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Re: Reconsidering Ubuntu bug-filing redirection


Thanks for raising this Colin, the redirection has been a source of
frustration among friends and users on IRC.

On Mon, Oct 14, 2019 at 12:13:30PM +0100, Colin Watson wrote:
> buried deep in a wall of text on
> https://help.ubuntu.com/community/ReportingBugs.  I find it very easy to
> see how people could read that multiple times and still miss it (indeed,
> over the years I've spoken to several people who have done exactly
> that).

It takes me a long time to find this every time I ask a friend to file a
bug for a problem they've found. Since I never see this myself, even finding
the right page takes a long time. (The very slow wiki server is an added

> == Suggestions ==

>  * Rearrange the UX for reporting bugs on Ubuntu as a non-member of
>    ~ubuntu-bugcontrol so that it presents the reference to ReportingBugs
>    and the advice to use ubuntu-bug in a way that's hard to ignore but
>    that can still be skipped.  For example, much like the way we
>    currently have a first step of the bug-filing form that presents
>    people with possible duplicates, we could have another step that
>    guides people towards using ubuntu-bug; they'd only get the full form
>    if they skip that as well.
>    (I'd suggest that a good test for whether this has been done well is
>    if we can tolerate removing the special case for members of
>    ~ubuntu-bugcontrol.  It isn't a great sign when we have to exempt
>    developers from something partly because it's too annoying.)

I like this. (Though I suspect the 'possible duplicates' behaviour
encourages users to comment on long-past bug reports. A new bug report
is almost always preferable to a comment on an ancient bug report.)

Anyway, having some way to sidestep the interruption while in the flow
of using the website would be very welcome.

>  * Remove the redirection entirely from /ubuntu/+source/PACKAGE/+filebug
>    pages (though retaining the bug reporting guidelines displayed
>    there), keeping it only on /ubuntu/+filebug.  This would still serve
>    the purpose of stemming the flow of low-value bug reports that don't
>    specify a package name, while making it easier for people who at
>    least have some idea which bit of software is going wrong.

I don't have good visibility on how many low-quality bug reports we
get via the different interfaces, and no idea at all what the ratio of
"hypothetically good" vs "hypothetically bad" bug reports would be IF
people hadn't been deterred by the redirections.

I see low-quality bug reports filed against random source packages all
the time.

I rarely see bug reports of any sort against /ubuntu/ but they don't feel
significantly worse.

My suspicion is this would move some low-quality bug reports
to random source packages. "Just file all your bugs on
/ubuntu/+source/bash/+filebug" kind of cargo-culting.


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