In early September 2012 a JIRA update was rolled out. It wasn’t just a software update. How the Lindens used the JIRA was changing and most of that change was in how Second Life™ users used the JIRA. Basically user freedom in the JIRA was severely curtailed. Most SL users can only read JIRA items in the BUG project that they create. Now that may change.
Innula Zenovka got a comment from Ebbe Altberg about the JIRA. It is being widely quoted in numerous blogs.
Funny, both engineering and product heads here also didn’t like that jira was closed and want to open it up again. Proposal for how is in the works! I hope we can figure out how to do that in a way that works/scales soon.
This comment suggests that Mr. Altberg is open to the idea of opening the JIRA up. Ciaran has an article that covers problems and benefits of having an open JIRA. See: Ebbe Holds The Jira Door Ajar. I think I will be a bit more succinct then he was.
A good example of the JIRA problem for Lindens can be seen in JIRA item STORM-1716, the Mesh Deformer item. Most people have access to the STORM project and can read and comment within it.
Imagine you are a programmer that has to fix a problem and you get a ‘fix this’ thread like that. It could take all day to analyze the thread and you still might miss things. Just try reading it and making a list of what is wanted. Then figure out what you would program in and why. I think you will find it an annoying task at best. Imagine you had a bit of a personal stake in it and people were calling you names. I imagine working with the JIRA would soon become your lest favorite task.
The thread is full of comments from those that had no clue what they were talking about. When Karl Stiefvater, former Linden and the Deformer programmer, engaged in sarcastic ridicule many thought he was being serious.
Add to that the email generated by JIRA postings. Each post and change to a post in the JIRA generates an email. The Lindens have to deal with those too. Is the comment important, containing information needed to fix a problem? Or is it someone flaming the Lindens because they have no idea what civil behavior is? You have to look to see.
The flaming and off topic discussion in the JIRA was wasting programmer time. In terms of dollars I am certain it was expensive. Also, programmers were talking about their frustration with the JIRA. It isn’t like they were all uniformly against the change. The Result was the JIRA Change, as I label it. Not popular, but better than the previous mess.
I always wondered why they did not make the items read only to all but the one filing the JIRA item. I suspected it would require reprogramming the JIRA software at a really deep level. That would not be something the Lab would want to take on, so it never happened. The people at Atlassian, authors of the JIRA software, probably do not have many clients using the JIRA software as the Lab and SL users use it. So, the read all and write only to your posts feature is unlikely to ever be added. But, I could be wrong.
Whatever the case, the SL community lost a valuable tool. It would be nice to get it back. But, I do not think the tool is worth the cost of lost programmer production. Far too few SL Users can use the JIRA or even know about it. Consider the pace of development post JIRA Change and pre-JIRA Change. I prefer the pace we have now.
I do NOT contribute all of the difference in development speed to the JIRA Change. But, it does have a well fitting correlation.
Many of us would still like having a more open JIRA.