Questions, bugs, incidents, and problems (oh my!)

Continuing the discussion from Proposal: Migrate "Common Bugs" from the wiki to Ask Fedora:

Tell me more about the Bugzilla idea.

My thought, actually, is that we want to send people to bugzilla less. You’re right that it’s often frustrating, for users and developers alike. I think it’s better to triage things here, and make sure we only file bugs where they’re useful (which often is actually the upstream project).

I know that ITIL has a reputation for being bureaucratic and burdensome, but there’s one idea I really like: the separation of what they call “incidents” and “problems”. That’s for IT outages, but I think the same applies here.

A “question” on Ask Fedora is often a report of an incident — something bad that happened, something that doesn’t seem to work, something that’s in the way of using the system as desired. That incident might map to a bug in a Fedora package, or maybe an upstream package, or … maybe user error or misunderstanding, or something else entirely.

We often have good intentions when we say things like “If you have a problem, file a bug!”. But… those kind of user reports don’t always directly help, because they are often actually “incident” reports, and Bugzilla doesn’t make a distinction. That sometimes leads to users expecting incident support from packagers and developers who may not have the time to do that. Remember, these folks are almost entirely volunteers, and unlike those of us helping here (thank you all; I genuinely love you!) that kind of support isn’t necessarily what drives their interest. And so packagers and developers get frustrated (too many reports, too much to handle, too many demands) and users get frustrated (I did the right thing — I’m helping by filing bugs! Why didn’t my issue get a quick response?).

That’s not great for anyone.

So what I’d rather is that we help people here with “incidents”, and possibly link “problems” in appropriate trackers like Bugzilla and various upstreams, with an intentional focus on the distinction between the question/report and the underlying issue and possible bugs or other resolutions.


All of that said, @heliosstyx, see the Fedora QA Blocker Bugs App, where we track and triage some of the most important bugs and issues for each release. That app also shows Prioritized Bugs. That’s separate from the blocker process, but any that are currently active are shown there so it’s all in one place.

I’m newbie here. I tried filing a bug report on Mutter on Wayland crashing some apps on Optimus Graphics even though I used it with iGPU with Fedroa 34 for months, So change in Nvidia Drivers shouldn’t break it.

I kind of got into the hype of community and wanted to help out. But as a non-veteran user, I got overwhelmed by bugzilla and decided not to bother with it ( I don’t know what package causing what ). So as a newbie POV, I think letting users do the bug report to devs is expecting too much. Of course, veteran users will help out, and some of them will fix it and move on if it’s not really a big bug for them.

My point, Isn’t letting users report bug in a forum like this and veteran community members deciding if it’s actual bug, user error, or just looking for help, flag it as such and pass on if it’s bug the better way…? Interacting with people in a forum is better than showing them a giant list of packages that is too big that browser itself starts to slow down…?

In my opinion, the way bug reporting work as of now is a really poor experience. From a user’s perspective ( non-veteren users ) ‘github issues’ is more approachable than bugzilla. I do understand if devs want to only pay attention to veteren users who can use bugzilla since they will provide more informative reports but most normal users can also help out with providing logs and such.

I’m really sorry if I am off-topic or this post only directed to specific people here. As I said, I’m ultra noob here.


Your comments and perspective are very welcome!


As someone who has reported bugs on bugzilla in the past I can appreciate the non-user friendly system it is. Also, someone who has tried to help in the community by sharing what I know, I like this proposal for the reasons already stated above. If I could add anything, I would like to see more prominence of outstanding incidents that need community involvement in either testing, or sharing of log data for troubleshooting here.

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I agree to file a bug to bugzilla is too hard for normal users.

When our community became more active, the triage of incident can happen much faster in ASK. Experienced members then can share if a thread is bugzilla worthy or not

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Bugzilla isn’t the most difficult bug reporting system I’ve ever encountered; though I can understand how normal users could find it a bit daunting. I use Ask from time to time in an effort to find solutions to problems which aren’t bugs. The main problem I encounter filing bugs is that they don’t get much attention and age out of the system. By the way it would be nice if bugs were Closed when they age out. Currently they only get a comment from Ben that they have aged out. Now I think the main reason my bugs tend to age out is that I am experienced computer and software person and tend to be using things and doing things that most folks don’t. Which may lead to a low priority on the bug. To be fair sometimes I find a bug gets fixed in an update or new version, but the bug report shows no activity or closure. Again to be fair many of my early Fedora bugs were on things that I later found out had been retired. A way to find this out could be made more visible; like a little search box on a prominent page where you can fill in a package name and see it’s status. I think a major advantage of tying Bugzilla to Ask beyond the ones already covered in our various venues would be to see the extent and impact of the bug. In the ask venue a bigger picture of hardware used, software use, etc. These are of course requested in bugzilla, but only by the folks who file bugs. Since Ask is easier to use there is a better chance of getting more information from more users.

Bugs do get automatically closed, with a special “EOL” status which lets us track how many are closed that way vs. actually being resolved.

You can see on the F35 schedule that Fedora Linux 33 bugs will be auto-closed on November 30th.

I agree that it’s frustrating for bugs to not get much attention. That’s part of my goal here; I want bugs to be filed where they will have the most chance of getting that attention.

We do have a pretty neat tool for getting information on various packages:

Oh I need to be more patient then. After I start getting the Ben e’mails I just log into Bugzilla and close them myself. Sorry for messing up your count. I’ll wait for the auto close from now on.

Yes I consult the schedule frequently, but for some reason that line never caught my eye.

Thanks for the packages link. That is a lot easier than the ways I have been searching to find out. A more visible link would be nice; on Ask perhaps.

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I’m not sure where exactly on Ask would be a good place. I think it’s too specific for the top bar here for sure. But maybe somewhere in one of the FAQ / resources posts?

Maybe a FAQ/General Troubleshooting topic, which aggregates the sites comments looking for matches against the Common Bugs wiki content, which in turn results in a report showing the not found in the wiki issues to be triaged and if required, update the wiki as a result.? :man_shrugging:

In the FAQ would be Okay, but it would be good if phrases like those below would bring up the link to the package status search page in the FAQ search results.

I’m open to other ideas, but it seems like Ask is the most likely place someone might look.

“no longer in repository”
“missing package”
“can’t install package”

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Another approach would be to create a question asking the those things, and then provide the answer yourself. No harm in “seeding” information!