Apport in stable releases [was: Re: Do you really want developers to be on this list]

Martin Pitt martin.pitt at
Thu Nov 13 11:48:40 UTC 2008

Markus Hitter [2008-11-13 11:56 +0100]:
> While we can't "fix" developers, we can put more automatic helpers  
> into place:
>   - Keep Apport enabled even on stable releases. Hiding bugs doesn't  
> help.

We don't disable Apport in stable releases because we want to hide
bugs. The reasons are, in descending importance:

 * core dumps potentially contain a lot of private/sensitive
   information which is almost impossible to check for a casual user.
   Yes, apport points out to not send a report if you did something
   private, and bugs are private by default, but still..

 * During testing the development release we already get tons of crash
   reports, so we should already know (or even have fixed) the
   most common crashes. The others aren't really common, and hard to
   reproduce, etc., which is why we would not fix them in stable
   releases *anyway* (both from an SRU policy perspective, as well as
   being a manpower issue).

 * Collecting crash information and sending it to LP takes a lot of
   CPU, IO, and network bandwidth, and it doesn't make sense to waste
   all this, and create a sense of expectation that the crash will be
   fixed in a stable release, when we know upfront that it won't.

> While this doesn't fix bugs by it's self, it greatly helps to fix  
> them after the fact (and timely educate developers about their  
> practices).

Right, but we have more crashes in LP than we can ever keep up with,
so there's enough fodder to report to upstreams, debug, and fix. :-)

> Additionally, this opens the door to get some automatic measure about  
> the quality of drivers or other software. Count open bugs and you  
> know what you roughly can expect. If you count too many of them, drop  
> the hardware in the compatibility list.

Hardware bugs are not automatically reported. Filing bugs manually
(Help -> Report a bug, or using ubuntu-bug) still works normally in
stable releases. We didn't disable that, nor was it ever discussed to
do so.

Martin Pitt                        |
Ubuntu Developer (  | Debian Developer  (
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