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Bug#523584: bugs.debian.org: many packages do not include instructions via reportbug on reporting bugs upstream

Hi, thanks for the reply, and please excuse the length of this reply and all the quoting (with source URL's for reference):

Don Armstrong wrote, on 14/04/09 04:41:
reassign 523584 kde
severity 523584 minor
retitle 523584 consider providing instructions on how to report bugs upstream

On Sat, 11 Apr 2009, Arthur Marsh wrote:
Hi, as per recent discussion in the Debian KDE user mailing list,

http://lists.debian.org/debian-kde/2009/04/msg00188.html [Always good
to include this, since I don't read debian-kde@ldo; others following
along probably don't either.]


there should be some text provided with Debian KDE packages like
there is for Mozilla and ALSA packages about when to report bugs to
Debian and when *AND ESPECIALLY HOW* to report bugs upstream.

First of all, bugs.debian.org has nothing to do with whether packages
provide verbiage for reportbug about anything like this. It's a
decision of each package as to whether they provide such information.
As such, I've reassigned this bug to the kde metapackage, where its
maintainers can decide how to proceed.

It's good that you assigned this to the kde metapackage. I thought about how to report this and as I saw that the problem was that in general, Debian packages only mention the upstream author in /usr/share/doc/<package-name>, yet it would be useful for there to be better linkage between the Debian bug tracking system and upstream (non-Debian) package maintainers. I didn't want to restrict this report to Debian-KDE as the problem applies to other packages also.

Secondly, it's always appropriate for users to file such bugs directly
against the BTS.

This bears repeating as when the instructions in http://www.debian.org/Bugs/Reporting

Don't file bugs upstream

If you file a bug in Debian, don't send a copy to the upstream software maintainers yourself, as it is possible that the bug exists only in Debian. If necessary, the maintainer of the package will forward the bug upstream.
[end quote]

was mentioned, http://lists.debian.org/debian-kde/2009/04/msg00099.html

Of course, RC bugs should be filled in Debian too. But notice I said "filled" and "too". I mean: users should report the problems upstream, in a central place, because the people who are responsible to fix them, is upstream. Of course you can fill the bug in Debian later, with a reference to the upstream (using the forwarded tag), so Debian can handle the release, etc.

> Yes, you shouldn't copy upstream reports into the Debian BTS, but if you
> are running Debian and encounter the bug it should be on the Debian BTS
> (even if it needs to be somewhere else, too.)

IMHO, it should be the opposite thing. The bug should be in the KDE BTS.
Again: the people who are developing the whole thing, are the KDE people, so
let them know about the problem in the software they are coding.

Also, note that the Debian bug has the forwarded feature, so it feels quite natural to act this way.
[end quote]

People who know whether the bug directly affects
upstream or the Debian packaging can forward the bug themselves, and
mark the bug appropriately.

If you're concerned about kde bugs in particular not being replied to
and forwarded upstream promptly, please strongly consider subscribing
to the package tracking system for kde source packages and doing the
work to forward bugs that belong upstream to the upstream maintainers.

I didn't know about the package tracking system until I received

> > What I have found works best is when upstream subscribe to the Debian
> > package tracking system (kmymoney2, kile, ...) and then forward PTS email
> > into their upstream -dev mailing list.
> What does PTS stand for?


That is the Package Tracking System, which is an email subscription system
which anyone can use to track what is going on with a Debian package:

For example lancelot is covered here:

Ivan (as upstream lancelot maintainer) maybe interested in subscribing to the PTS as he would then receive updates as lancelot progresses through Debian and
as Debian users report bugs, he would receive them directly.
[end quote]

I know that the KDE maintainers have enough work dealing with getting
KDE 4 packaged; having more people help to keep their bugs in shape
would free them to spend time dealing with fixing bugs.

Don Armstrong

I received the following help on how to report a Debian bug as forwarded in http://lists.debian.org/debian-kde/2009/04/msg00235.html

On 2009-04-13, Cassiano Leal <cassianoleal@gmail.com> wrote:
> I might be able to help with that, if it means what I think it does --
> getting debian bugs that are not packaging bugs and filing them upstream, is
> that it?

Basically, yes. (or locate them in bugs.kde.org)
And then set them to "forwarded" in the debian bug tracking system

To mark a debian bug forwarded, send a mail to the control bot with the
following content:

forwarded nnnnn http://bugs.kde.org/show_bug.cgi?id=mmmmm

with nnn being the debian bug number and mmmm being the kde bug number

> If that's the case, I would be more than happy to help, even though I don't
> have much spare time either.

If a handful of people does this with a handful of bugs each week, it
adds up quite fast.

[end quote]

So the problem was how to report a bug in the Debian Bug Tracking System (BTS), get the bug upstream if appropriate and marking it forwarded in the Debian BTS (and knowing if that is the correct order to do things), and knowing how to use the Debian Package Tracking System (PTS) and making the upstream authors aware of the PTS and hopefully get them using it.

Maybe reportbug or the Debian package maintainer could add semi-boilerplate text to the reportbug message for the reporter to consider subscribing to the PTS for the package (including a URL), and where to check to see if the bug has been reported upstream but not in Debian and what to do about it?



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