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Re: [Xen-devel] [Xen-users] xen forum

On 22/05/13 16:24, Gordan Bobic wrote:
On Wed, 22 May 2013 11:20:49 +0100, George Dunlap <George.Dunlap@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

I believe both mailing lists are great but there are so may postings
many issues get missed. There are some bugs that hand never been
because developers are unaware of it. I just setup forum for xen
users at
sam.hebe.us/forums please be free to join

It would be easier for us if the bug reports and such were posted on
Please consult http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/bugs.html
doing it.

  Surely a bug-tracking system that emails all reports to xen-devel
  automatically would cover the best of both worlds, would it not?

Not unless developers can reply to the bug by hitting reply in their

Please drop the forum idea. Xen should use a proper bug tracking
system like Bugzilla (which allows replying to bugs by clicking
"Reply" in MUA).
Take a look at: http://www.bugzilla.org/docs/4.0/en/html/api/email_in.html


Along with a wiki for documentation that is actually kept updated when
features are added/removed/changed and more importantly, that clearly states if/when obvious features are unexpectedly and conspicuously missing (e.g.
domU config file method of passing multiple USB devices to domU).

So the thing here is that I don't think any of the active developers
knew there was that limitation.  As soon as I discovered it, I just
fixed it (which is why 4.3 will have support for passing multiple USB
devices in the config file).

If you find other obvious missing features like that, please mention
them on the list, and/or suggest them in the xen.org uservoice page:

Somebody mentioned it before. Here's a thread from 2009:

I think you are further strengthening the case for the list being
too leaky as a method of reporting things like this.

The question isn't about it being leaky, the question is attracting the attention of someone who can do something about it. If someone had posted this on our bugzilla four years ago, it would also still be there today -- unless someone had actively looked through the list and brought it to someone's attention. That e-mail was on the xen-users mailing list -- not the best place unfortunately for getting the attention of developers. If no one did that for xen-users, why do you think they would do it for a bugzilla?

What full-time developers typically do is to go through the xen-devel mailing list every day looking for e-mails that are relevant to them. When they find a bug report they think pertains to them, they put it on their personal list and ask more questions about it to determine if it really is a bug, and if it really has to do with something in their own area or in someone else's. When they determine that it is a bug and is in their area, they put it on their list of things to fix, and get to it when it fits with their current priorities.

The key process in this step is "detecting signal in the noise" -- finding what's relevant in what's not relevant. On a mailing list, the "signal to noise" ratio is a function of how many messages there are and what percentage of them pertain to you; as Xen grows as as project, that ratio is lower, and so mail is sometimes dropped.

But the problem isn't actually better on a bugzilla. If I'm scanning through bugs, I still need to find out which bugs are relevant to me. The "signal to noise" ratio in this case, however, is the number of open bugs -- which will grow linearly with time, as opposed to being a constant based on the size of the project.

What bugzilla is *worse* for is discussing what the problem is and coming up with a solution. Mail is much more suited for that purpose.

What we need is people who report / complain about bugs / deficiences in a constructive way. Ideally the reporter would keep "Keep bugging the list every so often until I'm told 'No'" on their own to-do list. It would also be great if we had more experienced users helping to make bug reports better, and then helping bring bug reports / deficiencies to the attention of appropriate maintainers and developers. Pasi I know has played this role, but it wouldn't hurt to have more people get an idea who might be the best person to talk to about a particular issue.


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