Oh CRAP! JIRA Change

I’ve known a JIRA update was coming. I did not expect what I saw this morning. It was also the main topic of discussion at Oz Linden’s Open Source user group and Andrews Server-Scripting UG. Alexa Linden was at OZ’s meeting to help answer questions. See the announcement: JIRA Update: Changes to The Bug Reporting Process.

If you are not a JIRA user you may think this is not going to have an effect on you. I think you will be wrong. I am not at all sure how the changes are going to work… or if they will work. But, it is a huge change in how bug reporting is handled throughout Second Life™. It also has a large number of effects on how we do things within Second Life, the forums and blogs. I am afraid this is not going to be a good thing. What I am sure of is; we are going to have to deal with it for some time.

Bug Reports

Reporting bugs is not easy. One does have to read the instructions and learn how to report problems so the information is useful. An effort has been made to make that easier. The problem is we can no longer browse bug reports to see if there is a duplicate. Now… that doesn’t sound like much of a problem. But, think about it.

The announcement says, “Second Life users will only see their own reported issues.  When a Bug reaches the “Been Triaged” status, they will no longer be able to add comments to their issue.” If you have followed this blog for any time you know how often I link to JIRA items and encourage you to vote/watch or add your information. That will apparently go away.

You can see if you can see the bug I just reported: BUG-9First time a door opens the viewer fails to show it opening. See if you can add a comment. Do not actually add a comment unless you have something to add that will help define the problem or aid in fixing it.

I filed another bug report in the Pathfinding project: PATHBUG-190 Beta & Dev Viewers cannot render PF Characters. See if you can see it or add a comment.

You should get different results on the two items.


We are not sure how duplicates will ultimately be handled. The Alexa was not sure either. The Lab is currently figuring they will deal with them.

If they were to block them, which would not be easy as people often describe the same issue differently, how many bugs are you going to report after you hit a couple of blocked attempts due to ‘duplicate’ reject?

If they continue to allow them to be filed and then consolidate them into an internal JIRA item, your report may be locked and no longer updated. The announcement says, “You can watch the Release Notes to see when and if a fix has been released for your issue.” zOMG, that is just what I want to do… Imagine the problem of figuring out whether my JIRA item is part of some internal JIRA item the Lindens made… Oh Yeah… that will be fun.

It looks like for now they will handle and process duplicates. Alexa said, “It will be a challenge.” No doubt. Oz said, “The way it is supposed to work now is that when we triage issues that appear to be duplicates, the information from each will be combined in an internal issue.” I hope it works well for them. I can’t see it being that great for residents.

The Effect on SL

If you attend user groups you know that most meeting areas have what we call a JIRA Helper. This is a scripted object that listens to the conversation. When someone types into chat SVC-8124 or any JIRA ID the helper looks up the JIRA, gets the link and description and writes the full description and ID as a link to the item. Residents and Lindens both use it. It makes conversation about specific bug or feature request really easy. That is going away.

In a meeting after I started writing this article Oskar Linden tried to use his JIRA Helper in Morris. It is in fact broken returning a 499 error.

This is a huge deal. It is going to greatly complicate an already tedious task. The Lab has never been reputed to have good communication skills and this change is certainly going to degrade communication and require more effort from Lindens and residents.


People are already upset that there is no easy way to know what is going on in SL. I try to offset that and provide a summary of what is happening with this blog. From what I know now, this will make my job a bit harder and parts of the reporting will just go away. For those that do not read my blog things are going to get much worse. I don’t see that as helping the overall attitude and disposition of residents and especially wackadoodles.


In the Linden Scripting Language (LSL) Wiki we use JIRA numbers to explain problems that one must work around or deal with while waiting for a fix. Having the JIRA links in the LSL section of the wiki is a big help. With the change to only being able to see your own items, that goes away. So, scripters are screwed.

New SL users are going to be way frustrated trying to figure out what is wrong with their script. I think a lack of linking to problems is going to increase the animosity users feel when they find a problem they have worked on for days is a known and often long known issue.

Plus a number of scripters-for-hire use the JIRA to prove that certain problems in SL cannot be overcome. That use is going away for any newly discovered problems.


There is supposed to be a thread or two discussing the change: LL Shutting down server development? JIRA changes …, which is the only one I can find in the SL Forum.  There is no chance that server development is shutting down. But, can you imagine how they are going to relate what is changing in the server without JIRA notes? This JIRA change is going to mess up the way lots of things are done in the SL.

Over at SLUniverse there is a thread: LL Closing the Jira system.

JIRA Discussion

The ADITI inventory problems that came after we changed passwords is an example of on topic discussion solving a problem. JIRA-SVC-7727. It seemed having people contributing to the thread did a lot to contribute to figuring out a work-around. People are still having problems and the fix from the JIRA thread (which is marked fixed even if people keep having problems) seems to be to: keep changing passwords until it clicks. As the new JIRA is; we would never have figured that out.

It is the off topic discussion that is a problem. This seems like a nuclear fix for that problem. I think the collateral damage will be huge.

The Why

Why the Lab does anything is something the Lindens cannot normally comment on. It is internal communication and the rules at the Lab are that it remains internal.

Both Oz and Alexa were asked ‘why’ the change. No comment from either as to why.

We can speculate. I didn’t see the Paratrex post in the JIRA that Oskar responded to. But, I expect people filling the JIRA with rants and Linden slams is a primary reason for this change. No one wants to deal with that mess. So, the community’s behavior has probably brought this change about. We can’t know but I’ll speculate that is the case.

Fixing Things

This change is in place and the Lab will be experimenting to see how it works. This is a thing about their JIRA, which the Lindens feel is for them and their QA effort. So, if it works for them, then we just have to adapt… or not. In many ways we will have no choice. But, it is our choice to report bugs or not. If experienced users stop reporting bugs, what will happen to new users that run into them, get frustrated, and depart SL? We can’t know how much of a problem that will be. So, we really can’t predict the end of SL due to this change.

I am suggesting that we provide user cases of how we used the JIRA as it was. There is little else we can do that is constructive. If you have a user case, write it up in a note card and send it to Alexa Linden. If you have a rant, stifle it or put it in your own blog. Rants are likely why we are stuck with this annoying change.

Feedback Survey

There is a Feedback Survey that JIRA users can fill out. If you are not using the JIRA or have not tried to use the new JIRA, wait to fill it out. Give it a few days or even a couple of weeks. Of course if you have already run into problems, go for it. Do make your contribution constructive. Asking how specific user cases will be handled is constructive… at least in my book.

Ranting and abuse does not help.


There is no way to know for sure why this change was implemented. I expect the timing is due to the release of a new JIRA version and the Lab updating to it. I doubt this is a change that came up over night. That Lindens have been contributing to the new reporting form suggests this has been in the works for some time. Plus the JIRA update was released in June or July. So, this is a plan to handle some issue the Lindens see. It won’t be easily rolled back without a better plan, which is hard to provide when one does not know why the change was made…

This one of those Linden Catch-22 problems that so infuriate people. The rest of the people are just annoyed with a big change in how they do things.

Personally I think this is change that will have unintended consequences. I also think the Lindens while fixing a problem they see are working within their usual area of blindness. They can’t see how it will affect users because they are not really users, at least those making the decision.

I think in the long run it will reduce bug reporting and leave more bugs running for longer. That in turn will create more problems for users. Those will be especially bad for new users. So, I think user retention is likely to take another hit. But, not having any proof of that thinking, it is just my pet theory. Since there is no way to tie any indirect results, measurable or not, to the change in the JIRA many of the unintended consequences will be invisible to the Lindens.

Your thoughts?

Updates —————————————-

Tonya Souther: LL shoots itself in the ass again: public JIRA is closed. – A member of the Firestorm development team. Quoting:

And, as I said in my last post here, having the JIRAs be secret hurts TPVs, too. It makes it much harder for us to know whether the bug we’re hunting is a LL bug. It also makes it harder for us to realize that we just fixed an LL bug and contribute the fix back to them. They spend a lot of time assuring us they want our contributions. This change makes that much more questionable.

Innula Zenovka: Changes to the jira.. hiding bug reports?

NeoBokrug Elytis: Point gun at foot, pull trigger. [JIRA CHANGES] – A number of well know SL residents are discussing problems with the change. I think about every user case possible is coming up in the thread. Penny Patton is commenting it the thread, making some thoughtful rather than reactive points.

22 thoughts on “Oh CRAP! JIRA Change

  1. Pingback: Huh? LL Closing the Jira system - SLUniverse Forums

  2. You rang?

    “I think in the long run it will reduce bug reporting and leave more bugs running for longer. That in turn will create more problems for users.”

    Agreed on this.

    Looking back… how would this have changed a Jira experience for me… well, at a major OpenGL issue that kept me on Phoenix while everybody else was messing around with new viewers and mesh, it was great that the Linden working on fixing SH-2240 could openly coordinate and communicate with all those concerned with a single customer-facing issue.

    The laptop I’d just recently bought was now crippled. Ugh. And then… progress on the issue kept me from throwing in the towel.

    If this hasn’t have been public, well, the others I knew affected by it that were whining on forums or blogs or whatever, there would have been nothing to point to to say “They know. They’re working on it.”

    Lab strategy with dealing effectively/efficiently with customers and issues completely confuses me, and I wonder what the next shoe to drop will be.


    • I didn’t exactly ring, but I can see why you would answer… 🙂 Thanks.

      Your case SH-2240 is a good example. I think this type of problem will be impossible to measure. It just will not show up on the Linden radar. Enough of these are going to create problems that eventually overwhelm SL.

      The peak concurrent user login count is down in the low 60k. At the beginning of the year it was in the low 70k. Regions are closing at an alarming rate. I have to wonder what plan the Lindens have for correcting things? Steam? That would be lots of eggs in a single basket.

    • I think I can see an immediate upside for the Lindens, but I think it is a big detriment for Second Life and residents.

  3. So, let me see if I understand — LL firewalls us out of the JIRA except for our own posts and says they will sort out the duplicates? This is more efficient than us performing this step for them (most of the time)?
    And they are cutting off this avenue of communication because they don’t like the way WE communicate???
    /me shakes her head sadly — this completely defies reason.

    • If you use a reader to grab posts before the Lindens delete them, you’ll see some of the abusive communication they deal with. No one should have to put up with that. So, I can understand the motivation to do something to provide relief to those Lindens that have to work with the general population. I do think this solution is more damaging and will eventually cost the loss of more users than would banning the abusers.

      It might have been better to start using the new anti-bullying law that are recent or are coming out.

      • Using the law only works, of course, if the person alleged to have committed the offence is within the the jurisdiction. Fortunately, though, that would have been an unnecessary complication.

        LL could, at any time, have stopped particular individuals from posting comments in the jira if their conduct was unacceptable, No need to bother the courts with that sort of thing, and no need to hide reports in this way to solve that particular issue.

        • You are right it would be a complication because of the international nature of SL.

          The deleted Paratrex post is an example of the effort people go to to be abusive. The account was apparently created just for the abusive post. With software and anonymous browsing hosts I can change my computer’s MAC ID and IP Address, which is a poor form of ID in any case. I can open an account completely impossible to associate with any previous account. So, the Lab cannot really keep anyone out. It requires a court order to get the ID of abusers. So, law enforcement is the only recourse that works reliably.

  4. Pingback: DOH! Point gun at foot, pull trigger. [JIRA CHANGES] - Page 3 - SLUniverse Forums

  5. Pingback: Linden Lab Severs Major Communication Link with Residents | Rambling with Shug

  6. Another question is what happens about the existing and solved bugs in the release notes? They say that they will indicate in the release notes when ‘your’ bug has been fixed. But with those titles often being not clear knowing what someone else’s bug means is not clear. Also if 30 people report the same bug will all those bug numbers be listed?

    The Release Notes also currently contain known serious issues linked to the JIRA – so that functionality is lost and just a brief overview description will be provided. In the past I have added links to major or showstopper bugs that occurred after viewer release (without any objection from the Lindens) – it is sad that this will also be lost.

    I am at a complete lost to see how making existing/old bugs no longer browsable helps Linden Lab or the users in any tangible way.

  7. *Facepalms*

    Another fiasco !…

    Instead of just removing the ability for others to comment on JIRAs they didn’t create, they right out forbid any access to them. How great an idea !… I wonder who is *paid* at LL for such ideas…

  8. I would bet your speculation on why this done is right on the money. I once saw a user not only rant about we should all file in small claims court against LL, but listed the directions and addresses necessary to file against them. Total BS and I am sorry that LL employees have to put up with that much absue.

    However, assuming this speculation for reason is correct. This is far over reaction in my honest opinion. They are killing a well used tool due to some malcontents. A more moderated response, would seem to be more logical. How about doing what they are doing, except let them still be visible to be searched. Still not good, but at least a metered response.

    • We see the reason as the same. But, we can’t know all the incentive for the change. I am certain that we never see the worst of the worst unless we happen to catch it by coincidence. Nor can we know how employees are reacting. I have no doubt that the Lab has filters on the LindenLab.com email to block email with bad language. The forum and blogs do to a point also. I never checked the JIRA. But I am sure the abusers find ways to push their cruel expressions of hate onto the Lindens. It has to get really old. There is no way for us to know the scope of it.

      I don’t mind people disagreeing me. I’ll challenge their ideas because I learn from doing that. Good debaters have changed my thinking. But, abusive attacks/rants only draw my disdain and get trashed. My readers never see those posts. I am sure there is a large amount of material on the SL systems that I never see. My reader has shown me some horribly abusive posts in the sections I track that have been deleted by moderators. If I click to open them from the reader the SL sites give a not found. So, I know some of this is going on. It is for this reason that I am not certain the Lab OVER reacted. I do think blocking visibility of the JIRA items is too much.

      Thanks for your clearly worded comment.

  9. Well, LL was able to consequently block Prok from the JIRA, so blocking out those who actually abuse the system shouldn’t be *that* impossible. It would take some work, sure, but I’m sure less work than what is now coming up with multiple reports of the same bug, or no reports of bugs because people are fed up with LL disvalueing their efforts, or no helpful comments and feedback on reported bugs because that simply now is impossible. I was involved in running a jira/bug report system myself, and more than once the solution (or the hint that helped to find the solution) came from 3rd parties in the report discussion. Dear LL, I guess you don’t realize it, but you are throwing away very real money with flushing this highly valuable input down the drain! What a way to run a company…

    The reasons for this new stupid move from LL? I guess they don’t like to be told the truth. And, of course, the image to the outside world. Can’t have people see that this great world of SL infact has bugs! And we all know that a bug report that can’t be seen actually means that there is *no* bug, right?

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