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Re: How to make Debian more attractive for users, was: Re: The number of popcon.debian.org-submissions is falling

Bastien ROUCARIES <roucaries.bastien@gmail.com> writes:

> Support of debian is excellent but we are less user friendly than
> ubuntu. For isntance the bug sytem could be made simplier for joe
> simpler user, using an http interface than reportbug-ng (what should be
> installed by default for your desktop user) or even mail. I think having
> a simple bug report form and wizard will really help your user.

Having followed the Ubuntu bugs for many of my packages for several years
now, I think Debian's bug system is considerably more user-friendly than
Launchpad.  It may not be as *pretty*, and it's not as easy to submit a
bug, but when you submit a bug to Debian, the chances are fairly good that
someone will look at it and reply with a detailed understanding of both
your bug and the package (at least unless you're reporting a bug to one of
the packages that notoriously gets more bugs than anyone could ever deal
with, usually about other software, like the kernel or the desktop
metapackages).  Debian's BTS is more friendly in that old-fashioned sense
that involves interacting with people.  :)

In Launchpad, for anything in universe, the typical experience is that
your bug goes into a black hole until a month or two later someone sends
you some form letter about it.

> Increasing your quality also, will improve your user base.

I don't think doing what Launchpad does would improve Debian's quality.  I
suspect it would actually make it worse by hiding issues under piles of
semi-autogenerated bug reports with no information and consuming developer
time with triage that isn't improving packages.

Russ Allbery (rra@debian.org)               <http://www.eyrie.org/~eagle/>

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