Should we make it easier and encourage bug reports to be send to distributions

Andre Heinecke aheinecke at
Thu Feb 4 20:38:49 UTC 2016


tl;dr; I think KDE should encourage and make it easier for distributions to 
link to their own Bugtracker in KXmlGui's "Report Bug" action.

Sent this to release-team as I would have sent this to kde-packager and 
release-team is the successor of that list.

This mail was inspired a bit by recent discussions about optional dependencies 
and how they should not allow packagers to break functionality by leaving them 
out in a review request. [1]
There is also a discussion on the kde-community list going on about how to 
better collaborate with distributions. Which imo ended up in "Distributions 
can do bad things with optional and runtime dependencies and KDE Developers 
have to deal with annoyed users" [2]

As the maintainer of Gpg4win I know the problem in the extreme. Gpg4win has 
tons of users and if they experience a bug (or what they think is a bug) they 
go the user facing Program Kleopatra and click on "Report a Bug". This ends up 
in the KDE Bugtracker and the KDEPIM Group then get's reports about how batch 
jobs for gnupg won't work on Windows Server 2012. (This is an extreme example 
but the majority of bug-reports for Kleopatra are from Windows users)

This is because KXmlGui encourages users to report bugs to 
itself. Shouldn't this be configurable and shouldn't we encourage distributions 
to do some bug triage themself, e.g. link users to their tracker first? I think 
we should. Afaik debian has the policy that you should report bugs to debian 
and the debian maintainer can triage the bug and say "this is upstream" with a 
(probably more qualified) upstream report. The bug is then fixed when a package 
with the fix is available in debian. Great! (This is not idealistic, I see this 
working with e.g. GnuPG)

I think this would help because:
- Developers would get more qualified bug reports
- Users would get responses from their Distributions, also telling them after 
a fix when this will affect them, which is probably more interesting then "fixed 
in master".
- gets a bit more manageable (hopefully at least for first time 

And while this is work for distribution maintainers I think they have this 
work anyway. In the Status Quo report bugs upstream and others with their 
distribution and a package maintainer has to have a view on open bugs anyway.

I expect most package maintainers would be more comfortable in tracking bugs 
affecting their distribution then generally monitoring _all_ bugs of the module 
they are packaging through where there might be bugs that only 
affect development versions they are not packaging.

This should also help Packagers to see issues. There was just a report in the 
kdepim IRC channel (which triggered this mail) from a user that "Search does 
not work" because he did not have the akonadi_indexing_agent installed.
While it is an issue for KDEPIM (and the kde bugtracker) that this case should 
be handled more gracefully by informing the user about that fact. Until this 
is the case a distribution should require the installation of said agent or 
face Bug reports about "Search not working".



Andre Heinecke |  ++49-541-335083-262  |
Intevation GmbH, Neuer Graben 17, 49074 Osnabrück | AG Osnabrück, HR B 18998
Geschäftsführer: Frank Koormann, Bernhard Reiter, Dr. Jan-Oliver Wagner
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