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CODE4LIB  November 2007

CODE4LIB November 2007

Subject:

Re: Library Software Manifesto

From:

"Reese, Terry" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Code for Libraries <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Tue, 6 Nov 2007 10:29:40 -0800

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (53 lines)

Roy, 
 
While your rights are interesting, the consumer responsibilities I find are actually more important (and always more difficult to see followed).  As some that develops software for wide public consumption (read, not developers but the computer illiterate in many cases), I find that points 1-3 are the most difficult for most people.  Invariably, people don't really know what they want from an application -- just an idea of a workflow as to how something might have worked (or had learned) before.  Likewise, most assume that if you just say, x doesn't work then as the developer you'll be able to "decode" the problem.  Sometimes, I can decode the problem as the User (which tells me that what I'm doing needs to be more straightforward) -- other times, I rely on the user to provide as much information as possible to reproduce problems which can be like a trip to the dentist.  
 
I think our software vendors are in the same position.  Many have fallen to sleep in terms of understanding what libraries want today -- but at the same time -- librarians have traditionally been, as a user group (I'm painting in broad strokes here), a bunch of whinners that really don't know what they want to begin with.  Any library software manifesto that includes vendor responsibilies needs to equally highlight the responsiblities users have in this relationship (which looks like the direction you are going -- just don't undersell it).
 
--TR
 
*******************************************
Terry Reese
Cataloger for Networked Resources
Digital Production Unit Head
Oregon State University Libraries
Corvallis, OR  97331
tel: 541-737-6384
email: [log in to unmask]
http: http://oregonstate.edu/~reeset
*******************************************

________________________________

From: Code for Libraries on behalf of Roy Tennant
Sent: Tue 11/6/2007 10:07 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [CODE4LIB] Library Software Manifesto



I have a presentation coming up and I'm considering doing what I'm calling a
"Library Software Manifesto". Some of the following may not be completely
understandable on the face of it, and I would be explaining the meaning
during the presentation, but this is what I have so far and I'd be
interested in other ideas this group has or comments on this. Thanks,
Roy

Consumer Rights

- I have a right to use what I buy
- I have a right to the API if I've bought the product
- I have a right to accurate, complete documentation
- I have a right to my data
- I have a right to not have simple things needlessly complicated

Consumer Responsibilities

- I have a responsibility to communicate my needs clearly and specifically
- I have a responsibility to report reproducible bugs in a way as to
facilitate reproducing it
- I have a responsibility to report irreproducible bugs with as much detail
as I can provide
- I have a responsibility to request new features responsibly
- I have a responsibility to view any adjustments to default settings
critically

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