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

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On Sun, 2 Oct 2022 20:14:17 +0000
"Artem S. Tashkinov" <aros@xxxxxxx> wrote:
> > As one of the few kernel maintainers that actually likes bugzilla and I
> > do not mind being subscribed to it, I too find the above an awful idea
> > (and I agree with all those that explained why it is so).  
> Good, exactly what I've been advocating for, those who like it and can
> help are welcome, others can go unsubscribe in under a minute. No drama.

No, why do they need to do something? It should be opt-in not opt-out.
What is the reason you want to burden maintainers? Your' "they can just
unsubscribe" is an insult to them.

> >
> > This really comes down to a manpower issue, which is common among most
> > open source projects. Remember it is commonly said that the only
> > warrantee you get from open source projects is that if it breaks, you
> > get to keep the pieces.
> >
> > The issue is that the users of the Linux kernel mostly got it for free.
> > And if they did pay for it, it is highly unlikely that they paid the
> > kernel maintainer that owns the subsystem that they are having issues
> > with. That means, for the maintainers to triage these bug reports, they
> > are essentially doing it for free.  
> I perfectly understand it. I've _not_ asked anyone to do anything yet,

Yes you are! You are making people unsubscribe. That _is_ telling
someone to do something that they do not want to do!

> except maybe have their email in the bugzilla database, so that people
> _could_ CC you.
> They will _not_ do it right away. They first have to `git grep` commits,
> find the relevant developers and then CC them.
> >
> > Some projects are better at this, and there are developers that are
> > happy to give free work, but there are also other projects that have
> > companies actively backing the work to debug these issues.
> >
> > If you are using fedora, go bug Red Hat, Ubuntu then Canonical. And
> > again, it comes down to if you have a paid subscription or not if you
> > are going to get anywhere with it.  
> This does not work, period. Most kernel bug reports in Fedora and Ubuntu

That's because it's a free service.

> bug trackers linger for years, sometimes someone says, "Try the vanilla
> kernel and if it's still an issue, please use the kernel bugzilla".

Really? They are telling people to fill out the kernel bugzilla. Sounds
like someone needs to tell them otherwise. When I worked for Red Hat, I
don't recall anyone telling someone to fill out the kernel bugzilla
when they are told to report it upstream. It was always email the
maintainers involved.

> My Fedora kernel bug reports have been dealt with exactly this way.
> RedHat does solve kernel issues in the RHEL kernel if you have a paid
> subscription and you spend quite some time providing them with a perfect
> reproducible test case. This is far outside this conversation.

Why? This is exactly the type of workflow we want. We don't need to be
paid, but getting the perfect reproducer is something we ask a lot for.

> >
> > Can this be annoying, sure. But that's how the open source ecosystem
> > works.
> >
> > If someone is not able to figure out how to use the mailing lists, it
> > is unlikely that they will be able to be useful in working with the
> > maintainer to solve their issue. As Ted mentioned, when asked to do
> > something to help analyze the issue, many times there's no response
> > from the reporter. Maybe because the reporter had no idea what the
> > maintainer wanted them to do. Most kernel bugs requires a constant back
> > and forth between the reporter and the developer. If you don't have
> > that, then there's no reason to bother with trying to fix the issue.  
> Mailing lists more often than not do not work, and maybe worked in the
> early 90s.

Cc the maintainers along with the mailing list works much more than
just emailing the mailing list alone. And if you don't get anywhere
when you Cc the maintainer directly, what makes you think it will do
any better if it's part of bugzilla?

> We don't need to resolve the issue right away. We don't have to deal
> with it. We just need a place where people could find existing issues
> and add their input. That's a lot better than chasing something in emails.
> Here's the simplest example.
> Person A installs kernel 6.0. They find a regression. They send an email
> to maling list X. Not necessarily the relevant one and the email is
> simply ignored.
> Another person finds the same regression. This person B may not be aware
> of the mailing list used earlier. They send a bug report elsewhere.
> Now we have two completely disconnected bug reports which if luck allows
> could be Googled. Oy, you must know what to google for. Not that many
> people have a good Google foo.

Isn't this what Stack Overflow is for? ;-)

> Now with bugzilla.
> Anyone opens the last seven days of bug reports and instantly sees that
> something similar has already been filed and dealt with. Collaboration
> ensues. Maybe just maybe some developer will join it and actually offer
> a fix. If not, OK, fine, no big deal but at least it's _known_,
> _visible_ and can be _found_.
> Random unreplied emails God knows where? Good luck with that.

I don't know. I find a lot of bug issues that are fixed via searching
and getting lore links.

> >
> > Ideally, someone (you?) would want to be a middle man and triage the
> > bugzilla reports and find those that look promising to get a fix
> > completed, and then be the liaison between bugzilla and the kernel
> > maintainer, then I think that could work. But the issue comes back to
> > manpower. Who's going to do that?  
> I've already offered myself. The LF has no such position. And more
> importantly I'm from a totalitarian country, so I'm unlikely to be ever
> employed.

That's the issue I made in my first reply. That getting someone to do
this is the hardest part. Although, Slade seems to be volunteering.

-- Steve

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