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Re: do you care about bug reports?

From: Graham Percival
Subject: Re: do you care about bug reports?
Date: Tue, 27 Oct 2009 00:41:56 +0000
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.18 (2008-05-17)

On Tue, Oct 27, 2009 at 01:19:27AM +0100, Valentin Villenave wrote:
> On Mon, Oct 26, 2009 at 10:25 PM, Graham Percival
> <address@hidden> wrote:
> > In the past few months, a few bug reports have gotten lost.  A few
> > emails to the bug-lilypond list were never added to the bug
> > tracker, so even if a developer wanted to work on it, he wouldn't
> > know about the bug.
> there are only 34 bug reports that haven't been addressed or added to
> the tracker, most of which are less than two weeks old.

Hmm, ok.  I remember adding a few items over the summer that
appeared to have gotten lost, but as long as you have all the
email archives, I guess that works out.

> (Okay, I really do need to take some time and address these once and for all.)

Please do, if only so that we can see if there's anything that
/did/ slip through the cracks.

When I was Bug Meister, I used to occasionally send a message to
the bug list saying "I got a bit behind in the past few weeks, but
now I've caught up on everything.  If you submitted a bug and it's
not in the google issue tracker, please send it again".  Something
like that might be good here.

> > That's it!  Once you're used to the work-flow, takes about 15
> > minutes a week.
> Hm. A bit more, actually :-)
> (Which is why I tend to not add some bugs to the tracker right away,
> as soon as it has to take me more than 5 minutes to understand a) what
> it is about b) what a minimal example should look like c) whether it
> has already been known and reproduced or not d) whether it's a
> regression e) Yeah, it's a terrible excuse. But you get the point ;-)

It feels like more because you let it pile up.  *as soon as* a bug
report comes in, look at it.  If it takes you more than 60 seconds
to understand it, reply to the submitter to that effect.  Once
you've bounced the bug report back -- asking for clarification, a
minimal example, whatever -- then it's no longer your problem.  If
the user doesn't reply, then forget about it, and move on to the
next issue.

If you understand it (60 seconds), test it on the lastest devel
release (30 seconds), then upload it to the tracker (60 seconds).
Once it's in the tracker, it's no longer your problem, so you move
on to the next issue.  That gives 2.5 minutes; double that for
fun, and we have 5 minutes.

I want to emphasize this point.  **if you cannot easily understand
the bug, it's the submitter's fault, not yours**   we simply do
not have the resources to hunt through unclear bug reports.  I
wish we *did* have half a dozen users who were willing to help
with such things, so that we _could_ investigate non-minimal bug
reports... but I've given up hope for this.

I read an article somewhere about a "hot potato" way of handling
bug reports.  I don't know if you play this game in France, but
the idea is that once you catch something (the "hot potato",
although in children's games it's not *actually* a painfully hot
piece of food), you need to throw it to the next person as quickly
as possible.

> > We can have 2 or 3... or even 5 or 6... Bug Meisters.  Actually,
> > it would be a great idea to have multiple people, in case somebody
> > goes on holiday or whatever.
> For what it's worth, I'd be happy to share this task with someone else
> (even unexperienced). But please don't say we don't have any
> bugmeister right now, that's (er...) only half true at best :)

I haven't said that we don't have a bugmeister; I mistakenly
claimed that we had lost bug reports.  I retract that claim, but
we still *appear* to have lost some bug reports.  I think that
more people working on this task would be a good thing.

Although I suggested that "within a week" was the target, David
rightly complained that this was awfully long.  I'd *like* to have
somebody respond within 24 hours.  ** again, if that response is
"I don't understand what you mean, could you XYZ", that's fine! **
But it would be nice if we had _some_ kind of response, so
submitters have a bit more confidence in the system.  I don't care
if they think we're meanies who are really picky about accepting
reports, just as long as they have confidence in our mean-ness.
Or something like that.

- Graham

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