Update on bug system for OpenJDK (web-discuss)

Roger Calnan roger.calnan at oracle.com
Fri May 27 18:24:24 UTC 2011

>> I wonder if part of the issue is the current lack of distinction between bug reports from end users,
>> developers in general, and developers with 'skin in the game on OpenJDK'?
	yes, this is certainly something that we can improve moving forward.  There are different
sets of users that have used bugs.sun.com:

- IT professionals who may not know much about Java, however they have a problem with the
software that is running on Java, they want to be able to find out if there is a fix and download
the binary with the fix.  We need to make this as easy as possible.

- Java Developers who only care about using Java, here there is some overlap between the
forums and the bug reports (as was pointed out earlier in the thread).  We need to make it 
easy to state a problem, refine the description, the platforms it is reported on etc. and 
essentially validate it so that it can be easily reproduced and fixed.  It is here where the
most "noise" occurs with comments and bugs that are not always well formed.  The
bug submittal process needs to help extract that information.

- Java Developers who have 'skin in the game'.  Here submitting a bug should be easy
in the sense that one is presented with a blank text field and one types in the issue
and hits submit with no filtering etc.


Begin forwarded message:

> From: Georges Saab <georges.saab at oracle.com>
> Date: 27 May 2011 10:47:58 PDT
> To: David Herron <david at davidherron.com>
> Cc: "discuss at openjdk.java.net" <discuss at openjdk.java.net>
> Subject: Re: Update on bug system for OpenJDK (web-discuss)
> The 'noise' problem is real and currently Oracle funds a number of people who contribute time
> and effort to the thankless task of weeding through the noise.   But there has to be a better way 
> of handling it than the current one.
> I wonder if part of the issue is the current lack of distinction between bug reports from end users,
> developers in general, and developers with 'skin in the game on OpenJDK'?
> Perhaps the first step is to have separate places to report issues if you are an end user 
> versus a Java developer (and making it clear which is which), and then if there are still
> an overwhelming number of 'I am a CS student learning Java and could you please do 
> my homework' coming into the developer bug database, look at how to raise the bar?
>   /GES
> On 27 maj 2011, at 08.07, David Herron wrote:
>> I have to say that while what Volker said is compelling, I know that David Holmes is speaking the truth. Way-back-when I saw some of that stuff coming in and much of it was more user error or confusion and needing education on proper use of the API rather than it being a bug. 
>> The team when we were still at Sun had a system letting them construct semi canned semi customized responses in many cases, and give proper disposition to the entries. But they did have a serious problem in keeping up.  
>> But, one can plausibly imagine a crowd sourced system that handled both actual bug reports and the other stuff like "I'm confused about method Y ...".  I always thought those questions and answers were a potential source of a crowd sourced knowledge base of typical confusion and answers. 
>> David Herron
>> On May 27, 2011, at 5:21 AM, David Holmes <David.Holmes at oracle.com> wrote:
>>> Volker Simonis said the following on 05/27/11 20:11:
>>>> I think it shouldn't be only writable by anyone - it should be
>>>> possible to enter bugs which will become visible instantly.
>>>> It wouldn't make sense to make the new system writable only by
>>>> contributors taking into account that the old system at bugs.sun.com
>>>> is already writable by everybody. But the way how bugs.sun.com
>>>> currently handles new entries which are first kept private and then
>>>> only published after a certain amount of time without any notification
>>>> to the submitter is at least insane. That way you can not enter a bug
>>>> and then start a discussion about it because you simply don't have a
>>>> reference to it. Instead you have to manually poll the system to see
>>>> when it finally appears publicly.
>>> The lack of notification may be "insane" but the process isn't insane once you see the volume of crud that gets submitted as bug reports. The current process certainly has some issues but you need a first-level filtering mechanism of some kind.  Most bug reports don't come from contributors, they come from users.
>>> So I'd say that contributors should be able to make entries to the bug system, but users should still submit via some other front-end.
>>> David Holmes
>>>> On Thu, May 26, 2011 at 9:06 PM, Michael Klishin
>>>> <michael.s.klishin at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>>> mark.reinhold at oracle.com escribió:
>>>>>> I completely agree. The primary users of this bug system are OpenJDK
>>>>>> Contributors. It will be readable by anyone, of course, but I'm not
>>>>>> sure it should be writable by anyone other than Contributors.
>>>>> Mark,
>>>>> I think that if the bugs system will be read-only for "regular developers", they will post their issues
>>>>> on various mailing lists or won't post them anywhere at all, and in the end it will be significantly harder for everyone, including contributors
>>>>> and Oracle employees, to keep track of issues.
>>>>> Given that OpenJDK is a pretty large project with many moving parts, that would be a loss-loss situation for everyone, IMO.
>>>>> My 2¢.--
>>>>> MK

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