I just signed up to the forum to give my two cents, since the ongoing issues regarding the development of IndustrialCraft², one of the largest and most influential Minecraft mods that currently exists, are of a major concern for me and I would like to see them addressed.
There have been a large number of duplicate bug reports in the bugs forum over the past few weeks (I'm utterly appalled at the number of morons who don't and/or can't use the search function to check for already reported bugs -_-). An important example is the EnergyNet bug first introduced with 1.103 that's been reported a few zillion times already. The presence of this bug currently makes running a large IC2 multiplayer server nearly impossible (I'm running a strictly small-scale test server for my staff at the moment and I'm having to babysit restarting the server when people meddle with cables; I can only imagine the nightmare if there were 50+ people on at once!). What irritates me the most about this bug is the fact that I understand it's already been fixed on your end. This is a game breaking bug - pretty much every player is going to notice this bug within an hour of installing IC2, and it makes playing the mod seriously extremely difficult. Because this bug is so huge and in-your-face, you end up with a stack of duplicate bug reports from the morons who don't scour the bug list before complaining. It is my belief (and probably the belief of a lot of other players, although I obviously can't vouch for them) that if you released official hotfixes which fixed bugs while trying not to break other things in the process, then these duplicate bug reports would be posted less often. It would also help to relieve the stress of both you (the developers) and us (the server administrators), who are being continually pestered with "whens the fix coming whens the fix coming whens the fix coming" by all the 8-year-old kiddo-noobs.
The best long-term solution that I can see is to get IC2 a public Jenkins. The builds you normally push out can be marked as RB, and then if you don't want to support hotfixes or dev builds then just shove a disclaimer on saying "using anything but recommended build is at your own risk and is unsupported" when people go to the Jenkins for the first time (that kind of stuff can be done pretty easily with cookies).
You also really need a better way of cataloguing and tracking bugs. A forum just doesn't cut it, because there is no filtering system in place for users (you can't easily ask the forum software to show you all of the bugs in 1.106 that are already fixed, for instance). If you moved your bug tracking to a bug tracker, then both users and the developers would be able to track bugs more efficiently. Get yourself a copy of JIRA, FoxBugz, MantisBT, or some other decent tracker. If you aren't willing to set something up then I have a public JIRA instance and you're welcome to use that. Just get the bugs off the forum and into something more sensible please
- Please set up a public Jenkins for the sake of server admins - if you want, you can flag the normal releases as RB and make it clear that dev builds aren't supported
- Please get a proper bug tracker rather than using the forum for bugs, so that we can filter the bug list