[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: README - confusing, irrelevant, redundant, useless

On Mon, 2005-08-15 at 08:54 -0700, Russ Allbery wrote:
> I don't understand why people keep saying that upstream bug reporting
> instructions are irrelevant to Debian.  Surely I'm not the only person who
> wants to be able to discuss some issues directly with upstream when
> they're not in the slightest bit Debian-specific.  (Not to mention that
> the reporting instructions are sometimes also the *query* instructions,
> which can be extremely useful.)  And, with orphaned packages or packages
> with busy maintainers, it's often better to take problems up with upstream
> for practical reasons.

While exceptions certainly exist, most of the time, a user reporting a
bug on a Debian package directly upstream is not appropriate.  It is
better for the user to first seek help from their distribution.  Then,
if it is clear that the issue is upstream's problem, take it up with

I would further maintain that unless you download, build, install and
test upstream's package without Debian patches, finding the same bug in
their own untainted release, you cannot reliably say there is an
upstream bug.  Or even if you can satisfy yourself that the bug is
upstream's, you might not have such luck convincing upstream.  And if
you're going to rebuild the package from source in order to make this
determination, you have access through that exercise to the original
README, complete with upstream bug reporting address, if they have
supplied one there.

So, it's not that the bug-reporting address is useless.  It's that it is
misleading to suggest to the user that bypassing filing a bug against
the Debian package and going directly to upstream is recommended.  If
there is a way of presenting this information so that those with a
legitimate need have easy access to it, while at the same time pointing
the majority of the users at the Debian Bug Tracking System, then by all
means, include it.  But I doubt if anyone currently takes the care to
make this distinction in their packages that include upstream
bug-reporting addresses.


Reply to: