ABRT unusable again

Jiri Moskovcak jmoskovc at redhat.com
Sun Feb 7 13:16:00 UTC 2010

I don't want to answer all of the messages, so I'll try to sum all of it 
in this one...

On 02/05/2010 09:46 PM, Christoph Wickert wrote:
> What's wrong with ABRT? ALl the backtraces I get are unusable again. If
> Thunar crashes, not even Thunar-debuginfo gets installed.
> abrt 1.0 worked here, then came 1.0.2 which was broken. 1.0.3 was
> working again, but got superseded be 1.0.4 only a few of days later.
> This means that most of the time, all the bugs submitted are basically
> useless.

Unfortunately that's true, it was different problem every time, but the 
result is the useless backtrace. This shouldn't happen anymore as we now 
have more extensive testing before releasing a new version.

> For me as the maintainer it is a lot of work to reply to all these
> useless reports and for our users it's just frustrating if all their
> reports get closed INSUFFICIENT_DATA.

If the current situation is really so bad, we can auto-close all of the 
bugs reported by the broken versions of ABRT, because I guess they would 
just sit there until bugzapping period.

> If the situation doesn't change any time soon, we IMHO should consider
> disabling abrt until the issues are fixed.

It's already fixed in 1.0.6, which sits in testing repo. In F12 there is 
a pending kernel update which (if gets to F12 without change) will 
prevent ABRT from detecting C/C++ apps crashes, so it will probably make 
abrt silent for a while.

Now some answers for issues mentioned in this thread:

ABRT doesn't work by design:
- it actually does work, but it's bug detection/analyse is too general 
for some apps, this is something we know about and it's not in our 
powers to fix (it's not even considered a bug). This is actually the 
reason why is ABRT extendible by plugins and every devel who maintains 
some bigger app can write it's own abrt plugin to make the reports to 
suit his needs. If devel doesn't want to get ABRT reports at all, he can 
always send me an email and it can be added to ABRT blacklist.

I feel the Fedora community is being abused to evaluate a 
semi-functional piece of SW's "yet uncooked" concepts:
- tha ABRT's concept is used for a while in other distros and ABRT 
itself is in Fedora since F10, but nobody cared to take a look at it and 
add some comments/ideas. I don't want to start a fight about 
non-finished apps in Fedora, but I won't silently ignore it, I remeber 
quite well the how finished and stable was the last major release of one 
of the major desktop environment or I remember times when I had to use 
web mail instead of my favourite client to write an email, because it 
wasn't stable (and both were in stable Fedora release).

Nice idea. IMO it should only allow to submit reports after some sanity
- ABRT uses the code from Dr.Konqui to rate the backtrace and doesn't 
allow user to send it if the rate is bellow 3 (the scale is 0-4), but 
the bug in GUI let user to send even the bad BT.

I believe ABRT shouldn't file a bug report unless it is filled in

- we can change to GUI, so it won't let users fill a report without 
providing a steps to reproduce

History tells, low quality automated bug reports to be ignored and to
cause a lot of bad blood. Debian for instance has an unfortunate history 
in doing so - You're better off to learn from their historic mistake:
- times changes, Linux is now used by people who actually use it for 
work not for the "fun of using Linux" and these people doesn't want to 
spend time going thru bugzilla and filling some report. Yes, I agree we 
should learn and in this we should learn from someone more desktop 
oriented then Debian (maybe even from some non-Linux os??)

What needs to be fixed here is bugzilla not ABRT, we need a "report
upstream" button:
- the best would be to fix both. what we need to ease the life of 
maintainers is a middle layer between ABRT (users) and 
bugzilla(developers) something like mozilla 

Surely you're not suggesting holding up a decent kernel from going to
stable while waiting for Abrt ?
- there is no need to wait for ABRT when talking about the pending 
kernel update update for F12, there is nothing what ABRT can do to work 
with that kernel.

Anyway, there should be a tool in ABRT suite, that allows a package 
maintainer to reconstruct a complete backtrace from an incomplete on, 
using only the list of involved packages, with there evr(+arch):
- you can never get the whole BT without a coredump - you can get 
recreating should be a matter of a simple script and we can provide it 
as part of ABRT if devels would use it.

I hope I've cleared few things and will be happy to answer any of you 
further questions and RFEs.

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