Debian Installer: Major Bug (Help filing a report?)

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Debian Installer: Major Bug (Help filing a report?)

Postby Argus » 2018-06-08 02:32

Hi folks.

I recently installed Debian Testing on a new Virtual Machine, and I discovered a major "bug" / unwanted feature:

The installer forces the Region / Timezone you choose to match the Language you choose. IE, if you want to set your region and timezone, to, say, Tokyo Japan, you must select Japanese as your language.

Steps to reproduce:
1. Install Debian Testing with the graphical installer
2. Select English as your language
3. Attempt to select a Region / Timezone with in a non-English speaking country, like Japan

Result:
Installer will complain and instruct you to go back and select a language matching the selected geographical region.

Expected Behaviour:
I should be able to select "English" as my language, and "Tokyo, Japan" as my Region / Timezone and proceed with installation.

Needless to say, this is a narrow minded and unnecessary "feature", and I hope it is very apparent why this would be unwanted by many users.

Debian doesn't make bug reporting easy for the uninitiated, so I require a bit of help. According to https://www.debian.org/Bugs/Reporting I need to include the following:


Pseudo-headers

The first part of the bug report are the pseudo-headers which contain information about what package and version your bug report applies to. The first line of the message body has to include a pseudo-header. It should say:

Package: <packagename> //I don't know what package is responsible. There appears to be a package called "debian-installer": would this be the correct one?
Version: <packageversion> //I have no idea how to even check this, even if I knew the name of the package.

Please include in your report:

The exact and complete text of any error messages printed or logged. This is very important! //There's not really an error per say, so I suppose I can skip this?
Exactly what you typed or did to demonstrate the problem.
A description of the incorrect behavior: exactly what behavior you were expecting, and what you observed. A transcript of an example session is a good way of showing this.
A suggested fix, or even a patch, if you have one.
Details of the configuration of the program with the problem. Include the complete text of its configuration files.
The versions of any packages on which the buggy package depends. //Ummm... Really? Is this necessary in this case? I'm pretty sure the requested information beyond this point is irrelevant, and the unwanted feature is in whichever package is responsible for the debian graphical installer, though I would speculate that it probably extends to the CLI installer as well
What kernel version you're using (type uname -a), your shared C library (type ls -l /lib/*/libc.so.6 or apt show libc6 | grep ^Version), and any other details about your Debian system, if it seems appropriate. For example, if you had a problem with a Perl script, you would want to provide the version of the `perl' binary (type perl -v or dpkg -s perl | grep ^Version:).
Appropriate details of the hardware in your system. If you're reporting a problem with a device driver please list all the hardware in your system, as problems are often caused by IRQ and I/O address conflicts.
If you have reportbug installed the output of reportbug -q --template -T none -s none -S normal -b --list-cc none -q <package> will also be useful, as it contains the output of maintainer specific scripts and version information.


Edit: Lightened my language, as I did not mean to come across as personally attacking / ridiculing any developers. I'm just surprised to see this kind of behaviour in the installer and felt it is an obviously poor design decision that should be brought to attention.
Last edited by Argus on 2018-06-09 05:21, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Debian Installer: Major Bug (Help filing a report?)

Postby bw123 » 2018-06-08 10:30

I think there was an issue in stretch where the language selected in the installer was not preserved. It's probably under construction. You didn't say what image you installed? was it a release candidate? There should be some info in the wiki somewhere about testing the installer, not sure where it is.

Try looking in here for the best way to get involved with the right people somehow.

https://wiki.debian.org/DebianInstaller/

You could probably try irc, or the mailing list first. Contact info is at the top of the link.

Did you try the install in expert mode, and or/text mode? You should probably do this before filing a bug. I do like installation reports though, so if you completed an install that might be good. That info should be in the install manual for testing, easy to find. Might still be in development though. It's called testing because it;s not ready.

yeah this is good also.
https://wiki.debian.org/DebianTesting

If you want to be taken seriously, I would not start out calling people "narrow minded" because the installer team are very serious and hard working. They might just tell you that if you can't figure out reportbug, you don't need to be using testing anyway.

Debian has https://www.debian.org/code_of_conduct and we are expected to assume good faith and collaborate and I know it is hard to do. I'm guilty myself of jumping to comclusions when I disagree with decisions. It's tough to stay neutral and objective when you really care about something.
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Re: Debian Installer: Major Bug (Help filing a report?)

Postby debiman » 2018-06-09 04:16

i ALWAYS do this, whatever linux i install: region != system language.
i did it very recently on a stretch-based distro, and have not encountered this problem.
in fact, i have NEVER encountered this problem.
maybe PEBKAC, or maybe only in testing?
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Re: Debian Installer: Major Bug (Help filing a report?)

Postby Argus » 2018-06-09 05:58

bw123 wrote:I think there was an issue in stretch where the language selected in the installer was not preserved. It's probably under construction. You didn't say what image you installed? was it a release candidate? There should be some info in the wiki somewhere about testing the installer, not sure where it is.


I installed the latest "testing" x86-amd64 image -- the weekly build, if I remember correctly, linked to here: https://www.debian.org/CD/http-ftp/
That was a few weeks ago, granted.

bw123 wrote:Try looking in here for the best way to get involved with the right people somehow.

https://wiki.debian.org/DebianInstaller/

You could probably try irc, or the mailing list first. Contact info is at the top of the link.

Did you try the install in expert mode, and or/text mode? You should probably do this before filing a bug. I do like installation reports though, so if you completed an install that might be good. That info should be in the install manual for testing, easy to find. Might still be in development though. It's called testing because it;s not ready.

yeah this is good also.
https://wiki.debian.org/DebianTesting


Thanks. I will look into those things if I have time.


bw123 wrote:If you want to be taken seriously, I would not start out calling people "narrow minded" because the installer team are very serious and hard working. They might just tell you that if you can't figure out reportbug, you don't need to be using testing anyway.

Debian has https://www.debian.org/code_of_conduct and we are expected to assume good faith and collaborate and I know it is hard to do. I'm guilty myself of jumping to comclusions when I disagree with decisions. It's tough to stay neutral and objective when you really care about something.


Yeah, I should apologize. I didn't mean to come off as if I was attacking anyone or calling the developers narrow minded. I just get irked when I see features implemented in such a way as to consider only "common" use cases, and restrict or ignore the needs of users who fall outside of the majority. I feel it's a common trend in software development, and it's not incorrect to say that the implementation of such features is narrow-minded. That doesn't mean that I think the developer who implemented it was narrow-minded: we all make assumptions when writing code, and don't always think things through.

I guess I'm a bit quick to express disapproval because I've had negative experiences with this kind of thing in other projects before. That has nothing to do with Debian, though.

I'll try to be a bit more professional in my wording.

As for reportbug, it isn't that I can't figure it out, but that it's quite a time investment to do so and gather all of the necessary information. My time is really limited, and filing bugs is a huge hassle, but I feel like it's something that I should learn to do and take the time to do in order to give back and help improve the project that I'm benefiting from.
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Re: Debian Installer: Major Bug (Help filing a report?)

Postby Wheelerof4te » 2018-06-09 07:22

If you want to install Testing, better and recommended way is to install minimal Stable, then upgrade to Testing.
However, if you want to test the installer, reporting bugs is easy:
https://www.debian.org/Bugs/Reporting
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Re: Debian Installer: Major Bug (Help filing a report?)

Postby bw123 » 2018-06-09 10:20

Argus wrote:...
As for reportbug, it isn't that I can't figure it out, but that it's quite a time investment to do so and gather all of the necessary information.
...


This is true, but if you're going to file a bug, it's really helpful to try and find the workaround. If you let people know you tried several different configurations and methods, different media, etc. and also different hardware, it helps find the problem.

I don't report many bugs, because I don't install many packages after I setup a system. On stretch I spent a couple months booting and rebooting, and trying different combinations of packages to get things to work the way I want. It's time consuming, but it's probably the best way. Using reportbug is good because it gathers pkg and hardware specs needed for analying the problem on each unique machine.

Also, if you are going to test the installer for buster, you might as well go ahead and test it all the way, find even more bugs and report them also.

I don;t know if the weekly builds are using a new installer or the stretch installer, the cd team/lists/irc would probably be the place to find out, they have wiki too. https://wiki.debian.org/Teams/DebianCd

good luck
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Re: Debian Installer: Major Bug (Help filing a report?)

Postby llivv » 2018-06-09 19:49

the old standard for filing on testing is to check if it is already fixed in unstable
and for filing on stable to check if it is already fixed in testing
at the very minimum - fyi

further - some multi package lists like boot and x often require a filer to test for a bug using a default install
as those projects see the highest percentage of user error bug reports.
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