bug-buddy does not integrate with an Ubuntu bug tracking system

Bug #9704 reported by Andrew Bennetts on 2004-10-28
8
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
bug-buddy (Ubuntu)
Medium
Sebastien Bacher

Bug Description

Scenario: A user is doing something in GNOME, and blam! Program
floozeblubber or whatever has crashed. A helpful "Inform Developers"
button appears. Great!

The template bug report in bug buddy is not so great. It asks for
"Expected Result". Well, I expected floozeblubber not to crash, didn't
I? "Actual Result"? It just crashed, duh -- you told me it crashed a
few dialogs ago!

I also asks "How often does this happen"... It's possibly the first time
it's happened, but maybe it'll happen everytime, or never again. I'm
reporting just in case, so the traceback won't be lost. Of course, I'm
not necessarily sure if "this" is -- is this a new bug in epiphany, or
the same crash I saw last week?

These sorts of difficult-to-answer questions are likely to put off
prospective bug reporters. Many people are aware that free software
developers have a reputation for being ruthless to inadequate bug
reports, so if they feel they can't properly answer the questions, they
might not bother at all. Or perhaps they'll just look at the list of
questions, and simply shrug and think "too hard", and discard the crash
dump report. After all, they were almost certainly in the middle of
doing something.

My experience with Mozilla's "talkback" feature has been more positive
-- it makes it clear that it's sending debug info to developers, and
that any extra information about what you were doing that you provide
would be helpful, but not necessarily vital, and failing all else it
helps them gather stats about where the most common crashes are. i.e.
even if you can't explain anything about why it happens, your crash
report is still valuable.

Perhaps this would be solved by some slightly more friendly
instructions than:

"""
Please make your bug report in English, if possible.

Summary
    ___________

Description
  Description of Problem:
  ___________
  ___________
  ...

"""

?

e.g. "Please describe what you were doing when this crash happened,
in English if possible." And then just leave the "description"
box completely empty, rather than asking *six* questions, a couple
of which just don't seem to make sense (see comments about "Actual
Result", etc).

Matt Zimmerman (mdz) wrote :

I don't think that bug-buddy is properly functional on Warty anyway; this
information probably doesn't even go anywhere.

When it does become fully supported and active, we will still want to be more
exclusive about the bug reports that we receive, because we don't have a system
to process otherwise-useless bug report data at this time.

Andrew Bennetts (spiv) wrote :

(In reply to comment #1)
> I don't think that bug-buddy is properly functional on Warty anyway; this
> information probably doesn't even go anywhere.
>
> When it does become fully supported and active, we will still want to be more
> exclusive about the bug reports that we receive, because we don't have a system
> to process otherwise-useless bug report data at this time.

I just mentioned this bug to my girlfriend. She read this comment, and became
very upset by the impression that:
   1. bug reports are being silently ignored and/or eaten
   2. this is intentional, because Ubuntu wants to be "exclusive" about the bug
      reports it gets
   3. Ubuntu developers don't care about bug reporters wasting their effort on
      bug reports that get silently eaten

She, like me, has written several reports in bug-buddy since installing Ubuntu.
Her conclusion from all this is that Ubuntu probably doesn't want her bugzilla
reports either.

Matt, would you mind clarifying your comments?

Also, if bug-buddy really is eating bug reports (can we actually confirm this
somehow?), perhaps a "fixed" version should be uploaded to warty-updates, on the
basis that this is a serious dataloss bug (silently losing potentially hours of
effort counts as serious dataloss for me). Replacing it with a single dialog
that says "Sorry, the automatic bug-report feature is broken in warty. Please
visit http://bugzilla.ubuntu.com/" would help.

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

(In reply to comment #2)

> Also, if bug-buddy really is eating bug reports (can we actually confirm this
> somehow?)

Just a note on this. The default mode in bug buddy is to use the local smtp
(before clicking on the validation you have a radio button to select to store
it in a file or send it with a command), not to "eat" the mails.

BTW I agree on the fact that the situation is not optimal.

Matt Zimmerman (mdz) wrote :

(In reply to comment #2)
> (In reply to comment #1)
> I just mentioned this bug to my girlfriend. She read this comment, and became
> very upset by the impression that:
> 1. bug reports are being silently ignored and/or eaten

This is misleading. The proper way to report a bug is to use BUgzilla directly,
or the "Bug report tool" option in the menu. It just happens that when a
program crashes, bug-buddy is launched automatically, and there wasn't time
before the release to get that properly integrated with Bugzilla.

bug-buddy, I think, by default sends bug reports upstream to GNOME via sendmail,
which won't work unless the user configures the mail system.

> 2. this is intentional, because Ubuntu wants to be "exclusive" about the bug
> reports it gets

This is erroneous.

> 3. Ubuntu developers don't care about bug reporters wasting their effort on
> bug reports that get silently eaten

And this is inflammatory.

> She, like me, has written several reports in bug-buddy since installing Ubuntu.
> Her conclusion from all this is that Ubuntu probably doesn't want her bugzilla
> reports either.

This is not the case.

> Matt, would you mind clarifying your comments?

I hope I have.

Matt Zimmerman (mdz) wrote :

Sebastien, is it a straightforward matter to disable the bug-buddy crash dialog?
 That would avoid this confusion until it can be properly integrated.

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

(In reply to comment #5)
> Sebastien, is it a straightforward matter to disable the bug-buddy crash dialog?
> That would avoid this confusion until it can be properly integrated.

Turning the dialog off should be easy yes, but with it we can get backtraces in
a easy way
with bug report. Do we need a lot of work to get bug-buddy integrated now ?

Matt Zimmerman (mdz) wrote :

The scope of work for bug-buddy in Hoary will depend largely on the schedule for
Malone; it may be that we won't need to integrate with bugzilla at all. It
would certainly be nice to be able to get the backtraces, but we don't have an
obvious destination for the data at this point.

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

Perhaps changing the default option to "save in a file" could be enough ?
bug-buddy is useful to report bug upstream easily (at least for the people
who know what they are doing). Since hoary is a "devel branch" that need bug
reporting atm, I think we should keep bug-buddy for the moment.

What do you think ?

Matt Zimmerman (mdz) wrote :

That sounds sane. Can bug-buddy provide some short instructions telling them
what to do with the file (->Bugzilla)?

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

Yes probably, I'll try to make these changes soon.

Matt Zimmerman (mdz) wrote :

This needs to be solved, one way or another, for Hoary. Malone may be ready for
the Hoary release, but as far as I know it won't be ready in time to test
bug-buddy integration before feature freeze, so we need a Bugzilla solution.

How big a project would it be to enable bug-buddy to submit to Bugzilla via HTTP
POST properly? Should we use Dave's sendmail-to-HTTP hack as a quick fix?

Matt Zimmerman (mdz) wrote :

This bug has been marked as a duplicate of bug 7839.

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