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#1 2015-03-04 07:46:47

GWR
Member
Registered: 2015-02-06
Posts: 15

End User Involvment in Bug Reporting Issues

(
This Post was moved out of another thread, so it might have loose ends...
It was an answer to the request to use the bug tracker instead of writing in the forum. Also it was a response to an already existing thread.
)


I do not mind registering on 1000s of websites. I already get enough spam from compromised accounts after these services got hacked (on service-customized email addresses of course).

Also I am used to get my bugs reported by "normal" users via email and forum threads instead of nicely formatted bug reports or github issues. Not everybody is used to command line and wants to upload huge files (strack traces) to somewhere. So first replies in bug reports are often "upload bla first". Not the most warm welcome in an issue/bug tracker. Especially if that user will only do that once in a lifetime for this special app.

I know this is fighting the "(F)OSS + everybody could help" approach but allowing people to describe their bugs in a more natural form (board + "this and that does not work" - re: could you please execute xyz - re re: output is abc) will surely have benefits according the reach of potential bug reporting users.


So excuse me and others _not_ writing to the bug trackers in all cases. Maybe somebody should write connectors for bug reports via boards (initial bug report should be no issue to create with newer fluxBB as we introduced a hook system enabling such a functionality in an easy manner).


@"MDM"
Instead of more or less "nicely" redirecting us to the bug tracker you could have added some more value to the bug report users try to fill here. Or play broker/agent if devs "there" do not read their forums but only the bug trackers ...


bye
Ron

Last edited by GWR (2015-03-05 15:12:50)

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#2 2015-03-04 10:57:50

MountainDewManiac
Member
From: Where Mr. Bankruptcy is Prez
Registered: 2013-03-24
Posts: 1,087

Re: End User Involvment in Bug Reporting Issues

GWR wrote:

I am used to get my bugs reported by "normal" users via email and forum threads instead of nicely formatted bug reports or github issues. Not everybody is used to command line and wants to upload huge files (strack traces) to somewhere. So first replies in bug reports are often "upload bla first".

What, you mean direct you to upload the information that they need in a clear and concise form in order to understand and fix the bug? How dare they do such a thing! To expect us to use Bugzilla as a vehicle for getting bug-reports to the developers, that's unconscionable. Instead, they ought to use what the developers of Mozilla/Firefox, Wikimedia, the linux kernel, GNOME, KDE, LibreOffice, Samba, RedHat, Mandriva, Gentoo, and Novell use.

Ohwaitaminute - they use Bugzilla, too (along with about 137 other entities).

GWR wrote:

I know this is fighting the "(F)OSS + everybody could help" approach but allowing people to describe their bugs in a more natural form (board + "this and that does not work" - re: could you please execute xyz - re re: output is abc) will surely have benefits according the reach of potential bug reporting users.

Yeah, everyone knows that the Xfce developers are getting paid very well to create and maintain all this stuff ( <== sarcasm), and each morning when they clock in at Xfce, Inc. (it's probably across the street from Google) they should sit down, log in here, read all the new threads, post replies, wait, read the replies to their replies, wait some more, read the replies to their replies, explain that they need the users' hardware specifications / distro name and version / versions of all files that might be causing a particular bug, et cetera, wait, read the latest round of replies, explain how to get the information they already asked for, wait, read the replies, pull some more teeth, spoon-feed some more users, wait...

Hmm...

I know that members - such as ToZ, but others as well - go out of their way to help people. I've also seen them have to explain to people time and time again about what information is useful/necessary and how to get it. Frankly, I'm surprised that no one has blown a gasket, "shouted" at people to read the sticky, learn a few basics, and (if applicable) try the search function; I certainly wouldn't feel any less respect towards them if they did. But these fine folks help us as a hobby when they aren't working at their jobs, spending time with their family, sleeping, eating, etc.

I know that, at least upon occasion, one or more Xfce developers visit this website. They also have a hobby (when not doing the other activities I mentioned in the previous paragraph) - it's developing/maintaining Xfce and its related components roll . They also appear to read/post on the various Xfce email lists (there are a bunch of them) and - wait for it - monitor the Bug Tracker. 

GWR wrote:

So excuse me and others _not_ writing to the bug trackers in all cases.

<SHRUGS> Doesn't bother me any. I haven't had a crash all day, lol.

GWR wrote:

Maybe somebody should write connectors for bug reports via boards (initial bug report should be no issue to create with newer fluxBB as we introduced a hook system enabling such a functionality in an easy manner).

You do that, then.

GWR wrote:

@"MDM"
Instead of more or less "nicely" redirecting us to the bug tracker you could have added some more value to the bug report users try to fill here. Or play broker/agent if devs "there" do not read their forums but only the bug trackers ...

I'm sorry that my giving you a link to the preferred website for reporting Xfce-related bugs (and a link for a search of Thunar-specific ones) has hurt your feelings and/or <COUGH>a part of your anatomy<COUGH>. I'll make sure not to further compound your injuries by not giving you a link to the web page that lists (among others) the general Xfce email list, the Xfce bug report email list, the Xfce-dev email list, or the Thunar-dev email list. I won't bother mentioning that various developers are active on those (again, among others); I will mention that I don't expect the developers to spend less of their limited time "there" in order to read/post here, because I have observed - no offense intended to anyone here - that discussions on the email lists tends to follow the trend of other email lists in general (to wit, they tend to be more "focused" than their web-forum counterparts). I like this forum... I like that everyone is made to feel welcome, that new users are helped, that the "old hands" go out of their way to spoon-feed both newbies and people like me who have used linux/Xfce for years but are still remarkably ignorant, and that we don't get "shouted at" for asking the same questions this week that were asked last week - or for not presenting the information in our first post about an issue that they need to know in order to have some expectation of helping us, or for not even knowing how to get that information. I wouldn't expect the developers to have to deal with it, though roll .

I won't even give you a link to the Community page at Xfce.org that gives a link to the email list err... list ("Almost all development and coordination work is taking place on the Xfce mailing lists."), the already-mentioned BugTracker ("report problems, patches or ideas to help making Xfce better"), and to this very forum (" For users who prefer forums, the Xfce Forum is the place to be. Active contributors will be able to help you, but please do not use it for bug reports.")

To be honest with you, I have no idea how to create/file a proper bug report (but I know where to file one roll ). I don't have a problem with it, though, since as I mentioned, I'm not currently experiencing any crashes, either. I'll probably see about updating all my Xfce stuff to the newest versions/files in, oh, two or three months. There is a possibility that, when I do, I will experience a crash whilst using Thunar. If that happens, I will go read about how to file a bug report and see about learning how to get the information that I would need to include in it in order to give the developer(s) an idea of what caused the crash so that he(/they) can see about fixing it. Or, if there is someone who is experiencing crashes in Thunar NOW, maybe they will see the link I posted to the Xfce Bugzilla web page - and not experience an injury to their posterior from simply seeing said link, lol - and file a bug report. Either way, it'll probably get fixed sooner or later. Most things generally turn out all right in the wash....

Regards,
MDM

Last edited by MountainDewManiac (2015-03-04 10:59:28)


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#3 2015-03-05 08:51:13

GWR
Member
Registered: 2015-02-06
Posts: 15

Re: End User Involvment in Bug Reporting Issues

@long text regarding unpaid dev work

I wont elaborate similar longish to this (or at least I try not to do), you just talked about the known subject of "they do it unpaid" - guess what, all of my open source projects (which is 90%+ of my current work) is done for free (maybe even free of audience... tongue).

The most important aspect of my last post was: not all people have knowledge about issue trackers, nor have they the time to learn such things. They use this distro (maybe because thei children installed it for them ...) and now things just "crash" and they do not know why. But they want to repair this on their own. So what do they do? they use google and search for "programname action crashes" - and eg. in this case I found this thread. So I answered to the OP.
Other users might think about explaining their problem here in a new thread. When seeing a "bug tracker" it looks a bit dated, like an "shadow copy" of something more colorful. A normal (less experienced) user will more likely post in a forum than in an issue. Hey... most of them would even more likely post on the pin wall of a facebook account (if they have one) or g+ ...

All of these people are neglected when enforcing them to write in a bug tracker. I think it might also have to do with responses like "please provide stack trace, please update dependencies one at a time and check out if it crashes".
I understand that people do not have time. And people might be devs - and/or - end users.

For most of these users this means: I do not have the time for a bug report so I will have to search for alternatives until the problem is fixed by referencing a bug report of someone else. Or they blame their grandchildren that they want their Windows back ...  (you brought the "unpaid", I bring the "Windows" subject).


@Devs not reading the board
Maybe mods should close such issue-threads then - or move them appropriately.


I just have read the added comments to the bug report ToZ linked to. Seems there are still "users" blaming the crashes and trying to report with limited knowledge (doing similar things what advanced users do) and others who state "cannot replicate".

As a dev you do not have time - but it is far easier for you to setup the used distro in a VM (if apt-get update & upgrade are run of course) and try to replicate it there.
If you as a dev really enjoy your work (else you should not do it...) you will be glad to have some work chopped of from the work of "your products" users. I am - which means I often have some hours to tinker why things do not work as intended and the bug reports are a bit "sparse" (people tend to communicate in weeks intervals rather than hours).

People and devs differ - but end users stay mostly the same cross all "consumer" products (not client specific things).



@Issue
It still sounds as if one of the libs changed its internal way of doing things and because something isnt checked properly before using it somehow, it segfaults.
Maybe devs should send out a more heavily talking debug build of the versions the users (experiencing the bug) use. And no -- the users should not have to build these packages on their own - because they then have to install the whole build-essentials etc. just to get a bug squashed in a tool they just want to use, not to "experience in a whole" tongue.
Make life of your users as convenient as possible - else you might loose some of them (which in my case is nothing I would like to experience).



bye
Ron

Last edited by GWR (2015-03-05 08:52:10)

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#4 2015-03-07 01:56:57

Jristz
Member
From: Sud-America
Registered: 2011-06-02
Posts: 111

Re: End User Involvment in Bug Reporting Issues

GWR wrote:

I wont elaborate similar longish to this (or at least I try not to do),

Wow, that was a really bad try, but somethimes this happend, even to me.

It still sounds as if one of the libs changed its internal way of doing things and because something isnt checked properly before using it somehow, it segfaults.

That either because the distributor failed to test propely (or build) the new lib because either the lib creator not bump the library version (this happend with lz4) or there is another cause.

for run a debuging you need know the therminal enought to know ow minimaly use gdb and repeat what make it crash.

gdb program >> debug.txt

Maybe devs should send out a more heavily talking debug build of the versions the users (experiencing the bug) use.

And then distro builder (ubuntu, debian, arch) will build whitout them by default because another brunch of user claim that that fill the terminal with "garbage" or because "are annoying".
Trying please everyone ended in pleace none and receiving hate from those you want please.
But a better solution will be something like bumping by defaut that info to an archive in one of the freedesktop standard folders .local/xfce/progamname/log.daytime.log
The only problem is the disk space but the user can delete that folders when he want, thunar alow watch hiden folders.

And no -- the users should not have to build these packages on their own - because they then have to install the whole build-essentials etc. just to get a bug squashed in a tool they just want to use, not to "experience in a whole" tongue.

Depending if you are pointing to a noob-friendly distro, yes I agree
for a knowledge-user-friendly distro... no, but that why there are many distros.

Make life of your users as convenient as possible - else you might loose some of them (which in my case is nothing I would like to experience).



bye
Ron

The best solution (As I say) is bump thing by default to a file appending fist the escencial to know about the system.
yeah that is possible, but if that is not enpught then IS need to run dbg to debug.

Let see if someone want do the patch and if devs want add it.
Because even the best idea could end in nothing if lack of knowledge manpower.

Also (G,K,X,L,U)buntu they come with a program that do, sadly is launchpad specific and they refuse to add support to other bugtrackers.

Last edited by Jristz (2015-03-07 01:58:12)


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#5 2015-03-08 03:42:35

Sideburns
Member
From: Camarillo, CA
Registered: 2011-03-30
Posts: 431
Website

Re: End User Involvment in Bug Reporting Issues

Yes, everybody can help; maybe everybody should.  How many Linux users do you think have any idea of how to report a bug properly?

Among other things, I'm on a mailing list for self-help on my distro, Fedora.  It is very specifically for the two currently supported versions, which at the moment are F 20 and 21, although we can also offer help on older versions when needed.  What it's not for is help on beta versions and especially not for an alpha release.  Yesterday, we got a post from somebody that read roughly like this:

I tried to install Fedora 22 Alpha from a USB but it didn't work.  What do I do?

This from a person who claims to run F 21 on a number of desktops, with a laptop for experimenting with the next release.  Not only was he asking on the wrong mailing list (There's a special list for the test versions.) he absolutely refused to give any more details.  We finally managed to get him to ask in the right place, but I doubt he'll get any more help unless he's willing to tell them more than he told us.

I don't know about the rest of you here, but I've known many intelligent, experienced computer users who have no idea how to report a problem with their computer or what details to give.  (I should; I did senior tech support for an ISP for almost eight years!)  One of them is my sister.  When she needs help with something that's outside my experience, I have her post on her distro's forum (She uses Xubuntu, because Fedora isn't designed for people like her.) giving all of the details that she'd given me, but putting it in her own words.  Then, I subscribe to her thread so that I can read the replies and translate as needed.  Imagine trying to do that with a bug report.


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