[racket-dev] bug reports: include prefs file?

From: Neil Van Dyke (neil at neilvandyke.org)
Date: Tue Sep 27 22:02:47 EDT 2011

Making it easy for people to include their prefs in bug reports seems 
like a good thing.

Like now, I think one would want to expose to people in a reasonable 
fashion what info is being disclosed, and permit them to opt-out.  Or 
maybe they should have opt-in, if you're including the *all* the 

Like now, you could also permit them to edit the info, such as if they 
wanted to remove references to a confidential project but leave the 
other info intact.  Editing is problematic for debugging from this info, 
but a compromise.  The bug-reporting tool could indicate that the info 
has been edited by the user.

Looking at "racket-prefs.rktd" just now, it's not that big, and is 
fairly readable, but it could be presented better for informed consent.  
Maybe the most bang for the buck would be to sort it by increasing order 
of known-benign-ness and secondarily by size of value.  So, near the top 
would be info like user's name, recent files, and REPL history.  In the 
middle would be things that are likely benign, but that might 
conceivably reveal proprietary info (e.g., 
"plt:framework-pref:framework:tabify" and default language can refer to 
confidential names).  Near the end would be things like window 
geometries.  And very near the end would be the color preferences, which 
seem to pretty-print big.  Preferences we don't recognize would be at or 
near the very top.  Then just pretty-print it, maybe syntax-color it, 
and permit it to be viewed/edited.  (Basically, do the opposite of what 
some software and online companies do with EULAs, AUPs, and privacy 
policies.  Emphasize the stuff most relevant to subject rather than 
burying it, and don't force it to be viewed in a tiny font in a 
30x5-character window like we don't want people to actually read it.)

Robby Findler wrote at 09/27/2011 08:29 PM:
> Should I change DrRacket's bug report window so it includes the user's
> preferences file? It would have been helpful in more than a few bugs
> now but I'm not sure if it would bother people to have it put in
> there.


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