Archive for October, 2007

triaging, and how to spend less time on it.

Monday, October 29th, 2007

at guadec, some people took a look over my shoulder to see me triaging (and Don told me about the correct pronounciation). of course the bugsquad sometimes teaches triaging to interested newbies in #bugs, but it was even more fun to explain stuff “in person” to muelli sitting next to me for example, or to discuss tips and tricks with other squadders (as long as claudio does not eat my cookies in the meantime, but of course he would never do). and people asked me to blog about it. now it’s october, and i’m late, but better than never:

a year ago i started to write a greasemonkey script that makes triaging faster in several points, and now i found time to clean up the code a bit (it’s still messy, but i never said that i wanna be a coder when i grow up ;-).
basic features:

  • add a “stacktrace” anchor link to the top of the page so you can directly jump to the signal handler call by clicking only once, and then compare two traces by quickly switching between the two browser tabs:
  • screenshot.
  • add additional product- or distro-specific stock responses for some products that get a lot of reports, so it’s easier for reporters to install the right debug packages – for example, i also have “english, please!” or “this is not a support forum” stock responses for evolution bugs, because… i need them. sigh…:screenshot.
  • after clicking on the stock response, set keyboard focus to the “save changes” button to save the time you would need for scrolling otherwise
  • reduce the width of the area containing the stock answer links. i have a big screen resolution and i like short ways

here you go for download (but be careful, it may eat your cat). feedback welcome, just send mail. (answers to possible questions: “i have only tested it in firefox, there will be problems with other browsers”, “no, the stacktrace anchor link cannot go upstream due to technical reasons”, “no, we don’t want individual answers for every single module and i don’t think it’s the way to go, it’s been just my personal workaround for some special cases and i thought it could be interesting for others too”.) thanks to nazgul for improvements and comments.

additionally, i have to say that having a laptop made triaging significantly faster for me too, because switching between keyboard and mouse on a desktop computer takes so much longer than using a touchpad and the keyboard which has only a few inches in-between them.
and i use keywords in firefox: you can open by entering “bug 100000″ into the address bar, you only need a bookmark with the keyword “bug” and the address “”. you can add keyword “q” to quickly get to the query page. and so on…

for the last months, the bugsquad started to add the STACKTRACE keyword to crasher reports with pretty perfect traces. useful evolution and nautilus reports should more or less be completely marked with that keyword now, so that hackers and contributors can find and fix crashers more easily. the keyword is especially useful for modules with a large income of reports and few developers/manpower, combining the querying with the latest version number. perhaps there’s some people around interested in marking good gtk+ crasher reports, and some other folks in fixing them?

i’ve added a few more resolved bugs to the auto-reject list so we get less dup reports. we still miss some information to track changes with regard to the number of rejected reports, so now that we reject reports from 2.16 distributions, i saved a copy of the auto-reject list to compare the numbers in a month, to find out which crashers don’t exist in >=2.18 anymore. easy one.

it’s amazing to see that we have a lot of bugsquadders currently (tom, susana, pedro, nazgul, bruno, diego, philip, muelli, cosimo, wolki and those that i’ve forgotten). i still wonder how we manage to create interest in this unpleasant repetitive gruntwork triaging work, but currently it looks like we’re successful in that. perhaps it’s time for me to look out for new challenges (and finish my studies to get a job). :-)

Brennt den Club ab!

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

Wenn im deutschen Hiphop momentan ein Hype existiert, dann sicherlich fuer K.I.Z, auch wenn die dumme Intro (die auch gerade auf meinen Tisch liegt, da die wundervolle M.I.A. auf dem Cover ist [offenbar stehe ich auf dreibuchstabige Abkürzungen mit Punkten]) es weiterhin schafft, diese geflissentlich zu ignorieren. Spiegel Online hat es in der Plattenkritik sehr treffend beschrieben (daher wundert es mich warum das darauffolgende Spiegel-Online-Interview platt wie immer war, hätte man wohl mal den Plattenkritik-Journalisten verwenden sollen anstatt einen weiteren Alice-Schwarzer-Verschnitt): “Zugleich harmlos und hinterhältig, trashig und extrem cool.” und “Der ganze Hardcore-Rap-Zirkus (…) führte genau in die Sackgasse, an deren Ende das K.I.Z.-Quartett wartet. Da stehen sie und geben feixend dem angeschlagenen Gangsta-Genre den Rest.”

Die Herrschaften haben sich nun zusammen mit Massimo und Taktless gestern für ein Konzert in meine Stadt begeben und ich muss sagen: Verdammt gute Party! Ein sehr gemischtes Publikum (alternative Piercing-Mädels und langhaarige Dimmu-Borgir-T-Shirt-Träger), ziemlich guter Sound (Bässe, die bis tief in den Bauch gehen) und viel zu lachen und einige Selbstironie (und letzteres macht viele Bands für mich erst sympathisch). Zudem vorne im Pit teilweise doch recht hartes Pogen (und Stagediven), was ja für die sonstige “Eine Hand in den Schritt, mit der anderen gestreckt in der Luft herumwippen und dabei albern aussehen”-Haltung recht ungewöhnlich ist.

Nach vielseitigen anderthalb Stunden, so ziemlich allen Hits und dem obligatorischen “Hölle” kann ich zudem berichten: Wenn die Crew Hunger hat, wird Staiger losgeschickt um Pizza und Hamburger zu holen! Bis nächstes Mal, und Dank an Anna für das Nahebringen dieser vielversprechenden Kapelle.

(PS: Deutschlandfunk überrascht mich immer wieder, zum Beispiel wenn Lupe Fiasco läuft. Danke dafür.)

cheese & beers; no rain & lots of rain.

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

steffi and me spent the last two weeks driving through the north-eastern part of france, the not-yet-split states of belgium, and the netherlands, in order to visit friends and formerly unknown people, cities and beaches, places where it looked nice “so we should just stop here and spend some time at this wonderful place”, belgian youth hostels, german bunkers and french parking lots. weather was good so we could even lie on the beach. we had lots of fun meeting with folks we hadn’t seen for some while now, drinking belgian beers and eating french cheese, and exploring the landscapes and beautiful cities. and driving through the city centre of brussels at rushhour was also… “impressive”.

1500 kilometres later i can say: sitting with pizza and wine at the beach at night, not knowing where you will be at the next day, is great. try that! you pay with the same currency everywhere, and there are no border controls – that is the part of the european idea that i really love. directly after passing the border to germany again we of course got stopped by civil policemen on the motorway, because the netherlands make it way too easy for germans to buy weapons and drugs that are illegal in germany, so they did a personal search on some of our bags and for example took a look under the foot mat beneath the driver’s seat (yeah, sure, if i smuggled drugs i’d definitely put them at the most obviously places, guys, next time i will put a paper there saying “no drugs and weapons at this place, please search somewhere else!”), but it only took about 10 minutes for them to realize that there’s nothing to hide (yes, this wasn’t the first time this happened to me :-).

after that incident i called my parents to announce that i planned to stay at their house for the upcoming night. i was told that a flooding warning for that area existed. my parents live near to a river that has an artificial lake and a dam a few kilometres up – this can be helpful, or pretty bad if the guy at the dam behaves like normal and “suddenly” realizes that the lake is full and has to emit a floodwave, like in 1998 (and sitting in a dark and cold room without light, telephone or a heating, after walking through water higher than your knees, makes you realize that your normal life is a gift). our house was flooded in 1946, 86 and 98. my 93yrs old grandmother told me that in 1946, it had been constantly raining for 8 days. they had brought the horses to a meadow up the hill early enough, and had had to put the pigs into the kitchen and the cattle on the corridor of our house. but though this time the amount of water was worse than in 86 or 98, things went different, because on our big meadow behind our house (and between our house and the river), a bypass road with a long tunnel is getting constructed, and the tunnel part is basically finished (i still wonder whether spending 70 million euros for a street in a town with 8000 habitants and 15000 cars a day makes sense, but anyway). it was a saturday afternoon, the situation was not yet critical, and (tip of the day:) if you ever want to start a war, then start it on a weekend, because nobody will be at any office. about 25 metres of the dam (protecting the construction site and a few houses like ours) were missing, because that’s the entrance area for the construction site. a few months back, we had been given three phone numbers by the construction company to call “in case of disaster or floodings”. of course in all cases, “the number you have called is temporarily not available”. the building authority of the city administration also wasn’t in the mood to act. so my parents called a friend who managed to organize two trucks filled with soil. then they broke into the construction site and set up a dam themselves. in the end, the tunnel was entirely flooded up to its ceiling” with all the equipment inside (like some dredgers), and parts of the town had to be evacuated because the big crane wasn’t considered to have a safe position anymore.

everytime someone had spoken to the construction company about potential floodings before, those smart asses knew(TM) that the tunnel is safe. so i cannot say that i don’t feel Schadenfreude – nothing happened to the house, and some folks have learned a lesson. (and it was impressive to walk around at the construction site at night, streaming water everywhere, and we had to yell to understand each other because of the watersound.)

freedom of speech. thanks.

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2007

so, to summarize and comment the complaints i have seen in the latest blog postings on and its comments:

i DO want people to post about politics, if they want to. i DO want people to blog about vegetarianism, if they want to. i DO want people to post about what they have done on their day, if they want to. i DO like people with strong opinions or positions, otherwise life and its discussions would become pretty boring. in general, i DO want people to blog about everything they would like to blog about, because it is their own blog. tbf, danielk, if you don’t like this, i kindly ask you to please just ignore those postings. nobody forces you to read every posting here, just skip them – i also skip postings, and i guess nearly everybody does. planet gnome is not exclusively for coding stuff, but about the life of those people behind gnome, and gnome IS people, and of course opinions and positions differ, but that’s perhaps the part that keeps gnome an interesting project for me: it’s not only about code, but about people. thanks.