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Re: Emacs project mission (was Re: "If you're still seeing problems, ple

From: Sergey Organov
Subject: Re: Emacs project mission (was Re: "If you're still seeing problems, please reopen." [
Date: Mon, 25 Nov 2019 09:52:45 +0300
User-agent: Gnus/5.13 (Gnus v5.13) Emacs/24.4 (gnu/linux)

Richard Stallman <address@hidden> writes:

> [[[ To any NSA and FBI agents reading my email: please consider    ]]]
> [[[ whether defending the US Constitution against all enemies,     ]]]
> [[[ foreign or domestic, requires you to follow Snowden's example. ]]]
>   > I also understand that Emacs could use a system facility for sending
>   > email if there was one; but I know I haven’t configured an MTA
>   > locally, don’t want to, and ain’t going to. So I assume Emacs is not
>   > going to be able to delegate sending the email to any other program.


> If it is a real problem, the only way to make this better
> is to make a better way to transmit the bug report.
> What could that be?

Dedicated Emacs bug reporting WWW page (wizard) where one is instructed
to copy-paste result of M-x report-emacs-bug, or click "Send" to send a
local file got from imaginary M-x save-bug-report, the resulting actual
report being CC'd back to the author (maybe as an option). It could have
other options as well, e.g. "Mail" button, to get back to user preferred
mail client.

I find reporting bugs to be indeed somewhat complicated, and maybe even
more complicated when one does use Emacs for mail. Here is my recent

I do use Emacs (GNUS) for all the mail and news handling, so I do have
nice working mail configuration for Emacs. Nevertheless, to actually
file a bug report I recently needed to:

1. In my usual Emacs session I encountered a (non-critical) bug. I still
worked for a while on unrelated things, and then decided to report the
bug. How? Googled for "emacs report bug" (in Firefox). Found
report-emacs-bug. Nice! (Could have used M-x apropos-command, but
googling is rather the first thing that comes to mind nowadays).

2. M-x report-emacs-bug. Entered subject at "Bug subject:" prompt, and
then mail buffer with correct credentials appeared, and there it asks to
reproduce the problem from "emacs -Q". Besides, after careful
inspection, 2 pages down the 5 pages of automatically generated content,
the report had suspect "Recent input:" section that contained irrelevant
recent input[1].

3. Decided to start "emacs -Q", but first decided to exit current emacs
instance to avoid interference with fresh session, just in case. Exited

4. Started "emacs -Q", reproduced the problem, and thought that probably
I actually need to report-emacs-bug from here, to have more relevant
information, including "Recent input:" section.

5. M-x report-emacs-bug again, now in this "emacs -Q" instance, entered
the same "Bug subject:" again, and got another somewhat similar mail
buffer. Entered problem description (having slight inconveniences from
lacking some of my custom key-bindings), and finally ready to send...

6. Then I guessed "emacs -Q" may be misconfigured for mail sending, as I
never aimed to achieve such a goal. In addition I figured I'd rather
like the report to be sent from my usual GNUS configuration, for the
message to be logged in my local group(s) suitable for it. So I didn't
try to send the report from here.

7. Yet again I wanted to exit this instance to run my usual Emacs
session, so I saved report content to a file and exited Emacs.

8. Started fresh Emacs as I usually do, M-x gnus, M-x report-emacs-bug
the third time, entered fake subject. Replaced bug report body and
subject with that from the file saved in (7), and now I'm ready to send.

9. Hit C-c C-c to finally send the report.

Now suppose that at (1) I've had directed to Emacs bug reporting page
that said: run "emacs -Q", reproduce the problem, run M-x
emacs-report-bug, and then copy-paste the resulting buffer contents
here. How much more simple it could have been!

[1] I think that either "Recent input:" shouldn't be included, or a
warning to check the report for possible sensitive information should be
put at the beginning.

-- Sergey

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