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Re: Debbugs testbed

From: Óscar Fuentes
Subject: Re: Debbugs testbed
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2008 05:56:14 +0100
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/23.0.60 (windows-nt)

Don Armstrong <address@hidden> writes:

> I've configured a testbed of debbugs that can be used. There currently
> is one package configured (emacs), and a temporary mailing list,
> address@hidden is set as the maintainer. [You can
> browse its archives at
> http://lists.donarmstrong.com/pipermail/emacsbugs/ or subscribe at
> http://lists.donarmstrong.com/mailman/listinfo/emacsbugs .]
> The web interface is currently here:
> http://emacsbugs.donarmstrong.com
> Useful links to start are http://emacsbugs.donarmstrong.com/emacs and
> http://emacsbugs.donarmstrong.com/Reporting

As mentioned on the discussion last month, debbugs has some drawbacks:

First: it has no web interface for filling bugs: an easy and intuitive
interface for users is paramount.

Second: IMO, it is complex. Look at what you are expected to read just
for sending a bug:


See the interface for querying the bug database:


and after all that those checkboxes you can't ask simple things like
"bugs reported for Emacs v 22.1 or later".

Third: Ironically, the mail message containing the bug report has a
simple format, once you know the component (package, on debian parlance)
and version. But this is not easy to do. `cc-mode' is not the same as
`c-mode', and `auctex' is not under the Emacs project. A web interface
can show a list of known components for the user to pick.

Fourth: Even if `report-emacs-bug' is changed to accomodate debbugs'
requirements, it will affect to future Emacs relases only, so bugs
submitted by people with the old implementation would require special
treatment. My experience shows that it is vital to treat all bugs
equally. It should be one and only one place where to look for bug
reports, although it can have several interfaces.

To recap: even if debbugs can look good to rms and hackers sharing a
similar culture (such as those that abound on Debian) it isn't as
effective as it could be for interfacing with Emacs users nor for easing
the job of the developers that processes bug reports. IMNSHO.



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