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Message Posted: Tue, 05 Mar 2003 @ 03:50:03 GMT

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Subj:   Re: Tech Center on teradata.com
From:   Hough, David A


Some computer vendors and their user communities grew up with the idea that a problem report was submitted to help the community as a whole. The vendor maintains the problem reports in an open database, which includes the site contact information as well as the technical details. You can actuall call a site to discuss an issue with the person who submitted it.

Problem reports are searchable across the entire database, and not restricted to summaries. Only the originating site can add new information to a problem report, but any site can register a "me too" interest if they've seen something similar. This give the vendor valuable information on how widespread a give problem is, and reduces the number of duplicate incidents that need to be opened.

The open database does require that the problem management system be divided into two parts: 1) a public area for formal problem statement and information exchange between the site and the vendor, and 2) a private area to contain the internal vendor debate while drilling down on the problem (no dirty laundry in public :)

It's essential, of course, for a site to be able to mark a bug as a security problem to prevent its display. In this (hopefully) rare case, preventing a system compromise overrides the need for public disclosure. I suppose that in the larger scheme of things, it might (just might) be necessary for a site to mark a submittal as a trade secret and suppress the detail display as well.

But in either case, security or trade secret, the vendor could put up enough traceback information to allow pattern matching in a good search engine. This would allow the valuable "me too" postings to occur and reduce the duplicate incidents submittals, both of which save the vendor and the customer time (=money).

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