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Amarok & KDE Crash Reporting – FAIL

Posted by Andrew at 7:44 AM on December 30, 2010

Sigh. I love Linux but there are times when you realise it’s never going to take over the world…

I was working with Amarok, but the program crashed completely every time it hit a certain file in my audio library. This wasn’t a big deal but being a helpful soul, when I was presented with the option to send crash information back to the coders, I clicked on “Ok.”  And this is where it all went wrong.

First of all, after showing the stack trace (whatever that is), the crash handling dialog tells me that it’s not much use without the debug symbols, but the package to do that isn’t installed.  Did I want to install the necessary package?  So I said, “Yes,” still being a helpful soul.

Next, an error pops up saying that it can’t find the package and could I add a repository via the package manager?  Of course, the error message doesn’t tell me either the package that’s needed or the name of the repository needed. Being an ever-helpful soul, I figured out by myself that I need to enable the debug repository in the package manager, after which the crash handler was able to load the package and add the debug symbols. Hurrah!

So I hit  “Next” and I get presented with a username and password dialog for the KDE bug database. Apparently I can only log crashes if I’ve registered with the bug database. At this point I gave up being a helpful soul and closed the dialog.

So, for Amarok and KDE developers, here’s a clue. If you want feedback from your users on what’s going wrong with your applications, don’t make it so hard to give the information. Having agreed to give the feedback, that should be it, job done. I should not have to install a package, configure a repository and get a username for some website I’m never going to visit.

Even Dr Watson wasn’t this stupid.

2 Comments

  1. From Jimbo at 3:24 pm on January 2, 2011

    I had Amarok woring fine till today when some updates were installed, then I ran into a simialr scenario – crashing right after the splash screen and then the “not enough details” screen on error submission. I’ve uninstaalled Amarok and using other apps instead.

  2. From Andrew at 3:50 pm on January 2, 2011

    I’m finding the Gnome apps are quite often better than their KDE equivalents. Like you I’ve given up on Amarok and I’m using Rhythmbox which handles bad data much more gracefully. For podcasts, I’ve used gPodder for ages.