Subject: Tracking Prevalance of Bugs
To: NetBSD-current Users <>
From: Curt Sampson <>
List: current-users
Date: 05/02/1999 18:02:03
One of the things I've realised during the release process for 1.4
is that we don't really have a way of tracking how many people are
affected or likely to be affected by a particular bug. 

This is important information because it's used in decisions about
whether to hold back a release when a bug is discovered. For example,
if someone discovers that his CD-ROM has stopped working, but the
same CD-ROM works for other people, how bad is this problem? If it
happens only with a certain combination of motherboard, motherboard
BIOS date, CD-ROM, and CD-ROM firware date, and would affect all
of five people in the entire world, it's not worth holding up the
release for tens of thousands of other people. On the other hand,
if lots of other beta-testers with lots of different hardware
configurations come across it, it may be bad enough to warrant
delaying the release to fix it, in order not to inconvenience a
large number of users.

Our PR database provides good information on bugs, but nothing on
how many people are affected by that bug. Our current method of
determining how widespread a bug is basically consists of listening
to the amount of screaming going on on mailing lists, depending on
how noisy some of the screamers are, can give rather incorrect
estimates. :-)

Unfortuantely, I don't have a solution for this at the moment. I'm
just opening up this topic to see if anyone here has any thoughts
on better ways to approach this problem.

Curt Sampson  <>   604 801 5335   De gustibus, aut bene aut nihil.
The most widely ported operating system in the world: