Reporting usability problems: please be more tolerant when you triage bugs!

Henrique Almeida hdante at
Wed Jul 22 17:04:54 UTC 2009

 Agreed. Ubuntu developers either don't understand my usability
reports or tag them as low priority bugs, which gets triaged for many
releases. Once I have submitted a bug report on an usability issue
that caused "information loss", which is serious. In certain PDF
files, I can't search for accented characters. This affects not only,
say, evince search, it also affects tracker searches, for example. The
main (non duplicate) bug for this was reported 2 years ago by
lherrmann and, right now, it's tagged as confirmed/unknown,

 This is just an example, I have reported other bugs that have been
ignored for years.

2009/7/22 Vincenzo Ciancia <ciancia at>:
> Dear all,
> sorry for crossposting, please notice it before replying to all.
> I tend to report all usability bugs I find, in the hope that ubuntu will
> become better. The hudred-papercut effort shows that I am not wrong in
> reporting those as bugs.
> However, it is very easy that a developer does not recognise an
> usability-related bug report, and confuses it with a more or less
> strange support request, and I often have to discuss to have it accepted
> as a bug.
> It is typical that on usability bugs I get trapped into endless
> discussions (e.g. it's always been like that, it can't be fixed, it's an
> obvious behaviour and so on).
> In the future, I will try to remember to add a sentence like "this is an
> usability related bug report, please handle it as such, I am reporting
> it to ease the user experience of the whole ubuntu community" and maybe
> link this e-mail, but in the meantime, could developers try to be a bit
> more careful in rejecting bugs?
> I am NOT going to link specific bugs here, because that would get
> personal, but this is becoming tiresome. Today I went to IRC and
> convinced a developer that a bug is a usability problem indeed. This
> costed me a quarter of hour, in addition to the time spent to identify
> and report the bug. He had just closed the bug, without at least
> reassigning to ubuntu, because it's not specific to the package I
> reported it in. But in that case one reassings it to ubuntu perhaps! The
> apparent problem is that he took me for a newbie not understanding an
> obvious fact. Which I understood perfectly, but is not correct. In the
> end I convinced him, but it was a waste of time and it happened a lot in
> the past.
> Discussing all the time makes bug reporting an unpleasant experience,
> and discourages especially usability reports, as some people tend to
> assume a "technician" attitude in thinking these are stupid requests
> from unexperienced users. Being constantly confused with a newbie is
> also a bit irritating :) especially because I think reporting usability
> bugs is something people do not do usually, so we all really need this
> kind of things.
> Thanks for listening and the work all of you do everyday on my ubuntu,
> and thanks to the developer involved in today's discussion because he
> did not discuss too much, and as soon as he recognised it as a bug, he
> kindly offered cooperation.
> Vincenzo
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 Henrique Dante de Almeida
 hdante at

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