I frequently help people (often new users) troubleshoot Blender problems. Recently, I encouraged a user to make a bug report for an issue that was pretty clearly (to my mind) a bug with Blender. I asked that user to link the report, writing, “You might need an advocate.” Sure enough, the bug report was evaluated inappropriately to begin with, closed early until I said something, and eventually recognized as a bug. I think the person reporting probably wouldn’t have had the confidence to insist, even though he or she would have been right to do so.
This situation made me realize something of which I previously wasn’t quite conscious: I’ve been avoiding writing bug reports, and part of the reason is that it so frequently feels like a fight to get the bug taken seriously.
When I encounter a bug, I have two options. One is to make a mental note of it, so I won’t get surprised next time, and just keep on working on my project. The other option is, open a new file, disable all addons, reset to factory defaults, create the bug perfectly reproducibly, download the latest beta/alpha builds of Blender and reproduce there, spend some time figuring out work arounds, post a bug report-- and then, frequently, defend it. There is no benefit; I don’t expect a bug report to lead to a fix before I’m done with the project where I encountered the bug. I make bug reports, and put work into them, because as somebody who’s done some amateur development, I recognize that bug reports are a good thing. Even too many bug reports are a good thing (the bugs themselves aren’t good, but the reports are) because each report can shed light on other bugs that are seemingly unrelated, and each report gives a place for users to go to make sure they’re not crazy or doing it wrong, and a place to share workarounds.
I also understand, of course, that Blender users aren’t always beautiful shining people, and it strikes me that they probably tend to be at their worst right after encountering a bug or a not-actually-a-bug: they’ve just spent a decent chunk of time deeply frustrated with some problem. I imagine it’s hard to deal with everyone, good and bad, day in and day out, and I don’t expect Blender developers to always be in a good mood themselves. I just want to remind you that bug reporters are unpaid people, volunteering their time in order to improve Blender, because they love it, and because they want to help. They’re not the enemy.
And if any devs, including people fixing bugs and handling bug reports, need a little recognition of their work too, I love Blender. Thank you so much for the work you do making it great.