[Reportbug-maint] Bug#876372: reportbug: -u should say why a certain user interface is not available

Martin von Wittich martin.von.wittich at iserv.eu
Thu Sep 21 13:12:30 UTC 2017

Package: reportbug
Version: 7.1.7
Severity: wishlist

Dear Maintainer,

I just install reportbug on a Debian stretch machine with the following

# aptitude install reportbug python-urwid

Our default APT configuration won't install Recommends or Suggests, so
I manually specified python-urwid because I knew that I had to install
the package manually to get the urwid UI to work.

But when I tried to report a bug, reportbug would silently ignore the
"ui urwid" setting I put into the /etc/reportbug.conf. Therefore I tried
to specifiy the UI manually:

host ~ # EDITOR=vim DEBEMAIL="Martin von Wittich <martin.von.wittich at iserv.eu>" reportbug  -u urwid
Ignored bogus setting for -u: urwid

This left me pretty confused, because I though I had the correct package
installed. I looked into the code, and even in /usr/lib/python3/
dist-packages/reportbug/ui/urwid_ui.py the exception message says:

    raise UINotImportable('Please install the python-urwid package to
    use this interface.')

(This exception message is never visible anywhere though, because
ui/__init__.py always tries to load all UIs and will therefore silently
discard any exceptions.)

It took me a while to figure out that reportbug now uses Python 3, and
that I therefore had to install python3-urwid (though admittedly the
package Suggests the correct urwid package; if I had looked there, I
might have noticed sooner). Apparently the exception message just hasn't
been updated accordingly.

It would be nice if reportbug could be a bit more helpful in this
situation. Maybe a specific `ui` setting or `-u` invocation should
cause it to try to load the respective UI package again, and this time
it should print the exception message before falling back to the text

-- Package-specific info:
** Environment settings:
DEBEMAIL="Martin von Wittich <martin.von.wittich at iserv.eu>"

** /var/lib/iserv/remote-support/iserv-martin.von.wittich/.reportbugrc:
reportbug_version "7.1.7"
mode standard
ui urwid

-- System Information:
Debian Release: 9.1
  APT prefers stable-updates
  APT policy: (500, 'stable-updates'), (500, 'stable')
Architecture: amd64 (x86_64)

Kernel: Linux 4.9.0-3-amd64 (SMP w/4 CPU cores)
Locale: LANG=de_DE.UTF-8, LC_CTYPE=de_DE.UTF-8 (charmap=UTF-8), LANGUAGE=de_DE.UTF-8 (charmap=UTF-8)
Shell: /bin/sh linked to /bin/dash
Init: systemd (via /run/systemd/system)

Versions of packages reportbug depends on:
ii  apt                1.4.7
ii  python3            3.5.3-1
ii  python3-reportbug  7.1.7

reportbug recommends no packages.

Versions of packages reportbug suggests:
pn  claws-mail                                 <none>
pn  debconf-utils                              <none>
ii  debsums                                    2.2.2
pn  dlocate                                    <none>
ii  emacs24-bin-common                         24.5+1-11+deb9u1
ii  exim4                                      4.89-2+deb9u1
ii  exim4-daemon-heavy [mail-transport-agent]  4.89-2+deb9u1
ii  file                                       1:5.30-1+deb9u1
pn  gir1.2-gtk-3.0                             <none>
pn  gir1.2-vte-2.91                            <none>
ii  gnupg                                      2.1.18-6
pn  python3-gi                                 <none>
pn  python3-gi-cairo                           <none>
pn  python3-gtkspellcheck                      <none>
ii  python3-urwid                              1.3.1-2+b1
ii  xdg-utils                                  1.1.1-1

Versions of packages python3-reportbug depends on:
ii  apt                1.4.7
ii  file               1:5.30-1+deb9u1
ii  python3            3.5.3-1
ii  python3-debian     0.1.30
ii  python3-debianbts  2.6.1
ii  python3-requests   2.12.4-1

python3-reportbug suggests no packages.

-- Configuration Files:
/etc/reportbug.conf changed:
ui urwid

-- no debconf information

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