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Thread: Imagine there are Test versions ....

  1. #1

    Default Imagine there are Test versions ....

    ... and nobody reports the bugs.

    Or:

    What really p***es me off about the "community" nowadays

    Yes, time for a little rant of my own now.

    Reading the threads in the "Pre Release Beta" subforum makes me shake my head in more than 95% of all cases.

    Statement:

    Regarding the real value of versions explicitly marked for testing, this subforum is the most misunderstood and therefore most useless part of this (but to make you a bit more comfortable, not only this, it is the same in several different fora) forum.

    Reasons for this statement:

    - Only a minimal percentage of threads in this subforum really deal with _testing_ unstable versions and _reporting bugs_ to the maintainers/developers.

    - There are many threads regarding software not even an officially supported part of the distribution to be tested -or even worse- not even part of other, well respected third party maintainers like packman. Have a look at the amounts of threads regarding proprietary graphics drivers, which are maintained by the vendors and where bugs could only be fixed by them.

    - Nearly none of the threads refer to a bug report on the problem, no matter if already exists or (as in most cases) still does not.

    - Nearly none of the threads offer test cases how to reproduce potential bugs or describe problems in a way one would expect from somebody being able to actually do some meaningful testing.

    Conclusions:

    Only few "testers" seem to understand the main reason behind unstable versions and giving them to the community; the opportunity to give feedback to the ones being able to fix bugs.

    Instead, this subforum seems to be the trash dump for whining about XYZ not working in an unstable release without any real motivation of actually _doing_ something about it yourself.

    Will this really improve the quality of the distribution?

    Maybe yes, but only in the way, that hopefully somebody else (no, count me out on that, I've given up some time ago. If people don't have the time and motivation to write decent bug reports at least give valuable descpriptions on the problem on their own, then they shouldn't use unstable versions) will do some extra work for them (and very often those are the people already doing a lot of work on their own for the same purpose).

    Is this what community stands for?

    At least for me it isn't, as it will waste a lot of time for minimal (or even none) extra value.

    I don't know, what the recent definition of community is at the moment, but for me community stands for "take and give back, even if you can't give back a lot".

    Whining about "xyz not working" without any recognizeable motivation to actually do some work on her/his own is certainly not "community".

    I bet you, when deleting more than 90% of the threads in that subforum one would not throw away anything substantial, maybe it is not a lot better in other subfora, but this can not be something being satisfied with.

    This is not about 'you should not test if you are not a "Linux God" with 15 years of experience and at least 100 contributions to kernel/xorg/glibc/*whatever* otherwise you are not qualified', this is about 'Why do you run test versions, when you obviously don't even think about reporting problems to the maintainers?'.

    Even a rather new user to Linux/openSUSE can contribute to the community, but also a lot of users which seem to be experienced very rarely show that they actually post with the main point for testing in mind.

    I don't get it, I really don't, maybe somebody can enlighten me, when I seem to have lost the meaning of what I thought "community" and FLOSS stands for.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Imagine there are Test versions ....

    I sympathise - and now you have got that off your chest, you can get back to the important business of reporting bugs in RC-2.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Imagine there are Test versions ....

    I don't use RC2 any more.

    Deleted it yesterday (two VM) and will wait for the release.

    If there are still bugs in it, I will search for solutions/workarounds when they hit me.

    The bugs I reported before were fixed and the potential one I posted here (including a test case and asking for confirmation) got no responses from all those "testers", so why should I care any longer about their problems?

    I will start to care if they become mine, exactly the same way as most of the others seem to think about this issue.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Imagine there are Test versions ....

    I am afraid I bear with you.
    Henk van Velden

  5. #5

    Default Re: Imagine there are Test versions ....

    Don't be afraid, but to be honest, your thread yesterday was the one which really made me think, because it actually _was_ the way it should be, even with a high possibility that you really have a difficult (as read in "rare and very unusual") problem and it was a (much too) rare exception.

    So in fact, the last bug report/problem I am really still interested in, is this strange missing CPU bug.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Imagine there are Test versions ....

    Quote Originally Posted by Akoellh View Post
    Instead, this subforum seems to be the trash dump for whining about XYZ not working in an unstable release without any real motivation of actually _doing_ something about it yourself.
    I share the view that we see too much of that.

    Unfortunately that is something common to more than just the Pre-Release/Beta area, and I believe it also (besides disliking the forum format) is one of the reasons we have too few developers/packagers visit the forum. Those packagers/developers that do on occasion come to visit - come to help in the technical, not listen to the rants.

    My view, which has evolved over the years, is the best way to help redirect the forum is as much as possible to answer rants (about x and y not working) with technical replies (and try not to get drawn in by the emotions) Also to make our own requests for help as technically factual as possible. Unfortunately, answering rants with technical posts (ignoring the emotion/illogical in the rant) is "easier said than done" as the illogic of so many rants makes it difficult not to "snap back". But I do believe that a pure technical response (to the max extent possible - which can be very difficult when there is a dearth of factual information) is the way to help turn things around.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Imagine there are Test versions ....

    Well, generally speaking, you are correct, but maybe I should not have used the term "whining", because it was not meant to be about rants.

    The real problem is the obviously missing motivation of most users posting their problems on test versions, to do their homework before posting.

    a) What information will be needed?

    b) Where is the appropriate bug tracker for my problem?

    c) How can I describe how to reproduce the bug to get confirmation?

    Now a least a) is not an issue specific to "Pre-Release/Beta", but if a new users with maybe only very few posts needs some help on that, this is OK, but for somebody actually testing alphas/betas this should be considered as a prerequisite the tester _must_ know, perhaps not in detail but at least

    a) stating the OS version & architecture

    b) stating versions of software involved

    c) providing useful information on hardware (USB/PCI-IDs instead of only "fancy names") involved

    should be "normal business" for such users.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Imagine there are Test versions ....

    I'd say it's a good thing the questions relating to third party packages don't end up on the bug tracker as most of the time they're caused by simply version numbers not adding up. (Using 11.1 repositories with 11.2 might give some issues)

    But yes, a whole lot of problems should end up on the bugtracker instead of the forums.

    Can't blame people for wanting NVidia drivers on their beta version can you? After all it's awfully hard to run the KWin effects without them, and I'd like to watch some videos as well (so I need both SMPlayer AND the NVidia drivers)
    Special effects <- KDE 4.2 Showing off
    More KDE -> PINK KDE

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    Default Re: Imagine there are Test versions ....

    Quote Originally Posted by Axeia View Post
    Can't blame people for wanting NVidia drivers on their beta version can you? After all it's awfully hard to run the KWin effects without them, and I'd like to watch some videos as well (so I need both SMPlayer AND the NVidia drivers)
    I agree that having the proprietary driver available for testing is a good idea.

    But the point is the proprietary driver IS available (just a repos is not). They can be installed "the hardway", which is what I have done (where the hardway is not hard). In my case I had to install a "proprietary" beta nVidia driver, but it worked.

    If the proprietary beta driver (such as the nVidia) does NOT work (but in this case it does) then a user should be writing a bug report on the nVidia (not the Novell) bug tracking mechanism (IMHO).

    As for a proprietary driver not being packaged as an rpm for installation - the intention is these openSUSE releases are put forward for testing by reasonably knowledgeable users. All aspects of the release are not complete, because of that very aspect. Drivers are available, but are not yet "as polished" (ie in repos). It is expected that the users who volunteer to help are able to surmount these minor hiccups.

    There are simply insufficient volunteers to package every minute detail (such as repos of proprietary drivers for a milestone/RC candidate release, where such release come out every few weeks - thats simply too much effort to try to produce IMHO). Alternative methods to install (such as the "hardway" - which happens to be easy) are available.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Imagine there are Test versions ....

    I'm not too sure it would be that helpful if Bug reporting were that simple. ATM, it's really only the more experience that enter in to this. It's probably better that inexperienced users do arrive here first, present their case/issues and allow us to identify the possible issues. Yes, we may not like it, but IMO it's better than flooding Bugzilla with a load of useless reports.
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