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I would like to investigate if there is a changed point of view concerning allowing bug- related questions in specific cases. The last time this was discussed is four years ago, and practice seems to have slightly changed.


My point of view:

In case of possibly bug- related questions:
until it is not definitely sure a question is related to a bug, and it is highly unlikely a work around can be produced in an answer, please don't vote to close the question as off-topic.

Although the point of view above seems to be permitted in practice in some cases, I'd like it to be an "officially" recognized one. Bugs should of course be filed, but in many cases at least a work around can be created for the time being. For that reason, closing such a question as a bug often means unnecessary loss of important functionality.

Good examples are the many graphics driver issues. Highly unlikely to be fixed on a short term, while they can be patched with a little creativity. It would have driven away many users if we simply trashed those questions. Many people wouldn't get their second/third screen arranged or working at all.

Looking through my answers, it seems at least 10% is in any way related to fixing (the effect of) a bug. I don't see any reason why this should not have happened, many reasons we should allow it.


I would like to get the currently "living" opinion(s) on this.

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    Possible duplicate of Should questions seeking workarounds for bugs allowed? – Byte Commander Aug 11 '16 at 11:00
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    @ByteCommander given that this is now a request to re-examine that policy, I think that this is not a duplicate. – Thomas Ward Aug 11 '16 at 16:10
  • @ThomasWard Yeah, I had already retracted my close vote. – Byte Commander Aug 11 '16 at 16:16
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    @ByteCommander Indeed. It was more-or-less a poke to the 'reviewers' with a force-of-habit at-ping. :) – Thomas Ward Aug 11 '16 at 16:17
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    Considering the long term (in one case wontfix) bugs I've been successfully and simply working around to make my Ubuntu work, and how grateful I am to the hackers who found those workarounds and made their discoveries public, I think there has to be a nuanced approach... – Zanna Aug 11 '16 at 16:39
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until it is not definitely sure a question is related to a bug, and it is highly unlikely a work around can be produced in an answer, please don't vote to close the question as off-topic.

Exactly, how much time is this? I vote based on the information that I have on the moment. We are encouraged to vote on the current status of the post, not in the past nor future, but now. Having a separated site for "workarounds" is simply not productive. Having the bug report, possible workarounds, updates, etc. that I can subscribe on Launchpad is hundreds of time preferable.

Look at it this way: if a known bug gets an answer on AU, later it is fixed, yet another bug appears with the same symptoms as the first, the workaround may not work for the second case, as they may be different problems. Then the new bug never gets reported, the workaround doesn't fix the issue and everyone wastes their time.

The most effective way to deliver workarounds is on the bug reports they are supposed to be temporary fixes. That way all the information is in a single place, instead of dispersed all over the internet.

  • I kind of expected you wouldn't agree :). However: "We are encouraged to vote on the current status of the post, not in the past nor future, but now". - It is not only the status of the post that determines if the issue is bug- related, but the information we have on the existence of a bug, the exact symptoms and the circumstances it appears with other users. – Jacob Vlijm Aug 12 '16 at 6:08
  • I don't see how workarounds, to be able to "live" with possible bugs, posted on the largest Ubuntu related support site would be dispersed over the internet. Despite bug reports, some of the issues we run into exist for a long time and seem hard to fix. I don't see any reason why we shouldn't improve the "quality of live" then to eliminate the effect of a bug. Even consider it an important part of the support we offer. – Jacob Vlijm Aug 12 '16 at 6:12
  • @JacobVlijm people here tent to write the most vague, incomplete posts, which in turn makes them harder to find. Something difficult to find isn't useful. Bug reports force you to write something more coherent, include as much detail as possible (reproduction steps, tracebacks, etc.) and maintainers also make sure the bugs can be found and understood by editing. – Braiam Aug 12 '16 at 11:35
  • In case I answer questions with an unclear title, I pretty much always edit it. – Jacob Vlijm Aug 12 '16 at 12:08
  • @JacobVlijm when I meant "vague" I really mean it, the kind of "I haz a bugz, send me teh fix, plox" kind of vague. Not even debugging information.... – Braiam Aug 16 '16 at 3:54

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