Christian's most recent blog post got me wondering if the decline in the bug reporting rate in Debian was something new, or something which often happened during releases. So, lets try to figure that out. In the BTS, when a bug report is filed, the report is written to a file called, and then not touched from then on. Let's look at the modification date on that file to see when each bug was filed; and since we're going to plot this, lets only look at bugs ending in 00:

stat -c '%n %Y' /srv/{archive,db-h}/00/*.report > ~/reporting_rate.txt

Now, lets get the data into R and plot it. [For clarity, I'm not showing the R code, but it's available in the source code for this post.]

From the plot (Bugs reported per second over time with a red loess fit line), it looks like we do see a decline during certain periods. However, there's an even more alarming trend of a decrease in bug reporting in Debian which has been happening since 2006. (Note that I've truncated the y scale significantly; there are periods in Debian where the bug rate is astronomically high, usually corresponding to mass bug filings; I've also limited the plot to data from 2003 on, as I have to clean up that data significantly before I can plot it like this.)

Not sure exactly what that means, but it is troubling.