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Inquiry on making comments on Launchpad more useful for developers


Hello. I wanted to start with a email to the list versus rushing to file a Wishlist report against Launchpad Itself to see if others have noticed this, discover if something is already in the works to address, and reveal other issues.

The problem?

I've observed for at least seven years (as long as I've had a Launchpad account) that many non-original reporters who are not familiar with Launchpad typically make comments, but don't provide anything useful for a developer to address the issue.

The user logic flow:
-> User searches their problem and finds a Launchpad URL, or receives email about a PACKAGE (Ubuntu) bug report they have commented on, marked themselves affected, and/or are subscribed to, and are not the original reporter.
-> User is unfamiliar with Launchpad.
-> User replies to email or goes to Launchpad and comments, but writes in a way that provides little or no helpful information (i.e. logs) for a developer to fix any problem.

A recent example demonstrating and not to embarrass/witch-hunt:

The same commenter has been asked to file a new report before in https://bugs.launchpad.net/xorg-server/+bug/1278223/comments/78, but the email could have been placed in Junk/Spam and missed.

Problem impact?

+ It wastes triaging time requesting folks to file a new report.
+ It clutters reports with unrelated comments that have nothing to do with solving the original reporter's problem. + It prevents the actual number of bugs with quality logs to be realized on Launchpad. + The status quo conditions folks into thinking making comments without logs is helpful for developers to fix bugs.

What conditions is this problem correlated to?

+ Comment/reply has no log attached, or no log like commentary in the body.
+ User who is not the original reporter.
+ User has not filed a bug report against the same PACKAGE (Ubuntu) the report they are now commenting on is about.

+ User is not a member of any Ubuntu teams.
+ User has 0 Karma.
+ Making a comment after another comment that contains:
+ User has Low or no number of bug reports against any PACKAGE (Ubuntu).
+ Making a comment after another comment which contains their name.
+ Making a comment within one/two hours of another comment.
+ Making a comment immediately after another comment from a user who is a member of a Ubuntu team.

What can be done about it?

It would be helpful if when the relevant conditions are satisfied, the following happens: 1) If they are replying to an email, Launchpad does not commit the comment. Instead, it sends the commenter a reply which includes a URL relating to the bug. This URL would note that it appears they are providing a comment that doesn't provide logs. It would request them to file a new report if they haven't done so instead of making further comments, and provide a suggestion to read https://wiki.ubuntu.com/ReportingBugs. It would then present the user with a link to https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+filebug, as likely they don't know which package to file it against. Below this would be a statement that if they are a developer (e.g. upstream who doesn't use Launchpad much), or triager (e.g. new triager who may not be member of Ubuntu Bug Squad/Control) then please confirm the change by clicking a "Save Changes" button.

2) If the commenter clicks one of the following on the Launchpad report:
"Does this bug affect you?"
"Post Comment"
"Save Changes"
"Also afects project"
"Also affects distribution/package"
"Edit tags"
"Mark as a duplicate"
"Assigned to"

that the comment is not committed. Instead, they are swung into the URL noted above.

It makes sense to start with the HIGHLY correlated conditions as they could be utilized without implementing a probability scoring model.

However, if too many false positives are encountered (which seems unlikely), a probability scoring model could be introduced, which would include other relevant conditions.

What do you think?

- Chris Penalver
E-Mail: christopher.m.penalver@xxxxxxxxx