help desk vs bug tracker

Andy Betts andy.betts at
Mon Oct 29 14:33:51 GMT 2018


On October 29, 2018 at 8:31:56 AM, Boudewijn Rempt (boud at at wrote:

> Hi,
> Right now, we're getting lots of user support questions in bugzilla, and at
> the Krita sprint we were discussing whether it wouldn't be better to have a
> kind of in-between system. Either something that works like a proper helpdesk,
> or something like askbot, or both. But we just cannot handle the need for user
> support with our existing tools anymore.
> Askbot would be a replacement for user support questions in the forums,
> something the forum isn't really suited for since it makes it extremely hard
> find questions that were already asked.
> questions/ shows how that would work. Problem is, we cannot have a single ask
> site for all of KDE, there would have to be specialed sites like
>, which might be a whole lot of work to maintain.
> As for a helpdesk system vs bugzilla: we get too many user support questions
> in bugzilla, like or https://
> Making bugzilla user-friendly is a laudable effort, but it still leads to
> reports that are useless for developers: and answering questions on bugzilla
> is a lot of effort because there's no real flow of question, asking for info,
> giving an answer. There are no canned repsonses, and no "smart" system that
> would suggest the canned response for frequently asked questions, or an easy
> way to link people to the documentation.
> We discussed mitigrating strategies for bugzilla, like including a reporting
> wizard in the application itself, but the problem remains: bugzilla is not
> helpdesk software, but a bug tracker. It's a developmen tool, not a user
> support tool.
> A good helpdesk system would have:
> * no reporter login
> * scriptable "wizards" to get the basic info
> * canned responses
> * ideally, machine learning to suggest the right canned response for faqs
> * a knowledge base where reporters can search (replaces FAQ pages)
> * a q/a site where users can help other uses (included or separately: askbot,
> or stackexchange)
> * easy conversion from a helpdesk ticket to a bug report
> * easy conversion from a helpdesk ticket to a kb entry
> We looked at vailable open source solutions:
> *
> *
> *
> All of them are open-core opensource solutions :-(. I wonder whether we've
> missed any options. I'm also wondering whether other KDE projects have the
> seem need as we have for Krita, of separating support questions from bug
> reports. If that isn't a big issue for other projects, maybe we should start
> with an instance and see what happens then.
> --

I think this is worth considering. These messages are generally support in nature and would be better suited for a ticketing system with community support instead. The fact that we get many of this kind denotes that even some of our users don’t find other alternatives and ping the entire community because there is no better alternative.

Thank you,


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