Launchpad permits tasks to be added to projects that 'do not use launchpad for bug tracking'

Bug #333215 reported by Matthew Paul Thomas
36
This bug affects 5 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Launchpad itself
Triaged
High
Unassigned

Bug Description

1. From an existing bug report, choose "Also affects project".
2. Choose a project that does not use Launchpad for bug tracking, e.g. Evolution.

What happens: Launchpad records the bug as affecting Evolution, and does nothing else.

Diagnosis
=========

This results in unusable bug tasks, with no useful links to upstream or anything else.

Possible solutions
==================

* Simply prevent the task being added.
  - affects project is using the wrong vocabulary. UsesBugsDistributionVocabulary illustrates how to make the correct vocabulary for projects.

* Prevent it being added but open a tab/form/link to the upstream tracker

* Have a workflow which steps the user into the upstream tracker and then back again

* Have LP maintain credentials to file bugs in the upstream tracker programatically.

Revision history for this message
Graham Binns (gmb) wrote :

Marking this as high since it has to potential, if fixed, to massively improve (or at least make it easier to improve) upstream linkages.

Changed in malone:
importance: Undecided → High
status: New → Triaged
Revision history for this message
Matthew Revell (matthew.revell) wrote :

This is making Ubuntu's upstreams unhappy. Even when a project has explicitly told Launchpad where they track their bugs, they're still finding that some bugs are being reported against their project in Launchpad.

This gives the upstreams the impression that we're ignoring their preferences and also that we're leading bug reporters down dead-ends.

Following a complaint from an upstream about this, I tried the following in staging:

Selected a random bug and marked it as "Also affecting" Pitivi. LP did the right thing and told me that Pitivi uses the Gnome Bugzilla. However, it then gave me this option:

"I just want to register that it is upstream right now; I don't have any way to link it."

We should explicitly state on the bug report that this bugtask is, in effect, useless. Actually, I'd question the usefulness of this option. What does it give us, other than a list of bugs against a project that doesn't use LP? It risks alienating upstreams by making it appear that we're inviting people to report bugs against their project, even when they've told us they use an external bug tracker, and it gives the reporter the impression of having done something when really they have, as far as I can see, achieved nothing useful.

Beneath that, it said:

"There is no bug supervisor for PiTiVi. This means that there is nobody upstream we can notify about this issue."

That's not much help and not strictly true. The project has a maintainer and so LP should fall-back to the maintainer if there's no bug supervisor.

I can't see any circumstances in which it should be possible to report a bug in LP's bug tracker against a project that does not use LP's bug tracker, *unless* LP's bug tracker is somehow a front-end for the upstream's bug tracker.

Revision history for this message
Deryck Hodge (deryck) wrote :

I agree with Matt here that "I just want to register that it is upstream right now; I don't have any
way to link it." seem useless. We should just remove that option unless someone has really compelling reasons to keep it around.

If we do this, it's a simple fix that saves mis-filed bugs and eases the pain of both distro and upstreams, is it not?

Bryce Harrington (bryce)
tags: added: better-forwarding
Revision history for this message
Bryce Harrington (bryce) wrote :

I also agree it does seem useless.

I included "non-upstreamed" upstream tasks in my bug triaging process for a while, but the experiment didn't work out. The idea was that as I processed through a lengthy list of bugs, I could quickly mark bugs I felt should go upstream, but leave the link unset. I could then go back later and query for "Bugs needing to go upstream", and work through filing each of these upstream and attach the links as I had time. Certainly it is quite time consuming to send a bug upstream, so this seemed like it would let me split the work up better.

However, in practice I found it caused confusion amongst other bug triagers, who went back after me and invalidated these "empty bug links". Bug reporters also found it odd that a bug would be given an upstream task but not actually filed upstream. And it was exceedingly rare that anyone else would take the hint and do the bug forwarding for me.

Ultimately, I discontinued this process. I found that I needed to fully grok the bug to decide if it should go upstream, and then needed to reach the same grokkage level when actually sending it upstream, so I ended up having to do the grokking twice, which was inefficient.

Instead, I opted for the approach of once I grokked a bug, I set it to Triaged and at the same time send it upstream. If the bug was not upstreamable (which for X.org is the exceptional case), I'd indicate this in the title, description, or a comment.

Anyway, so yeah, my experience is that being able to "register that it is upstream" without linking, is not that useful. People who do this as part of a workflow could switch to using 'needs-upstreamed' tagging or other mechanisms for flagging these kinds of bugs.

Revision history for this message
Bryce Harrington (bryce) wrote :

Completely untested, but this is what I'm gathering the code changes would look like. There's also a handful of doctest sections that'd need to be deleted.

Curtis Hovey (sinzui)
tags: added: bugwatch
summary: - Bug affecting non-Launchpad-using project isn't advertised as needing
- linking
+ Launchpad permits tasks to be added to projects that 'do not use
+ launchpad for bug tracking'
description: updated
Curtis Hovey (sinzui)
description: updated
Revision history for this message
Marius B. Kotsbak (mariusko) wrote :

I consider this as a duplicate of bug #587306.

Revision history for this message
Matthew Paul Thomas (mpt) wrote :

It is not. For example, Ubuntu Software Center tracks bugs only on the package <http://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/software-center>, but it is still possible for people to accidentally add an existing bug report to <https://bugs.launchpad.net/software-center>. There is no way making "Forwarding bugs for Ubuntu packages upstream" easier would fix that problem at all -- there is no upstream to forward to.

Revision history for this message
Marius B. Kotsbak (mariusko) wrote :

That would only apply to Ubuntu software I guess, so maybe the title should be updated. It is actually using Launchpad for bug tracking.

Revision history for this message
Robert Collins (lifeless) wrote : Re: [Bug 333215] Re: Launchpad permits tasks to be added to projects that 'do not use launchpad for bug tracking'

No it isn't. The *project* has the setting 'uses launchpad for bug
tracking' turned off. The *distro* uses Launchpad for bug tracking.

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