[Reportbug-maint] Bug#578033: reportbug: Subject line prompt errata & surplus

A. Costa agcosta at gis.net
Fri Apr 16 08:23:50 UTC 2010

Package: reportbug
Version: 4.11
Severity: normal

A familiar 'reportbug' prompt:

     Please briefly describe your problem (max. 100 characters allowed; you can elaborate in a moment; an
     empty response will stop reportbug). This will be the bug email subject, so write a concise summary of
     what is wrong with the package, for example, "fails to send email" or "does not start with -q option
     specified" (enter Ctrl+c to exit).

Busy readers should skip directly to patch text at the end.  Critique & rationale:

1) Former facts:
    a) "max. 100 characters": lengthened, as per changelog for v4.2.  
    b) "an empty response will stop reportbug": not anymore, as per changelog for v4.6.

2) 1st time user cruft:  "you can elaborate in a moment", "enter Ctrl+c to exit";
   would users that didn't know 'Ctrl+c' use 'reportbug'?  (Should they?)

3) Redundancy: "briefly describe", "concise summary".

4) "what is wrong with the package" -- too specific, implies a Debian package bug.

5) 'Please': connotes pleasure, but bug reports stem more from pain.

6) "describe your problem" -- 2nd person implies subjectivity.  Bugs ought to be
	a) You: "your problem", "you can", "so [you should] write"...

Suggested 3rd person objective style version:

     Briefly describe the problem.  This will be the bug email subject.
     Examples: "fails to send email", "does not start with -q option specified", etc.


-- Package-specific info:
** Environment settings:
EMAIL="agcosta at gis.net"

** /home/alfie/.reportbugrc:
reportbug_version "3.2"
mode standard
ui text
realname "A Costa"
email "agcosta at gis.net"

-- System Information:
Debian Release: squeeze/sid
  APT prefers unstable
  APT policy: (500, 'unstable')
Architecture: i386 (i686)

Kernel: Linux 2.6.32-3-686 (SMP w/1 CPU core)
Locale: LANG=C, LC_CTYPE=C (charmap=ANSI_X3.4-1968) (ignored: LC_ALL set to C)
Shell: /bin/sh linked to /bin/dash

Versions of packages reportbug depends on:
ii  apt                    Advanced front-end for dpkg
ii  python                        2.5.4-2    An interactive high-level object-o
ii  python-reportbug              4.11       Python modules for interacting wit

reportbug recommends no packages.

Versions of packages reportbug suggests:
ii  debconf-utils        1.5.32              debconf utilities
ii  debsums              2.0.48              tool for verification of installed
ii  dlocate              1.02                fast alternative to dpkg -L and dp
pn  emacs22-bin-common | <none>              (no description available)
ii  exim4                4.71-4              metapackage to ease Exim MTA (v4) 
ii  exim4-daemon-light [ 4.71-4              lightweight Exim MTA (v4) daemon
ii  file                 5.04-2              Determines file type using "magic"
ii  gnupg                1.4.10-3            GNU privacy guard - a free PGP rep
ii  python-gtk2          2.17.0-2            Python bindings for the GTK+ widge
ii  python-gtkspell      2.25.3-2            Python bindings for the GtkSpell l
pn  python-urwid         <none>              (no description available)
ii  python-vte           1:0.24.0-2          Python bindings for the VTE widget
ii  xdg-utils            1.0.2+cvs20100307-1 desktop integration utilities from

-- no debconf information
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