09, schrieb Alex Thurgood:
> This is not an isolated incident from that person [...]
> [...] Most of the ones I have seen
> from this person could be interpreted as highly aggressive [...]

Good to know about that! Exactly this is why I wrote to the list about
this issue (instead of contacting the person in question directly): I
hoped that someone else could tell if the person just had a bad day or
if he/she uses to make such problematic comments regularly.

> What might be done, however, is a difficult question to answer : perhaps
> a friendly and encouraging word from others here [...]

I have considered that, but I was not sure who should do it; I don't
think that I have the authority to write to anyone and to reprimand him.
But of course, "a friendly and encouraging word" sounds lovely, so maybe
we should try that, and I can try it, if you think I should do so.


> I have a concern, however, that approaching him in the gentle way
> might just lead to more trolling which would ultimately get us nowhere...

This is a good consideration, too, and implies that the best thing to do
may be just to ignore insulting comments completely and to continue with
the real work. Maybe this is the best way to proceed for now, but I am
not sure; I still worry about what the original bug reporters will think
about LibreOffice if the 1st answer they get is insulting ...

> I still feel it better to contact person directly, to try and
> understand why there is such apparent animosity, especially since
> we know nothing of their circumstances, and it is rather unfair
> to talk about what we should do in their absence (unless he/she
> is following this list).

You are definitely right here, and now I see that my writing to this
list _about_ the person in question instead of contacting the person
_directly_ can be seen as an impolite act, too; I regret this, of
course. Well, IMHO whatever one does in such a situation can be
interpreted as offensive; even just ignoring insulting comments
completely can be interpreted as morally incorrect. And I wanted (see
above) to hear from others if they have already discovered similar
attacks by the same person. But you are nevertheless right, and so I
should (in the future) probably either just contact the person in
question directly or ignore his/her comments completely.

Best regards,


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