On Tue, Jan 10, 2006 at 02:04:45PM +0100, Adeodato Sim?? wrote:
> * Matthew Garrett [Tue, 10 Jan 2006 02:50:56 +0000]:
>
> > Luke Kenneth Casson Leighton wrote:
> > > i've thought for a long time about how to reply to your message.

>
> > Let's quickly outline what's happened here:

>
> > 1) Luke files a bug agains Debian. So far, so good.


yep.

> > 2) Some time later,


a year to 18 months later.

> > Luke contacts a KDE developer and asks if the bug
> > has been fixed.


yep.

> > 3) The response is, approximately, "This is the first I've heard of it".


nooo, the response was, approximately, "bugger off and report
it via upstream".

no indication of intent to take care of it was given.


i _was_ prepared to be all nice and tactful, and i spent quite a lot of
time (on and off, but mostly off) over a period of several weeks as to
how i was going to respond.

then i re-read the message and went nuts, then tried to temper and
channel some of my anger by going overboard and into the ridiculous.

as i calmed down i began to think of _sensible_ ways forward.


> > We (Debian) have a bug tracking system in order to keep track of bugs in
> > our distribution.


i didn't know that. and neither will a hell of a lot of other people.
i just found reportbug about 2 years ago and thought "cool, i can
run a program on debian and i can report bugs. via the commandline.
great!"

it never occurred to me that i shouldn't be reporting bugs,
and nothing i encountered in reportbug told me that i was
doing anything i shouldn't be.


> > It's the job of either the bug submitter or (more
> > usually) the Debian maintainer to contact upstream to make sure that
> > they're aware of the bug. It is *not* the upstream maintainer's job to
> > examine Debian's bug database.


that distinction isn't made clear: it's only if people think about it
that they will realise that they are supposed to report debian-specific
packaging bugs to the debian bugs database and package-specific bugs
to whatever upstream thingy they can find. _if_ they can find it.

and even if some people do think, there's lots that won't.

for the _really_ popular packages, this becomes a serious problem:
the percentage of people reporting bugs into what effectively becomes
a black hole starts to get quite serious.


> > Which is, uh, pretty much what Dirk said. Luke, what the christ are you
> > upset about?




> Nobody's said "Don't report this bug to us", they've said
> > "If you report a bug to Debian and nobody forwards it, we know nothing
> > about it".

>
> All correct. Thanks, Matthew. I'll just note that the Debian KDE
> packages receive an incredible amount of bug reports, and that we're
> understaffed to forward all of them to KDE upstream.


that's why one of my recommendations was to consider putting, into
certain key very popular packages, a means to either transfer the bug
to upstream (via some mad notional XMLeey are pee cee-ey common API) or
to simply put into reportbug a list of packages for which reporting
should be given special messages:

if reporting on package "kde, libkonq .... long list ...." then
report "if this is a bug in KDE itself, please DO NOT report the
bug here, go to http://bugs.kde.org whatever. if you have a
debian-specific packaging issue (installation problem, missing
files, conflict etc.), please continue".

and likewise for mozilla.

and openoffice.

and possibly even the linux kernel, although that's probably the
exception.

other possibilities:

1) add into the dpkg thingy an upstream URL where bugs can be reported:

UpstreamBugs: http://bugs.kde.org/enter_bug.cgi (whatever)
if you encounter a bug in kde.
please report it here because otherwise nobody.
will fix it, thank you.