Backtracing, Invalidated Bugs and Quality

Scott Kitterman ubuntu at
Wed Aug 20 16:46:09 UTC 2008

On Wednesday 20 August 2008 11:00, Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
> Scott Kitterman wrote on 20/08/08 15:34:
> > On Wednesday 20 August 2008 10:31, Matthew Paul Thomas wrote:
> >...
> >
> >>> So, if there is no suitable bug state existing already we need a new
> >>> state for these kinds of bugs.  We can call it "watching", or
> >>> "insufficient information", or "can not reproduce", or whatever.
> >>
> >> That state already exists: it's called "Incomplete".
> >
> > Right, but given the current plans for auto expiration, at some point
> > the difference between Incomplete and Invalid will be only a certain
> > number of days, so in the end it amounts to the same thing.
> >...
> Sure. A bug tracker exists to help developers improve software. So when
> a bug report is "Invalid", it's not because nobody ever experienced the
> bug, it's because the report isn't useful in helping developers improve
> the software. (Maybe "Invalid" is not the kindest word for this, but
> that's a tangential issue.)
> "Incomplete" is a warning that the report isn't useful in its current
> state, and will soon be treated accordingly unless it's made more useful.
That is certainly that is 'a' purpose, but not the only one.  Understanding 
the state of a package or distro is another purpose.

By marking incomplete backtrace crash bugs invalid we lose information both 
about circumstances of crashes and frequency.  A bug with 50 dupes and one 
good backtrace is different than one with no dupes.  Reading the dictionary 
definition of 'invalid', I don't think it's correct.  These are real bugs 
that we choose to hide.

Scott K

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