Being nice to testers - mandating debug packages

Rocco Stanzione grasshopper at
Fri Jan 13 17:47:55 GMT 2006

On Friday 13 January 2006 10:39, Daniel Robitaille wrote:
> In 1+ years of filling bugs in Ubuntu, I have been asked in a bug
> report to recompile an application, or install a debug package less
> than a handful of times.  I sure hope that you don't report bugs you
> have found simply because you don't have a debug package for it, or
> don't want to spend the time to do one:  report the bug, then come
> back to it later, or maybe someone else will do it in the meantime.
> Or very more likely  the reason of the bug will be found without the
> need for a debug package or recompilation from the user part.

I for one would find this at least somewhat useful.  I make it a point to file 
obvious bugs when I find them, and to go to the effort to include as much 
relevant information as I can reasonably find in my bug report.  If I could 
install debug packages without having to compile, I would.  A fantastic 
example is a bug I recently confirmed in kmail, which is kind enough to 
(attempt to) provide me with a backtrace, only of course there were no 
debugging symbols found.  It would have been trivial for me to install a -dbg 
kmail package and reproduce the crash.  Not so trivial to build such a 
package (after figuring out how, installing all the build deps, etc.).  I 
think the proposed solution would require a little up-front work, add to 
package build time, add a little to bandwidth, increase disk usage on 
mirrors, and make a significant contribution to bug reporting and therefore 
overall quality.

Rocco Stanzione

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