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Re: the new style "mass tirage" of bugs

On Thu February 21 2008 9:19:14 am Rene Engelhard wrote:
> Hi,
> John Goerzen wrote:
> > I have learned that certain well-known packages (OpenOffice, say) are
> > bug
> OpenOffice isn't in Debian. If you mean OpenOffice.org, I feel obliged to
> answer this now, because you complely underestimate a) how many people
> maintain OOo (hint: 1) and b) how many time even keeping up is.

That is, of course, a problem.  I think that OOo isn't the only big package 
that is just too big for its maintainer staff to adequately keep up with 
bugs, and of course that generally isn't the fault of the maintainer staff.

I wasn't trying to say you're doing a bad job, Rene.  Just that the end 
result to the users such as myself is annoying.  And that's certainly not 
your fault if nobody is stepping up to help.

> > blackholes.  I submit a bug, and never hear anything from Debian
> > maintainers 
> > except for periodic triage stuff when a new upstream comes out.
> Sorry, that's not fair at all.

The two bugs I see in src:openoffice.org with my name on them are:

#420647, hanging in calc, which I confirmed was a Debian problem because I 
could not reproduce it with OOo builds on the same machine, and also had 
another person see it

#418875, OOo crashing, which included a gdb backtrace

Both are over 300 days old, being submitted in April 2007.  Neither had any 
comment from an OOo maintainer save for the message from Lior on Feb. 18, 
2008, asking me to try to replicate this with newer versions.

Which is no longer practical, because we may no longer have the files around 
or know what they were, the impacted users may no longer be with the 
company, etc.  I would have been happy to provide maintainers with whatever 
info was needed when the bug was reported and it was actively being looked 
at here, but almost a year later with no non-automated correspondence isn't 
a good thing.

These two bugs were the primary reasons we had to switch to the OOo builds.

So I think my comment was fair.

Does it reflect badly on you?  Probably not, since you're the only person 
maintaining OOo and you've asked for help.  But I think it unquestionably 
reflects poorly on Debian.  Though of course we are a volunteer project, so 
it is what it is.  I'm just pointing out that.

> > But I can't submit OpenOffice bugs upstream because we don't use
> > OpenOffice.Org's source trees.  Sigh.
> Sorry, that's not true either. You can install a plain OOo in parallel
> with some hackery (use the rpms, install to a rpm db with --force
> --nodeps)

Yes, they even publish alien'd debs now.  Do you think the average Debian 
user is going to be running those, though?  We actually are using those in 
production at this point because it is easier to get the current OOo in etch 
with them, as well as bugs we experienced with the Debian builds.

> And you *have* to admit it's gone a bit better for new bugs, it's just
> that old bugs suffer, I admit, but I simply have no time to go over all of
> them.

I haven't submitted bugs on OOo recently, I don't think, because we switched 
to the OOo debs.  But I am glad to hear that.

-- John

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