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August 2008
September 2008

2008-08-05 »

Bug trackers don't work

Weird. The LinuxHater guy wrote an article saying that wide-open bug trackers don't work, and said a bunch of things that I had been planning to say. I also made some related comments earlier. Here are a few more:

Lately, there's been some discussion about distributions like Ubuntu just closing out massive numbers of bugs with comments like "Please try it in the new version and reopen if the bug still exists." Naturally, users are offended by this: I played your game! I filed a bug like you asked! I included reproducible test steps! I even included a patch in some of them! Couldn't you at least do me the basic service of running through my reproduction steps before closing the bug?

The answer is: no, actually, they can't. There are way more users than developers and testers, and those developers are assembling and tracking bugs for all the software that will run on your entire computer. It is just too much work to do properly.

Not that this justifies the crappiness; it just explains it. My point is you can't just say, "They shouldn't have closed my bug!" as if it were a solution, because it's not. Developers also can't say, "Please just reopen this bug if it still exists!" as if it's a solution, because it's not either.

So far, nobody has offered a solution that would actually work.

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