Yenya's World

Fri, 28 Nov 2008

Re: No Reply

Just a followup to my previous blog post about reporting bugs. From comments it seems I was not clear enough, so instead of replying to each commenter, I will write a followup (for context, read the previous comments by Matěj Cepl and Milan Zamazal):

I have mentioned one Fedora bug, and one GNOME bug. I hope it is clear I am not "throwing junk at Fedora" only. Other times, you probably see me ranting about handling bugs in Fedora more often than about bugs in Ubuntu or whatnot, just because it is Fedora I mainly use and thus report bugs for. I also occasionally report bugs for and read bugtracking systems of X, GNOME, ekiga, kernel, and several other projects. I am perfectly aware of other distros, and I know why I use Fedora. The link Matěj has provided (read the second comment from the top) is one of the reasons.

The main misunderstanding has probably been that I demanded having my bugs fixed. Nope. If I wanted to do it, I would have bought a RHEL license instead. Finding a workaround for myself is often very fast (use the text install, downgrade the X server, etc). But I report the bug anyway in case some less-experienced user runs into it, so that he would not have to run away crying to the *BSD or even Windows world.

Another point is that bug reports provide a much needed feedback to the developers (like in "Oh, apparently somebody is actually using the XDMCP support I have just axed out of my shiny new rewrite of GDM"). Often - especially in a UNIX world, which has traditionally been strong in configurability - developers are not aware of all the exotic ways people are using their software.

Although I used to do lots of open source work, I don't have that much time anymore. I have decided to support OSS at least by reporting bugs. I am just asking myself whether reporting a bug (often despite having it worked around myself) was worth my time.

To be more constructive (cf. my rant on the ATI X300 bug): Matěj, to spare both your time and bug reporter's time, I would like to ask you to demand more logs and other details only if you positively know there is a high enough probability of some developer actually looking at that bug report. On the other side, I will try to anticipate the log request in my future bug reports and provide them with the report itself.

On a lighter note: Milan - as you can see this blog is influential enough for Fedora :-)

Section: /computers (RSS feed) | Permanent link | 2 writebacks

2 replies for this story:

Matěj Cepl wrote: All is well which ends well ...

I am glad that I haven't offended you with my hasty reply. Let me add couple of notes: a) you know that this isn't just those two bugs -- are desktop components really so bad, that you seem to be complaining about almost nothing else in Fedora? b) concerning your idea of not asking for logs -- I think we are hitting some severe chicken-egg problems -- in order to find out how important (and how interesting for further development) bug is, we need those logs. I really don't think we are asking users that much when they should attach two files, and possibly restart X Window and attach another two files. Anyway, just I shouldn't read your blog when I am tired and groggy and all will be well. I hope.

Yenya wrote: Re: desktop components

You can't see me complaining about the kernel in Fedora, because I mostly use vanilla kernel on my computers. As for desktop/X: yes, there are many bugs there, and - what is worse - they are often caused by "political" reasons, instead of practical ones (like the new gdm rewrite, decision to drop the Zaphod mode from the Radeon driver, etc).

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Wed, 26 Nov 2008

No Reply

Every half a year a new Fedora comes out, and every half a year I run into new bugs in software. As a responsible member of the community, I attempt to report bugs in hope that developers find my bug reports useful. I accept the fact that every software has bugs (altough there is a quite annoying class of bugs: feature removals. Those make previously usable software like gdm totally unusable for anything but the most simple setup). However, I recently started to doubt whether even the bug reports are wanted and worth my time.

I will show two examples: the first one is GNOME panel messing up applets after the screen resolution change. It has originally been reported in March 2004, four and half years ago. And there has been no response from developers since then, except occasionally marking some newer bug reports as a duplicate of this one.

And the second one is screen flicker on ATI X300 during install, which I have reported a day before the Fedora 8 release. Except for a "send more logs" request by Matěj Cepl shortly after the report, the activity of this bug report was zero, and today a warning about end-of-life of Fedora 8 has been added. I guess that nobody has looked at logs Matěj has requested, so his request was even further waste of both my and his time.

What is your experience? Are your bug reports being handled, or do they rot deeply buried in some bugzilla forever?

Section: /computers (RSS feed) | Permanent link | 8 writebacks

8 replies for this story:

Pavel Janík wrote: Distro dependent? Area dependent?

The last issue I reported (different distro though) was fixed three days afterwards... So maybe the question should be better specified. Or are you asking about FC only? Or maybe the desktop is not important enough for distributors?

davro wrote: Ubuntu looks good

All bugs, which I have reported were handled within days (they were easy to handle). has interesting approach - your activity on the project is awarded by higher karma, so it really makes people compete finding bugs, translate projects, et cetera.

Peter Kovář wrote: Red Hat Bugzilla – Bug 465778

- I've tried to attract attention in various languages. When LH gave up, some1 has to continue in the tradition.

Yenya wrote: Area dependent

Pavel, it is probably area dependent - in server area even Fedora rocks: I remember reporting a bug in openssh package and it was fixed the next day. In desktop, it sucks. But as you can see, I quoted two bug reports, one being for Fedora, and the 4.5 years-old one was for GNOME. And I have similar experience with I usually get at least _some_ (yet often not fast) response from BZ, and sometimes from Fedora BZ.

Milan Zamazal wrote:

Some my bug reports are handled promptly, some are handled "stealthily" (no response, but fix appears), some are in fact handled more than a year after my report, some get response and then they get ignored, some are ignored without response, some don't pass through. Except for the latter case I think it's generally worth to report the bugs. The maintainer can get less busy and fix old bugs; the maintainer can change; other users may look for reports or any information about the problem. And if an important bug is ignored, it may be worth to rant about the fact after some months at proper places (more influental than this blog:-).

Matěj Cepl wrote:

Let me add couple of things: a), second comment from the top -- if you want something stable, use Ubuntu (it Just Works, right? ;-)), CentOS, openSuSE, debian or something else. If you want bleeding edge, you must accept the fact that it sometimes bleeds. b) patches are welcome -- how much did you pay for your Fedora, that you throw junk in our direction all the time? How many patches (which is equivalent of payment in the free software world, I guess) you sent to desktop components? c) I am glad to hear that our kernel guys respond to kernel bugs promptly; except, there are like ten times more (at least) RH employees working on kernel than on whole desktop (Gnome+Xorg+gecko & co.+eclipse+OpenOffice) c) Fedora 8 got some beating being a neighbor of Fedora 9. Fedora 9 included fundamental rebase of whole Xorg and it took "some" effort to make it right. Somebody estimated that all Xorg employees of Red Hat were working *on average* 60+ hours/week (weekends included). Which leads to the point b) Seriously, Yenya, I know that you do tons of good work for free software, but a little consideration for others would be helpful sometimes. And besides, there are other means of communication which would give you more friendly response than throwing a junk on us on your blog (#fedora and #fedora-devel if nothing else). Best, Matěj

Matěj Cepl wrote:

My colleagues told me that the tone of my previous reply was too strong -- sorry for that. I am sick, overloaded, and angry.

Yenya wrote: Re: Matěj Cepl

No problem with that, Matěj. I will try to post a separate follow-up.

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Tue, 18 Nov 2008

Without Visa?

Today's newspapers are full of articles commenting the fact that Czech citizens now can travel to the U.S. without visa, and taking it as a big achievement of Czech politicians. Having gone through the U.S. visa procedure myself recently, I wonder why no journalist pointed out the sad truth, that in fact, the visa procedure is still there.

The meaning of the phrase "not needing visa" for me is being able to decide to cross the border at any time in any country, and equipped just with the passport being able to appear in front of the passport officer, who in turn should immediately be able to decide whether to allow me in or not (possibly asking some trivial questions like whether I want to work in his country or in which hotel I want to stay).

But the current procedure is still the same visa procedure as before (including lots of big-brotherish questions and gathering of personal data). The only differences are that it takes only three days to validate the request instead of a month, it can be filled in online instead of in the U.S. embassy, and it requires a biometric passport (big brother again). And probably the immigration clerk would check the passengers without visa more thoroughly (at least this is how it has been a month ago when I travelled to Portland).

So nothing to see here (definitely no material for the front pages of the newspapers), move along.

Section: /world (RSS feed) | Permanent link | 5 writebacks

5 replies for this story:

petr_p wrote:

I suggest to see interview with U.S. ambassador in Czech Republic in `Události, komentáře' . It's big diplomat because he talked all the time however didn't answer for such questions you placed here. Or maybe he was just tired due to late time ;)

petr_p wrote: URL

The URL is []. (Your system seems disliking angle brackets.)

Milan Zamazal wrote:

I think there's another difference: you don't have to pay for the procedure, right? Combined with the fact that you don't have to travel to Prague at a defined day, waiting a queue there and talking to an officer this means significantly less burden. The biometric password requirement is actually no additional gathering of data: They take photo of you and your fingerprints when you enter U.S. So yes, you provide personal data etc., but the procedure is cheaper and easier.

Yenya wrote:

Yes, it is cheaper and easier (and collects as much data as the visa procedure). So I would not call it "visa-less".

ppp wrote:

AFAIK, it collects even more data than the visa procedure.

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Sun, 02 Nov 2008

Stepping Madness

People around me became addicted to dancing computer games (like Dance Dance Revolution, Stepmania, or In The Groove). I have to admit I tried it, and became addicted too. We have even bought our own dance pads and we dance^Wstep at night.

DDR I think it is an excellent way of exercising in the late Autumn, when it is not possible to ride a bicycle because of instable weather. Even people with different level of skill can play together. Also there are many stepcharts, so one can even listen to the music he likes, instead of default songs. (image taken from the DDR Wikipedia page)

Stepmania has a Linux version (I had problem with it on my laptop with Intel chipset). I have also tried to compile it from the source, but failed because of incompatibilities between my newer C++ compiler and older Stepmania source code. I wonder why people these days still use C++ when it cannot sustain two or three years of the difference between the source code and the compiler. The CVS version compiled correctly, but needed a different format of the config files, which I did not have time to dig into further. In The Groove works flawlessly under Wine, though. It is pretty amazing to see how advanced Wine has became - it can even handle a 3D-accelerated game with synchronized sound (however, some people complained of worse sound sync than when running natively), USB joystick devices, etc.

Give it a try, it is really good!

Section: /personal (RSS feed) | Permanent link | 4 writebacks

4 replies for this story:

avakar wrote:

I'm curious what compatibility problems you've encountered with the newer C++ compiler. Usually the compiler needs upgrading and not the other way around.

Yenya wrote: Re: avakar

IIRC one compatibility problem was that earlier versions of C++ allowed the method to be defined as "classname::method()" even inside the class definition itself (i.e. inside the "class classname { }" statement). I had to remove the "classname::" prefix manually. However, there were more problems.

mirka wrote: YouTube ilustrations

Let's pimp your story up by some videos. Unfortunately i have none displaying our friends, but: the guys almost as good as Andrea S.: ddr can handle 5-year old

mirka wrote:

concerning the addiction: the faster 'speed modifier' the quicker and stronger addiction. I have switched to 1.5x or 2x and our ddr-guru commented: 'Beware, girl, you switching from the weed to the crack now!" check this

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