software-center mishandles multi-line descriptions

Bug #983831 reported by Francois Gouget on 2012-04-17
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
software-center (Ubuntu)
Robert Roth

Bug Description

1. Launch the current Ubuntu Software Center in Precise.
2. Search for the "Darwinia" package and view the details view for it.
3. Verify that the description text contains the error "Infectionand" near the end.
4. Close Ubuntu Software Center.
5. Update to the version of software-center in precise-proposed.
6. Launch Ubuntu Software Center again and again navigate to "Darwinia".
7. Verify that the text now correctly reads "Infection and".

Very low, but if there is a regression it would likely show as an error in description text layout or content.

This happens with software-center as shipped with Ubuntu 11.10.
I have created a test package to make it easy to reproduce this. In the test package's control file the description is defined as follows:

Description: A test package
 The goal is to test that multi-line descriptions are handled correctly,
 especially with regards to sentences that span more than two lines and how
 spaces and line wrapping is handled.

'dpkg --info' shows the description exactly as it was in the control file. However in software-center the description is shown as:

The goal is to test that multi-line descriptions are handled correctly, especially with regards to sentences that span more than two lines and howspaces and line wrapping is handled.

Notice how the last word of line two got concatenated with first one of line three, resulting in 'howspaces', thus causing users to report typos.

I'm attaching testpkg.tar.bz2. It contains:
 * testpkg_1.0-1_all.deb which is the test package I mentionned above.
 * testpkg, a directory containing the source for building the above package. To rebuild the package, simply do:
    cd testpkg
    fakeroot ./build

Related branches

Francois Gouget (fgouget) wrote :
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in software-center (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Francois Gouget (fgouget) wrote :

Just in case, here are some impacted packages I found:
 * Darwinia: 'Infectionand'
 * Steel Storm: Burning Retribution: 'andground'
 * PDF Studio 7 Demo: 'Proand', but interestingly not 'PDF Studio 7 Pro'
 * Uplink: 'erasingevidence'

Gary Lasker (gary-lasker) wrote :

Hello Francois, and thank you for your very helpful bug report! Your list of impacted packages is also very helpful indeed. Thank you for taking the time to investigate and document this problem so well. I will mark this as 'triaged" as I believe that we have all the information we need to fix this issue.

Again, your help and work on this is very much appreciated!

Best regards,

Changed in software-center (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → Medium
status: Confirmed → Triaged
Robert Roth (evfool) on 2012-05-22
Changed in software-center (Ubuntu):
status: Triaged → In Progress
assignee: nobody → Robert Roth (evfool)
Michael Vogt (mvo) on 2012-05-22
Changed in software-center (Ubuntu Precise):
status: New → In Progress
importance: Undecided → Medium
description: updated

Hello Francois, or anyone else affected,

Accepted software-center into precise-proposed. The package will build now and be available in a few hours. Please help us by testing this new package. See for documentation how to enable and use -proposed. Your feedback will aid us getting this update out to other Ubuntu users. If this package fixes the bug for you please change the bug tag from verification-needed to verification-done. If it does not, change the tag to verification-failed. In either case details of your testing will help us make a better decision. Further information regarding the verification process can be found at . Thank you in advance!

Changed in software-center (Ubuntu Precise):
status: In Progress → Fix Committed
tags: added: verification-needed
Gary Lasker (gary-lasker) wrote :

I have verified that software-center version 5.2.3 in precise-proposed fixes this bug per the test case given in the description.


tags: added: verification-done
removed: verification-needed
Changed in software-center (Ubuntu):
status: In Progress → Fix Released
Francois Gouget (fgouget) wrote :

Yes, it does seem to work. Thanks.

Gary Lasker (gary-lasker) wrote :

Hi Francois, thanks for your verification! Your help is very much appreciated.


Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

This bug was fixed in the package software-center - 5.2.3

software-center (5.2.3) precise-proposed; urgency=low

  [ Robert Roth ]
  * lp:~evfool/software-center/lp987801:
    - Only show the version label once for each version in
      reviews (LP: #987801)
  * lp:~evfool/software-center/lp874430:
    - display tooltips for package titles in the application
      tiles of the lobby view (LP: #874430)
  * lp:~evfool/software-center/lp983831:
    - Avoid merging two words while normalizing description (LP: #983831)
  * lp:~evfool/software-center/lp822625:
    - Set default value for reviewstats histogram (LP: #822625)
  * lp:~evfool/software-center/lp875874:
    - Set word wrap with fallback to char wrapping for the review
      text label (LP: #875874)

  [ Gabor Kelemen ]
  * lp:~kelemeng/software-center/bug1001746:
    - merge i18n fix (LP: #1001746)

  [ Michael Vogt ]
  * lp:~mvo/software-center/lp872760-for-5.2:
    - fix translations for certain category names (LP: #872760)
  * lp:~mvo/software-center/lp987321:
    - fix dependency to ensure that we have humanity-icon-theme
      as we need it for the history view icons (LP: #987321)
  * lp:~mvo/software-center/test-catview-cleanup:
    - refactor unit tests for the catview
  * lp:~mvo/software-center/lp1002271:
    - fix regresion in 5.2.2 (LP: #1002271) for empty descriptions
  * lp:~mvo/software-center/lp1005104:
    - fix regression in 5.2.2 (LP: #1005104) in initial navigation
  * lp:~mvo/software-center/client-lp1004417:
    - client side fix for when exhibit package names contain
      extra whitespace (LP: #1004417)

  [ Gary Lasker ]
  * lp:~gary-lasker/software-center/fix-crash-lp1000238:
    - remove obsolete workaround for an old bug that has long since
      been fixed, this fixes a hard crash on Quantal (LP: #1000238)
  * lp:~gary-lasker/software-center/toolbar-buttons-insensitive-during-startup:
    - re-enable the fix for LP: #999486, LP: #994341 that was inadvertently
      disabled in the 5.2.2 release

  [ Natalia Bidart ]
  * lp:~nataliabidart/software-center/fix-977931:
    - Unified package string parsing into a single method that will be
      used from either the command line arguments, or from the dbus method
      'bringToFront'. This way, search will be consistent between all
      entry points. LP: #977931
    - Also added proper test suites for the above.
  * lp:~nataliabidart/software-center/fix-965093:
    - Fixed the SpinnerNtebook show_spinner method so the spinner page is
      not shown until the configured threshold is reached (250ms since
      this branch). Plus proper test suite was added.
  * lp:~nataliabidart/software-center/fix-986563:
    - Filtered out those exhibits that do not their packages available
      in the db (LP: #986563)
 -- Michael Vogt <email address hidden> Mon, 04 Jun 2012 08:53:25 +0200

Changed in software-center (Ubuntu Precise):
status: Fix Committed → Fix Released
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