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

Martin Graesslin mgraesslin at
Mon Feb 8 07:39:45 UTC 2016

On Friday, February 5, 2016 1:58:06 PM CET Sandro KnauƟ wrote:
> Moin,
> Yes and no from a person that is part of kdepim and as debian manatiner:
> * I see it like Christophe, many bugs are already reported with debian
> bugtracker and the manpower is too low to push all relevant bugs upstream.
> So they are rotting in the debian bugtracker but should go upstream. This
> is a very bad situation at all.


> * So far the most issues with packaging are mostly that we descide marke
> some dependencies as recommends and so users don't install them (like
> akonadi search). Okay this is distro specific bug and should be handled
> inside the distro. But most of the really packaging bugs, are also solved
> within debian, because users of debian unstable should know, that they
> first talk within debian - me haven't found nearly no bug in the b.k.o that
> are related within wrong packaging.

I know three incidents in the case of Debian testing/unstable during the last 
year which got reported also to me on
* breeze-cursors are not/were not packaged correctly resulting in broken 
cursor images (this was a problem visible in almost all distributions)
* during the gcc5 transition an ABI incompatible package made it into testing 
resulting in KWin crashing on startup which in turn made the whole system 
* KWindowSystem shipped without the X11 backend causing in the Desktop not 
being a Desktop any more.

Especially the last two were extremely severe and extremely difficult to debug. 
No blame on you (as packagers), though: that's why it's called Debian 
unstable/testing. User's should know what they are in for.

The issues also show something else: it needs domain experts to solve such 
problems. I don't expect a packager for example to understand xcursor-themes 
in a way that they can properly investigate.

So overall I don't think it would improve much to have a "distro first" way. 
What I think is needed is a better communication between the distros. That the 
cursor issue made it into basically all distributions is well sad. It's easily 
fixable if distros would talk with each other. (In the case of Debian it's 
double sad because it was already fixed in Kubuntu at the time it was 
introduced in Debian).

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