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Re: Debbugs testbed

From: Don Armstrong
Subject: Re: Debbugs testbed
Date: Tue, 19 Feb 2008 23:16:11 -0800
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.17+20080114 (2008-01-14)

On Wed, 20 Feb 2008, Óscar Fuentes wrote:
> First: it has no web interface for filling bugs: an easy and
> intuitive interface for users is paramount.

One of the summer of code projects for 2007 was to create one, and it
does work. Secondly, it's not like it would be all that difficult for
someone to create one either; all it needs to do is take a list of
"components", and gate the program field to e-mail and send it to
address@hidden [The sumer of code project does way more, including modifying
the status of bugs.]

> Second: IMO, it is complex. Look at what you are expected to read
> just for sending a bug:
> http://emacsbugs.donarmstrong.com/Reporting

We generally suggest that people use reportbug to do it, and it
wouldn't be all that difficult to handle dealing with submissions that
didn't fit that format by assigning them to a general package. [The
reason why Debian doesn't is because typically bugs filed by people
who are unable to follow those instructions or run reportbug tend to
be useless.]

> See the interface for querying the bug database:
> http://emacsbugs.donarmstrong.com/
> and after all that those checkboxes you can't ask simple things like
> "bugs reported for Emacs v 22.1 or later".

You actually can, but it requires knowing how to generate the urls
manually. That's actually one of the next things to improve on my todo
list, as that selection form is nearly useless.[1]

For example, in Debian you'd be looking at something like:


which would tell you about the bugs which are known to affect version
22.1+1-1 of the emacs22 package.

> 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.

Sure, but it's not a big deal even if users don't know the component.
Debian has a 'general' pseudopackage for precisely this reason.
Developers who know better simply send a message to reassign the bug
to the proper component. (Users who don't know the components already
will almost invariably get them wrong anyway.)

In any event, it's entirely up to you all to figure out whether what
debbugs does or doesn't do will work for you, and if you decide to use
it, what changes are needed to make it optimal.

Don Armstrong

1: Patches are always accepted, the bzr is here:
Any excuse will serve a tyrant.
 -- Aesop

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

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