‘Hendrix’ is a new feedback-collecting mechanism for mozilla.org, designed for people who just want to leave a quick comment or rant, and can’t be bothered with Bugzilla. The idea here is to lower the barrier to giving feedback, and simultaneously try and keep some of the less useful bugs out of Bugzilla.
There’s a test installation here.
Hendrix is a web-to-news gateway, currently posting to the newsgroup netscape.public.mozilla.test, so this is where you should look for the form output. When it’s deployed, it will eventually post to more appropriate group. The two current candidates are netscape.public.mozilla.wishlist, and netscape.public.beta.feedback which, while the name isn’t massively appropriate, does have the advantage of being abandoned. Ideas welcomed.
I haven’t worked on the styling; it would be great if someone would do a stylesheet for it, perhaps so it fitted in with the mozilla.org look. Everyone can have a go – pass the “&stylesheet=<url>” parameter. And yes, I have protected this against XSS. ;-)
If you want to play with the code, just check mozilla/webtools/hendrix out of CVS. It requires ExecCGI turned on, and the Template Toolkit and Email::Send Perl modules installed.
Well named, indeed.
netscape.public.beta.feedback? No, please not ;), this group are soo old and unused, it should not be buried out again IHMO.
That requires really dedicated volunteers to sift through all what may come (I’m aware of the fact that bugzilla already requires a huge amount of triaging work). What I fear (not that this isn’t a problem already with the forums and to some extent even with bugzilla) is that we will hear even more complaints about “I’ve told those mozilla/firefox people about this very bad bug but they still haven’t fixed it. If people don’t leave their mail address you won’t even be able to ask for further comments. And it’s yet another place to manage.
All in all I’m a bit critical. Wouldn’t it make more sense to triage bugzilla bugs better? Like making it mandatory to test with the newest available build before posting or by building a dedicated team of volunteers for triaging? At the moment there are many volunteers doing that but not in a very coordinated way.
This sounds like a fantastic idea. Often I have wanted to give brief feedback about bugs etc, but Bugzilla has stopped me – if this is available, it would certainly encourage me!
Safari has this bug icon where you can tell apple about a bug or (maybe even more important) a malfuntioning website. But such a tool also needs people who are willing to wade through a mass of bug descriptions, find the duplicates and enter them into bugzilla. OTOH this would be great to get feedback from the average user, who doesn’t know that bugzilla exists.
The tool looks good.
However, as I commented when the idea was suggested, I don’t see what the purpose of it is.
We already have a wishlist newsgroup, and features/bugs web forums, and except for the odd easy support question or off-topic conversation, most of the stuff there doesn’t go anywhere. There’s not much point in encouraging more feedback when we already have more feedback than we can deal with.
If the purpose is just to try and divert silly things out of bugzilla, then starting off with a bugzilla link is not the thing to do, and to make it effective we’d probably need to lock new people out of bugzilla.
mcsmurf: why is the group bad because it’s old and unused? Newsgroups don’t go rotten like apples. The fact that it’s old and unused is a plus point – we wouldn’t be disturbing anyone.
tr: yes, it might require volunteers – but the key point is that inaction is OK. In Bugzilla, if a bug’s useless, you have to do work to get rid of it. Here, you have to find the good stuff and do work to take advantage – which is fine, because you are doing work on stuff that’s worth doing work on.
We also want to triage Bugzilla bugs better, and form a team of volunteers to do that. But we need a team leader/coordinator. Any offers?
daniel: There is another tool under development specifically for reporting broken websites.
michaell: Hendrix is quick and anonymous, requiring no setup or configuration on the part of the user. This isn’t true of newsgroups or web forums. We did consider an anonymous MozillaZine forum but MozillaZine weren’t too keen.
I understand why Hendrix is easier for people wanting to submit. My point is that there’s already feedback in those places which we are basically ignoring. Why do we want to encourage more feedback if we already have more than we can deal with?
With the tool itself – I guess the text on the page will change anyway, but I think it needs to be much clearer that information put into the form will be published to the world. People tend to assume that information given to a web form will be handled privately, and many probably won’t understand that “placed in a newsgroup where it can be viewed by any mozilla.org contributor” implies that their name, email address and comments will be published. It should also be made clearer that they shouldn’t expect a response (as again, people tend to assume that they will get a personal response).
“We also want to triage Bugzilla bugs better, and form a team of volunteers to do that. But we need a team leader/coordinator. Any offers?”
How about setting up a (or sprucing up the existing) web page on how to triage bugs correctly and on how to get “editbugs” and “canconfirm” permissions? Mozillazine has a lot of readers and people use the forums, spreadfirefox has many very dedicated persons as well, use them. With a call for help and a short time effort from those with the power to grant permissions it should be possible to get more eyeballs on untriaged bugzilla bugs.
What I see is that bugzilla (already a long time ago) has gotten more reports than we can handle. The mozillazine forums and the newsgroups were meant to lessen the load but grew themselves out of proportion and now we try to build a third pile to put things on. That’s why I’d rather see more people working on bugzilla bugs instead of yet another webpage to give feedback. Even the talkback reports get used for that and I don’t know how carefully those get read.
So I’m all for bringing more eyeballs to bugzilla instead of more piles of requests to sift through.
We have a general contact mail address on the mozilla-europe.org website, and we plan to put additional burdons on it.
Basically, we want to make a “before you mail Gerv” page of the now-existing link. Same would apply on hendrix, IMHO.
It should for example have a link to the website tool (it may be broken for now or something). It should give a clear scope of responsibility, too. Discourage comments like “my logitech mouse buttons don’t do like in IE”.
What about intl? The one question I ask about each webtool ;-).
*IF* a post would be redirected to some “appropriate” newsgroup, like you suggest, who’s taking care of getting the answer back to the user? Would that be disabled for anonymous posts? Will some kind of FAQ be incorporated?
What about those inputs that should go to a forum instead of a newsgroup? Like FF and TB RFEs (I suspect that that’s still the way it is?)
I’d make the disclaimer a bit more explicit, because anybody can get to the posts.
I’m stopping here with the random flow of questions.
Axel: “What about those inputs that should go to a forum instead of a newsgroup?”
I think it makes more sense to have the output from this tool all in one place. Also, for automated posting and archiving, the newsgroup solution is easier. And MozillaZine have apparently already said they didn’t want to have anonymous web submissions. It would need a lot of moderation work to make it usable as a forum. My understanding is that this is just to create a browsable archive of submissions which people can look at to get ideas and maybe submit RFEs or whatever from, not to have discussion or respond to each item. A newsgroup is better for that.
“What about intl? The one question I ask about each webtool”
Maybe we can add a language dropdown, and send all the German items to your inbox for you to translate? ;) (but seriously, if we had it international, it would mean finding people to translate/triage everything in each language…)
Add “Give Feedback” to the Firefox Help menu, and send it to a page like this if you really want to hear from the average user. It could be good for marketing too because whatever newsgroup you point at will rapidly fill up with testimonials. Of course, it’s all pointless if nobody reads the posts. I really like the idea of making an easy way for people to give feedback. Too many projects shut out the vast majority of their users’ opinions.
Where can I find more information regarding Bugzilla?
It’s less about encouraging more feedback, and more about encouraging that feedback to be placed somewhere where it’s less effort for the project to deal with. And this means keeping it away from email to webmaster@, staff@ or licensing@ just as much as keeping it out of Bugzilla.
Sometimes, “dealing with it” may mean ignoring it. That’s unavoidable. But at least it’ll make the users happier, because they will feel they’ve had a chance to say their piece.
You are right that the text needs work. Suggestions welcome.
We’ve wanted to do this for ages, but not until we have some infrastructure in place to handle the people – i.e. a coordinator. Otherwise, there’s no big picture, and people get discouraged and go away.
Yes, certainly, when it’s done.
What about it? Do you think we want to offer this in multiple languages? Would that be useful?
I anticipate that the vast majority of feedback would go unanswered, whether or not it goes unread.
We may well do this in the future. Let’s see how it goes :-)
What sort of information? Details of the Bugzilla server software itself are at bugzilla.org.
Having just reread Axel’s question, one further point of clarification: all the feedback would go into one single newsgroup dedicated to Hendrix feedback, not a set of groups which are already used for discussion.
“It’s less about encouraging more feedback, and more about encouraging that feedback to be placed somewhere [else]”
I’m evidently not making my point very well. :)
Let me try another followup point: Given that places for feedback (e.g. newsgroup and MZ forums) already exist, how will this new thing do better at drawing feedback from inappropriate places (as opposed to just generating another appropriate place that won’t get read).
As for wording, how about:
“Information from this form will be published to the newsgroup netscape.public.mozilla.test. Do not submit your name, address or any other personal information unless you wish it to be publically available.”
I’d also suggest that the Name field is optional, and that email addresses are automatically munged.
And how about ripping off the Netscape feedback form (this isn’t an exact copy):
“Note: Due to the number of suggestions and comments that are received, you should not expect a direct response to your feedback. But your feedback is important to us, so please do let us know what you think.”
I’m sure that could be further improved…
michaell, for one, those places you mention, mozillazine forums and newsgroups, require some effort from most users (my mom doesn’t know what a newsgroup is and she’s unlikely to dig through the mozillazine forums looking for the right place to post, and she’s definitely not going to register with a site just to give some feedback). Also, we’ll feature this prominently at the Bugzilla entry points. If we can, we’ll also put it in the client like the “report a broken website” tool that’s nearly ready.
This is the same reason we created reporter.
I decided to take on the extra work (a whole lot of it I might add) in creating an XUL extension… because it allows us to get better information, without asking the user to do things they don’t know how.
With reporter, most users will be able to submit a report in 30sec-1min. Depending on how much comments they give.
Gerv’s tool has that same ability. Quick! That’s what makes it so great.
End users aren’t geeks. We know that. We like them anyway. That’s why we make it all so simple for them.
Not that it matters much, but Send Feedback button never gets enabled in IE6.
Walter: actually, that does matter. I’ll try and fix it :-)
Good tool to come up with. Would have been better timed had it been there a few months prior to 1.0.
Couldn’t find much info about the image( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Hendrix.jpg ) Is it available under public domain or for m.o use?
KDS: I figure Wikipedia will get sued before we do.
The latest version in CVS has IE fixes and much-improved text. I’ll try and get Dave to CVS-update.
Is anyone working on a skin? :-)
Thanks for your efforts at the Mozilla suite development.
Posting a message here just to send in a few words about using the Mozilla browser with the Flash plugin activated. I don’t know why, but the browser either crashes, closes itself down – or even the whole operating system now and again for that matter – after visiting some web pages with this plugin. And this seems to occur with the old and newest versions of the browser. Right now, i am surfing the web with Mozilla 18a5 (Just quit using version 18a6 – very unstable) on Win98SE, 256MB RAM, Nvidia GForce 64MB etc.
Just a suggestion: Try and implement into the next versions of Mozilla a find feature just like the one found on the latest versions of Firefox, but, in case you do this, position it on the opposite side of the one the finding mechanism appears when called up by the user after clicking the shortcut keys.
Thanks for your attention.
It would be nice if you renamed the feeback tool from Hendrix to something a little more consumer-friendly that made sense.
A corporation like Microsoft, for instance, would never name their an end-user feedback tool Hendrix. The word has to actually mean something to the majority of users out there (ie. explain its purpose) and NOT require any heavy thinking to “get it”. Or have unnecessary associations with dead people.
Geek titles don’t belong for a thing like this, so I hope it’s renamed.
>How about setting up a (or sprucing up the existing) web page on how to triage bugs correctly
>and on how to get “editbugs” and “canconfirm” permissions? Mozillazine has a lot of readers and
>people use the forums, spreadfirefox has many very dedicated persons as well, use them. With a call for
>help and a short time effort from those with the power to grant permissions it should be possible to
>get more eyeballs on untriaged bugzilla bugs.
Take a look at http://www.mozilla.org/quality/help and the documents linked there. It’s all there…
Where can i find a tutorial on Hendrix
tones: does it really need a tutorial? It’s pretty easy to use…