Tray icon displays nonsense error message with insufficient information and doesn't handle it properly

Bug #1371773 reported by Teo on 2014-09-19
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
update-manager (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Starting a few weeks ago, an error icon appears in the notification tray area, and if I click it displays the error from Update Manager shown in the screenshot.

Several things are wrong with this error message and the way it's handled:

1) "Please run Package Manager from the right-click menu"...

=> What right-click menu? Where am I supposed to right-click? I right-clicked on several places and didn't find any "Package Manager" menu item in any context menu

2) "or run apt-get from a terminal to see what is wrong"....

=> Apt-get alone doesn't show any information about what is wrong. It only shows usage help. I guess what one is supposed to run is "apt get <somecommand>", so what command?

3) "The error message was: 'Unknown Error: '<class 'KeyError'>' "...

=> This kind of information is probably userful for the developer who wrote it, but it's pure garbage to the end user. I'm not interested in the name of a class and it doesn't tell me anything about the real nature of the error in any way that would help me to fix it, especially if the class name is "KeyError"

4) "("The cache has no package named 'skype-bin'")'

=> So what? WHO was expecting the cache to have a package named 'skype-bin'?? THAT would give some clue about the cause of the error

5) "This usually means that your installed packages have unmet dependencies"

- If they have, the package manager is broken in the first place. The package manager is responsible for installing all the dependencies whenever a package is installed, and to uninstall all the dependant packages whenever a package is uninstalled (or otherwise prevent it from being uninstalled), unless I explicitly tell it to not do so, which I definitlely never did
- If some package has unmet dependencies, tell me which package and which dependencies, and also give me the option to install those unmet dependencies
- "This usually means". Is it the case here and now? You should be able to check. Besides having installed packages with unmet dependencies (which allegedly _usually_ causes the issue being detected), WHAT ELSE may cause it (less usually)?


Hence the error message is a completely useless mess.

Now, regarding the way the error is handled:

7) Just because of this message, the usual popup window showing the available update is not even shown, so it's been weeks since the last time I installed the available updates, until I realised I could click on "show updates" and install them.

Does this error prevent available updates from being installed?!? If not, then show me the error (in a more useful way) but then let me install the other updates allthesame the usual way. If it does in any way prevent from installing updates, then tell me so, and explain why.

Oh, and
8) The text of the error cannot be copied and pasted.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 14.04
Package: update-manager 1:0.196.12
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.13.0-34.60-generic
Uname: Linux 3.13.0-34-generic x86_64
ApportVersion: 2.14.1-0ubuntu3.2
Architecture: amd64
CurrentDesktop: Unity
Date: Fri Sep 19 20:51:48 2014
 Start-Date: 2014-09-13 19:24:49
 Commandline: apt-get install subversion
 Install: subversion:amd64 (1.8.8-1ubuntu3.1), libaprutil1:amd64 (1.5.3-1, automatic), libsvn1:amd64 (1.8.8-1ubuntu3.1, automatic), libapr1:amd64 (1.5.0-1, automatic), libserf-1-1:amd64 (1.3.3-1ubuntu0.1, automatic)
 End-Date: 2014-09-13 19:25:08
 b'com.ubuntu.update-manager' b'show-details' b'true'
 b'com.ubuntu.update-manager' b'window-height' b'748'
 b'com.ubuntu.update-manager' b'first-run' b'false'
 b'com.ubuntu.update-manager' b'window-width' b'677'
 b'com.ubuntu.update-manager' b'launch-time' b'1411152384'
InstallationDate: Installed on 2013-10-11 (343 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 13.04 "Raring Ringtail" - Release amd64 (20130424)
PackageArchitecture: all
SourcePackage: update-manager
UpgradeStatus: Upgraded to trusty on 2014-05-24 (118 days ago)

Teo (teo1978) wrote :
description: updated
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