[Reportbug-maint] Bug#521162: Several glitches with the reportbug GTK2 UI

Josselin Mouette joss at debian.org
Wed Mar 25 11:15:52 UTC 2009

Package: reportbug
Version: 4.0
Severity: normal


I am currently trying reportbug and it is great to finally have a full-fledged GTK+ interface.
Nevertheless, there are several usability issues with it that I’d like to help you fixing.
Sorry for not opening a bug report for each of them, but that makes many and we could
do this only for those that are long to fix.

1. No .desktop file
It would be nice to ship a reportbug.desktop file for the freedesktop-compatible menus.
I am attaching one; it needs to be processed with intltool for translation, and the icon
should probably be changed (I’ve put the bug-buddy one since it’s the only one I could
think of).

2. Focus issues
In each page of the assistant, the default action is not set. I’m not completely familiar
with the GtkAssistant API, but from what I understand you need to call set_page_complete()
so that the status is updated and pressing <Enter> will go to the next page.

3. Choosing default interface
The configuration assistant lets you choose the default interface between text and gtk2.
I think this is pretty awkward. If you run it in the terminal, you probably expect the text
interface, and if you run it from the menu, you expect the GTK+ interface.

4. Almost empty pages
It would be nice to put, when it is possible, several objects on one GtkAssistant page. For
example, the name and email could be asked together.

5. Default name and email
The default name and email proposed by the interface appear in brackets, but you can’t
click "Next" and use these defaults. Instead of doing that, I suggest to put them as the
default content of the text input field.

A related issue is that the SMTP user configuration item cannot be empty.

6. Impossible to go back
Once you have chosen a bug report to provide additional information, going back doesn’t
work. All pages of the assistant appear insensitive.

7. Using the SMTP
There is no need to configure the SMTP when in GUI mode, while it has already been
configured in the user’s mailer. Even worse, if you are using a complicated setup (like
SMTP with authentication over SSL, or Evolution on MS Exchange), it is possible that it 
won’t be supported at all.

Let me suggest an alternative approach that re-uses the email client configuration
instead. You just need to call something like this:

  import urllib, subprocess
  subject = urllib.quote (subject)
  body = urllib.quote (prefilled_report)
  version = urllib.quote (reportbug_version)
  uri = 'mailto:%s?subject=%s&body=%s&X-Reportbug-Version=%s'%(email_address,subject,body,version)
  subprocess.Popen (["xdg-email", uri])

This will work with most desktop email clients, and it can easily be made to work even if
the client is mutt in a terminal.

It would also allow to get rid of two related issues:
 - the "common issues with reportbug" text could be dropped, since there wouldn’t be
   any such issues
 - the report editing interface could be completely ditched in favor of letting the user deal
   with his favorite mailer

I know, that makes a lot of issues, but all quite small. We are pretty close to having a really
nice graphical bug reporting tool.

-- Package-specific info:
** Environment settings:
EDITOR="nano -t"
DEBEMAIL="joss at debian.org"

** /home/joss/.reportbugrc:
reportbug_version "4.0"
mode expert
ui gtk2
smtphost "localhost:2525"

-- System Information:
Debian Release: 5.0
  APT prefers unstable
  APT policy: (500, 'unstable')
Architecture: amd64 (x86_64)

Kernel: Linux 2.6.26-1-amd64 (SMP w/2 CPU cores)
Locale: LANG=fr_FR.UTF-8, LC_CTYPE=fr_FR.UTF-8 (charmap=UTF-8)
Shell: /bin/sh linked to /bin/dash

Versions of packages reportbug depends on:
ii  apt                    Advanced front-end for dpkg
ii  python                        2.5.2-3    An interactive high-level object-o
ii  python-reportbug              4.0        Python modules for interacting wit

reportbug recommends no packages.

Versions of packages reportbug suggests:
pn  debconf-utils                 <none>     (no description available)
pn  debsums                       <none>     (no description available)
pn  dlocate                       <none>     (no description available)
ii  exim4                         4.69-9     metapackage to ease Exim MTA (v4) 
ii  exim4-daemon-light [mail-tran 4.69-9     lightweight Exim MTA (v4) daemon
ii  file                          4.26-2     Determines file type using "magic"
ii  gnupg                         1.4.9-3    GNU privacy guard - a free PGP rep
ii  python-gtk2                   2.14.1-1   Python bindings for the GTK+ widge
pn  python-urwid                  <none>     (no description available)

-- no debconf information
-------------- next part --------------
[Desktop Entry]
_Name=Report a bug
_Comment=File a bug against a Debian package
Exec=reportbug --ui gtk2

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