Calling All Paper Cutters

David Siegel david.siegel at
Mon Jun 15 23:59:51 BST 2009

Hello, ubuntu-devel. I just posted a blog entry urging people working on 
hundredpapercuts to help deal with the deluge of bugs being added to the 
project, the majority of which are invalid. In "phase 1" of 
hundredpapercuts, we encouraged people to report trivially fixable 
usability bugs affecting the default Ubuntu experience, and many such 
bugs were reported! Along with these reports came many people's pet bugs 
and rants (e.g. "fix my wifi!") so now we're entering "phase 2" of the 
project, where in addition to encouraging people to continue reporting 
potential paper cuts, we will begin encouraging people to triage 
incoming bugs. At this point, we are only encouraging people to mark 
bugs invalid in hundredpapercuts if they are very confident the bugs do 
not qualify.

Please have a read, get involved, and by all means make alternate 
suggestions for how we can direct the course of this project.

Thank you,



One Hundred Paper Cuts <> is 
off to a great start. After my last post 
<>, many 
people began adding existing bugs to the project, and filing new bugs as 
paper cuts. Now we have hundreds of bugs filed, and we will probably 
have hundreds more by the end of the week, but many of the bugs are not 
paper cuts. Some people are confused because, although every paper cut 
is a usability bug, not all usability bugs are paper cuts; also, 
although we have committed to fixing one hundred paper cuts, when your 
bug does not qualify as a paper cut, that does not mean we do not think 
it's a great bug that should be fixed.

As a reminder, a paper cut */is/*:

    * Very easy to fix.
    * A bug that, if fixed, makes Ubuntu more usable for a significant
      percentage of users.
    * A bug that affects a default install of Ubuntu 9.10. A good rule
      of thumb: if the bug affects an application that is not in the
      applications menu by default, it is probably not a paper cut. We
      are looking for "ambient paper cuts," little glitches a user might
      encounter many times during the day.

A paper cut */is not/*:

    * A new feature. If it requires writing more than a few lines of
      code, or adds any new visual elements to an interface, it's not a
      paper cut.

Now that everyone is posting their pet usability bugs as paper cuts, we 
need to start filtering out the noise to find the hundred paper cuts to 
fix for Karmic. Here are all of the new paper cuts 
Please take a moment to go through one or two of them, and mark them 
invalid if they fail to meet any of the positive criteria above, or if 
they meet any of the negative criteria listed.

    * If you find a bug that only affects a small number of specialized
      users (like this one
      mark the bug invalid in hundredpapercuts with the comment "/This
      is not a paper cut because it is not a general usability issue,
      but rather a bug affecting a relatively small user population./"
    * If you find a bug that is not trivial to fix (like this one
      mark the bug invalid in hundredpapercuts with the comment like
      "/this bug is not trivially fixable, so it is not a paper cut./"
      If you are not sure whether a bug is trivial to fix or not, just
      leave it alone.
    * If the bug is a vague rant about someone's problems with Ubuntu
      (like this one
      patiently ask the poster to identify the particular issue they
      believe to be a paper cut. If they cannot identify one, kindly
      mark the bug as invalid in hundredpapercuts.
    * *Only take any of these recommended actions if you are very
      confident that your decision to mark the bug invalid is correct.*
      There is absolutely no harm in leaving the bug for someone else to
      adjudicate; however, there is harm if you mark a good paper cut
      invalid by mistake.

When reporting a new paper cut, please make an effort to identify the 
other projects affected by the bug. If you can go so far as to search 
upstream bug trackers first, and file paper cuts there, that would be 
incredibly helpful. Many people are reporting new bugs in 
hundredpapercuts without bothering to report the bug against the 
software project that is actually affected. If you can identify the 
actual project affected (for example, gnome-panel or network-manager), 
please mark the bug as affecting that project.

Finally, let me reiterate--when a bug is marked invalid in 
hundredpapercuts, that doesn't imply that it's not a good bug, that it 
doesn't affect user experience, or that it won't be fixed in Karmic. Thanks!

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