HwdbMaloneIntegration

Malone Integration with the Ubuntu Device Database

Status

Introduction

The Ubuntu Device Database (also called the "hwdb" or "hardware database") provides a simple GNOME application that scans the user's machine to collect hardware information. That hardware profile can then be uploaded to a central server so that it's in a place where other people can access it. The hardware profile ID can be very useful to capture in Malone bug reports.

Rationale

Attaching a hwdb ID to a bugreport makes it easier to provide accurate and (mostly) complete information about the hardware on which the bug submitter is running. Accurate and (mostly) complete hardware information can be a very useful aid in fixing a bug.

Collecting detailed hardware information in a bug report (via the hwdb ID) also enables us to collect certain statistics about hardware-related bugs and find devices that cause the most bugs, and it makes it possible to provide data back to a possible HardwareCertification program for vendors.

Scope and Use Cases

  • The user files a bug in Malone via the web UI. They provide detailed information about the hardware they're running by simply including their hwdb ID in the bug report.
  • The user files a bug via email. They provide detailed information about the hardware they're running by including their hwdb ID in the bug report.
  • The user files a bug via a command line tool. The command line tool can optionally send their hwdb ID as part of the bug report.
  • The user files a bug via a bug buddy style desktop app. This desktop app can optionally send their hwdb ID as part of the bug report.
  • A source package maintainer or upstream maintainer wants to search for bugs in their sound package, in which specific sound hardware is involved.
  • An Ubuntu release manager wants to perform queries that show which hardware appears to be linked to the most problems, and which hardware tends to be linked to the fewest problems.

Implementation Plan

It's too early to talk concrete implementation details (since this spec is not intended to be implemented by MaloneOneDotZero), but roughly speaking we will:

  • Add one column to the BugTask table

  • Add a field in the web UI +filebug form to collect the hwdb ID
  • Support a Hardware ID: or some such header in the MaloneEmailInterface

We'll leave discussion of the XML-RPC and Bug Buddy style interfaces till a time much further in the future, when each of these are closer to being implemented (or even spec'd.)

Outstanding Issues

There are some privacy issues with an hwdb ID. The hardware profile is meant to be completely anonymous (it currently collects some MAC address information, but this is intended to go away at some point in the very near future), but the moment a hardware ID is attached to a bug report filed by a person, it's no longer anonymous!

When we get closer to spec'ing out an implementation for this, let's note that:

  • The ID shouldn't be submitted automatically (leave it optional but explain the usefulness to the user)
  • We need to tell the user that more data than is strictly necessary may be submitted for the actual bugreport


CategoryUdu CategorySpec

UbuntuDownUnder/BOFs/HwdbMaloneIntegration (last edited 2008-08-06 16:28:18 by localhost)