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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