[ubuntu-uk] Podcast 20 - easy bug reporting

Jones, Victor Victor.Jones at flightsafety.com
Thu Nov 18 18:46:06 GMT 2010

Hi Guys and Laura,
I must say I really enjoyed your last episode (20).  The discussion on putting up with bugs v's reporting them v's changing apps/distros/underwear was *great*.  I REALLY agree with the principle that bugs should be reported.  The thing that limits that is the effort it takes to report bugs.  As was pointed out, people have a life and are trying to get things done.  If reporting (and following up on) bugs isn't QUICK *and* EASY, most people just won't do it.

I was really impressed to hear that gwibber allows quick bug reporting from the help.  That's exactly what I've thought should be done.  I believe that every app should allow bugs to be reported from that app - just by pressing F1 and clicking on a "File bug/Request feature" link.  How to get that in?
It seems to me that gnome could 'specify' a standard that all gnome apps should have that button in the apps help screen that would take the user to the bug reporting site for the project, with many of the reporting fields prefilled.  OK, that's going to take some time to happen, even if everyone agreed tomorrow to do it.  Canonical seems to me to be ideally placed to actually implement this - right now.  After all, they tweak the base distro AND have a bug reporting system.  I imagine it wouldn't take too much effort to add in a button into the help function for each app.  Speaking as a non-programmer, I'm guessing that there are probably standard calls for the help window, or that a script could search out the 'F1' calls in an app, and splice in some extra code.
The 'File bug/feature request' link could take the user to a launchpad page for that app.  If/when at somepoint the app has its own bug reporting page then the link could be redirected there.

If modifying each app through a script is not feasible, ubuntu could intercept the F1 calls and overlay a window with the bug filing link, and still pull up the apps normal help window - all it would need to know is which window has the focus when F1 is pressed.  The same bug filing/feature request idea would be applicable to KDE.
Similarly, when you press F1 from that app again, you'd get a list of the bugs you've filed e.g. at the bottom of the help, or in a direct link).

I havn't pushed this idea before as, to be frank, I'd no idea where to send it to.  I'd be interested to hear your thoughts on this, and how to push the idea if you think it has merit.  If it had some support from anyone in canonical it might gain some traction.

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