A responsible use of the "incomplete" status.

Vincenzo Ciancia ciancia at di.unipi.it
Sat Sep 22 17:21:49 UTC 2007

On 22/09/2007 Scott Kitterman wrote:
> 60 days is to short.  Even if we set a time, there are classes of bugs (such 
> as crashes) that even if incomplete are not invalid (a crash bug is always a 
> bug).  I don't think bugs should get marked invalid except manually.

Also, how do we deal with the (not so uncommon, about 10% of my reports)
case when who asked for information does not actively return to the
report and change its status/triage it when information is provided? I
used to patiently wait until he/she recalled to read what I said.

However, a bug report which is flagged as "incomplete" will be buried,
because neither developers nor other members of the bug squad will look
at it. If a bug is flagged as incomplete everybody seems to be assuming
that if it stays in that status for many days it's entirely the
reporter's fault. It's not so. People marks bugs as incomplete and then
forgets about them. I think I also know a possible reason: there isn't a
way to list "bugs that I marked incomplete/invalid/whatever" in LP. This
should be implemented as soon as possible.

Now a person's todo list may be as long as you please, but a three lines
reply and changing status of a bug doesn't take more than 2 minutes. And
if you don't have these 2 minutes, why did you mark the bug as
incomplete in principle? You should have known that it would in practice
bring the report under your sole responsibility.

I am already actively working on bugs myself, even though I don't have
the time to apply for -qa team, so I am not speaking as just an user or
a bug reporter. I think that whoever opens a bug should feel responsible
for providing further information if requested, and on the other side
whoever asks for more information should feel responsible of reading the
reply. Sometimes it takes time to provide requested information, so why
should be waste users time by leaving bugs in the "incomplete" limbo? Or
even automatically closing them?

So the sense of the e-mail is: do whatever you want with automatically
closing incomplete bugs, but become responsible when you use that mark,
and don't leave replies on your todo list for more than 7 days. It may
be hard, but if you don't have time to do that, then just don't triage
bugs, just like if you don't have time to write anything else than
"ubuntu is broken" you shouldn't be really reporting bugs.

My 3 or 4 cents,


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