Re: Planned changes for to reduce the "Bugzilla blues"

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On Fri, Sep 30, 2022 at 09:03:39AM +0000, Artem S. Tashkinov wrote:
> On 9/30/22 08:47, Thorsten Leemhuis wrote:
> > On 29.09.22 15:04, Konstantin Ryabitsev wrote:
> >> On Thu, Sep 29, 2022 at 12:22:35PM +0000, Artem S. Tashkinov wrote:
> >> [...]
> >> We do have ability to fund development efforts -- LF has been the primary
> >> sponsor behind over the past 3 years. However, there must be
> >> a clear, strong, and well-articulated mandate from the community. From what I
> >> heard, the vast majority of maintainers simply want a web form that would
> >> allow someone to:
> >>
> >> 1. clearly state what kernel version they are using
> >> 2. clearly describe what they were trying to do
> >> 3. explain what they expected vs. what they got
> >> 4. attach any files
> >> 5. give this bug report a unique identifier
> >
> > Sometimes there are days where I think "let's go down the 'do everything
> > by mail' rabbit hole some more and couple a pastebin and a somewhat
> > improved regzbot with an app (usable both locally and on the web) that
> > helps users preparing a report they can then send with their usual
> > mailer". And then there are days "ohh, no, that might be a totally
> > stupid thing to do". :-/
> Emails are absolutely horrible in terms of keeping track of the state of
> the issue. Who has replied? Who has provided the necessary data? Where
> can this data be found? What if a person has forgotten to "Reply All"
> and instead clicked "Reply"?

E-mail *clients* are horrible to keep track of state. E-mail itself, as
in RFC822 (and newer), SMTP and other protocols, only handle transport
of data. As the data within the e-mail body is free-formed, and wasn't
meant to track items and their state, clients never evolved in that
direction. This could (possibly) be (partially) fixed, but likely at a
very high development cost, and getting users on board would be very
hard too. I do agree with Thorsten though, I'm often tempted to go
through the "let's do everything by e-mail" path. More than 10 years
ago, I worked for a large OEM that had an e-mail frontend for
integration and testing. You would send a specially-crafted e-mail to a
bot, with a base image version, plus a list of repositories and
branches, and the bot would build a new image for you, run all the
automated integration tests, and if you requested it (and had permission
to do so), would push the image down a manual testing queue. It was just

> Hell, no. Then people get swamped with their own emails,

Bugzilla won't solve this. The huge elephant in the room is that most
maintainers are overworked. Whether a bug report arrives in my mailbox
as an e-mail straight from the reporter or from a bug tracker will make
very little difference if I don't have time to look into it (I would
even argue that bug trackers are even worse there: if I'm really short
of time, I'm more likely to prioritize replying to e-mails instead of
having to open a link in a web browser).

As long as we don't address the maintainer bottleneck in the kernel, bug
tracking will suffer.

> the previous email from this discussion went straight
> to SPAM for my email provider. It's too easy to lose track of everything.
> The kernel bugzilla has helped resolve critical issues and add
> impressive features with dozens of people collaborating. This is nearly
> impossible to carry out using email except for dedicated developers
> working on something.
> In the LKML and other Open Source mailing lists I've seen a ton of RFC
> patches with no follow up. Even core developers themselves aren't
> particularly enjoying the format. And those patches often perish and
> work goes to waste.
> >> Then a designated person would look through the bug report and either:
> >>
> >> a. quick-close it (with the usual "talk to your distro" or "don't use a
> >>     tainted kernel" etc)
> >
> > I think having some app would be good here, as it could help gathering
> > everything and catch problems early, to prevent users from spending a
> > lot of time on preparing a report that will be ignored.
> >
> >> b. identify the responsible maintainers and notify them
> >>
> >> The hard part is not technical -- the hard part is that "designated person."
> >
> > +1
> >
> >> Being a bugmaster is a thankless job that leads to burnout, regardless of how
> >> well you are paid. Everyone is constantly irate at you from both ends [...]
> >
> > Tell me about it. Nevertheless I sometimes wonder if I should give it a
> > try once I got all this regression tracking thing established somewhat
> > more, as in the end there I'm kind of a bugmaster for regressions already...
> >
> >> Before we try to fix/replace bugzilla,
> >
> > Just to be sure: I assume you meant "replacing bugzilla or fixing it for
> > real" here, and not my band-aid efforts outlined at the start of this
> > thread? Or do you have a problem with what I proposed to at least make
> > things less bad for now?
> >
> >> we really need to figure out the entire
> >> process and pinpoint who is going to be the one in charge of bug reports. If
> >> you think that LF should establish a fund for a position like that, then you
> >> should probably approach LF fellows (Greg KH, Shuah Khan), who can then talk
> >> to LF management. The IT team will be happy to support you with the tooling,
> >> but tooling should come second to that -- otherwise we'll just be replacing an
> >> old and rusty dumpster on fire with a new and shiny dumpster on fire.
> Bugzilla with all its issues is still super convenient.


Laurent Pinchart

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