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I've seen this a few times, where an answer is given, and all it says is "This is a bug, see this link...", etc.

This post is an example (at least one of the answers is, it came up in a review).

Is revealing a bug report (ie, showing that a bug exists in the system that causes the problem in the question) a suitable answer to a question?

In my mind, answers should try to solve the problem in the question. I don't think simply reporting a bug solves the issue. Commenting that the problem is a reported bug seems better.

Then again, some questions cannot be solved, so the answer to the problem is "There is no solution" or something like that. What are your thoughts?

EDIT: Seems the one answer linked above was removed, but it was only one example. The OP answered his own question, with an appropriate solution to the bug.

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    In that particular case, look at the answer posted by OP. That is how one uses a bug report to answer a question. – muru Apr 27 '16 at 6:18
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I agree. Simply stating "this is a known bug, here's the bug report" is a pretty crappy answer. If that's all the answer that can be given, it would be better to just close the question as a bug report. That's one of the boilerplate close reasons available on Ask Ubuntu:

close reason for bugs

If, on the other hand, there is useful information in the bug report. Then, instead of just linking, copy the information into your answer as the OP of your example did.

So yes, in my opinion, an answer that's just a link to a bug report is useless. It is not an answer as defined by SE, and it would be better to post it as a comment and close the question.

  • +1 to close + link to bug report in comments. Wish the close vote had a way of including link to bug report. – Panther Apr 27 '16 at 15:59
  • @bodhi.zazen yes. As you know, I find the whole AU stance of not allowing bugs to be discussed here counter productive, but if we;re going to do that, we should be consistent about it. Since there is already a link between AU and Canonical, I think finding a way to directly close bug questions as "duplicates" of the relevant bug report would be the best solution. – terdon Apr 27 '16 at 16:06
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    I've voted to close, as the reporter of the bug informs that "his bug is fixed" and disengaged. If the asker has the same bug as the reporter, and his issue isn't fixed yet, he should open another bug report. – Braiam Apr 27 '16 at 21:23
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Yes. We aren't a bug tracker, so linking people to the right place is pretty important for letting them know what's going on, and often when things will be fixed, if they will at all. Additional information is often useful for nailing down the scope of a problem, and then testing fixes, so throwing a few extra bodies on the bug can't hurt.

Traditional dictate does also apply. Just linking is lazy and makes for a poor quality answer. Explain the problem, provide available workarounds. The OP's answer there is a great example of this.

  • The OP's answer is great. The one Zzzach mentions however, is a classic link-only non-answer. Your answer here seems to suggest that such things are acceptable when linking to a bug report. Have I misunderstood? – terdon Apr 27 '16 at 14:22
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    "This is this bug" LOAs to bug reports can (depending on the question) still be valid answers and they still serve a functional purpose for both us and the bug tracker. It's not in the same category as a "Go and read this tutorial" LOA. – Oli Apr 27 '16 at 14:27
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    Dunno. Seems like a classic "signpost" LOA, as in "the answer is thataway". It doesn't actually provide an answer so it shouldn't be posted as an answer. If the best answer that can be given is "this is this bug, go read the bug report", then the question should be closed and the bug report could be added as a comment. I don't see why we should ignore the "traditional dictates" as you call them. – terdon Apr 27 '16 at 14:33
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    The difference is the signpost serves both us (SEO, future dupe close target) and the OP (explains what the problem is, lets them see the problem, subscribe, help directly) and the developers (stops a dupe report, gets more feedback, subscribers, etc). I'm not saying they wouldn't be much better if they included detail, just that given the choice between leaving (or improving) the LOA vs deleting the LOA and closing as a bug report, what has the most positive outcomes is clear. SE tradition be damned. – Oli Apr 27 '16 at 14:40
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That question is one of the reasons why we have the OT>bug close reason. The reporter "fixed" his issue, and everyone else is kept having the same bug!

If you read Joseph comment he asks for some steps to follow, namely:

  1. Use upstream kernel
  2. Verify if the issue is found.
  3. Retag and mark as confirmed the bug, whenever is found or not.

The reporter stopped at the first step since his issue was fixed. The bug is still incomplete as today and will be marked as invalid if no further actions are taken in the next 59 days.

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