Perhaps instead you are a tester. Someone who lives and breathes for breakage and the latest and greatest raw code packaged from the hands of it's developers. There's a new upgrade out and everything is perfect; well, except for that one bug.
So what do you do in these situations? Sadly some people may chose to do nothing but hope and wait. "Next cycle, or next release I'm hoping my bug will be fixed". Odds are, no one knows about your bug, and it can't be fixed if it's unknown. And if you are using proprietary software, "wait and see" is about the limit of your options. As a part of ubuntu however, we as a community can do so much more!
With that let me present my patented wizzbang approach to a successful resolution of your bug within ubuntu!
First, let me clarify what a successful resolution is. If you have been around ubuntu, you may have seen a bug that expired as 'incomplete'. This is clearly not a successful resolution. In my eyes, a successful resolution to a bug sees the status changed to a 'won't fix, fix committed, triaged, etc'.
Ok, so here's the steps:
- If you don’t know how to file a good bug, ask first! It's important to do your best to describe the problem you are experiencing, and if possible how to repeat the bug. Check out the post on askubuntu which has a nice summary of resources available to help you.
- File a good bug, using your newly formed knowledge from above :-)
- Get someone else to confirm it. This is important! If possible, have a friend confirm the bug on their system. Once they've confirmed it, have them mark the bug as affecting them as well on launchpad.
- Answer questions promptly when asked by others. Make sure you are getting emails from launchpad, and when someone asks a question on your bug, respond promptly.
- Get your bug triaged. If your bug is confirmed and filed correctly, the bug triagers should help triage the bug. If a long time has passed without this occurring, check to make sure you bug is in good order to be triaged. If so, asking politely for a triager to look at your bug on the #ubuntu-bugs channel is a good way to keep your bug moving.
- Help debug, test, and confirm and fixes that are made for your issue. If the developer spends time working on your bug, do what you can to help confirm it fixes your issue.
- Remember no one will care about your bug as much as you do! When you file a bug, commit to carrying it as far along in the process as you can.
So is the process perfect? Not at all. We as a community still need to think more about improving our experience in dealing with problems. Not every "problem" encountered is a bug, and a process to better handle these problems is still worthy of thought. I invite those of you interested in this to look for a UDS session on the topic.
Special thanks to TheLordofTime and hggdh for their discussions surrounding bugs, and of course for our marvelous bugsquad without whom this would not be possible!