No Built In Bug Reporter

UNCONFIRMED
Unassigned

Status

--
enhancement
UNCONFIRMED
13 years ago
2 years ago

People

(Reporter: zipsplace, Unassigned)

Tracking

Firefox Tracking Flags

(Not tracked)

Details

Attachments

(2 attachments)

(Reporter)

Description

13 years ago
User-Agent:       Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.0; FunWebProducts; .NET CLR 1.1.4322; .NET CLR 2.0.40607)
Build Identifier: 

A simple Incident Reporter that keeps track of user actions and software 
actions (Trace File) should be included - this makes reporting bugs quick and 
easy with accurate data. - The reporter could automatically look up known bugs 
for the release the user has - make a suggestion if they have an old version. 
Or declare these bugs match your "headline" / issue - if they are relevant 
check one - then it auto submits - if not then it should allow quick simple 
issue - description reproducible - steps to reproduce? the occurence time - 
this way you can view in a trace log the time. A sample of such a system will 
be included as an attachment. This will also speed the fix of all errors, by 
reducing the development teams time. 

Reproducible: Always
(Reporter)

Comment 1

13 years ago
Created attachment 200241 [details]
A simple Incident Reporter written for a product - the author tristan.adouani@adouani.ch

The file is an exe in a zip folder - you will need to unzip in order to run it.
(Reporter)

Comment 2

13 years ago
Created attachment 200242 [details]
A Sample Report for the Incident reporter Exe file

This is a sample for the Incident reporter exe file - this is what it produces.
the newer version actually zips the trace files as it runs

Comment 3

13 years ago
The tool you describe already exists, it's called Bugzilla... ;-)

Keeping track of user actions is generally not a good idea for privacy reasons,
and we have Talkback in case the application crashes. Everything else is handled
by a web based bug tracker just fine. -> INVALID

If you have usability issues with Bugzilla, file a specific bug on that.
Status: UNCONFIRMED → RESOLVED
Last Resolved: 13 years ago
Resolution: --- → INVALID

Comment 4

13 years ago
elmar.ludwig@uos.de: erm, what this reporter is asking for is very different
from bugzilla. 
Status: RESOLVED → UNCONFIRMED
Resolution: INVALID → ---

Comment 5

13 years ago
timeless: I know that, that's why I appended the smiley at the end of my line.

I just don't think it's worthwhile putting a simple reporting wizard (which
might look like the Bugzilla Helper) as a component into the program, not to
mention all the tracking stuff. Other requests like this have been rejected
before (see e.g. bug 25700 or the discussion in bug 275362).

Comment 6

13 years ago
> I just don't think it's worthwhile putting a simple reporting wizard (which
> might look like the Bugzilla Helper) as a component into the program, not to
> mention all the tracking stuff. Other requests like this have been rejected
> before (see e.g. bug 25700 or the discussion in bug 275362).

Doesn't the "Help -> Report Broken Web Site" menu option do just that (reporter.xpi)?
By the way, where does the Reporter Extension put its reports (say you need to revise them in future or something)?
(Reporter)

Comment 7

13 years ago
(In reply to comment #5 comment #6)

How much useful information does one really get from say the regular users - the reason others put in reporting mechanisms that "Users" can decide to send or not to send allows for a more detailed picture of the problem to be sent to those who need to know the details. The real success of Thunderbird lies not only in the functionalities built in but also in its' abilitiy to perform those functions. Ease of use is another point. 
The ability to have the system send a report - if the user will allow such a report to be sent achieves more quickly and efficiently the desired result a better Thunderbird. How many bugs go unreported or unfixed and how long does it take a programmer to fix a problem (I think my time is valuable - maybe some have all kinds of free time) . I would rather utilize my time more effectively efficiently - even implementing new features or making something a bit more easy to use or setup than I would to needlessly communicate back and forth several times with someone to try this or that, or what is this setting or that setting. Sure there is Bugzilla - but it doesn't get all the information or even a fraction. I know it is easy to resist such tools but I have worked in many environments where such tools allow me to do my job.
I know some have privacy concerns "Because it is IN THERE" Enable Disable - simple. Oh just the mere thought of it - well how does anyone who is not a programmer even trust that there is nothing in there - just because the feature is not "built" in. A non programmer would not have a clue - and quite frankly any programmer is not going to go grudging through all of the code to find something either, and most likely not sniff it out. So if it is there Enable Sending or Disable Sending I trust fellow programmers that they would do the right thing here - as there is a large community of people that can view the source and sniff it - and I am sure there are more than a couple that might just do that.
You might have different levels of Bug Reporting Level 1 to Level 5 - level 5 sends more info level 1 the least - could be selectable even by the user. 

I would not mind at all, because in the end I know I would have a Better Thunderbird.

Comment 8

13 years ago
(In reply to comment #6)
> Doesn't the "Help -> Report Broken Web Site" menu option do just that
> (reporter.xpi)?

This report was about Thunderbird, not Firefox, but that is not really relevant here. The reporter tool is (by design) too simple to be useful for directly submitting bug reports to bugzilla (which I believe was the suggestion in comment #0). You can read more about its goals here:

http://robert.accettura.com/archives/2004/12/10/mozilla-reporter/

> By the way, where does the Reporter Extension put its reports (say you
> need to revise them in future or something)?

You can find them in the database at http://reporter.mozilla.org/, though you cannot change them after reporting AFAIK (if this is what you meant).

Comment 9

13 years ago
(In reply to comment #7)
> Sure there is Bugzilla - but it doesn't get all the information or even
> a fraction. I know it is easy to resist such tools but I have worked in
> many environments where such tools allow me to do my job.

1. What you suggest may well work with a smaller base of installed systems, but there are a _huge_ number of Firefox/Thunderbird users out there. If it is easy to report problems, more users will do this, and the majority of these reports will be either duplicate or useless due to lack of information (like "[insert favourite site here] looks bad in Firefox! Fix this immediately!"). I'd guess about 50% of the newly reported bugs in Bugzilla each day are either duplicate or invalid. You would need some kind of (manual) screening process that filters these reports before they actually go into Bugzilla. This is how the reporter tool works (though I doubt that all individual reports really get looked at).

2. How do you determine which information is relevant for (automatic) inclusion in the report? Does this include the currently displayed message in Thunderbird? Or the contents of the selected mail folder? The amount of data you need to collect (and store!) can become quite large then.

3. The problem with privacy converns is not "Because it is IN THERE". The problem is that Bugzilla (or any other database this goes into) is a publicly accessible system. Basically anyone in the world can read what is entered there, not only the actual programmers. Would you want to have your cookie file stored there? Or your browsing history? Your user/account settings (which may include passwords)?

Comment 10

13 years ago
Why not just dump the Reporter extension as a piece of bloat and provide a menu option under "Help" linking to https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/enter_bug.cgi?product=<whatever> instead?

Comment 11

11 years ago
(In reply to comment #10)
> Why not just dump the Reporter extension as a piece of bloat

For Firefox it probably does what it was intended to do since they still ship it.  They get a wider perspective of problems out there in the field, especially from the viewpoint of non-technical users or for less technical issues, eg non-crashes.  The goals of Reporter are worth looking at; from http://robert.accettura.com/archives/2004/12/10/mozilla-reporter/
    * Provide Agregate [sic] data on incompatible sites with Gecko browsers
    * Provide an interface for end users to submit problems they encounter in under 30 seconds
    * Keep end users away from bugzilla, and force them to enter good Evangelism reports
    * Provide a tool for layout folks to use to track problems that effect Gecko users most

This is relatively easy for web pages.  You get a URL whose content is often relatively static, such that someone else can view it *AND* the name (the URL) is the same for everyone. Bottom line, there is little ambiguity in defining and seeing the problem. 

Such a tool for Thunderbird would have to more complex - there is no concept of a URL, and as Elmar points out the information typically is not "public" information like a URL.

However, the concept has some merit because I'd hazard less than 10% of bugs submitted against thunderbird by novice reporters have sufficient information to directly attack the problem.  So it would be helpful to do or improve *SOMETHING*, whether it's implemented as a separate reporting tool ala Reporter, or as an improved guided "new bug" process.


With reference to bug 25700 and bug 275362, they were quickly dispatched without much discussion and not much exploration of "need".  So while the comments may be helpful, I don't think they are sufficient to dismiss this bug.


> and provide a menu option under "Help" linking to
> https://bugzilla.mozilla.org/enter_bug.cgi?product=<whatever> instead?

Elmar says it in #1 of comment 9 - Because we'd be swamped with bug reports in quantities that can't be adequately processed - it would be a frustrating exercise for everyone involved.  Using Firefox reporter as a benchmark, if Thunderbird got 1/10 of Firefox's volume (992 reports in the last 24hr period // i'm not sure if that's a correct ratio of thunderbird to FF users) then we'd get ~100 reports/day.

That's not saying flat out that it's a bad idea, the merits should be explored IMO. But for sure, the process and personnel that create and munge bugs would need to be drastically improved.
OS: Windows 2000 → All
Hardware: PC → All
(Reporter)

Comment 12

11 years ago
OK some people think it is Bloated Code , others think there is a security issue,others know the benefit of having a good reporting tool. How about a PLUGIN for bug reporting - that when certain failures are detected could report the data automatically for those of us who want to do so - As you know more and more "Non-Developers" are using the software each day. This ensures accurate data for bug reporting. Also there are many who probably would report the errors, but do not have the time or energy to write up the reports in Bugzilla.
So I think a Plug-In module would fit the bill for everyone. You could choose to use it or not - download it (add in) or not. So for those who do not like to report in that manner - dont, for those who think its bloated code dont add it. 
The number of reports should not be a concern if the reporter could "categorize" the reports and consolidate. It is all a matter of how well thought out the reporter is.
Assignee: mscott → nobody
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