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Re: interpretation of wontfix

On Wed, Mar 28, 2018 at 12:01:19PM +0100, Simon McVittie wrote:
> On Wed, 28 Mar 2018 at 12:17:37 +0200, Andreas Tille wrote:
> > I think "wontfix" is exactly the feature of the BTS that was invented to
> > solve the problem I described.  The bug is not closed and remains listed
> > - so everybody is free to ignore that tag and close the bug.
> Is this how most people interpret wontfix?

Honestly, I don't know.

> I'd usually interpreted it as
> an indication of policy rather than priority: "I acknowledge that this
> is a bug, but it isn't going to change, even if you provide a patch".

I see your point.

> For instance, if there's a design flaw that people are now relying on,
> such that correcting the design flaw would cause regressions that are
> at least as bad as the design flaw itself, then that's an ideal use for
> my interpretation of wontfix.
> In Bugzilla, WONTFIX and its cousins NOTABUG and NOTOURBUG are
> resolutions, not tags (you use them by closing a bug as RESOLVED WONTFIX
> instead of RESOLVED FIXED), which suggests that my interpretation matches
> that of Bugzilla's designers; but perhaps the wontfix tag in the Debian
> BTS was meant to mean something different?
> I would tend to use the help tag, not the wontfix tag, for bugs where I
> don't intend to work on the bug myself but I'd consider applying a patch
> (including porting to non-release architectures).

When I use the help tag I usually do this together with asking for help
say on debian-mentors, upstream or elsewhere.  I do not hope that some
help just comes from simply setting the tag.  I also look into bug
reports that I've tagged help from time to time whether some help might
have arrived which I could have missed for some reason.

I confirm that with your interpretation of wontfix it would be misuse if
I would set it in the said case.  I checked the doc[1] and while the
beginning of the explanation would fit your interpretation it leaves
some kind of "open door" for me in the end: "... or possibly for other

I do not want to base my arguing on this last phrase.  I was just
seeking some practical means to also keep my team mates away who might
become attracted by a "help" tag.  The three bugs in question that
triggered my initial mail kept at least two developers of R packaging
team busy and I would love to have some means to prevent this.  In case
we decide that wontfix is not the right answer for this problem (and I
agree with your reasoning) we could possibly invent some "porters" tag
or something like this which would probably be the best solution for
this problem.

Kind regards


[1] https://www.debian.org/Bugs/Developer.html#tags