In order to organize the AppArmor documentation on Debian’s wiki, we created some basic User Stories. A User Story is a written in everyday language and supposed to frame in a short and precise way what a user of a software or a reader needs to do, know or find.
The User Stories for this particular documentation were not only written in order to structure the pages into a goal-oriented system rather than into a collection of different technical realms, but we also needed them in order to invent a set of tags. These tags should make it easier for the people who maintain AppArmor related packages in Debian to keep track of bugs related to AppArmor.
The Debian Bug Tracking System is very powerful, but it’s hard to learn to use it in first place, as much of the interaction with it is email based. Furthermore is this bug tracking system package-centric. This means that one can report bugs only against packages. Only the maintainers of a package will be automatically made aware if somebody reported a bug against theirs.
But in an operating system packages interact with, depend on or can break each other. When a software ships an AppArmor profile for example, and a recent version of this profile has not been well tested, it could break the program’s functionality and lead to a bug report.
As the AppArmor Packaging Team aims at providing help to package maintainers who ship such profiles, as well as to other contributors who want to request that such profiles are updated or patched, for example, they’d like to be aware of such bugs which concern AppArmor but are reported against other packages.
There is a functionality called user tag in Debian’s BTS. A user tag is a keyword which can be set for a particular user on a bug. It’s possible to add single or multiple tags and also to delete them, once they have become obsolete.
A user tag also needs a user for whom the tag is relevant. The user corresponds to an email address. In our case, that’s the Debian mailing list for the AppArmor Packaging Team.
Here is a list of user tags we defined and detailed instructions on how to set these tags. And here is a list of all bugs which have already been tagged with keywords for the Debian AppArmor Packaging Team.
Unfortunately, Debian’s BTS does not – yet – provide a means to receive a notification everytime a bug is usertagged. That is why I needed to report a so called wishlist bug against the bugs.debian.org package (it’s not really a package, but simply a pseudo package so one can report bugs against it).
In the meantime, I will need to query the Debian’s Ultimate Database (UDD) in order to receive these notifications.