[Rd] problem submitting R bug; bug plotting in tiling window manager

peter dalgaard pdalgd at gmail.com
Thu Feb 25 20:04:40 CET 2016

In case you still care, see 


which even our very human spam detector hasn't decided to label as spam (yet).


> On 08 Feb 2016, at 18:34 , frederik at ofb.net wrote:
> Ah, thank you for that explanation. I somehow didn't catch that my
> Bugzilla account had been disabled by a human.
> "Common pattern is to post ... something copied from a generic bug
> report" - that sounds very annoying.
> Frederick
> On Sun, Feb 07, 2016 at 11:54:11AM +0100, peter dalgaard wrote:
>> Unfortunately, the spammers in question appear to be human (of sorts). 
>> We're not sure what they're up to, but a common pattern is to post random text, or something copied from a generic bug report (like "able to add 6 item"), later followed by a comment containing a link or a file attachment. 
>> Presumably, it is some sort of click-bait scheme, but it could also be a covert channel for contrabande files. At any rate, it is very hard to distinguish by mechanical means. So it is done by eye, with some risk of Type-I error. Thus, the Bugzilla maintainers are pretty vigilant to stamp out spammers, sometimes edging on being ham-fisted (er, -footed?).
>> -pd
>>> On 07 Feb 2016, at 00:25 , frederik at ofb.net wrote:
>>> No problem.
>>> Another suggestion would be to simply validate user input like most
>>> websites, and reject invalid submissions immediately, rather than
>>> blocking the user's account. I don't know what kind of spambots you
>>> are up against, but unless they are very intelligent I doubt they'll
>>> be able to understand a message like "You submitted a bug with no body
>>> text, please enter something and try again." There may also be the
>>> option of using Captchas.
>>> Not sure how hard it is to get Bugzilla to do these things.
>>> Thanks,
>>> Frederick
>>> P.S. (I now see that all errors on the bug tracker are displayed with
>>> a red background)
>>> On Sat, Feb 06, 2016 at 03:00:21AM -0500, Duncan Murdoch wrote:
>>>> Thanks for the suggestions.
>>>> Duncan Murdoch
>>>> On 05/02/2016 10:07 PM, frederik at ofb.net wrote:
>>>>> Hi Duncan Murdoch,
>>>>> Thanks for your time. I apologize for not telling you that my email
>>>>> address on the bug tracker is slightly different -
>>>>> "frederik-rproject at ofb.net" vs "frederik at ofb.net". I was going to
>>>>> follow up with this information, but then I thought, he probably knows
>>>>> how to find a tagged email address.
>>>>> I do hope that you are able to fix the bug tracker. In particular,
>>>>> people should be made aware that their account is blocked before being
>>>>> invited to submit a bug. The error they get should be less rude - no
>>>>> need to make it red - and the email address in the error should be
>>>>> filled in. You complained about wasting time having to look for my
>>>>> email address - well, I wasted time looking for yours. The error
>>>>> message could even hint at what triggered the ban. I don't think that
>>>>> you're going to get very far by trying to scare off actual spammers
>>>>> with a big red accusation - I imagine they all have pretty thick skin.
>>>>> Reading the first line of my bug report was generous of you, but if
>>>>> you read the rest, you'll see that, indeed, after checking with the
>>>>> knowledgeable i3 guys, it appears to be an R bug. So I would like to
>>>>> submit it. What appears at the top of my bug report is a copy of the
>>>>> original bug I posted to i3, at the linked URL (are links OK or will I
>>>>> get banned again?).
>>>>> The reason a bug appeared with the subject "til" is because I noticed
>>>>> that when typing into the subject field, some "related bugs" come up.
>>>>> However, this "suggestion" process appeared to be stalled when I typed
>>>>> "til" (for "tiling" or "tilable"). I tried hitting "enter" and it
>>>>> ended up opening a bug with that subject, which I never submitted,
>>>>> because I clicked "back" and figured out that *four* characters are
>>>>> actually necesary to start getting suggestions. The whole point of
>>>>> doing this was to see if another bug had been submitted with the same
>>>>> topic, and thereby save you time! I'm not going to try to reproduce
>>>>> this error, because you said it will get me banned again, but I think
>>>>> somebody should try to fix the site so that people don't get banned
>>>>> for any content which is not submitted. Especially people with
>>>>> months-old accounts, like me.
>>>>> I definitely sympathize with the spam problem, and thank you for your
>>>>> hard work. Best wishes,
>>>>> Frederick
>>>>> On Fri, Feb 05, 2016 at 08:19:40PM -0500, Duncan Murdoch wrote:
>>>>>> On 05/02/2016 7:26 PM, frederik at ofb.net wrote:
>>>>>>> Dear Dirk Eddelbuettel and Duncan Murdoch,
>>>>>>> Thank you for your work on the wonderful R project!
>>>>>>> I recently attempted to submit a bug with your Bugzilla interface:
>>>>>>> https://bugs.r-project.org/bugzilla/enter_bug.cgi
>>>>>>> I created an account, typed in all my information, first checking
>>>>>>> details with another project. Then I clicked submit, and was taken to
>>>>>>> a web page with a big red banner, it said
>>>>>>>  Spammer
>>>>>>>  If you believe your account should be restored, please send email to explaining why.
>>>>>>> What a hostile thing to say to your users! I tried resubmitting my
>>>>>>> bug, but removing any links, and I still get the message - so it looks
>>>>>>> like my account has really been blocked. Please do something to warn
>>>>>>> your users about this so they can avoid the upset.
>>>>>> Your account isn't blocked now, but it wasn't easy to unblock it: you used a
>>>>>> different email address in the submission, not the same one you used in this
>>>>>> email.  At least one of the people who can deal with this kind of thing
>>>>>> would now demand an apology from you before ever reading your email again.
>>>>>> I won't do that, but I have to admit, I don't like the fact that you wasted
>>>>>> 10 minutes of my time. I'm Bcc'ing a couple of people who are working on
>>>>>> putting together a better interface to the bug reporting system, so they
>>>>>> know to deal with this kind of issue as well as all the others.
>>>>>> I'm not hostile, I just sound that way, because I've wasted a lot of time
>>>>>> this week on issues like this.
>>>>>> Duncan Murdoch
>>>>>> (Here's my previous email to you, for the benefit of those who are Bcc'd:
>>>>>>> You posted a bug report, but it had no content other than "til".  That's
>>>>>>> what many abusers of the system have done, so you were blocked.
>>>>>>> I have read the first line of your bug report, and it says " I'm not
>>>>>>> sure if this is a bug with i3 or R ".  If you're not sure if it's a bug
>>>>>>> or not, then please post to R-devel.  That's a moderated list so if this
>>>>>>> is your first post, it may take a while to appear.
>>>>>>> This probably seems unreasonable to you, but a lot of abuse is sent to
>>>>>>> the bug list, so we block it quite early.  I'll unblock you now, but
>>>>>>> please don't post there again unless your discussion on R-devel
>>>>>>> indicates this is a problem with R rather than i3.
>>>>>> Duncan Murdoch
>>>>>>> Well, I don't know what it means to "email to explaining why", so I
>>>>>>> tried to subscribe to R-devel. However, it's been ten minutes and no
>>>>>>> confirmation email. So I tracked down your email addresses from the R
>>>>>>> website. I'm still cc'ing r-devel.
>>>>>>> I hope it is OK to send the bug by email. I really want to get back to
>>>>>>> what I was doing, but I don't want to lose the work I put into writing
>>>>>>> this bug report, so I'm attaching it to this message.
>>>>>>> Thank you,
>>>>>>> Frederick Eaton
>>> ______________________________________________
>>> R-devel at r-project.org mailing list
>>> https://stat.ethz.ch/mailman/listinfo/r-devel
>> -- 
>> Peter Dalgaard, Professor,
>> Center for Statistics, Copenhagen Business School
>> Solbjerg Plads 3, 2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
>> Phone: (+45)38153501
>> Office: A 4.23
>> Email: pd.mes at cbs.dk  Priv: PDalgd at gmail.com

Peter Dalgaard, Professor,
Center for Statistics, Copenhagen Business School
Solbjerg Plads 3, 2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark
Phone: (+45)38153501
Office: A 4.23
Email: pd.mes at cbs.dk  Priv: PDalgd at gmail.com

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