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What is the best way to get a critical bug noticed by the right people, so it can be fixed ASAP?

There is a bug with GVFS which is preventing developers, like myself, from using IDE's in 10.10. We need to downgrade to 10.04 to use our IDE software. I'd call it a critical bug.

We've reported it in these bug reports:

But, so far there has been absolutely no official response that I can see. How do I get it seen quickly and fixed?

I understand patience is always a good idea, but is there anything else that can be done to these bug reports to raise attention to them?

I am happy to wait, but if there is something we can do to speed up the process, it would be good to know it :)

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+1. Good question. – koushik Oct 14 '10 at 7:56
up vote 24 down vote accepted

This is not about the particular bugs you've filed, but general good practice for getting bugs dealt with in a timely manner:

  • Make sure you've filed the bug report in the correct source package. Bug triagers and developers tend to be subscribed to the bug mail of packages they're interested in or responsible from, so for the relevant people to look into your bug in a timely manner, it needs to be filed with a package specified, and the correct one. If you have trouble determining what the right package is, this wiki page may help.

  • Make sure your bug contains relevant debugging information. In most cases, filing your report using ubuntu-bug will ensure this, but there's a wealth of information on debugging procedures on the wiki that will also come in handy.

  • If your report looks all fine, but there's no response for a long time, try announcing it on #ubuntu-bugs on Freenode by citing the bug number to see if any bug triagers around can push it in the right direction. Remember that most triagers and developers are volunteers with constrained time and energy, and being too assertive can discourage people from helping you. If nobody around seems to be able to help, try another time of the day.

  • If you know the particular people whom you think should be looking into your bug, give them a ping on IRC (you can see people's IRC nicknames in their Launchpad profiles), or subscribe them to the bug explaining why you subscribed them with a polite and concise comment immediately afterwards. Don't assign them; just subscribe them, don't subscribe teams unless specifically instructed to do so, and don't mass-subscribe anyone to multiple bugs at the same time.

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As Jorge has noted, this seems to be a gvfs-related issue, so I've now reassigned your first bug to the gvfs package (Launchpad was under maintenance when I was typing up the above). – mgunes Oct 14 '10 at 0:05
Lost in the volume of an awesome answer is: "If nobody around seems to be able to help, try another time of the day" ...which I can't stress strongly enough is a great way to get traction on issues. – pbr Oct 14 '10 at 8:07
Excellent advice. A couple more points: make sure you give it a sensible subject, like "NameError in foo_frob" not "crashes"; give reproduction instructions if possible; try talking to the upstream developers too. I see the particular bugs mentioned here are pretty good in this regard. – poolie Nov 10 '10 at 20:45

Murat's answer is correct for good processes. For your specific bug it seems to be assigned to the wrong component. gnome-vfs is the old unmaintained thing, the current GNOME piece that handles this sort of thing is actually called gvfs.

Your problem is likely that no one is looking at bugs for something we haven't shipped in a while. Fixing the component and then following Murat's instructions will probably get the attention you need.

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I was looking for the gvfs package, and the only thing I could find was gnome-vfs. I will do more digging next time :) – Valorin Oct 14 '10 at 0:11
Thanks for trying, it's totally nonobvious. :( – Jorge Castro Oct 14 '10 at 1:07

Click the "affects me" button at the top of the bug in launchpad. If lots of people do this it indicates that the bug is affected lots of people and may be more important than other bugs.

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maybe check #ubuntu-bugs on freenode? somebody there is usually willing to help.

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As someone who's been shepherding known, real, important bugs for years now, I can commiserate.

Getting things fixed really depends on the things, who cares about 'em and how much, and who's paying people money to care in particular directions.

Open source is an odd beast. -pbr

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One more thing: have a go at fixing it yourself! Many bugs are shallow. And even if you are not able to get very far, just having a go sends a really strong signal to the developers, and it may draw their attention. Even if you can't solve it but you can localize the problem a little bit it makes this bug stand out from the mass of other open bugs.

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Once you do get a fix working, take a look at to help get your fix into Ubuntu. – ajmitch Nov 18 '10 at 2:17

If all else fails, blog about it on Planet Ubuntu and simply describe the problem in depth.

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Only possible if you are a Ubuntu Member afaik... but its a good suggestion for some people. – Valorin Oct 18 '10 at 21:48

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