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Re: teaching users how to submit good bug reports

On 23 July 2010 00:05, Stefano Zacchiroli <zack@debian.org> wrote:
> 1) I've been teaching him how to use reportbug [...]

Recently I have found reportbug and other bts tools rather annoying
because of their requirement to to get a working email setup[1] on the
computer first. It is not uncommon for me to send a bug report that
gets lost and/or is sent from an invalid email address (e.g.
root@myhost) because the MTA setup was broken[2].

The days where every Linux computer has to have a working MTA are
gone, and typically tends to be very painful especially for
portable/laptop computers which may not have no single way to send
outgoing mail that is guaranteed to always work (e.g. networks often
block direct outgoing SMTP connections).

It is annoying to have to setup a working MTA just in order to be able
to report a bug.

Not to mention, the nature of the bug being reported may make it
impossible to have a working email setup. Or that it is just more
convenient to be able to report the bug from a different computer to
the one that is showing the symptoms.

So often I end up entering bug reports by hand, hardly a selling point
for Debian.

[1] through what ever means, e.g. I think reportbug can be configured
to talk directly to a smtp server now, although I don't have an
installation handy to check.

[2] for servers for example it is quite possible to have them send
cron job messages, etc, using an internal only address to another
internal only address, so such a setup may not really be broken.
Brian May <brian@microcomaustralia.com.au>

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