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Re: Bug#655999: [bugs.debian.org] Reporting documentation - "What package does your bug report belong to?" points to user support groups

[Forgot to Cc joy]

Hi Andrei,

On 2012-01-15 17:59, Andrei Popescu wrote:
On Du, 15 ian 12, 14:35:17, Filipus Klutiero wrote:
debian-user's topic is user support.

For technical discussions about development, the default group is
Reference: http://anonscm.debian.org/viewvc/webwml/webwml/english/Bugs/Reporting.wml?r1=1.18&r2=1.19

While we're at it, we shouldn't require reporters to indicate a
package. If the ITS technically needs a package to be indicated, we
could tell reporters to indicate a pseudo-package when they don't
know, perhaps "unknown" or "default".
Hi Filipus,

I am not a BTS (Debian's issue tracking system) maintainer, so this is 
all in my very humble opinion.

If a user can't tell where the bug belongs to chances are:

1. it is not a bug
2. it is a bug, but the reporter is not very skilled
3. it is a bug, the reportes is quite skilled, but it is really 
difficult to tell what package is at fault

For both 1. and 2. debian-user is actually a very good place to ask. 
Subscribers are used to high volume and all kinds of questions.

Most of the times, unless the poster is not providing information or is 
being a total jerk (or similar), there is a kind soul to provide 
guidance to solve the problem or point to where a bug should be reported 
if applicable.

Even for 3. the skill set available on debian-user is very impressive 
(besides the few DDs that are watching, thanks guys).

Sorry if I gave a different impression, but I never intended to say that debian-user was unable to give this advice. I do not really know debian-user, it may very well give perfect advice on that matter.

The only thing I'm saying is that debian-user is not an appropriate place for development discussions. Analogy: debian-devel may be able to help users with problems as well as debian-user. However, it would be inappropriate for users to request support on debian-devel, as that is simply not debian-devel's topic.
On the other hand DD time is precious. Even if many of the debian-user 
subscribers would have the skills to become one, they probably lack the 
time. However, scanning through the subjects and answering the 
occasional interesting questions is a good way to contribute and take 
some of that burden from the DDs.

After all, DD time is better spent packaging software and fixing bugs, 
not answering trivial user questions ;)

These questions are not necessarily trivial. There are thousands of packages in Debian, I know nobody who knows all of them. And it's not always just a matter of knowledge, even if someone knew them all, it is sometimes unclear which package is and should be responsible.

Sending these requests to debian-devel does not mean DDs (Debian Developers with capital "D"-s) have to answer them. debian-devel stands for Debian development, it is not restricted to anyone. If it's indeed more optimal that advice be given by non-DDs, nothing prevents this from happening, on debian-devel rather than on debian-user.

Note that I didn't say reporters should be pointed to debian-devel instead of debian-user, I merely noted that debian-devel is the default group for technical discussions about development. Pointing reporters to debian-devel would be the quickest fix, but it is also possible to create a new group dedicated to such questions if they are considered too heavy for debian-devel.

As to your suggestion about a pseudo package "unknown" or "default", the 
question is: who should watch the bugs?

Whoever is interested in triaging them. I don't follow debian-user, but I suppose the indication we have implies there are already contributors interested in that.
 If you want to 
suggest debian-user instead, why bother? Just point the reporter to 
debian-user (as it is done now).

There is a difference between the workflows of reporting an issue without specifying a package and of asking which package a report should be assigned to then reporting.
The latter workflow is longer, adding the delay needed for the advice to come plus the delay of the reporter actually reporting the issue. Furthermore, the latter assumes advice will come at some point, which is probably not going to be the case.


I hope this addresses your concerns,
P.S. Please don't CC bugs to debian-user. Not everybody is used to the 
BTS, so it is quite likely that some will either reply to list only (as 
per code of conduct, but you are probably not subscribed), or to all 
(including submit@...  and the bug), which will just clutter the bug 

I am indeed not subscribed to debian-user, but that shouldn't be a problem since Reply-To is set to Filipus Klutiero <chealer@gmail.com>, 655999@bugs.debian.org

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