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Re: Consensus on closing old bugs

On 06.02.23 11:51, Santiago Vila wrote:
El 6/2/23 a las 11:26, Brian Thompson escribió:
I understand that the usual way to close out bug reports is having the
original author do it themselves.  What's the policy on closing bug reports
that haven't had activity in over 6 months?

Let the maintainers handle their bugs.
Old bugs should not be closed just because they are "old".

For example, I have an open bug which is 26 years old:


and I don't see any reason to close it.

However I'd like to put Santiago's reply into perspective (I am not contradicting him!):

There's *a lot* of Debian packages that are not maintained very actively. Often when I report bugs against some package I will do a bit of triage as a "recompensation" for being allowed to report it and for the time the maintainer will have to invest in reading my bug report.

So when I see f.ex. reports against versions of the package against old Debian releases, that are no longer supported where the last entry in the bug report is the maintainer asking a question that hasn't been replied to in years, then I go and close that bug report.

I do explain why I am closing it (version not supported any more, there are more recent package versions where probably the bug was fixed (if that's really the case!), no reply from reporter, thus it's not expected that anything will ever come out of the report any more). And I am also explaining that closing the bug might be in error, and excusing myself if that would be the case and asking the reporter to please reopen the bug or to tell me then I will. That is because I can never fully know the context of the reporter and thus that bug might be important to the reporter (or the maintainer).

All that said, I have never received negative feedback to these bug triages that I am occassionaly doing and am under the impression that the maintainers *do* appreciate someone going over their packages bugs from time to time and closing bugs that to the best of one's judgement will not be taken care of any more.

I have to emphasize that the place that I am coming from is that I absolutely despise all the robots (f.ex. on github or in launchpad) that are roaming around and automatically closing (my!) old bugreports, since I have put effort in them and I feel my efforts get shat on when this occurs. So that's the angle I'm working from: I absolutely want to respect the bug reporter and his effort and possibly the importance she's attaching to to some problem that she is eperiencing or has experienced. Same for the maintainer that possibly wants to keep his package clean and bug-less and puts effort into the reports against his packages and cares even about old stuff that *still* doesn't work.

In short, my advice:

* please *do* triage other maintainer's bugs - after all Debian is a *collaborative* effort. It is very much appreciated (at least by me). * please put respect for the reporter and the maintainer and their efforts first before any other concerns such as efficiency

Thanks for caring!

PS: Dear reader please correct me or add to if what I'm arguing above is wrong.

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