bug reporting.. bugzilla

Dave Dykstra dwd at drdykstra.us
Wed Dec 11 16:35:00 EST 2002

I disagree that the number of rsync bugs is too low to bother tracking
in a bug tracking system.  I think that a lot of things have been posted
that are genuine bugs but have been forgotten about because none of the
developers have had the time to track them.  If bug reports were all
dealt with quickly I agree there'd be no need for a bug tracking system,
but that's not the case for rsync.  I think it would be a good idea to
have a bugzilla system set up for rsync, especially if we can get some
volunteers to watch the system and make determinations about all the
reports that are put in.  I think it would also help to forward all
messages put into the system to the rsync developers' mailing list.
Having a well-maintained FAQ would also be valuable, to keep the noise
put into the bug tracking system down.

- Dave

On Mon, Dec 09, 2002 at 03:42:03PM +1100, Martin Pool wrote:
> On  5 Dec 2002, Sriram Ramkrishna <sramkris at ichips.intel.com> wrote:
> > What we do in the GNOME project is to find volunteers to run triage
> > and catalog the bugs.  If you have a "bugmaster" position who could
> > coordinate something like this.  
> The situation is rather different to GNOME, as jw notes: the code is
> not growing very quickly, and there are far fewer developers available
> to work on it.
> > > There used to be another bug reporting system but it was being ignored
> > > so Martin turned it off.
> Yes, I did.  I think the system was broken by some kind of
> infrastructure migration, and since nobody seemed to use it I put up
> this page rather than fixing it:
>   http://rsync.samba.org/nobugs.html
> One problem was that it used tridge's Jitterbug system, which is a
> nice program but a bit harder to learn than Bugzilla, or at least less
> familiar to most people.  Also, because it runs mostly over email, it
> quickly fills up with spam.
> But the main thing that discouraged me from maintaining it was just
> that most of the entries were not valid bugs.  We had large numbers of 
>  - misunderstandings of how to use rsync (operator error)
>  - massively incomplete reports (e.g. just "it fails", without any
>    error message.)
>  - architectural limitations (e.g. upfront scan)
>  - other junk entries
> and in addition many of them were redundantly reported.  I think
> probably >90% of entries were like this.
> You can see this to a lesser extent in the FAQ-O-Matic:
>   http://rsync.samba.org/fom-serve/cache/223.html
>   http://rsync.samba.org/fom-serve/cache/39.html
>   http://rsync.samba.org/fom-serve/cache/233.html
> Too many people fail to realize that filing a useful bug is actuallly
> a lot of work and requires that the reporter actually put a bit of
> thought into the problem. </rant>
> So the database was full of things that were not really bugs, which
> made it pretty useless either for people who wanted to find out about
> a bug they might be experiencing, or developers wanting to know how
> many bugs there are.
> I'm sure GNOME has had this too, but if I understand correctly they
> reduced their junk bug count in the first place by throwing out the
> whole database, and then by putting a lot of work into triage and
> cleaning.
> I think a better way go forward would be for volunteers to help
> maintain an FAQ.  This might be a good way to address common problems,
> whether they result from misunderstandings or from program errors.  It
> could be in FAQ-O-Matic or something else.  
> Since new bug reports are relatively rare, but problems and
> misunderstandings seem to occur repeatedly I think this would be the
> most useful way to get all the information in one place.
> So who's interested in working on that? 

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