Over the last two or three months I’ve been involved in looking at what must now be almost 2000 old and untouched bug reports. Another conscientious user has also been doing the same with a similar number of reports. I doubt that we’ve even “scratched the surface” of the problem. I’ve always said that it’s not the number of bugs in Ubuntu (and its flavours) that are the problem but the number of bug reports.
Bug #3127 was raised during the Dapper development cycle and is still apparently a valid and current bug. It’s several years before my time with Ubuntu and not being from the “other” side of the world I’ve not taken a serious look at whether the report is still valid or not. I’m doing my best with the applications that I’ve taken on but let us find a way of dealing with the reports that we have rather than inventing a new way to deal with new reports.
Would the old reports get forgotten or relegated to being looked at much later than a report on any new system? In my experience many of those old reports are still valid as they still refer to bugs that have never been fixed.
ReportingBugs is a great resource for those with the time and patience to wade through the documentation but for a first time user it is far too much to deal with. I’ve seen far too many forum users told to report a bug without ever being told to check to see if the issue has already been reported. Many never manage a report. At best they often report a duplicate.
There is a real problem with the reporting of bugs and it does need to be addressed. I think Launchpad is fine as it is as long as meets the needs of those that that can actually fix bugs. Who decides what is best anyway, the person who reports a bug or the person who receives and works on a bug report?
A recent example of a very poor report (after being translated into English):
it does not detect wireless and the bluethoot is automatically deactivated
That’s all there was. May be that’s all the reporter thought was needed but what Ubuntu release or flavour did he or she refer to? What version of the kernel was installed|? Will any developer actually waste any time on looking to reproduce the issue on whatever release or flavour he/she has available for testing? I doubt it.
So to conclude, the following needs to happen:
- Better quality bug reports need to be raised
- Issues that can’t be fixed by Ubuntu need to be forwarded upstream
- Requests for support or the reporting of one-time issues need to be dealt with quickly
- Enhancement requests need to be separated from actual bugs
- Reports need to be updated or closed when fixed
- Out of date reports need to be removed
I think you can see where I’m coming from. The answer is procedural not inventing a new system which may just inherit the problems of the system that it replaces.