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Should we use the Article type for bug reports?

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I've recently been looking through the [bug] tag, and one thing stood out to me. Every bug post either has no answers, or one answer that just says, "The bug has been fixed" (or some variation thereof). Even that one answer is unnecessary anyway since the status tags easily show whether the bug has been fixed.

Therefore, I've been thinking that we should just use the Article type for bugs,1 since there really isn't a point to answering a bug report.2 I believe that tools should be used for what they're developed for: the Q&A type of post should be for questions that have answers, which bug posts are not.3

I'm aware that this would be a pretty big change for not much benefit, but I thought I'd throw it out here for consideration.

  1. I'm not saying we need to change the old bug reports (since I don't think it's even possible), just use it for new ones

  2. What would "answering a bug report" even mean in this context?

  3. I guess bug reports aren't really "articles" either, but they are "posts that don't have an answer," so it still fits better.

Why should this post be closed?

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2 answers

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Nah.

Posting them as questions allows for a more detailed explanation than "fixed" if there's a reason to do so - such as an especially interesting bug, or someone taking the opportunity to explain how certain bits of the system work.

Plus, the people who fix the bugs then get the opportunity to increase their imaginary internet points. ;)

1 comment

Obviously, the last part isn’t at all our motivation for fixing bugs... ;) ‭luap42‭ 21 days ago

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I've sometimes seen bug reports be answered with workaround while awaiting a fix. I think I've seen that here on Codidact (though I haven't gone looking for examples). I know I saw it sometimes on Some Other site. I don't know how important it is, but it's something we would lose if we made this change.

We can't currently tie post types to tags, so this would be a convention of using the article post type when reporting bugs but not something we could enforce through the system. This means there'll be a learning curve and some mis-fires.

Available post types are tied to the category. If we kept bug reports here in the main Q&A category and wanted people to use articles for them, then asking a question here would require explicitly choosing a post type (question or article) each time. (When there's only one type of top-level post the software doesn't ask because you only have one choice.) This could be mitigated by creating a separate category for bug reports; I don't know if that segregation would be a good thing or a bad thing.

We probably need a better approach to bug reports than what we have now, but I don't know what that is. Suggestions welcome!

5 comments

I personally think workarounds should just be edited into the post itself, or left as comments. ‭Moshi‭ 21 days ago

To be entirely honest, I wish people would just post bug reports on github as a new issue so it'd all be gathered in one place, but I can't expect everyone to have a github account. ‭Moshi‭ 21 days ago

Also, I actually think that separating bug reports into it's own category would be immensely helpful - those reports tend to get buried beneath all the new stuff, since they are rarely updated, and it'll be much easier to find previous reports once search by catagory is implemented. ‭Moshi‭ 21 days ago

@Moshi Agree re. GitHub; it's the ideal, but not feasible to expect many user-reported bug reports to start and end there. A separate category with some guidance for posting a good bug report would be a good second option, but there's still the possibility of folks reporting in Q&A. There'd need to be a way to migrate posts from one category+type to another. ‭ShowMeBillyJo‭ 21 days ago

Re workarounds: I think that's sufficient reason to leave bug reports as "questions". ‭msh210‭ 21 days ago

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