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Re: On Bugs

On Mon, Oct 02, 2000 at 10:17:52AM -0700, Sean 'Shaleh' Perry wrote:
> > They are not, however, in my opinion, a good reason to pull console-apt
> > from the distribution.
> The severity of a bug helps a maintainer consider what to fix and what not to
> fix. 

This makes no sense to me. If you've got a bug -- if your package is
broken, doesn't work as advertised, or whatever -- and you can fix it,
why do you want a reason to ignore it?

> Policy is not the only source of bugs.  If a piece of software is broken, it
> matters not whether Debian policy speaks about the situation or not.  There is
> no policy about packages which segfault, but if I find a package which simply
> won't run, it deserves a important severity.

Packages which simply won't run deserve a grave severity bug:

          makes the package in question unuseable or mostly so, or causes
          data loss, or introduces a security hole allowing access to the
          accounts of users who use the package.

> Maybe what we really need is one more bug severity level.  

Maybe. I suspect that'd just be used as another excuse to ignore bugs
though, rather than being particularly useful.

I suspect what might be more useful than adding some sort of "unimportant"
severity might be to just make it easier to categorise bugs. There are
a couple of ways this could be done. One possibility I'm thinking about
would be to add some splitby or sortby options. So the current bug pages
would be equivalent to:


This could be extended to something like:

	splitby=status,severity sortby=alpha

to let you have bugs titled [DOC] ... grouped together, and bugs
titled [SEGFAULT] ... grouped together, and bugs titled [UPDATE-INETD
ENHANCEMENTS] grouped together. Probably a bit awkward for the maintainer,
but probably a lot better than what we have currently.

If we wanted to make the [BLAH] prefix officially supported, something like:

	splitby=status,prefix,severity sortby=bugnum

could work too: so that you'd get a list like:

	Open normal [DOC] bugs
	Open wishlist [DOC] bugs
	Open important [SEGFAULT] bugs
	Open normal [SEGFAULT] bugs
	Forwarded wishlist [DOC] bugs

It might also be possible to make use of the `keyword' fields the BTS
supposedly supports, I'm not sure.

If the above seems useful (and would stop people complaining that
"important" is the only way they can see which bugs should be fixed)
I can probably do the above this week sometime.

Coming up next week[0]: new debbugs packages; cookies :)


[0] yeah, right

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

  ``We reject: kings, presidents, and voting.
                 We believe in: rough consensus and working code.''
                                      -- Dave Clark

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