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Bug severities (was: Re: wterm in potato)

On Sat, Feb 19, 2000 at 08:33:26PM +0100, Josip Rodin wrote:
> On Sat, Feb 19, 2000 at 12:57:27PM -0600, Steve Greenland wrote:
> > nor does the fact that wterm is not 8-bit clean qualify as an "important"
> > bug:
> Geez, and I thought not being 8-bit clean was something we would never
> encounter again, not to mention have to prove again that it matters...
> silly me >:(

Of course it *matters*, the question is, does having wterm not work
properly matter enough to the x Russian (or whoever) users to mean it's
completely worthless even for the y non-Russian users for whom it works
perfectly well?

Personally, I think the definition of the `Important' severity is
way too self-referential ("This bug is release-critical because it's
severity is important or higher. It's severity is important because it's
release-critical"). Common sense doesn't seem to be working particularly
well ("Of course 8bit support is RC", "Oh come on, obviously it's not"),
so I'd like to see important defined more directly, in the same manner
that `critical' and `grave' are.

FWIW, I think the main use of the `important' level should be for policy
violations, rather than usability or security issues (which are already
covered by critical and grave). Things like `package is in main, but not
DFSG-free' doesn't fit either of `critical' or `grave', but is pretty
certainly release-critical. Some other sections of policy probably apply
too: not having a copyright file, not have a changelog, really severe
non-compliance with the FSSTND/FHS perhaps (/opt/foo, say). Some others
obviously don't, of course: not every missing manpage is worth culling
the distribution over.

Also, I'd like to see the definition of grave, `makes the package in
question unusable or mostly so' clarified. I'd assume this means `in a
majority of situations', rather than just `in your particular situation'.

And just to reiterate: assigning a bug the severity of `normal', doesn't
mean ignoring it, it doesn't mean it doesn't particularly matter, and it
doesn't even mean it can't be fixed during the freeze. It's just saying
"sure, this matters, just not enough to inconvenience every other user
of the package because it doesn't work for you".


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG encrypted mail preferred.

 ``The thing is: trying to be too generic is EVIL. It's stupid, it 
        results in slower code, and it results in more bugs.''
                                        -- Linus Torvalds

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