Moderating input to the bug tracker
Debbugs email input is first passed
through SpamAssassin. Anything
with a spam score more than 10 is discarded. Anything with a score
between 5 and 10 is stored (for a time), but not delivered. Anything
with a score less than 5 is delivered to a
mailing list ("debbugs-submit"), for moderation by a human. All input
ends up in a single moderation queue - there is no way to split the
input up by package. This means moderators should be prepared to
moderate reports for a variety of projects. The moderation burden is
modest at present, though. We use
the listhelper system, but
more moderators are always welcome.
Any refused Mailman messages are stored. If you think you discarded
something that you should not have, contact help-debbugs so that we
can restore it. (This only applies to the web interface.)
Suggestions for moderators:
- If you like, you can ignore all the moderation messages except for the
"N Debbugs-submit moderator request(s) waiting" ones that come in once a day.
This is because listhelper deals with a lot of the others automatically.
- Obvious spam? Discard it. Do not use reject (which sends a
rejection notice back to the sender). In most cases the apparent
sender address is faked, and is either bogus or belongs to an innocent
third party. In the rare case where it isn't faked it just confirms
to the spammer that have found a valid email address to spam.
If the sender address is obviously not one that will ever
send a real bug report (eg "newsletter at fantastic-products.com"),
add the sender address to "discard future postings".
- Obviously a valid bug report for a project using the tracker?
Accept it. Add the sender address to "accept future postings".
As more projects start using the system, it may be hard for moderators to
remember all of them. Approving anything that is a valid bug report
is probably fine.
- A message is not obviously spam, but you are not sure if it is
on-topic (eg it might be a bug report for a package not using this
tracker). You can either leave it for another moderator to deal with,
or reject it with an explanation ("I think you might have the wrong
address..."), or accept it (it can easily be deleted from the database
if it is found to be inappropriate). Do not add the sender address to
any accept/discard list.
- Accepted spam by mistake? No problem. Remove the sender address
from "accept future postings", if you added it there. Obvious spam bug
reports are deleted from the database, but contact help-debbugs if you
think it might get overlooked. We can't do anything about the copy
that went out to the maintainer email address, though.
- Discarded a good message by mistake? No problem. Contact
help-debbugs and we can easily restore the original message.
(This only applies to the web interface. Please tell me if you know
how to modify Mailman so that the same applies to the email interface.)
- Noticed a pattern to some spam and have a SpamAssassin rule to
filter it out? Send your suggestion to help-debbugs.
- Sometimes people report a bug, then while it is waiting for
moderation, send a followup with more information. If you approve both
messages at the same time, two separate reports will be created. This
is not a big deal, but if you can the ideal solution is to approve the
first message, then wait at least 5 minutes before approving the
second. This gives the system time to register the first message, so
that the second should be recognized as a reply, rather than a
Last modified: <Monday 03 November 2014, 13:47:58 EST>
Debbugs bug tracking system
Copyright (C) 1999 Darren O. Benham,
1997 nCipher Corporation Ltd,
1994-97 Ian Jackson.