[xubuntu-users] Bug Reporting

David Walland davidwalland at googlemail.com
Tue Oct 7 08:36:27 UTC 2014

I'd *LOVE* to be able to get into bug-hunting and reporting.  In the 70s
and 80s I spent a lot of time writing interfaces for in-house programs and
bug-hunting.  These everything from a gamma spectrometer driver to simple
statistics programs which needed a useful interface with youngsters with
very little computer experience.
I've also designed a major expert system for control of radioactive
materials in a major University (and eventually radiation generators,
though that had not gone live when I cracked up and left).

The big problem for me is that there is no laid out approach to learning
Linux for those ho don't already have up-to-date skills with modern OS
programming.  I'm often stuck trying to work out a way to do the simplest
of things on Xubuntu, because the "answers" on t'Internet and even here,
I'm afraid, often assume you know much more about how Linux works and Linux
commands than is necessary or even likely in a newbie.

I learn by doing, but just doing by rote doesn't really help.  I need to
understand each command.  Sadly all the books I have downloaded and bought
start above where I have started from...

I'm working hard to learn and will try to put together what I do learn into
a "Linux for newbies" as I get enough material to start being useful to
others.  Sadly, right now, I get stumped by the simplest things and can't
understand the explanation about how to deal with them, so I'm a long way
away from being able to do this.

Ought there to be a discussion list for the *REAL* newbies where we can
share information about the problems we *have* found an answer to and where
the concerned experts who'd love to help us but can't work out how low to
pitch the answer can give advice beginning each time with "learning the
Linux alphabet" without worrying about offending people?

I save *everything* of the Xubuntu Support and Users list.  Maybe one day
I'll manage to understand it all right now only a few percent mean anything
to me.  But make no mistake about it, I *REALLY* value your help, even if I
don't understand it.

When I do, I'll join the bug hunters with great pleasure - I'm cracked
enough to thoroughly enjoy this sort of thing!


David Walland

On 6 October 2014 23:20, Lutz Andersohn <landersohn at gmail.com> wrote:

> Elfy's original point was testing prior to release. Not sure whether
> those frustrating "no-response" bug reports in the post below fall into
> that category. If not, maybe the post misses Elfy's point.
> My personal experiences with bug reporting is actually pretty good. and
> I can't really complain. Yes, there are some that seem to go on forever
> but then again, given that this is all done by volunteers in their spare
> time, I have say thank you and kudos to everybody working on this
> busting their posteriors.
> On 10/06/2014 04:07 PM, George F. Nemeyer wrote:
> > On Mon, 6 Oct 2014, Elfy wrote:
> >
> >> To rant, if more people tested BEFORE we released, more issues would get
> >> seen, but that's not what happens of course. A few people test, can't
> >> test everything and then other people complain when it's too late.
> > I've supplied bug reports (and feature requests) to any number of
> packages
> > over the years, including XFCE-related ones.  From the 'end user'
> > perspective, having this ability is nice IF you feel your input matters.
> >
> > In some cases, there's been good responses: requests for clarification
> > aditional questions, some discussion, and an ultimate resolution.
> > However, in many cases, the resulting response (or lack thereof)
> indicates
> > that filling out the forms is nothing more than a waste of time.  In
> those
> > cases, it certainly dampens one's enthusiasm for trying to be an active
> > participant.
> >
> > Here's just couple of examples:
> >
> > VTE -
> >
> > VTE is the underlying engine library for any number of terminal programs,
> > including XFCE terminal.  After one 'update' to VTE years ago, things
> > broke badly.  Rapid cursor movement or selective line scrolling would
> > confuse VTE about the location of the cursor, and things would get
> printed
> > in random or wrong places, 'garbage' characters or bits of the cursor
> > command string would be shown, or text to be printed would get lost
> appear
> > nowhere at all.  It was clear that cursor positioning and attribute
> > commands were being lost, corrupted, or mis-interpreted.  For machines
> > that needed X terminals, I had to revert to the older version VTE package
> > to even make them useable or use a non-VTE-dependent terminal package.
> >
> > I fully docmented the issue and submitted recorded live test case data
> > which could be used to let developers see the problem first hand.  There
> > was a bit of discussion, then no response at all: pro/con or otherwise.
> > For several years...more than 5 anyway, every new version of VTE had
> > exactly the same issues.  Meanwile, there was still no update to the
> > original bug report. FINALLY, with an Ubuntu new install of 13.10 XFCE
> > Terminal actually *worked* properly out of the box, which indicated VTE
> > apparently had been fixed. The bug however may still be open.
> >
> > XFCE Network Monitor -
> >
> > Network Monitor is a very simple XFCE panel widget that shows a nice,
> > simple pair of vertical bar graphs showing network TX and RX activity.
> > It's *VASTLY* superior to the tiny pair of overlapping terminal screen
> > icons that some OSs use that just blink and whose few pixels that do
> blink
> > can barely be seen anyway.
> >
> > However, being simple, you have to tell it manually what network
> interface
> > to monitor.  This means the montitor on a laptop which routinely moves
> > from office wired to wireless networking must be opened and preferences
> > reset with each move.
> >
> > About 10 years ago, I submitted a 'feature request' whereby a simple AUTO
> > select mode would be implemented by just periodically looking at the
> > routing table to see which interface device was servicing the default
> > gateway and displaying that for 'the network'.  I further suggested the
> > label for the widget, which is a manually entered fixed string, allow for
> > AUTO selection of ether one of 2 user-defined strings, or to just indcate
> > the device itself such as eth0 or wlan0.
> >
> > This seemed like something pretty trivial, and others expressed their
> > desire for the feature as well.  Some form of 'auto' selection was even
> > listed in the to-do wish list.  Yet here we are, 10 years later, and
> > nothing has changed.
> >
> > I still have machines that run a VERY KLUDGY script I wrote that looks to
> > see what the current gateway is, then copies one of two entirely
> > differently configured Network Monitor widgets into place the panel setup
> > whenever a user logs in.  At this point, I assume there will never be an
> > update.
> >
> > In some cases, I've gotten automated bug-report updates years later that
> > say 'We're closing this.' after 2-3 TOTAL revisions of the entire OS!
> >
> > In summary, putting in bug reports or requests is a lot like reporting
> > scam phone calls to the FTC Do Not Call List reporting site:  You make
> the
> > effort, but they tell you that they won't deal with *your* problem, just
> > that your input only goes to 'help establish patterns and trends'.  That
> > is:  They want your input, but don't expect anything to actually
> *happen*.
> >
> >
> >
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