Many different types of information are stored in bug reports in Launchpad.
Some are actual defects, some are feature requests, some are general issues, and so on. It is not uncommon on Launchpad to have a bug that deals with an issue that a developer cannot resolve. In Launchpad, we offer a couple of bug statuses that allow a developer to close a bug report without actually doing what is requested in the report: these are Won’t Fix and Invalid.
Often, though, there may still be a discussion. Won’t Fix and Invalid are useful for the developer, and the project, to know that they don’t need to schedule time for a fix. However, they can sometimes — rightly or wrongly — be seen as an attempt to close down to discussion.
We’ve just added a new bug status to Launchpad: Opinion. Now, this is a fairly momentous occasion; we hardly ever make changes to bug statuses because they, naturally, have a great impact on how you and others use Launchpad to track bugs. However, we feel it’s important to find a way to balance a project’s need for useful work planning with the need for intelligent and open discussion.
Opinion says: there’s a difference of opinion around this bug and people are free to continue the discussion, but the project or package maintainers need to move to other work and are considering the issue closed.
Like I said, adding a new bug status to Launchpad is a big deal. So, we’re treating Opinion as an experiment. We’ll watch how it is used over the next three months and then we’ll decide if the status is proving useful and effective at closing bugs while leaving the discussion open.