[Reportbug-maint] Bug#677375: reportbug: follow up option not optimal for bug resolution

Paul Menzel pm.debian at googlemail.com
Wed Jun 13 12:03:24 UTC 2012

Package: reportbug
Version: 6.4
Severity: normal

Dear Debian folks,

getting follow up on bug reports with reportbug (or manually as a new
message) is not optimal for the bug resolution in my experience.
Although it is simple maybe a better way can be hopefully implemented.

Using reportbug to follow up on a report, a new message is created and
is just sent to the report’s address with the Followup-For pseudo header
set as seen in [1].

In my opinion the problem is that

1. threading is not kept,
2. former bug correspondents are not notified, and
3. quoting is not possible.

Since people using `reportbug` use the command line anyhow the following
procedure could prove more useful and also eases work for people working
on the bug.

1. Either automatically or show people the following command to retrieve
the mbox file with all the messages

    bts show --mbox 675852

and tell them to import that to their mail program.

2. Just download the last non-BTS message like [2].

Either reportbug could start the command line MUA (`xdg-email`) with
that mbox as an argument give the user a choice to which message he
wants to reply to instead of just displaying the first message.

Maybe the Debian manual also needs updating, to encourage the above
procedure [3][4].

I think the above procedure is more useful. Although it might require a
little bit more work using reportbug for following up on reports
currently is not that useful in my opinion and could be improved with
the above procedure.



[1] http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=675852#20
[2] http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?msg=20;mbox=yes;bug=675852
[3] http://www.debian.org/Bugs/Developer
[4] http://www.debian.org/Bugs/Reporting

-- System Information:
Debian Release: wheezy/sid
  APT prefers unstable
  APT policy: (500, 'unstable'), (500, 'testing'), (500, 'stable'), (1, 'experimental')
Architecture: i386 (i686)

Kernel: Linux 3.2.0-2-686-pae (SMP w/2 CPU cores)
Locale: LANG=de_DE.UTF-8, LC_CTYPE=de_DE.UTF-8 (charmap=UTF-8)
Shell: /bin/sh linked to /bin/bash

Versions of packages reportbug depends on:
ii  apt               0.9.6
ii  python            2.7.3~rc2-1
ii  python-reportbug  6.4

reportbug recommends no packages.

Versions of packages reportbug suggests:
pn  claws-mail                                 <none>
pn  debconf-utils                              <none>
ii  debsums                                    2.0.51
pn  dlocate                                    <none>
ii  emacs22-bin-common                         22.3+1-1.2+b1
ii  emacs23-bin-common                         23.4+1-3
ii  exim4                                      4.80-3
ii  exim4-daemon-light [mail-transport-agent]  4.80-3
ii  file                                       5.11-1
ii  gnupg                                      1.4.12-4
ii  python-gtk2                                2.24.0-3
ii  python-gtkspell                            2.25.3-12
pn  python-urwid                               <none>
ii  python-vte                                 1:0.28.2-4
ii  xdg-utils                                  1.1.0~rc1+git20111210-6

Versions of packages python-reportbug depends on:
ii  apt               0.9.6
ii  python            2.7.3~rc2-1
ii  python-debian     0.1.21
ii  python-debianbts  1.11
ii  python-support    1.0.14

python-reportbug suggests no packages.

-- no debconf information
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