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Re: Random BTS musings

On Sun, Jul 29, 2001 at 01:25:00AM -0500, Branden Robinson wrote:
> On Sun, Jul 29, 2001 at 01:49:44PM +1000, Anthony Towns wrote:
> > Is it just me, or do bug reports seem to be tending more towards the
> > wrong end of the:
> > 	(1) Working, tested, explained patch
> > 		|
> > 	(2) Tested workaround
> > 		|
> > 	(3) Full diagnosis and explanation of what's wrong
> > 		|
> > 	(4) Full details on how to reproduce the bug, and explanation of
> > 	    why it's a bug
> > 		|
> > 	(5) Logs of the bug happening
> > 		|
> > 	(6) A basic description of what went wrong
> > 		|
> > 	(7) A comment on a bug in this or a related package
> > 		|
> > 	(8) Misdiagnosed user error
> > scale?
> How about we add something very much like this list to the bug reporting
> tools and get the user to rate their own knowledge of the problem?  Of
> course, some people will mindlessly inflate the ranking, but they'll
> likely be in the minority.

I'm not sure I really see much value in adding a greppable tag or
something for the above; it doesn't really add any information, and it
doesn't make the bug easier to fix.

I mean, some people won't come up with a patch, or a reproducible
report no matter how much you beat them over the head with it just
through ignorance. Debian doesn't get much of that because you have to
be something of an expert to use Debian in the first place, or to find
out how to report bugs. It'd be a shame if started dropping problem
reports from those sort of people straight into the bitbucket; they're
the sort of people we should be teaching how to do better reports and
how to write their own patches and stuff.

But then, sending their first attempt at a bug report that turns out to
not be very useful straight to an overworked and increasingingly irritated
maintainer who's just going to flame them for being incompetent isn't
a win either.

Having reportbug say something like:

	If you haven't got much experience at submitting bug reports
	to Debian, or you haven't been able to find the cause of the
	problem, you might be better off contacting some gurus at your
	local linux user group, or mailing the debian-user@l.d.o list
	so your problem can be discussed and diagnosed more accurately.

seems like it might be interesting; but it also seems like it'd be
a good way of completely losing user reports (a post to -user that
gets no replies and the user never brings it up again), or losing the
discussion that led up to the diagnosis, or overloading -user with too
much requests for help and not enough help, or adding a bunch too much
bureaucracy getting in the way of getting user's problems fixed.


Anthony Towns <aj@humbug.org.au> <http://azure.humbug.org.au/~aj/>
I don't speak for anyone save myself. GPG signed mail preferred.

``_Any_ increase in interface difficulty, in exchange for a benefit you
  do not understand, cannot perceive, or don't care about, is too much.''
                      -- John S. Novak, III (The Humblest Man on the Net)

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