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Thread: Get the bugs you want fixed faster - An idea

  1. #1
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    Get the bugs you want fixed faster - An idea

    I am not a programmer, and whenever I need to fix something in Ubuntu, I Google it and rely on those who have gone before me to find a solution. However, when I encounter a bug that has not been fixed, and I can't find a solution for, I want to do something about it. Especially if the bug has been around since 2010. I don't think I'll be learning to program any time soon, but I would like to see a way for me to possibly significantly speed up the fixing of a bug. What I think would help is if there was a way to financially contribute to the fixing of a certain bug. For example, I could pledge $10 to the fixing of a bug. If someone else wanted the same bug fixed, they could pledge $10 too and so on. When the pot gets big enough, someone who has the ability to fix the bug will want to. When they figure out a fix for the bug that get into software update, they get the money.

    What do you think? Or am I misunderstanding how the big fixing process works?

  2. #2
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    Re: Get the bugs you want fixed faster - An idea

    That's a good idea. In Las Vegas, they have fancy cars on pedestals surrounded by slot machines. If you play enough, you might win a car.

    And that is probably a better chance than getting your particular bug fixed.

    Such offers for programming are called bounties. It might be a useful feature in launchpad to have the bounty displayed as part of the bug tracking process. If two bugs are combined, the bounties could be combined as well. Part of the issue is the modularity of Ubuntu. If there is a kernel bug, you need the kernel developers to review, test, and apply the patch before it is released to the masses. If it is a Gnome3 bug, then you are at the mercy of the Gnome3 developers. If it is an Ubuntu desktop issue, then perhaps an Ubuntu developer will fix it.

    Many bugs get labeled as "Won't Fix" because someone has determined that the issue is not a bug, but a design decision.

    Give us a link about a specific bug and very quickly it will be clear as to why it was not fixed.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Get the bugs you want fixed faster - An idea

    I came across this one a couple weeks ago https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+s...pn/+bug/606365

  4. #4
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    Re: Get the bugs you want fixed faster - An idea

    As tgalati4 wrote, there's a chance this particular bug is a GNOME thing (upstream). Still, someone should have said so but it's only affected people who've posted there and there's no input from devs.

    Which brings up the next point ... the bug-handling infrastructure is a bit overloaded. My guess is that there's a shortage of competent volunteers, even at the initial stage of triaging.

    BTW, how can one tell if a bug has been triaged?

  5. #5
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    Re: Get the bugs you want fixed faster - An idea

    When you post a bug, you are automatically subscribed to that bug and you will get an email everytime there is a status update, or if someone adds comments to the bug. It's interesting to see the ping-pong effect as the bug gets passed around.

    The referenced bug is a good example. A bug must be confirmed for it remain alive in the system passed 60 days. Confirmation means that it is repeatable, affects several users (by evidence of the comments submitted), and a clear description of the problem, how to trigger it, and sufficient log files attached to start the digging.

    But, for this bug, it was never assigned an importance value (I'm not sure how that is done) nor were there any developers assigned to this bug, even though it effects business uers--presumably a market that Canonical wants to support.

    There are several work-arounds posted. Because of that, perhaps the bug is not worth fixing. I don't know.

    A bounty system would only work if there is someone on the Ubuntu side to take the patch offered by the bounty seeker and incorporate it into the code base. This is a process not unlike assigning a developer to the bug. So it's possible that the bounty will hang around because there is no one to actually incorporate the patch into the current or next Ubuntu release.

    There used to be a Brainstorm website for submitting ideas to Ubuntu--but it was shut down for reasons that are not clear to me--other than suggestions were submitted and then not processed--for years. Not unlike many bug reports. They hang around for years.

    But progress has been made, Bug #1 was closed out recently. I think the status went from Confirmed to Won't Fix.
    Last edited by tgalati4; August 18th, 2013 at 05:15 AM.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Get the bugs you want fixed faster - An idea

    Brainstorm was closed because it was ineffective. Users loved the idea of a room full of programming monkeys, waiting to do their bidding. Developers hated being characterized as lazy monkeys or free labor. Without a meeting of the minds, the ideas could go nowhere. It was simply not a great venue for constructive collaboration or idea development.

    I encourage users to learn how to triage bugs with the Ubuntu Bug Squad ( https://wiki.ubuntu.com/BugSquad ). You don't need to be a programmer, or a guru. Just go through the training on the wiki, join the team, and start asking questions on the IRC page.

    You will find lots of bugs that are not really bugs. You can close them.
    You will find lots of bugs that need more information. You can ask the reporter for more information, and close the abandoned ones.
    You will find lots of bugs that need to be reported upstream. You can do that, too.

    You can keep developer attention focused on the bugs we want them to address instead of spending their valuable time triaging.
    Last edited by ian-weisser; August 18th, 2013 at 04:29 PM.

  7. #7
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    Re: Get the bugs you want fixed faster - An idea

    There isn't a lot of information in the initial report, using apport is the preferred method of reporting bugs, and in all cases adds much more information to the report. My feeling is that the bug should be reported upstream to gnome in order to get it fixed in a timely manner, although the first bug I ever reported upstream, took 3 years before it was finally fixed.

  8. #8
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    Re: Get the bugs you want fixed faster - An idea

    And I think that is the point. It just takes sooo long to get some of these bugs fixed.
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  9. #9
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    Re: Get the bugs you want fixed faster - An idea

    Unfortunately, because Canonical only produce a small part of the distribution, we have to rely on upstream to fix bugs. A huge way to get bugs fixed, is to report them in the correct place. The bug reports for Ubuntu packages that I report, are usually fixed fairly quickly, so the first step in reporting a bug, is to find where it should be reported,

    I'd suggest that the majority of bug reports are sent to the wrong place and along with poor reporting procedures make it look like it takes forever to get a bug fixed.

  10. #10
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    Re: Get the bugs you want fixed faster - An idea

    So probably the best way for me to help is to join the bug squad and just financially contribute to Ubuntu via the official contribution page. Which option would be the best to vote for with my money if I would like bugs to be fixed more effectively, Community participation in Ubuntu development?

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