[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Fundamental flaw in bug reporting system

On Thu, 29 Jun 2006, Evan Prodromou wrote:
> On Thu, 2006-29-06 at 11:30 +0100, Ian Jackson wrote:
> > I think that the difficulty of submitting a Debian bug report via the
> > BTS (which is after all a fairly minor challenge to anyone who can
> > read and understand documentation) provides a very useful barrier
> > against poor-quality bug reports.

Agreed.  It would be a very different story if we didn't have other forums
for people to ask for help.  But we do have them, and they are far more
appropriate for newbie users than the BTS system.

That said, if there is a problem with how newbies are being handled in these
forums when they have doubts and issues to report, then we must address THAT
issue and fix it.

> It does not seem to be the best strategy for software quality to ignore
> the existence of bugs just because the reporting user didn't know the

They are not ignored, but the optimal path to submit those issues is not
directly to the BTS if you are still not sure how to use it as it is right

A very new user ("newbie") is better served by talking to other users and
developers in the mailing-lists, irc(?), etc.  AFTER it gets clear a bug
report is in order, he (or someone else with more experience) can submit it.

Nowhere the bug is being ignored.  But preliminary help from peers, and
screening/more data gathering by those peers done in mailinglists before a
bug is sent to the BTS is fair and useful for everybody, *including* the

Response time for an workaround, for example, is far better in mailinglists
most of the time.

> When users bother to report bugs, it shows respect, loyalty and
> commitment to our project and our software. They think it's worth going


> Debian has a huge pool of such loyal and responsive users. Squandering
> that resource is a bad idea.

The active developer taskforce is a far more constrained resource in Debian,
so it has to be preserved too.  Keeping stuff in the BTS as high-quality as
possible helps this a great deal.

  "One disk to rule them all, One disk to find them. One disk to bring
  them all and in the darkness grind them. In the Land of Redmond
  where the shadows lie." -- The Silicon Valley Tarot
  Henrique Holschuh

Reply to: