[CP2K:2066] Re: BerliOS bug tracker

Ondrej Marsalek ondrej.... at gmail.com
Tue May 12 17:34:04 UTC 2009

Dear Axel,

as in the case of Teo's message, I do not mean to push for changes in
CP2K, I was simply curious. However, I find some of the things you say
slightly misleading and would like to react.

And just as in the previous case, as this is going slightly off-topic,
feel free to ignore it or take ot off the list.

On Thu, May 7, 2009 at 13:19, Axel <akoh... at gmail.com> wrote:
> ondrej,
>> Of course there are other options as well and I certainly do not want
>> to start a flamewar about this, whatever works for you. A single
>> comment though - I consider a proper (and working) bug tracker better
>> than the current "official" bug reporting procedure, both for users
>> and developers. But as I said, whatever works for you.
> please consider that a "bug tracker" website is just a formality
> or one means of communication. whether you post a description
> of your problem here and upload the files, or attach them to a
> bug tracker website is essentially the same work for you, and
> the bug report does not get any better or worse because of it.

Sure, it is just a tool. A tool that many projects find useful to handle
and organize their bugs, issues and feature requests. If it was true
that a mailing list is exactly the same thing, I doubt that the use of
issue trackers would be as ubiquitous as it is.

> to be working well, it needs to be used well by both, developers and
> users.
> unfortunately, there are very few people developing and using
> scientific software
> that have the time/interest/willpower/patience to go through the
> learning process.

That is certainly true. As is demonstrated be the repeated and justified
calls for proper reports in the mailing list, this problem seems to be
more general.

If we wanted to go deeper into this, I'd be willing to argue that a
(properly set up) bug tracker can help a user provide all the expected

> if most developers in a group do so, they may have
> different opinions on how to use the tool and if a significant number
> of
> people don't use the bug tracker, then the whole process already
> breaks
> down (you have bugs that are never listed as resolved, even if fixed).
> from my personal experience, most bug trackers of open source projects
> are overloaded with unresolved "bugs" that are hard to track down
> because
> of the insufficient amount of information provided and the fact that
> in this
> maze of half-information. it is almost impossible to determine whether
> an
> existing bug report is the same as what you are experiencing.

I agree that this is bad, but I don't see how it gets any better by
using a mailing list instead of a tracker. Exactly the same problems can
(and often do) exists with a mailing list as well.

> i went
> through
> this kind of odyssey recently when trying to report the problems with
> my
> laptop graphics and am still trying to figure out where to best report
> the
> problems. there are bugs with obviously unrelated followups, tons of
> identical bugs reported as new ones, a discouraging number of
> unresolved
> bugs versus fixed ones and a depressing average age of unassigned
> bugs.
> it seemed to me that the main developer of the driver had the choice
> of
> sorting through this mess or working on the driver.

The same as above applies here as well. A messy bug tracker and a messy
mailing list with threads that never get finished suffer from that.

> in a larger corporation you can assign somebody with less experience
> to
> track down and reproduce bugs (it is very good training, btw) and then
> coalesce
> the bug reports into something that can be digested by the main
> developers.
> in a project like cp2k which is chronically suffering from lack of
> time of the
> people working on it, this is the impossible dream.

Maybe it is a question of priorities and development style.

Disclaimer: I am very far from trying to suggest anything to the devs
here, so please do not take the above sentence as such a suggestion.

> would you be
> willing to
> donate the time and set this up and make it work??

I'd certainly be willing to help set up a system and appropriate rules
or procedures. I'd certainly try hard to use such a system properly and
make sure that whatever I get involved in is handled appropriately.
Cleaning up mess that other people leave around? Not so much, but this
is given by my degree of involvement in the project. It would be
different for a project where I contribute code, for example.

Even if I was willing to donate a lot of time, though, would it matter?
It seems from the above that you do not find and issue tracker useful in
general, which makes such a question of no practical consequence.


> cheers,
>   axel.
>> Cheers,
>> Ondrej
> >

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