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In a recent question about problems with Ask Ubuntu, the topic of low-quality, incomplete, pseudo-bug-report questions came up. From What to do with questions that describe known bugs?, I was under the impression that problems needed to be duly processed, identified, and linked to bug reports to be closed as such. However...

From comments

We're supposed to be sending those [referencing this] to Launchpad. I usually leave a comment when something should be a bug and vote to close. – Jorge Castro


Don't we need a bug link to close? While it's nice to talk about what we should do, in practice identifying problems and finding/creating their bug reports is a pretty daunting administrative burden. Meanwhile, dumping a question like that on AU takes twenty seconds. – Me


We're a Q+A site, not a bug tracker for people who don't want to use a bug tracker. – Jorge Castro


I'd like it that way, but the voted consensus here indicates that it should be a known bug to close. Am I misinterpreting it? (If so, free cocktails for everyone) – Me

So, do I have to buy drinks for everyone?

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It's impossible for us to process people's bugs for them, they themselves need to run the ubuntu-bug tool on their computer in order for it to be an effective bug report. It collects things like all their hardware information, and then at some point a retracer is run on whatever they submit to find the real problem.

We're just not equipped to handle that sort of thing here, we'd end up just handling incoming bug reports poorly and having to send the person to the bug tracker anyway, where the tools do all the work.

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I get your point that bug questions should be closed with the relevant bug report links. But, that would only work if it is a known bug. What if we are handling something that is a relatively new bug that has yet to be documented in any of the relevant bug trackers?

Not closing such questions just because we don't already have a link to the bug report would send a wrong signal to the OP that a solution to his bug/problem will be resolved in the confines of this site, which is definitely not the case most of the time. If we work this way, we are neither helpful to the end user nor to the developers, who might have relevant information to fix the bug, if we had directed this question in hand to them. Hence, I think closing bug questions is the best way to approach these questions regardless of whether there is already a bug report documented somewhere or not.

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