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Re: What bug reports are for

* Holger Levsen <holger@layer-acht.org> [110301 09:56]:
> On Montag, 28. Februar 2011, Jesús M. Navarro wrote:
> > But #3. is still a bug and unless it's been at least tried to be reproduced
> > is no good behaviour to close it just "because I've not the time and I
> > prefer focusing on #1 and #2".
> I don't think it's the maintainers duty to prove that bugs are bugs, but
> rather the submitters.

It's the maintainers interest and the job they volunteered for to look
after the package and thus also find bugs and fix them in the one or
other way (for example by reporting them upstream in a way upstream can
properly deal with that). The bug reporter is someone simply helping

It makes sense to focus on bugs one can deal with and ask the submitter
for more help with bugs one cannot deal with yourself. It can be
acceptable to close bug reports once there is no hope a bug can be
identified and fixed with it (so the costs of having the report open
(like making bug lists harder to read thus making it harder to report
and fix bugs) are bigger than the expected benefits of having it
(probability this is an actual bug * probability it can be found due to
this report * probability it hits again * costs it causes).

Of course packages with many bugs and little maintainer man-power
usually have heigher costs per bug (more crowded bug lists) and smaller
expected benefits (smaller probability the bug will be found), so it can
for some packages make more sense to close a report than for smaller

But still a bug report is mostly an try to help us improve the software
we care for. Like every other attempt to help it can be counterproductive,
but we should be careful to not discourage people trying to help us.

> And then it's also fine to close unreproducable bugs which one suspects are
> due to local, aeh, constraints. Reopening once they are found to be
> reproducable is easy :-)

That means someone must be actually looking at it. Closed bugs are not
that often looked at in my experience.

	Bernhard R. Link

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