Tag Archives: Launchpad bug-tracking

Launchpad bug tracker paper cuts

I have been doing a lot of work in the Launchpad bug tracker recently. Reading bug reports and code remind me of my own frustrations using the Launchpad bug tracker.

Bug reports include deactivated projects. I have seen bugs that affect more than one project, and one is deactivated. I get a 404 when I navigate the link. No website should be making dead links to itself. Surely the fix is just a few lines to filter out deactivated projects.

I cannot change the affected project to a distro and source package in a bug report. I can add a distro, but that does not remove the bug from the project. The project’s bug team will get irrelevant email forever. I get a lot mail that is not about my projects. One frustrated user created the “null” project that anyone can reassign these bugs to. This is wrong from Launchpad’s perspective, but even I use the “null” project because the level of email is a serious hindrance to using Launchpad. The Launchpad Answer tracker lets me change the question from a project to a distro, why can’t Launchpad Bug tracker do the same?

Owners of projects are sent bug mail when the project does not use Launchpad bugs. WTF? Launchpad mailing rules fall back to the project owner if the bug supervisor is not set. The rules never check if the someone explicitly set that Launchpad is used for bug tracking. That is in sane. This is a contributing factor to why users complain about too much mail. This is also the reason you cannot contact the Registry Administrators team; their email address is never checked because it is filled with bugs reported about Fedora and Gentoo…which do not use Launchpad.

I do not understand bug nominations. Every one I have seen appears to be made by a user who thinks he can vote for a low priority bug to be fixed in a development series. I have even seen trunk series nominated, though it will never be released. As a release manager, I use priority as my guide to planning fixes. Open source development is not a democratic process. The only use case I can imagine for bug nominations is in super large projects like Ubuntu that have too many high priority bugs. The project has a small team of release managers and a large team of project drivers that need to select candidates for the release. If Launchpad must have nomination, the feature should be restricted to project drivers.

The road to failure is paved with bugs targeted to series. I advise everyone to never target a bug to be fixed in a development series because you cannot undo your mistakes. The action creates a conjoined task to the series. You cannot delete it, you cannot change the series it affects, and it blocks you from updating the bug in the project or distro. Since the bug tasks cannot be removed, Ubuntu has hundreds of bugs targeted to obsolete series that will never be fixed; its bug listings are lies. I recommend creating a milestone without an expected date for the series. Target bugs to that milestone, you can change your plans and update your bugs as needed.