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Author Topic: Bugtracking system - proposal to developers  (Read 9390 times)
Witek Mozga
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« Reply #15 on: December 28, 2007, 12:50:28 pm »

anyone know of a good free one?

There are many, ie:
http://www.mantisbt.org/
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Joe1962
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« Reply #16 on: December 28, 2007, 12:52:53 pm »

If you think that forum users are supposed to record the bugs directly, well, this not a good idea IMHO.
Actually, that's exactly how most bugtrackers work. Any registered user (and registration is normally open) can post bugs, then some dedicated people go over the new unassigned bugs and "assign" them to a likely dev, who can then reassign it if necessary. Rubbish bugs, or badly written ones, are notified to the bug poster, so they can get their act together.
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Witek Mozga
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« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2007, 01:01:31 pm »

Quote
Actually, that's exactly how most bugtrackers work. Any registered user (and registration is normally open) can post bugs, then some dedicated people go over the new unassigned bugs and "assign" them to a likely dev, who can then reassign it if necessary. Rubbish bugs, or badly written ones, are notified to the bug poster, so they can get their act together.

What I meant was: a user post a bug on the forum. A developer (or dedicated person) read it and say, aha! we have a bug, this is a new one (as he is a developer it is easier for him to distinguish which is new or important) and records it to a publicly-readable database.
Contrary, if we make a user, especially a new user to get deeper into how bugtracker works to post a bug then we end up with "nobody ever used it"

Guys (this means you, developers), you have to track the bugs somehow anyway. I don`t know what are the rules - maybe you write the list on a paper, maybe you pick them by searching "bug" on a forum every week, whatever. You track it somehow and there`s something wrong with this "somehow". This could be done better as I saw several times people saying "I reported this bug before".

« Last Edit: December 28, 2007, 01:25:00 pm by wm » Logged

easuter
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« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2007, 01:44:10 pm »

Quote
What I meant was: a user post a bug on the forum. A developer (or dedicated person) read it and say, aha! we have a bug, this is a new one (as he is a developer it is easier for him to distinguish which is new or important) and records it to a publicly-readable database.
Contrary, if we make a user, especially a new user to get deeper into how bugtracker works to post a bug then we end up with "nobody ever used it"

That sounds counter productive, the bugs will be posted twice in that case: once in the forum and once in the bug tracker.

If a bug is discovered by chance while helping someone on the forum, then I guess a bug report could be opened by a developer, but if a user was bug-hunting or trying out one of the test ISOs, then its up to them to file bug reports in the tracker
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Witek Mozga
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« Reply #19 on: December 28, 2007, 02:01:20 pm »

That sounds counter productive, the bugs will be posted twice in that case: once in the forum and once in the bug tracker.

I disagree: we can say a particular bug will be posted many times anyway, as it will be
1. posted to the forum by not only one user sometimes...
2. ...and probably discussed further on the forum anyway. If we have, say, 5 replies in the thread regarding the bug then adding the bug to the bugtracker does not enlarge "overall typing time" for this bug much. Better still, the user sees that his bug was noticed and recorded. Currenty he may sometimes feel ignored or forgotten.

What is more counter-productive: the system I propose, or what happens now: some bugs are posted twice or maybe more often and then "I reported this bug before" happens?
« Last Edit: December 28, 2007, 02:05:06 pm by wm » Logged

easuter
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« Reply #20 on: December 28, 2007, 02:05:49 pm »

Quote
some bugs are posted twice or maybe more often and then "I reported this bug before" happens?

This already happens. Just take a look at any of the distro development threads. Sometimes a user will come a long to report a bug and not bother to sift through the 8 or so pages to see if it was already reported before.

Having all the reports in the tracker means that anyone with the same problem can go to a reported bug and confirm its existence, instead of asking if anyone else is also having that problem in a long a disorderly thread.

BTW, the bug reports also have a commenting section, so thats where the bug can be discussed...
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Witek Mozga
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« Reply #21 on: December 28, 2007, 02:26:52 pm »

Having all the reports in the tracker means that anyone with the same problem can go to a reported bug and confirm its existence, instead of asking if anyone else is also having that problem in a long a disorderly thread.

BTW, the bug reports also have a commenting section, so thats where the bug can be discussed...

OK, I don`t have much experience with bugtrackers and my words are based on assumptions but what if a newbie reports a bug on the forum and not on the bugtracker? Will it be forgotten or there will be a person responsible for such bugs to the bugtracker? If so, why not make it work this way at all? If there are few bugs, then he will not have much work to do, if there are many bugs, well, then this means that a bugtracking system is needed even more to make them fewer in the future.

I think that newbies will rather report their problems on the forum, not on the bugtracker (unless it will be made mandatory, and discussion on bugs forbidden on the forum, maybe this is a way to make the system work?).

Anyway, if there`s a bugtracker I will be reporting bugs noticed by me to it
« Last Edit: December 28, 2007, 02:45:44 pm by wm » Logged

rbistolfi
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« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2007, 02:56:32 pm »

No. The newbie will post some question in the forum. Someone will -generally an experienced user, if not a dev- will answer. So if the experienced user thinks it is a bug, will say to the newbie: "Could you please fill a bug report for us?, here is the link for the bugtracker." We can encourage to the usual members of the forum to recommend to fill a bug report. Then a dev or a bugtracker maintainer can: a) accept the bug, b) mark it as "duplicated" or "related to another bug report" c) reject it (perhaps is a "feature" , or a mistake or something). AFAIK, every tracker works like this.
I saw the bugtracker in the sourceforge site. The hole thing looks like "never used". If this is needed should be part of the website-forum and should be integrated to the "new website project".
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"There is a concept which corrupts and upsets all others. I refer not to Evil, whose limited realm is that of ethics; I refer to the infinite."
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toothandnail
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« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2007, 04:47:50 pm »

I think the idea of a formal bug tracker is excellent. Posting bug reports to the forum is hit or miss at best. And the poster never really knows whether any notice has been taken unless someone replies directly to the initial report. Which often doesn't happen in threads such as "VL-5.9-STD Bugs/annoyances". It is also difficult for a user to know where to post bug reports to the forum.

The trouble with a formal bug reporting structure is that it has to be properly used by all sides. People reporting bugs need to be prepared to search to make sure that the bug they are trying to report has not already been reported. They also need to do their best to cover things like hardware, environment, steps to reproduce, severity, etc. On the other side of the coin, there is a need for someone to check the reports frequently and assign reported bugs to those best able to chase them. Which places quite a load on the developers. But there are few things more frustrating than taking the time to report a bug (in detail) only to find months later that it is still classified as 'new' and has not been assigned to anyone for attention (I'm speaking from personal experience there...).

As an interim step, maybe having a forum area devoted to bug reporting with only one bug per thread would be a good way to start - it should be fairly easy for people reporting bugs to search the topics, and it should be reasonably easy for developers to go through the area looking for things that need attention.

paul.
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wcs
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« Reply #24 on: January 02, 2008, 05:53:24 am »

Quote
As an interim step, maybe having a forum area devoted to bug reporting with only one bug per thread would be a good way to start

I find it an excellent idea, and I think it is very needed.
I'm a bit pessimistic about it, though. I can imagine that if there is a bugs sub-forum, then users will start reporting all their problems there, which defies the purpose of the sub-forum... plus, the threads might just carry on and on, and not even be marked as solved when they are.
For that to work, the threads would need to be kept small, only with accurate reports of the bug and the conditions when it is replicated, possible workarounds and solutions, and what steps are being taken to solve it. But then..... that's a bugtracking system! Wink
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