Re: Does the bug tracker actually work?

On Sat, Aug 05, 2000 at 02:22:27AM +0200 or thereabouts, Martin Baulig wrote:

> This'd also be a good occasion to get rid of all this old crap.
> Btw. does Bugzilla has any way to kick of stupid users ?
> I just spend over half an hour deleting really stupid bug reports in GTop
> and are kind of annoyed because of this. [snip]
> There must be some way to automatically filter out all "it crashed" and other
> crap and just let real bugs go into the bug tracker.  

See, here's the problem with an integrated desktop environment that you
make easy to use. People unfamiliar with it (aka "stupid users") will 
use it :)

I remember exactly when people started complaining about these bugs all
the time. It was when bug-buddy came out. But the thing is, those apps
were behaving like that all along. The people bug-buddy drew out of
the woodwork were the people trying to use GNOME who didn't hang out
on irc, mailing lists, or whatever. They were the people trying it
at home who had no connections to places they might find more info.
The people whom you just weren't hearing from. 

Filtering out the "it crashed" reports from people whose first experience 
of GNOME is that they were using something, it crashed and they got a 
"report this and help GNOME?" option, however much it saves you from 
"it just crashed" reports, will not change the fact that the apps did 
indeed "just crash".

Instead, they just crash and you just don't hear about it. 

GNOME is so very integrated that it took me ages to work out what
was what. Bugs in gnome-terminal are a great example: do they go
under gnome-terminal? Under gnome-core, which is where gnome-terminal
comes from? Or under zvt or gnome-libs? If it's to do with preferences
getting messed, is it gnome-terminal, or is it in fact session management,
and where the hell do you enter that? Your first time user is not
going to know what any of these are: and finding out is hard. 

I don't think it's fair to describe all these reports as "crap";
and I am trying hard not to take the "stupid user" comment personally. 
I know you put a lot of time and effort into Gnome, Martin, and I am 
very grateful for it. But "stupid user" is uncalled for. I'm sure 
you're tempted to point to some closed bugs and say "Look at this, 
here's an example", but I've seen people post URLs to particular bug 
reports onto IRC as examples. And I'm afraid often I can understand 
exactly where the users are coming from. They don't have the words or 
the concepts to describe things yet, and I remember that all too well.
It used to take me an hour for _simple_ bugs, because I had to keep
running to someone who knew what they were talking about and asking
"Do they need to know this? Should I put this in? If I put this, will
they know what I mean?" or reading an awful lots of docs to find out
what was related.

> IMO the new bug tracking
> system needs to be changed in a way where the maintainer needs to approve 
> all bug reports before they go into the tracker. At the moment the bug 
> tracker is pretty much useless because of all this crap in it.

That at least makes more sense than just deleting them unread. If you do 
that, one thing I'd suggest is that you assign them to some category
that's generally not visible, and keep running totals of which apps
get the most reports. At the very least, it tells you which ones are
being used by people who aren't particularly familiar with gnome;
and the authors of such apps then know their audience and user base :)


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