Some time ago, I asked how we should handle bug reports: Questions which are bug reports. The top answer at the time split questions into two
- Those which are asked where is seems clear that the poster knows they are bug reports
- Those where it becomes clear they are due to bugs or where this is 'obvious' to another user, but where the original poster did not know that
The suggestion then was that the first case get closed and the second get answered with
This is basically a bug in the package/program and as such, it should be reported using the way explained in its manual.
I've been prompted to raise this again following some discussion about making sure things are transparent to users, in particular new users. Looking over meta, I think we have some issues:
- What has tended to happen 'in the wild' doesn't match the above (see Answer reveals problem is package bug: Delete question? for a statement that suggests a different policy, for example)
- The nature of the closure types available to us has changed since the earlier discussion
- There is a need to consider people other than the OP arriving via search: do they get useful information? In particular, will they pick up subtleties in comments (as opposed to actual answers)?
- Is the speed of (likely) fixing a bug relevant?
- What (if anything) is different for questions where the OP knows something is a bug but is seeking a workaround (and does this vary between things solvable in TeX/Lua code and those which need work on supporting binaries)?
- What (if anything) is different between bugs which are fixed and bugs which are still 'live' (and of course does this have a knock-on if the bug is live when the question is asked but fixed X months later)?
- How do such questions relate to formal issue trackers (where available)?
Given the above, I'd like to seek a clear position which can be used as a reference when handling these cases. This will be useful as a reference point and can be linked to as part of discussion of handling of individual questions.