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Re: Bug system severities

On Sun, 7 Sep 1997, Adrian Bridgett wrote:

> On Sep 06, joost witteveen wrote
> >  
> > Adrian Bridgett wrote:
> > > IMHO I don't like the way that Ian just added the "Severity" field - I
> > > think that it should have been discussed on the list beforehand. 
> > 
> > Oh, come on! The only discussion we haven't had on debian-* yet is
> > whether we should first have a formal debate that later outlines
> > how we are going to discuss changes to be proposed by somebody.
> I think the bug system is am important aspect of Debian and that major
> changes to it need thinking though. One person's idea of what's best
> often disagrees with other peoples. I think it reflects well on Debian
> that people care about it rather than just saying "fine, do what you want
> then".

I happen to agree with Joost, but for slightly different reasons. The
point you seem to have missed Adrian, is that Ian is the "maintainer" of
the bug tracking system. We have several people who do specific
maintainance of the various aspects of Debian that do not directly pertain
to packages. Guy maintains the archive, Pete manages the mailing lists,
and Ian manages the bug tracking system. When you ask for help on a
packaging issue, it is you who decides when you have enough information
from the group to make a decission. The recourse of folks who disagree
with your changes is to file a bug report. We all have the same recourse
for archive, mail, or bug reporting changes.

Personally I trust Ian's decissions more than anyone else I know. I also
trust Ian to take good ideas from the group and impliment them to our

> I agree that discussing things amongst 300 people takes a long time, but
> discussion does make people think about what they are doing and their
> justification. Maybe there should be a small development group
> that could just "run over" decisions that affect Debian significantly -
> an email to five or ten of the "top" developers may result in some good
> ideas that hadn't previously been thought of. 
Boards don't work here. We have competent people dealing with these day to
day issues, and a reasonable method of moderating that behaviour.

In addition, besides the elitist concept of "top" developers, who would
decide who these folks were? I have no idea who the top five to ten
developers are! If I'm lucky, I've "talked" with no more than fifteen or
twenty of the several hunderd developers.

I prefer the current method of a "honcho" who does the work and takes the
responsibility. This means you only have to convice one person of the
error of his ways ;-)

> > _EVERY_ other discussion has been here, it's just that there's always
> > somebody who "misses" it.
> > 
> > As others have pointed out: there has been discussion about the severity
> > of the bugs. And, as with all other discussions, it first attracted
> > many people, expressing there views, and then the discussion died down,
> > and nothing happened. The  people that joined the discussion expressed
> > many different views, but I think they all agreed on one point: something
> > should happen. And I'm also rather sure everybody would agree that
> > what Ian did was an improvement.
> I completely agree that the "severity" field is needed. It's just that I
> think that a _quick_ discussion of what values it could take would have
> been nice. I think Ian has made a good choice with his first four
> values - critical/grave/normal/wishlist. 
> However he then added "difficult" which as someone else has pointed out
> is a severity of bug fixability rather than of buginess. This is the sort
> of thing which IMHO needs discussing amongst a wider audience before being
> added to the system.
While I see your point of view, I saw Ian responding to discussion, which
is what you seem to want. The before or after issue doesn't seem as
important to me as you seem to see it.

For instance, in your example. The adding of an allowed field doesn't
change anything until someone uses it. Discussion was immediate, and I
think the correct conclusions were drawn.

I'm not sure what would satisfy your desires here, given "the way things
work". Would you truely wish to hobble operations with more "jump thru
hoops" for decission making?


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aka   Dale Scheetz                   Phone:   1 (904) 656-9769
      Flexible Software              11000 McCrackin Road
      e-mail:  dwarf@polaris.net     Tallahassee, FL  32308

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