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

From: Dmitry Gutov
Subject: Re: Emacs project mission (was Re: "If you're still seeing problems, please reopen." [
Date: Sat, 23 Nov 2019 02:37:33 +0200
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:60.0) Gecko/20100101 Thunderbird/60.9.0

On 22.11.2019 5:38, Richard Stallman wrote:
[[[ 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. ]]]

   > The larger audience I meant here are the existing users of Emacs. A lot
   > of which avoid reporting bugs to Debbugs. And I know that because I
   > maintain some third-party packages with different issue trackers.

Maybe some of the people who report bugs for other packages might
avoid reporting bugs for Emacs.  If so, could you ask them why they
avoid it?

I've been repeating "use M-x report-emacs-bug" in various comments everywhere like a mantra, but even out of people who say they will file a report, less than half do so (judging by the reports which do appear in the tracker. Here's the latest occurrence: https://github.com/mooz/js2-mode/issues/539

As for why it happens, the possible reasons have been described multiple times:

- The interface is unfamiliar, the user doesn't understand what's going to happen, - Their Emacs is likely not to have SMTP configured, and the necessity to copy over the report's contents to their email client is not clear for most, - Even if they do manage the above step, the bug tracker is like a black hole: you get a notification that a bug was filed, and that's it. In all likelihood nobody is going to respond for the new few days (or months). And if they do, it will be an unusual experience for many, having a bug discussion over email, with its own etiquette and everything. With no understanding who the participating people are.

Whereas in most other projects both the repository and the bug tracker the public and visible, and easy to observe that development work is going on, recent reports are being handled, meaning they are welcome, and whatever grievances the user has have the possibility to be fixed.

The recommended way to report one does not involve using Debbugs directly.
It is M-x report-emacs-bug.

Do they not know about report-emacs-bug?

Even those who know, often don't follow this process through to the end. I don't have the time to chase everybody with questions. I did that a few times (for those non-reporters) and got exactly zero follow-up responses.

Also: I think Yamamoto Mitsuharu's Mac Port changes the bug reporting address to his own mailbox: https://bitbucket.org/mituharu/emacs-mac/src/3bf213d502a8260d29f7f55eb0938fc0a2594ea2/lisp/mail/emacsbug.el#lines-140:142

And I'm not sure if I've ever seen him forward any reports to us. So the users of Mac port can't send us bug reports the usual way.

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