Slashdot videos: Now with more Slashdot!
Shouldn't this even be considered basic knowledge for any advanced UNIX user?
Let's assume for the moment that I'm not - what is the flaw involved?
Odd coincidence, but last nioght I got a Windows
Did it hurt?
I knew someone was going to point a case like this out, which is why I said it doesn't always work; yes, this happens. Occasionally there are decisions made by developers which seem stupid to users, perhaps are stupid (in this case it does look to me like the developers made a mistake in ignoring the bug). These cases are, in general, annoying problems faced by a minority of users.
But that doesn't mean that the general ethos is "oh, the user is stupid, the developer knows best". That is largely down to individual developers and - in the case of big projects like Firefox - project managers, who are often developers themselves.
In addition, I think it's a little unfair to apply this only to FOSS projects. If there's a (non-security) issue in Flash, for example, sending an e-mail to Adobe is unlikely to make them fix it. In practice I imagine that commercial consumer software is just as bad, if not worse (given that there is often no public bug-reporting system at all).
With non-commercial Free Software the developer is making the decisions and requests by users are either ignored or even actively blocked.
While I would agree that it's quite easy for this to happen with smaller projects (where you have one or two developers writing code to fit their own needs and just happen to release it too), all FOSS projects worth their salt have a bug tracker designed explicitly for this purpose. If a user can submit a detailed bug report (which is being made easier all the time) then the problem can be effectively communicated to whichever developer wishes to tackle it. Okay, it doesn't always work, but it's not as though the developers are sitting in their ivory towers completely ignoring the people who use their software.