[Sugar-devel] [Feature] Problem Reports

Wade Brainerd wadetb at gmail.com
Sat Dec 12 20:47:05 EST 2009

Hi all,

Here is my feature proposal for Sugar Problem Reports.  It's a quick
way for users to provide feedback about Sugar.  Reports automatically
bundle relevant log files, and the PHP log server some simple scraping
for Python exceptions, logger.error() calls, etc.

The patches are all posted to http://trac.sugarlabs.org/ticket/1439,
the wiki page which this content came from is


== Summary ==

The "Report a problem" control panel provides a way for the user to
report issues with the Sugar shell and activities.  The control panel
uploads system information and logs, along with the user's description
of the problem.

== Owner ==

* Name: Wade Brainerd
* Email: wadetb at gmail.com

== Current status ==

* Targeted release: 0.88
* Last updated: October 16th, 2009
* Percentage of completion: 90%

== Detailed Description ==

A new control panel will be added, titled "Report a problem".  This
panel contains a description box and an Upload report button.  When
the button is pressed, the description and system logs are uploaded to
a central Sugar Labs server.

The central server logs the problem reports in a database and stores a
copy of the logs.  It also analyzes the logs for specific errors (such
as Python Tracebacks).  When a problem report is added, the server
sends an email out to a mailing list of developers and interested

When a problem is detected in an Activity, such as failure to launch,
Sugar will offer a "Report problem" button which takes the user
directly to the control panel.

After uploading, the user is given a Report ID number (a small decimal
number).  They can use this if they wish to follow up with the Sugar
developers by email.

== Benefit to Sugar ==

Currently there is no mechanism for non-technical users to submit
problem reports.  In order to inform the Sugar or Activity developers
of a problem, a user has two options:

* Create a Trac account and enter a bug.
* Write an email to sugar-devel at lists.sugarlabs.org.

The first option is time consuming and requires the user to fill in
confusing fields such as Component and Version manually.  The second
option requires the user to have an email account, and the report is
not logged anywhere.  Neither option is convenient or provides
relevant details about the problem.

The new control panel offers a way for casual users to report problems
encountered in Sugar.  It also supplies a high level of detail about
the problem to the developers.

The reason problem reports are not added directly to Trac is that we
don't want to spam the database with spurious reports.  Problem
reports are intended to be triaged by subscribers to the mailing list,
and then either bugged or noted on an existing ticket.

== Scope ==

A prototype of the control panel and server have been finished and
posted to [http://trac.sugarlabs.org/ticket/1439 #1439] as patches.

The collection server is currently running at
logcollect.sugarlabs.org.  Logs are emailed out to the
sugar-reports at lists.sugarlabs.org mailing list.

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