I know that this is a controversial one, but I think the whole voting system in its current form is almost completely useless and there should be some discussion about its usefulness. I've been involved with Mozilla for over two years. I'm no developer but I've been regularly downloading nightlies, testing them, reporting bugs. So, I guess I'm representing something like the "interested user". It's been my impression that most people posting in Bugzilla, especially those not directly involved in the hacking of the code, have a very wrong idea what they can achieve with voting. Many believe that the number of votes does actually influence the development of Moz. Having been subscribed to some of the most voted bugs for quite some time, I must say that this is not the case. There are bugs like bug 94035 (Allow blocking of any media type), bug 22687 (PGP Plugin), bug 56301 (spellchecker for Moz) which have tons of votes; but if any work has been done on these bugs it hasn't been due the numbe of votes. Don't get me wrong, I don't critize anyone for not implementing a popular feature. This is OSS and everyone works on what he likes to do. But I just think that the whole voting system creates a lot of confusion while not really helping anyone. If voting doesn't influence the development - which IME is the case - we can easily get rid of it.
Voting is an optional feature in Bugzilla, it can be enabled/disabled on a per-product basis. In some products and other installations it can be useful. Since you're talking specifically about mozilla.org, I'll move this bug to them so the people who deal with Mozilla's policy on such things can decide on it.
I really think that some people do look at votes, you just never know it because they don't tell you. And you might not notice it because there are so many other things you need to take into account, such as dependencies, the amount of work required, your expertise, and so on. That doesn't mean that votes are useless, they are just a part of a bigger picture. I don't really see the problem if people have a whine occasionally because of their misinterpretations, I think the positives outweigh the negatives. Whatever happens here please don't remove it for the Bugzilla product, I periodically look at votes and take them into account for milestone scheduling.
> I don't really see the problem if people have a whine occasionally because of > their misinterpretations, I think the positives outweigh the negatives. Maybe it's just me, but in 2+ years I've been involved with Moz I haven't seen one single example were votes had any positive influence. I've only seen the misinterpretions and the whining so far...
What do you expect to see? No one is going to come running up to you to tell you they've taken votes into account. Like I said, it's no suprise there are bugs hanging around with a lot of votes, there are other factors than just votes.
Votes are great because they give people the sense of having a say, while keeping out of the way of the developers.
As I said: confusing and misleading, if you think that's something positive...
vrfy wont fwiw i've filed a bug to enhance voting
Maybe a bug is not the right place to discuss the whole voting issue, but IMO it is something that should be discussed. And it should not only be discussed by a small group of Mozilla core members, but by the people who are supposed to use this feature. Reality is, as Ian confirms, that most people have a complete misconception about voting, and contrary to Ian's slightly cynical position, I think this is a *bad thing*.