Disabling whoopsie by default in the 12.04.1 release

Dylan McCall dylanmccall at gmail.com
Mon Aug 6 17:49:30 UTC 2012

On Mon, Aug 6, 2012 at 6:20 AM, Matthew Paul Thomas <mpt at canonical.com> wrote:
> Hash: SHA1
> Sebastien Bacher wrote on 06/08/12 12:48:
>> Le 06/08/2012 13:04, Matthew Paul Thomas a écrit :
>>> - It makes relaunching a crashed application much easier.
>> Right, most of the issues we get are with services and not
>> applications though
> That isn't true, unless today is a freak exception. Right now, out of
> the 50 most common errors, only 17 are from services. The rest are
> from applications.

Isn't that _reported_ errors? Do you have any numbers for error popups
that have been dismissed? Personally, I almost always dismiss the
system error popups. They are vaguely worded and usually for the same
problem in mission-control. The application errors, on the other hand,
are upfront about what is broken. It's likely I have just seen that
application crashing. I know (and care about) whatever is going on.
Oh, it also helps that lots of background stuff loves to crash during
shutdown / suspend / resume (resulting in crash popups when I log in),
while application crash popups are at slightly less annoying, and more
meaningful, moments. I'm willing to accept that I could be an
exception, but I suspect the numbers of reported errors might be
biased in this way.

I don't run a computer lab, but I did upgrade someone's computer to
Ubuntu 12.04. A few days later, I felt like a total jerk as I stepped
him through disabling error popups using terminal commands. (I think
he opened xterm instead of gnome-terminal, too). After that, he has
been very happy with the system. It isn't that he doesn't like
helping: he just doesn't want to be bothered about it, at random, by
some popup that reads like the sky is falling. He has work to do, and
he likes to focus on it rather than his computer. That's why he
switched to Ubuntu a few years ago.


PS: For what it's worth, Microsoft's Action Centre thing from Windows
7 might actually be an interesting model for this. It is mostly a
useless thing that nags people to set up backups, but it also has a
nice bit that lists collected system errors. It's useful to actually
diagnose problems that are occurring. In Ubuntu all we seem to do is
nag the user to report errors (which are promptly forgotten), and
there's no real sense of getting something back for the trouble. What
if that data was aggregated locally, too, so a user could see that a
particular component is crashing really frequently? Or report issues
from crash popups that had been previously dismissed? It might make
the whole thing more agreeable ;)

More information about the Ubuntu-release mailing list