Re: kernel bugzilla is FPOS (was: Re: "buggy cmd640" message followed by soft lockup)
From: Rafael J. Wysocki
Date: Sun Nov 25 2007 - 19:12:06 EST
On Monday, 26 of November 2007, Adrian Bunk wrote:
> On Mon, Nov 26, 2007 at 12:28:17AM +0100, Rafael J. Wysocki wrote:
> > On Sunday, 25 of November 2007, Adrian Bunk wrote:
> > > On Sun, Nov 25, 2007 at 11:38:59PM +0100, Rafael J. Wysocki wrote:
> > > > On Sunday, 25 of November 2007, Adrian Bunk wrote:
> > > > > On Sun, Nov 25, 2007 at 10:28:06PM +0100, Rafael J. Wysocki wrote:
> > > > > > On Sunday, 25 of November 2007, Adrian Bunk wrote:
> > > > > >..
> > > > > > > First of all, Bugzilla is a quite often used bug tracker in the open
> > > > > > > source world , so many users already know it.
> > > > > > >
> > > > > > > But more important, "it pretends to require them to spend" isn't true
> > > > > > > because there's no pretending - we actually often require bug reporters
> > > > > > > to spend a lot of time on the bug report (e.g. when asking for
> > > > > > > bisecting).
> > > > > >
> > > > > > But not *initially*.
> > > > > >
> > > > > > We should not confuse *debugging* with *reporting bugs*. While the former is
> > > > > > actually more difficult and more time consuming than writing the code in which
> > > > > > the bug is present, the latter should be as simple as sending an email.
> > > > >
> > > > > For hardcore geeks like you and me sending an email might be easier than
> > > > > using some web interface.
> > > > >
> > > > > Normal humans tend to be more accustomed to web interfaces, and
> > > > > following the instructions on some web page is _much_ easier than
> > > > > reading three text files for knowing what to write in an email.
> > > >
> > > > Hm, this is a good argument for having such a web interface, but IMO it
> > > > shouldn't be mandatory. IOW, there should be a way to report a bug using plain
> > > > email, if the reporter prefers that. We can, however, request that the address
> > > > of our bug tracking system be added to the report's Cc list.
> > >
> > > Looking at both other open source projects and the support of commercial
> > > software a web interface should be enough.
> > Well, IMHO the Linux kernel is exceptional in many ways ...
> If your goal is not to solve our problems with bug handling but trying
> to maximize the "being different" factor...
> > > But this is not the problem - the problem is what happens after the
> > > initial report with the bug report.
> > Not only that.
> > First, each bug report has to reach the right lists/people and that's what we
> > can't assure using the Bugzilla alone right now. To make the Bugzilla
> > generally useful for that we need to change the way in which the target of the
> > report is selected and make it send reports to mailing lists rather than to
> > individual people.
> In recent years, the default assignees of changed or new components in
> the kernel Bugzilla have been pseudo addresses, and you can subscribe a
> mailing list (like any other email address) to get copies of the emails
> going to this pseudo address.
Why haven't they been subscribed already, then?
I think you would agree that right now the choice of subsystems in the Bugzilla
doesn't reflect the current status of the kernel (some subsystems should be
added, some should be called differently, some should be moved to different
places etc.) and some addresses to which the bug reports are assigned by
default are not the best ones ...
> > Second, once the bug report have reached the right place, we have two problems
> > to solve:
> > (1) we need to make the developers respond and actively work on the bug
> This is the one problem we have.
> > (2) we need to make the tracking of the bug possibly unintrusive (ie.
> > developers should be able to work with the reporter in a way that *they*
> > prefer)
> > While it's generally difficult to solve (1), we can at least make (2) happen
> > (well, in theory).
> For normal communication (2) already works in the kernel Bugzilla.
> > > > Now, the question is what information this web interface should ask for.
> > > >
> > > > IMO, first, it should ask for what the bug is against, ie.:
> > > > - kernel version (to be obtained from 'git describe' or from /proc/version or
> > > > from .config, if the kernel doesn't boot)
> > > > - architecture (x86, ARM, MIPS etc.)
> > > > - subsystem and subsubsystem (that could be selectable from a menu and might
> > > > depend on the architecture)
> > > >
> > > > It also should ask if the problem is a regression and what was the last known
> > > > good kernel (I'd prefer that to be the last known major release selectable from
> > > > a list).
> > > >
> > > > Also, the reporter should be required to provide a summary (subject) and
> > > > a (concise) description of the problem and a list of email addresses to
> > > > send the report to in addition to the regular handling (there should be a way
> > > > to verify which addresses are acceptable).
> > > >
> > > > Anything else?
> > > >
> > > > Next, the report should be sent to a mailing list selected on the basis of the
> > > > information provided (not necessarily to individual developers, unless there
> > > > are some addresses provided explicitly by the reporter).
> > >
> > > The architecture choice seems to be the only thing from your list that
> > > isn't already available in the "Enter a new bug report" dialog of the
> > > kernel Bugzilla.
> > Yet, the architecture choice affects the way in which the other choices are
> > made.
> I can claim having seen every single of the 9457 bugs entered into the
> kernel Bugzilla until now at least once, and I do not see a real need
> for this.
I do. Some architectures have multiple platforms that are maintained by
different people, etc.
> You can add something like this, but let's not confuse problems with
> nice-to-have features.
> > Also, the "sending to mailing lists" part is obviously missing.
> As said above, it's already available.
> > > > IMO, it should be possible to work on the bug using both email and the web
> > > > interface, whichever is preferred by the participant in question, without the
> > > > need to stick to any of them (ie. email messages sent in the corresponding
> > > > email thread should be registered by the bug tracking system and comments
> > > > entered into it should appear as messages in the email thread with the
> > > > appropriate To:, From: and Cc: information).
> > > >
> > > > There surely are more things that we'd like it to do, but the above seem to be
> > > > a reasonable minimum.
> > >
> > > Except from the From: header in outgoing emails the kernel Bugzilla
> > > already offers this for years.
> > No, it doesn't. You can't send the initial report by email so that it's
> > registered by the Bugzilla, at least I'm not aware of such a possibility.
> That's not possible, but as already said it's not required.
> And more important, it's unrelated to any problems we have.
> And it sounds funny that you first write specifications mandating stuff
> like "IMO, first, it should ask for what the bug is against" and then
> demand an additional email interface that bypasses everything you
> demanded previously.
I just realize that there are people who wouldn't like to use the web interface
and would prefer to use email instead.
Moreover, you won't force people to use the web interface only for reporting
bugs, because frankly for some kinds of problems it's too heavywieght
(compilation problems and purely software, reproducible things like that are
much faster resolved using email; this also applies to easily reproducible bugs
in general). Still, it wouldn't hurt if they were automatically tracked.
> > Also, if you "switch to email", and then want to switch back to the web
> > interface, the Cc list from the email messages will be lost.
> The perfect is the enemy of the good.
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