Yenya's World

Wed, 26 Nov 2008

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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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