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tags - information v requests for help

  At the moment, tags seem to be used for two different purposes:

- Supplying information about a bug (sid, woody, patch, security,
upstream, d-i, confirmed, pending...)

- Asking for help with a particular topic (help, unreproducible,
moreinfo, ipv6, lfs..)

Firstly, it seems odd to use the same feature for two completely
different issues.
Secondly, many people have been requesting (in various email threads in
response to introduction of ipv6 & lfs) the introduction of new tags.
These have all been of the request for help variety. The current system
is rather inflexible in this respect.
Thirdly, the help tag seems quite useless, even though it is a good
idea. This is based on the fact that nobody has helped out with any of
my reports tagged help. I think the main reason for this is that when
people look at the bugs tagged help page, there are simply too many
reports which they are not interested in (e.g. reports about a
programming language they don't understand). 

As a fix to these problems, I propose that the request for help tags be
replaced with a single help field similar to the forwarded field. This
would be given a comma-separated list of topics for the bug (e.g.
moreinfo, unreproducible, ipv6, java, ...). These would either be
defined somewhere, or (possibly) let developers create topics as they
like - this is less work for the bts maintainers and would probably work
quite well (c.f. hints in the debian menu system). The bugs tagged help
page could then be replaced with a script which looks through the
reports with a help value set and generates a set of pages for each
topic. A Java programmer could then come along and start helping with
bugs with the java help topic set, rather than spending time looking
through all the reports to find ones he might be able to help with.

Does anybody else think this is a good idea?

[please CC me - I'm not on the list]
  .''`. Mark Howard
 : :' :
 `. `'  http://www.tildemh.com 
   `-   mh@debian.org | mh@tildemh.com | mh344@cam.ac.uk 

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