Let's Discuss Interim Releases (and a Rolling Release)

Colin Watson cjwatson at ubuntu.com
Fri Mar 1 17:01:45 UTC 2013

On Fri, Mar 01, 2013 at 07:12:03AM +0100, David Henningsson wrote:
> As we now move to a rolling release schedule, when is the right time
> to do a wide-scale testing and report bugs? Without just being met
> with a "please check if it's fixed in the next version" message?

I think we should deal with this by improving the way we interact with
users on bug reports.  A constant stream of "please see if this is fixed
in the next version", with no explanation of how it might be fixed,
gives users the impression that we don't really have much idea what
we're doing and are just throwing things at the wall until they stick.
The strategy here is often more about finding reasons to close bugs so
that the statistics look better, rather than actively working with users
to find fixes.

A better approach is something more thoughtful like "The $foobar
subsystem was extensively overhauled in 3.10, and has been reported to
improve output frobbing on AMD systems.  Could you test to see if this
fixes your bug?"  That is, we should have actual reasons for asking for
retests and we should tell users what they are, rather than making them
spend time retesting just for the sake of it.  If we do that and do it
well, then bug reporting schedules matter much less.

Colin Watson                                       [cjwatson at ubuntu.com]

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