[sane-devel] [RFC] Why I consider downstream bug reports a good thing

Stef stef.dev at free.fr
Mon Feb 18 16:54:46 UTC 2013

On 18/02/2013 15:09, Paul Menzel wrote:
> Dear SANE folks,
> Allan wrote in his reply to my message on the mailing list that he
> considers downstream reports “pointless” [1].
> Here are my arguments why I consider downstream reports good in addition
> to upstream reports. Comments are welcome.
> 1. Distributions have different issues to deal with than upstream and
> different rules. Basically they often cannot just ship the latest
> upstream version.
> Often they have several releases and depending on their focus they need
> to add support for new hardware to older releases. Sometimes their
> development guide lines prohibit to just ship new releases as code
> cleanups or other improvements might be not allowed and only bug fixes
> and hardware support is.
> This is true for example for Debian stable releases, for Ubuntu LTS
> (long-term support) releases or for example Red Hat Enterprise products.
> As SANE upstream does not provide any LTS releases as for example the
> Linux kernel, the distributions need to backport commits and they need
> to know what needs to be backported. Package maintainers often do not
> have much time for going through upstream log and need to know what
> needs backporting. Downstream reports help them.
> 2. Having downstream reports shows the distribution’s quality assurance
> team analyzing their bug tracking system where problems are. For example
> if Red Hat, SUSE or Canonical [2] see that SANE issues make up five
> percents (just made up) of the reports, they might decide to invest some
> resources into upstream SANE. Either by assigning developers to work on
> SANE by fixing bugs, improve code and to add support for new devices, by
> contacting the device manufacturers and negotiate with them to provide
> SANE drivers, or by simply paying developers.
> 3. Distributions often use their bug trackers – Debian the Debian BTS
> [3] – to figure out their current state and their bug tracking system is
> tightly integrated with their tools. Upstream integration means most of
> the time just to document the upstream report and link to it, which is
> important as that is how the WWW works.
> 4. Some distributions do not have a committed maintainer for SANE
> packages, so uploads and packaging has to be done by packagers not
> really familiar with SANE. Having downstream reports helps them to
> improve the packaging.
> Distributions with committed package maintainers mostly will not be
> burdened by downstream reports, as they provide packages resembling the
> upstream state regarding device support, so users will not hit these
> issues and therefore will not report them.
> 5. Noting the URL of the downstream report in the upstream bug tracker –
> Alioth in SANE’s case – is important to, to notify people, finding the
> upstream report first, this bug is already tracked in their
> distribution. And as written above, that is how the Web works. Links,
> links, links.
> Thanks,
> Paul
> [1] http://lists.alioth.debian.org/pipermail/sane-devel/2013-February/030914.html
> [2] https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/sane-backends/+bugs
> [3] http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/pkgreport.cgi?src=sane-backends


I suppose it's up to distro to tell if such feature requests help them. 
Regarding SANE, Id' rather stick to 
http://www3.sane-project.org/contrib.html and keep bug reports for 
effective work.


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