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Bug#302762: acknowledged by developer (cooledit removed)

On Mon, May 02, 2005 at 03:32:34AM -0400, A. Costa wrote:
> On Sun, 01 May 2005 12:18:11 -0700
> owner@bugs.debian.org (Debian Bug Tracking System) wrote:
> > It has been closed by one of the developers, namely
> > Matej Vela <vela@debian.org>.
> > ...
> > cooledit was removed from Debian unstable in January 2004.  See
> > <http://bugs.debian.org/229615> for further information.
> Closing unfixed bugs for all removed packages is a bad idea, and
> arguably violates Debian's Social Contract which says:
> 	We will communicate things such as bug fixes, 
> 	improvements and user requests to the "upstream" 
> 	authors of works included in our system.
> I believe I understand why closing a bugs like this is done -- nobody
> maintains them, therefore there's no Debian maintainer to forward them
> upstream.  Also Debian's BTS is used for statistics and planning, like
> a census; counting thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of orphaned
> bugs would create a misleading picture of the distro's current status.  
> The problem is real; but closing all open bugs is a poor solution...
> Blowback 1:  suppose package 'foo' is orphaned, and all its bugs
> closed.  Later some new maintainer adopts 'foo'.  Where are the
> orphaned bugs?  In the archive.  Some may still be valid.  The
> maintainer might not have the time to search every archived bug just
> to find out which were closed due to the package's being orphaned, and
> if he did have the time, it still WASTES his time in having to review
> them when the bugs simply could have been left open.  
> Blowback 2:  suppose a conscientious upstream package author
> occasionally reviews various downstream package BTS's for new bugs, in
> case nobody downstream remembered or cared to report those to
> upstream.  Would such a conscientious author have time to review all
> the archived closed Debian bugs just to find the minority of still
> valid orphaned bugs?  Even if he would, this would WASTE their time --
> thus violating the spirit if not the letter of Debian's Social
> Contract.
> Blowback 3: User Bob finds bug #X in 'foo'.  Then 'foo' is orphaned,
> then months later adopted by a new maintainer who lacks the time to
> deal with Blowback #1.  So bug #X remains closed, even though it's not
> fixed.  Later user Betty finds the same bug in 'foo', and checks the
> BTS to see if its already been reported -- she finds nothing open, and
> reports it as bug #Y in 'foo'.  It WASTED user time to report an
> already reported bug.

Packages are only removed after a while really nobody showed any
interest in them. The bugs are archived, so any interested party can
look them up.
> Suggested fix:  create a new bug status between "Open" and "Closed" --
> call it "Limbo" maybe.  "Limbo" bugs would be any bug that was "Open"
> when orphaned, or any bug reported after a package was orphaned.
> Programs that tabulate bug statistics could consider "Limbo" bugs as
> "Closed" for most purposes.  Upstream maintainers and users would
> still see them as virtually "Open" for most purposes.  When any
> orphaned package was re-adopted, the "Limbo" bugs could be changed
> back to "Open".

Orphaned package's bugs are not closed, only when the package is really
purged from the archive, this happens. The amount of those bugs simply
does in no way warrant an extra state.
> NB: I've noticed many such closings of other bugs before, and the
> maintainers themselves seem to WASTE a lot of their time closing 'em.
> On 4/4/05 I wrote Colin Watson, the current BTS admin, to ask how he
> feels about a consequence or relation of this problem:
> 	http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=302814&msg=9&att=0
> So far no reply, so I'll now reopen that bug just to keep the message
> in play.  I think the whole problem of "a bug is EITHER closed OR
> open" constitutes a serious bug.  It wastes the time of Debian
> Maintainers who adopt packages, and Debian maintainers who close such
> bugs and reports, not to mentions upstream authors, and last and
> perhaps least and perhaps also most numerous, users who don't know
> about these things and mistakenly send redundant info.

Debian isn't a collection place for *all* bugs in the GNU/Linux world.
As the social contract says, we'll do our best to inform upstream
authors etc, and we specificly won't ever delete a bug report, but once
a bug is closed, it's no longer relevant for Debian, and it'd be much
overkill to spend a lot of time on things that most likely are never
looked up again. Debian is a volunteer organisation, if a maintainer
fails to forward requests to upstream, who can do it? QA is already way
understaffed with actually fixing bugs, and apparantly (the package is
orphaned) nobody else is really interested.

Please forward requests you care about yourself to upstream if you find
it important enough to spend your time on.


Jeroen van Wolffelaar
Jeroen@wolffelaar.nl (also for Jabber & MSN; ICQ: 33944357)

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