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Closing a bug vs. tagging wontfix

I have recently seen some bug reports tagged as wontfix that have made me wonder about the purpose of the wontfix tag. For reference, the BTS information page [0] says the following about the wontfix tag:

This bug won't be fixed. Possibly because this is a choice between two arbitrary ways of doing things and the maintainer and submitter prefer different ways of doing things, possibly because changing the behaviour will cause other, worse, problems for others, or possibly for other reasons.

One specific bug [1] that I saw relates to the imp4 package. I can understand why Ola tagged it as wontfix. (This is not meant as anything even remotely negative toward Ola, rather this is a genuine question of mine. In fact, I have seen this type of usage on bugs of other packages.) I am thinking that it is because if the bug report was closed and someone else thinks that he/she has the same problem, the bug would be reported again. However, it seems to me that the wontfix tag isn't quite suitable since this bug is, in fact, not a bug at all. Rather, it is a misunderstanding of the submitter as to the way things are supposed to be.

I am wondering which of these options would be most correct:

1. Continue to use the wontfix tag in this manner
2. Close the bug entirely (since the resolved bugs are left on the BTS page, people who check for duplicate bugs before submitting will see it)
3. Propose the addition of a "notabug" tag

Solution 1 has the negative effect of continuing to include the bug in the counts for the package. For me that would be kind of annoying since counting "non-bugs" as bugs gives a false impression as to the state of the package. Solution 2 works, but I am not sure how long closed bugs are left on the BTS page for a particular package. It also does not readily indicate that the bug was not a bug to begin with (i.e., no tag). Solution 3 could be implemented in such a way that the "bug" is not counted on the totals for that package and that it is left on the BTS page. It could even be placed under its own heading, like "Non-Bugs" or something. This would be consistent with how other bugs tags are treated.

I am just sort of rambling, so please feel free to disregard any or all of this message.


[0] http://www.debian.org/Bugs/Developer
[1] http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=308791

Roberto C. Sanchez

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