Useful fact from Alien Flux experience: no-one reports bugs unless it is done automatically for them without their consent or knowledge.
Corollary: even fewer people report bugs when you're anally retentive and force them to:
- create a username and password
- give you their email address
- wait for a confirmation email
- reply to that email
- login to the system.
If someone finds a bug they are PISSED OFF and NOT HAPPY with your software. Forcing them to jump through hoops to help YOU is not a good idea.
This is why all those public bugzillas are SUCH a bad idea. Login-secured bug systems are for teams, not the public.
FYI I have given up on several bugs in OO because they made it so much bloody hassle to report them. Some I reported then was asked for more details but it was such a hassle to dig out the username and password I originally used to try and reply that I just gave up.
Corollary 2: When you tell an open-source programmer that this is the way real people behave, like it or not, most of them bite your head off telling you that "well I'm not paid, you know" or "if you want my help you have to jump through these hoops" or "it's really easy, come on - anyone can do it". Very few respond with "Oh, bummer. Yeah, I see that though it's illogical that's how life is and I have to work with it rather than just ignore it and try and live in the perfect world inside my head" (although occasionally a few do).
FYI before anyone flames me I have contributed a lot of bugs to some opensource software. E.g. mozilla, where it automatically gathered the version of your app so you didn't hve to work it out
. Also I've offered stuff back - like recently doing a big redesign of the bugzilla bug-query page (the worst piece of HTML in the history of mankind EVER!) although time constraints mean all I've achieved is to send them a screenshot of how it could be done much better (and hope someday to have enough time to finish the job off for them).