The purpose of a bug report is to improve the stable and testing Debian Distributions.
You send a bug report to help the maintainer improve the package, not to receive help from him.
If you want to know how to report a bug see : http://www.debian.org/Bugs/Reporting
The purpose of a bug report
As it is written in : http://www.gnu.org/prep/maintain/maintain.html#Replying-to-Mail
The main purpose of bug reports is to help you contribute to the community by improving the next version of the program. Many of the people who report bugs don't realise this-they think that the point is for you to help them individually. Some will ask you to focus on that instead of on making the program better. If you comply with their wishes, you will have been distracted from the job of maintaining the program.
The purpose of bug reports in Debian can be found in the Debian Social Contract :
- We will not hide problems
- Our priorities are our users and free software
You must keep in mind that maintainers receive a lot of bug reports, and have limited time to spare on Debian. Their priority is to :
- package a new upstream release that fixes a lot of bugs
- fix a nicely reported bug with a reproducible and a well-identified cause
They don't have time to investigate dubious bug report.
- Some maintainer will tag those bug as "unreproducible" .
- For some packages it means that no one will look at them within the next five years.
- Others will close those bugreports that seem unreproducible.
Some interesting examples
Bug reports are used by the maintainers
- as a reminder
- for Team organisation
- to alert about the presence of a problem
If a bug occurs
before sending a bug report.
- Try to reproduce it a second time.
- Be sure your debian installation is clean.
- Try to join some one on debian-user mailing list or irc.
- check for duplicates.
If you want to send a bug report.
- keep in mind that you want to help the maintainer to increase the quality of the package.
If you need a service
Debian has a list of consultants. If you need paid support for Debian, you can ask them.