Saturday, August 30, 2008

Who's your buddy, who's your friend?

Long ago, in the halcyon days of 2006 while I was basking in the goodness of Suse 10.2, I happened to come across Bug Buddy. I'll let you read the details, but the real story is what happened next. Bug Buddy sent off a crash report where a kindly developer then asked if I could provide even more detailed information, specifically a stack trace with debugging symbols. That's right, I needed to install alternative packages with debugging symbols and attempt to repeat the crash. Fortunately for me I never saw that crash again, and Suse 10.2 went on to be the best Suse (and Linux) experience I ever had on europa before Mandriva. Unfortunately for the bug report I was never notified of the additional need, and it quickly expired.

In any even Bug Buddy seemed to fade into the background until this evening when I went checking up on OpenOffice Ninja. And right there, at the top of the list, was the provocative article "The irony of bug-buddy." Seems that OpenOffice 2.4.1 vanilla, Fedora 9, and bug-buddy 2.22 caused OpenOffice to silently crash when invoked with a document via Nautilus. And it seemed the problem also plagues openSUSE, Ubuntu, and Gentoo. Does it plague Mandriva 2008.1? For me, on europa, the answer is no. I open Office documents all the time with the same release of OpenOffice and Bug Buddy the Ninja was using. I have had no problems.

But let's get back to Bug Buddy for a moment. Bug Buddy is a great idea, and a great tool, but only if it provides all the information needed the first time it's invoked, and only if it works with the environment across all distributions. Otherwise Bug Buddy shouldn't be a part of any distribution.

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