Reporting bugs upstream

Mike A. Harris mharris at
Fri Jan 20 16:46:55 UTC 2006

Ralf Corsepius wrote:

>>>BTW, I like dups, because users often confuse same symptoms with
>>>same bug. I have dozens of people reporting "my kernel said
>>>``ep0 timeout''" for dozens of wildly different problems, all ending
>>>in the same bug which can never be resolved. I would much prefer users
>>>filing dups than polluting unrelated bugs. But in X, the situation
>>>is the opposite: 100 dups for the same thing, and Mike Harris wants
>>>his users to search for dups and avoid filing new ones (if I understand
>>>him right).
>>Not exactly...   For X, we experience both problems.  We get many people
>>reporting the exact same issue without them even bothering to check for
> Put yourself into the role of a user, then you'd notice that
> * duplicate search in RH's bugzilla often is close to being impossible
> [I usually search for duplicates, before reporting, nevertheless I still
> end up filing duplicates, because the duplicate search had failed.]
> * Users are filing "bugs by symptoms", because the often don't know the
> cause. Therefore you will always find duplicates, because users often
> have no possibility to identify bugs as duplicates.

Sure, the system isn't perfect.  And the situation you describe is
entirely feasible.  However, I've seen bugs reported in which it is
perfectly clear that a user has never even attempted to see if there
was a duplicate, because their subject line or other aspects of their
bug were almost word for word identical to one or more other bug
reports, etc.

So while the system isn't perfect, and while people using the system
wont always be able to do an exhaustive search and reliably conclude
wether every problem they might report has been reported already or
not, some people simply do not even _attempt_ to bother.  There is
an xkb bug which has been duped so many times, it seems to be about
100000 dupes now, and almost every bug is almost 100% identical.

In the end, I guess it is just human nature however, and we can't
really control or force people to act a certain way by the nature
of things.  It's just something that has to be dealt with, but at
least by trying to inform people of these things, perhaps we can
lessen the problem by some factor.  Maybe, maybe not.  ;o)

Mike A. Harris  *  Open Source Advocate  *
                       Proud Canadian.

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