A tale of two bug reports

How to report a problem with a free, one-person, online service. (Private email often works well, too.)

How not to report a problem with a free, one-person, online service.

Reading assignment for Cheah Chu Yeow: There is no they. Burning bridges before you come to them tends not to be the most productive approach, and you never know when you’ll need a friend at MySQL AB. Or PHP. Or Apache.

There is no they. Still.


Comment by Scott Johnson #
2004-01-29 03:44:41


I read There is no they back when you wrote that post and thoroughly enjoyed it. I had since forgotten where I had read it, so I’m glad you linked to it here so that I know where it is again.

Back on topic, Dunstan’s approach to his problem with the free service was very admirable. His criticisms were constructive. In fact, they could even be helpful for others designing websites of any nature. The images posted along with the commentary also helped convey his point well.

Mr. Yeow, on the other hand, seems angry and out of touch. Hopefully he will read that post from back in August.

Comment by Dunstan #
2004-01-31 02:49:38

”could even be helpful for others designing websites of any nature”

That was the main reason I popped it on my blog, instead of just emailing Jim directly (I did alert him via email as well though) – not to highlight the problem to the world and say ”Ha ha! An error!” but to say ”Everyone, look at this, pop it in your Developer Brain as something that shouldn’t be happening. And here are a couple of solutions…”

Contingency design is begining to be one of my interests you see…

On a side note; I’d never heard of Jim before Phil’s post here… what a very busy man he must be!

Comment by Roger Benningfield #
2004-01-29 05:10:48

Phil: Amen, brother. I have been very, very fortunate over the years, in that 95% of my users have been incredibly understanding, generous folks who appreciate the things I do for ’em. But that irritating 5% can really ruin a day.

What’s worse is that –if my experiences are representative– you can’t make that 5% happy, even if you try. They’re unhappy with what they’re getting, and instead of moving on to something that satisfies them, they’d rather berate you for not being what they want you to be.

Kinda sounds like a dysfunctional romantic relationship when I phrase it like that. :)

Comment by Geodog #
2004-01-30 01:51:54

I had never read ”there is no they” before. What a beautiful piece of writing. Makes me regret some of the complaints I shot Ben and Mena’s way earlier.

Comment by Cheah Chu Yeow #
2004-01-30 18:36:46

Whoops! Didn’t realise I came across as angry and full of angst with that comment the first time I wrote it. Probably a little too terse. Comments in a rush are like that and I realise I would never have put it that way otherwise. For that, I feel duly chastised for letting my baser feelings get over my rationality.

I have to say, your ”there is no they” entry is pretty good. Nice reading assignment.

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