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Providing useful feedback

Nov 19, 2009, 00:03 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe Brockmeier)

"By the same token, release early, release often is a good mechanism for other projects even when they don’t involve code. When working on documentation, marketing materials, artwork, translations, or other non-code materials, it’s a good idea to put something out for comment early. This is not how it’s usually done, and can be a bit painful for people used to working on and submitting a finished or nearly finished product before getting feedback.

"Why painful? Because, all too often, soliciting feedback results in as much noise as signal. In addition to thoughtful feedback, contributors often receive snippy comments, off-topic responses, or other non-useful feedback.

"Overall, I’ve found many in the open source community to be respectful and good at providing feedback. But it’s the abrasive and negative voices that often stand out and discourage people from being effective contributors — particularly people new to FOSS who aren’t used to working in the open environment. What can be done about this?"

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