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

On Tue, 14 Apr 2009, Arthur Marsh wrote:
> Don Armstrong wrote, on 14/04/09 04:41:
>> 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. 

If you file a bug upstream as well as in Debian, and mark the bug as
forwarded to the upstream tracker, this is done for you automatically.

> 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.

Well, that's wrong, unfortunatly. Bugs in Debian packages, even if
they are in upstream code, should be filed against the Debian package
in the BTS if users experience them in Debian.

> 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.

Bugs in the code that belongs to upstream should generally be filed in
both places. If the user knows how to do this, great. If not, it's the
maintainer's responsibility to do 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?

The reason why this isn't done is because the reporter doesn't really
need to do this. It's the responsibility of the maintainer to handle
this. In the case of packages such as KDE where the maintainer isn't
able to keep track of the sheer number of bugs filed, the maintainers
can decide to add additional verbiage to try to get more people
involved in triaging their bugs, but it's not a global thing.

In the case of my packages, I'd much rather handle forwarding bugs
upstream myself, as I know the changes that I've made in the packages
that I distribute, and I'd rather that the upstream developers not be
bothered with bugs that are due to my changes or bugs that have
already been fixed by the upstream developers.

Don Armstrong

It was said that life was cheap in Ankh-Morpork. This was, of course,
completely wrong. Life was often very expensive; you could get death
for free.
 -- Terry Pratchet _Pyramids_ p25

http://www.donarmstrong.com              http://rzlab.ucr.edu

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