Bug reporting for Ubuntu Server? WTF?
pgoetz at mail.utexas.edu
Fri Feb 12 18:17:47 UTC 2010
I just filed a bug against the 64-bit Karmic (9.10) server edition on
bugs.launchpad.net and noticed that the process appears to have
First of all, there is no longer any clear indication on the front page
of bugs.launchpad.net about how one goes about filing a bug, even when
logged in. While I understand that developers want people to use apport
(more on this in a moment) it would be nice to have a simple, brief
description explaining how to file a bug which does not involve reading
an entire manual (e.g. "(Read our guide or take a tour)").
But OK, fair enough, go to project home (launchpad.net), and select the
Ubuntu project. Now I do see a big label entitled "Report a Bug",
clicking on which takes me to a lengthy advertisement for Apport. Um,
OK, apport is a great idea, but if I could or wanted to use Apport I
WOULD HAVE DONE SO -- that's why I'm on f'ing bugs.launchpad.net!
The server system I'm filing a bug for doesn't have any X packages
installed and is in a location far away. I only access it using ssh,
hence can't use the graphical interfaces described in the ReportingBugs
However, I do need to file a bug, so continue to spin my wheels skimming
over information that is completely irrelevant. At some point I find:
If you can't file your report from the menu, for example:
* You're using the Server Edition
* The application doesn't have the appropriate menu item
* The application won't start at all
* Your problem is not related to an application but is an
infrastructure component, such as the Linux kernel or graphics subsystem
You can still help us by using ubuntu-bug.
Oh really? Suppose, being a somewhat expert user, I happen to know
exactly what package I'm filing the bug against, exactly what
distribution I'm running, and exactly what I want to say in the bug
report to simplify the process of getting the bug triaged -- how does
ubuntu-bug help with that? Some anonymous bug report filed against a
package which is not actually crashing would appear to be somewhat less
than helpful. Of course I could be missing something, but just typing
followed by selecting "Send Report" with 0.0 feedback as to what is
being sent and with no ability to state what the bug actually is appears
completely useless to me.
Finally, many pages later I find what I'm looking for: the new and
improved way of filing bugs on launchpad.net, by using the link
So what's my gripe now? How about a field allowing me to specify that
this bug applies to a *particular* Ubuntu distribution, rather than one
single textfield and a way to upload an attachment?
One would think that we've learned this lesson by now: stymying expert
users in order to simplify the process for neophytes is not the way to
go about "fixing" linux. Why not continue to have a decent way for
people who know what they're doing to file bugs on bugs.launchpad.net
while ALSO having apport available for people who fear the command line
more than death?
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