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Re: Draft email to maintainers regarding Priority / Severity in Bugzilla

Adam Williamson wrote, On 04/20/2009 03:37 PM:
On Mon, 2009-04-20 at 09:01 +0800, John Summerfield wrote:
Adam Williamson wrote:

At present, the status is that these are more or less ignored by
Bugzappers and most maintainers; some maintainers use and set them for
their own packages according to their own system. The reason for their
neglect, as I see it, is that there's been no convention for their use,
and no overall responsibility in setting them - they're usually set
arbitrarily by reporters, and thus convey no useful information.
This is offensive. I am one such user.

I set fields as thoughtfully as I'm able, given the lack of guidelines. I've mentioned my thoughts on reasonable values and meanings here before.

As I mentioned, I didn't want to go into this topic in too much depth in
the mail to developers because it's irrelevant, and it's never a good
idea to have meat in a mail that can fuel a debate you really don't want
to get started.

The fact that there are no agreed definitions of what these fields
actually means is enough to make them useless. No matter how
thoughtfully you set them, at present, they are not doing anything - you
wasted your time. This isn't your fault, it's just the way things are at
present :)

Thanks for trying to get them defined for fedora.

Something that is a little irksome, is that at least qualitatively, from reading this thread, it seems that at least some of the developers
1) are not interested in having the use of these fields codified.
2) think that users *never* follow directions.

Like John, I have always striven to set these values reasonably and in accordance with the directions of what ever project I was submitting them to.

when looking at redhat's set[1], High and Low severity are the only ones with nearly objective measures, which I find somewhat problematic when submitting RH bugs (under subscription). RedHat's set of Priority's are completely subjective, and thus ONLY useful to developers/RH task mangers, which seems to fit well with what RH defines it for[3]. looking at the new fedora set[2], I find the severity fairly well developed and useful, I believe I could rate my problems using this description, such that a triage team member would likely never change the severity more than one place and only then if they (or other commenter's) knew of a workaround I did not.

In the fedora set[2], under priority I find myself asking `"affecting ___quantity____ users" of the _package_ or of the _distribution_?`.

And on the matter of user re-rating... I _might_ ask the triage team member to justify (if they did not already) in a comment, but I understand getting in to a twiddle field battle only annoys folks to the point that my bugs would probably get ignored, and so I would not be changing the field after initial submission. (ask for change, I may. make change I would not.) I don't think it would be a bad thing for those fields to only be available to the reporter to be set initially, and *possibly* until after the first other comment/maintainer change is submitted, i.e, give me a chance to say OOPs that was not the severity I thought it should have.

Again thanks for the work you are doing on this, I believe it should be able to help both user and maintainer get better bugzilla use.

[1] https://bugzilla.redhat.com/page.cgi?id=fields.html#bug_severity
[2] http://fedoraproject.org/wiki/User:Beland/Bugzilla_Legend#Severity_and_Priority
modified on 17 March 2009, at 18:52.
[3] https://bugzilla.redhat.com/page.cgi?id=fields.html#priority

Todd Denniston
Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC Crane)
Harnessing the Power of Technology for the Warfighter

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