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

Re: teaching users how to submit good bug reports

On Thu, Jul 22, 2010 at 06:00:44PM +0200, Bjørn Mork wrote:
> > No, we obviosely do not.  When staffing bothes in the past I regularly
> > asked people to report their problem and they had no idea how to do
> > (because they did not know reportbug) even if long term Debian users. 
> I believe it's extremely unlikely that you have anything valuable to
> report if you are unable to find reportbug.

That is just not the attitude we should have, IMVHO.

Basically, this reasoning has an underlying argument which goes like:
"there's an entry barrier that we are willfully imposing to our users,
either you're good enough to discover the tool, or we're not interested
in your bug reports".  Now, it *might* be that the net result of that is
that you get higher quality bug reports, but I'm more inclined to
believe that it is just wishful thinking.

For instance, the story I reported involved a skilled programmer, which
was just too lazy to look for the good tool. Frankly speaking, I can
understand the stance. For most of us Debian is *the* most important
FOSS project out there, so we take the time to do things "properly". But
I can't personally claim that I'm putting the same amount effort in all
other FOSS projects I use as a user, e.g. to register to their upstream
BTS and behave as a conscientious FOSS user. I simply can't do that with
*all* of them. Hence, as a user, I'm happy when upstream offers some
simplified way to give feedback to them, e.g. integrated in the
application itself.

Now, looking at it from the side of Debian, I feel guilty in discovering
that I'm not doing enough in advertising how Debian wants his users to
behave in reporting bugs. I also consider a significant loss that of bug
reports that we don't receive due to this. From this discussion it's
clear that not all of us think it's a loss unless we are able to fix
currently reported bugs (see e.g. Ian or Joss replies), but I personally
disagree---although I concede that things might look very different when
seen from the POV of maintainers of vastly popular packages :-).


Stefano Zacchiroli -o- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} -<>- http://upsilon.cc/zack/
Dietro un grande uomo c'è ..|  .  |. Et ne m'en veux pas si je te tutoie
sempre uno zaino ...........| ..: |.... Je dis tu à tous ceux que j'aime

Attachment: signature.asc
Description: Digital signature

Reply to: