Standing in the street trying to hear yourself think

John McCabe-Dansted gmatht at
Thu Jul 9 06:58:49 UTC 2009

On Sat, Jul 4, 2009 at 2:23 AM, Evan<eapache at> wrote:
> We also seem to have a duplication of effort on several fronts. At last
> glance we have:
> - mailing lists
> - IRC
> - wiki
> - launchpad
> - launchpad answers
> - forums

I wrote a blueprint for maintaining a database of errors. I suggest
that for all questions of the form
   "What does this error mean? What should I do?"
The way to get help is via this database. E.g. say I run
  Xvfb :2 -screen 2 1600x1200x32
and get the error
  Couldn't add screen 2
Then instead of hunting round in all the of the above. I simply run
  autohelpsys  Xvfb :2 -screen 2 1600x1200x32
(autohelpsys has not yet been written)
autohelpsys searches the database for a solution. If a solution is not
found it offers to create a new ticket. Someone (possibly me) then
submits something like the the following to the database:

REGEX=Couldn't add screen [[:digit:]]
ANSWER=This is usually caused by selecting 32 bits per pixel. Try 24
or 16 instead.

The database then sends me an email, asking me to confirm that this
fixes my problem.

Although the above example is for command line applications, it would
be possible to add a link to GUI warning and error dialogs.

John C. McCabe-Dansted
PhD Student
University of Western Australia

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