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Re: Filing bug reports in Debian

Chris Bannister <mockingbird@earthlight.co.nz> writes:

> You have raised some interesting points.

I tried to delve backward to see what exactly those points were, but
didn't get much success. It would be good for someone to summarise the
positions; all I have at the moment is one side believes the other is
not hearing the point they want to make, without stating in a single
post what that point *is*.

> If you consider the BTS as a help desk, then I think you will be
> sorely disappointed.

Yes, agreed. The topic-based mailing lists are the Debian project's
answer to this need. While not perfect, they're far better suited than
the BTS for that purpose.

> It seems that to file a bug report the submitter first has to
> research the problem, try and resolve it, and if possible, to
> provide a patch.

I would disagree entirely with “the submitter has to [do those
things]”. That's too high a bar, and it's not true that it's

You're right that, from the interest of getting the bug resolved
efficiently, it is *preferable* for the bug submitter to do all those
things (since they're in the best position to observe the problem and
what affects it).

I would say that all the bug submitter *has to* do, though, is be
specific. They should describe what behaviour the observe and,
crucially, how it differs from what behaviour they expect. They should
state those things as unambiguously as possible. I wouldn't say
anything further is *necessary*, only desirable.

> I, too, am interested in other peoples views on this.

Hope that helps.

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Ben Finney

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