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Re: http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=265920

Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton <lkcl@lkcl.net> wrote:

>> > It's the job of either the bug submitter or (more
>> > usually) the Debian maintainer to contact upstream to make sure that
>> > they're aware of the bug. It is *not* the upstream maintainer's job to
>> > examine Debian's bug database.
>  that distinction isn't made clear: it's only if people think about it
>  that they will realise that they are supposed to report debian-specific
>  packaging bugs to the debian bugs database and package-specific bugs
>  to whatever upstream thingy they can find.  _if_ they can find it.

That (what you, Luke wrote) is not correct.  It's perfect if you report
upstream bugs to the Debian Bugtracking System.  In many cases it might
even speed fixing up, because the Debian maintainers are used to
communicate with non-experts to figure out the details, and also used to
checking whether it still occurs in a possible newer, yet unpackaged
upstream version, or in upstream CVS - while some upstream developer
lists, where upstream bugreports get to, are rather technical.  And
sometimes bugs that look like upstream's have been introduced by the
Debian packaging.

So, again, it's fine to report any bug to the Debian bugtracking
system.  IMO it's the responsibility of the Debian maintainer to make
sure that if it's an upstream bug, upstream developers are indeed
notified, or alternatively to ask the user who reported the bug to
contact upstream.

Both approaches - contacting upstream themselves, and asking the
submitter to do that - are valid approaches, and it depends on the
nature of the bug, on the relations of the Debian maintainer to
upstream, and of course on the workload of the Debian maintainer which
is best in a particular case.

In your case the maintainer thought it would be better if you contacted
upstream, and he asked you to do so.

>  for the _really_ popular packages, this becomes a serious problem:
>  the percentage of people reporting bugs into what effectively becomes
>  a black hole starts to get quite serious.

But that's not a problem of where bug reports go to, but how many people
work on a package.  By the way, IMO handling bugs of a package they use,
figuring out the details with submitters, and contacting upstream (or
other Debian packages' maintainers) is a good place to start Debian work
for a newcomer.

>> > Which is, uh, pretty much what Dirk said. Luke, what the christ are you
>> > upset about? 
>> Nobody's said "Don't report this bug to us",

That's right, because nobody wanted to express such a thing.

>> > they've said
>> > "If you report a bug to Debian and nobody forwards it, we know nothing
>> > about it".

That came later. Adeodato wrote in

|   ok, that's very valid reasoning. we'll keep the bug report open and
|   set it to a wishlist severity.
|   you or some other SE/Linux user may consider reporting the problem to
|   upstream KDE, with a good reasoning too.

This is we are talking about:  You or some other person interested in
SE/Linux should have contacted the KDE people.

>>   All correct. Thanks, Matthew. I'll just note that the Debian KDE
>>   packages receive an incredible amount of bug reports, and that we're
>>   understaffed to forward all of them to KDE upstream. 
>  that's why one of my recommendations was to consider putting, into
>  certain key very popular packages, a means to either transfer the bug
>  to upstream (via some mad notional XMLeey are pee cee-ey common API)

Go ahead and code it...

>  or
>  to simply put into reportbug a list of packages for which reporting
>  should be given special messages:
>  if reporting on package "kde, libkonq .... long list ...." then
>  report "if this is a bug in KDE itself, please DO NOT report the
>  bug here, go to http://bugs.kde.org whatever.  if you have a
>  debian-specific packaging issue (installation problem, missing
>  files, conflict etc.), please continue".

I don't think that this is a good solution.  Many users are not able to
distinguish between upstream bugs, packaging bugs (and pebcak, anyway).
The ones who can often already decide on their own to report the bug
upstream, and either not report it to Debian at all, or only for
reference, giving upstream's bug ID.

>  1) add into the dpkg thingy an upstream URL where bugs can be reported:
>     UpstreamBugs: http://bugs.kde.org/enter_bug.cgi (whatever)
>      if you encounter a bug in kde.
>      please report it here because otherwise nobody.
>      will fix it, thank you.
>     .

Most of the time it's quite easy to find this out by looking at
/usr/share/doc/<package> - either there's a bugreporting link on the
package homepage, or you simply contact the upstream developers by email.

Regards, Frank
Frank Küster
Inst. f. Biochemie der Univ. Zürich
Debian Developer

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