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When to report bugs upstream [was Re: Lancelot locks accessing NTFS partition]

Hi, I'd like to preface this reply with the statement that I have read this entire thread, and have appreciated the Debian KDE maintainers efforts in general and Mark Purcell in particular.

Mark Purcell wrote, on 09/04/09 18:53:
On Thursday 09 April 2009 11:14:26 Boyd Stephen Smith Jr. wrote:
Are you aware about how many Debian packagers has the Qt/KDE team? Do you
imagine how many time is needed to handle this? And not only the KDE
people, but other teams as well.
If Debian can't shoulder the burden of maintaining KDE, they shouldn't be
packaging it.  Debian maintainers should be ready to receive bug reports
from Debian users.  I should not have to run another distribution or
compile KDE from source before I file a bug.


You are going to start seeing a lot more messages like this one when you file a bug with a Debian package. I am the Debian maintainer for the hplip package:

! For end user support please "Ask a question" at the
! upstream hplip support site:
!   https://answers.launchpad.net/hplip/+addquestion
! If you know that the bug you want to report is in the "upstream"
! code then please file report in the upstream hplip bug tracking system:
!   https://launchpad.net/hplip/+filebug
! If you feel that the bug is one that other Debian users should
! know about then you are welcome to file a report in the Debian BTS
! as well.  Please keep in mind, however, that managing bug reports
! is part of the maintainers' workload.

Perhaps KDE packages in Debian that are ports of upstream packages rather than Debian-specific [meta-]packages should include a similar text?

By the way, I can only make this suggestion where it will reach Debian KDE maintainers because there is a Debian-KDE user mailing list, debian-kde@lists.debian.org (which I can access via gmane.org as newsgroup gmane.linux.debian.user.kde). It would not be very helpful if I made this suggestion as a bug report against each KDE package in Debian, and reportbug doesn't seem to have a means of reporting a bug against a class of packages like all Debian KDE packages. (I did file bug #523584 about this, but this part of the Debian bug tracking system - making the bug tracking system more efficient - seems to be lacking attention).

[As an aside, HPLIP *DOES NOT EVEN HAVE ANY MAILING LISTS* and this was a barrier against finding and reporting bugs upstream against HPLIP )-:.]

Why have I done this? Because I am not able to keep on top of the bugs reports, let alone the packaging upstream releases and the like to maintain this and other packages. Also a lot of bugs are just upstream bugs and in most (all) cases it would be a lot better if the end user were talking directly to upstream.

Sure if another 5 people wanted to come and help with the bugs then I wouldn't have to do this, but there aren't 5 people helping, so the users reporting the bugs can help and forward the bug to the place where they will get the fastest response to their issues.

In a lot of cases the Debian maintain is on the upstream bug tracking list as well and will comment directly there when/ if things are being reported that are directly specific to the Debian package.

You don't need to run a different distribution to report a bug upstream. Upstream will happily take reports from any users and will respond to your issues. However if you report another upstream bug to the BTS, the Debian maintainer may not be in a position to forward the bug upstream for many days/ weeks/ months if at all. So the end user doesn't get any feedback on their bug either.

Users don't need a 'bug-day' to forward bugs upstream. Anyone can do that at any time and at any stage of the project. I hope you are contributing with every post you are making here to debian-kde and also forwarding a bug upstream. Takes me about 3-6 minutes per bug. Because that is what Debian is about. Lots of people, like you, doing a little bit of work when they have some spare time.

After forwarding bugs upstream to the ALSA project, HPLIP, KDE, each requiring registration/username/password one wonders how many upstream packages one can report to. I will report "show-stopper" bugs upstream, but without instructions in the Debian bug tracking system on how to do so (as reportbug provides for), the effort required crosses many users' threshold for bug reporting. I've been happy to change configuration settings, recompile software and even perform a kernel git bisection on a PII-266 to get a bug fixed (thanks to a couple of lines of encouragement from waldi in #debian-kernel), but having to report upstream and getting no response nor any clue as to where in the source code the problem lies (e.g. HPLIP not accepting hyphens in printer names) is discouraging.

So with your next spare 3 minutes, look at the BTS, check if a bug is still relevant, forward it upstream, and mark it as forwarded in the BTS.


If you can show me how to forward a bug upstream in 3 minutes, I'd be more than willing to do so (-:.



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