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Re: On Bugs

> >  - the policy is that only the maintainer or the person who reported
> >    the bug can close it.  That could be relaxed: have policy say that
> >    *anyone* can close it, provided they have good reason to believe
> >    the bug is actually fixed.  Have this cause email to be sent to the
> >    maintainer and original reporter telling them how to cancel the
> >    closing if they feel that is appropriate.  But if they take no
> >    action, it stays closed.
> I don't think the problem with bugs is that we have lots of fixed bugs
> which aren't getting closed. 

I think we're losing sight of something here.

Debian is a DISTRIBUTION.  It doesn't WRITE software, it PACKAGES it.

It's not surprising that the BTS is full of open bugs.  We don't write
the software!  Okay, maybe we write a little bit, and some of the bugs
are not due to the software itself but just the way we've packaged it.
But by and large Debian does and should operate as an intermediary
between the users and the upstream authors.  And as such, a big mass
of bugs isn't necessarily our fault, and isn't even necessarily bad.
We've packaged thousands of things; no software is bug free; we
encourage people to report bugs.  Therefore we have a database full
of bug reports.

Now, of course often the Debian packager actually does fix real bugs
in the code itself, rather than just packaging it and forwarding real
bugs upstream.  Everyone I know does their best.  But we have never
promised our users that we'd operate in that mode, we have no
responsibility to do so, and we shouldn't be embarrassed about it.

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