Archive for June, 2008

Vermischtes.

Saturday, June 28th, 2008
  • Neuer Laptop. Windows XP komplett zerschossen beim Installieren des Grafikkartentreibers. Allerdings auch keinerlei Motivation, das zu reparieren. GNOME/Linux auf der anderen Seite durch das Kopieren meiner alten Daten auch so zerschossen, daß ich weder Symbole noch ein Menü mehr hatte. Unterhaltsam: Nach einem strace auf Nautilus als Test-Benutzer ging dann auch wieder in meinem echten Benutzerkonto alles. Nein, ich will das alles gar nicht verstehen. Viel wichtiger ist doch, dass ich meine Ximian- und Microsoft-Sticker auf dieses viereckige Modeaccessoire rüberbekomme und eine passende schicke pinke Laptoptasche finde, oder? Wer kommt jetzt mit auf die Loveparade?

    Insgesamt aber mal wieder sehr beeindruckt gewesen, wie zeitsparend es ist, daß man jegliche Software zentral mit einem Klick installieren kann. Ich verstehe nicht den Masochismus, sich unter Windows wie im Jahre 1995 auf irgendwelchen (ggf. noch nicht mal vertrauenswürdigen) Internetseiten die ganzen gewünschten Programme einzeln herunterzuladen und auch noch selbst installieren zu müssen.

  • Deutschland vs. Türkei – bla bla, Integrationsdebatte, beide Fahnen an Autos, schon genug drüber gelesen, innenpolitisch, ich weiß. Habe allerdings gestern die Wirkung auf gerade nur für einige Monate in Deutschland verweilende Menschen bemerkt, die ziemlich beeindruckt davon waren, dass hier anscheinend multinationaler Patriotismus einigermaßen unkompliziert funktionieren kann. Und das in Deutschland!
  • Der verbreitete Werbeslogan “Geldkarte/Euro-Führerschein rein, Drogen raus” für Zigarettenautomaten ist eine Lüge, mit einem tschechischen Euro-Führerschein geht das schon mal nicht. Konsequenter nächster Schritt wäre, den Aufdruck auf den Zigarettenpackungen zu erweitern: “Rauchen: Bitte nur Erwachsene und Deutsche”.
  • Wer Ironie findet, darf sie behalten. Oder noch besser: “In diesem Blog verbreitete Meinungen geben nicht die Meinungen meiner Arbeitgeber oder Regierung wieder.”

Defining the Maemo Bugzilla scope

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

The Maemo Bugzilla scope

Currently Maemo Bugzilla is used as a bug tracking system for the “core” software elements shipped in the Maemo platform (to define the term “Maemo” itself, please see this discussion). This includes both Open source and Closed source components preinstalled on the devices by Nokia. Obviously this does not include stuff like Skype or Rhapsody – they have their own bugtrackers.

And there is Garage Tracker. It is the bugtracking system for all those products based on the Maemo stack, but not preinstalled on the devices by Nokia.

In my opinion and in the long run, Garage tracker should die. Maemo Bugzilla shall be the main bugtracking place for all products based on the Maemo stack. I just didn’t like working in Garage Tracker (have to admit that I just took some quick looks to synchronize the status of reports that were duplicated in Maemo Bugzilla). It reminded me a lot of that awful bug tracker that Sourceforge provided when I had a small software project hosted over there, but it may be only my personal opinion that Bugzilla is easier and better to handle than Tracker is.

So I wonder: Are Garage project maintainers happy with Garage tracker?
Would they be interested to track their bugs in Maemo Bugzilla instead? My (not even reasonible or founded) dislike of the Garage Tracker is entirely my personal opinion after working with several bug trackers in the past. I want your opinions – It does not make sense to think about this too much if everybody is fine with Garage Tracker. ;-)

And which projects should be handled in Maemo Bugzilla? Keep it in the current state, as described at the beginning? Open it up for everybody interested in using Maemo Bugzilla to keep track of issues in his/her Maemo based software?

The latter one would bring up the next question that Quim raised in the famous bug 630: Are then the apps preinstalled in a device, »maemo compatible applications«, a different layer sitting on top of the maemo software platform? Stuff to think about…

(Also posted this to Internettablettalk.com and to the Maemo-developers mailing list. Let’s see if I can manage to streamline the feedback. ;-) )

General stuff

Besides reading and triaging the new incoming bug reports, I have spent the last days/weeks cleaning up the bug database. I’m done with bugs with high priority and critical severity set, currently I take a look at any non-enhancement bugs, especially old bugs (this means: trying to reproduce it myself, querying for internal tickets, or asking if this is still an issue).
But now that Diablo is out I expect more incoming bug reports than the approx. 30 reports per week that we had for the last months. Give us your Diablo feedback!

Vermischtes.

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

(Also die klassische Musik- und Politik-Selbstmitteilungszwangrubrik.)

  • Ich bin Monate bzw. Wochen zu spät für die jeweiligen zugehörigen Hypes, dennoch auf der momentanen Gehörliste (auch ohne die netten Videos) neben Daniel Holbachs Drum’n’Bass-Tapes:
    • Thou Shalt always Kill wegen einiger grandioser Sätze wie “Thou shalt not use poetry, art or music to get into girls pants – use it to get into their heads.”
    • Stress (denn ich mag unruhige Streicher, auftaktige Klaviere und scharf gesetzte Synthies).
    • The Test – wundervolles Lied, wundervolles Video.
    • Paperplanes – Grund genug, um meine Sammlung an M.I.A.-Alben zu vervollständigen.
  • Ich wünsche mir, dass Michel Friedman 10 Minuten Herrn Bussi Beck vom SPD-Verein interviewt, dann wäre das Thema endlich erledigt. Und Köhler erklärt, dass es anderthalb Millionen Arbeitslose weniger gebe. Wieviele davon befinden sich in prekären Beschäftigungsverhältnissen? Und warum kannte zurecht niemand das Wort “prekär” vor drei Jahren?
  • (Hinweis: Es folgt ein gekauftes Blogthema aus Ermangelung an Kreativität. Großer Dank an Lieferanten!) Vypsaná fiXa und ihr schnuckeliger Liedsänger Mardí spielen am 31. Juli für lau in Prag, bis die Polizei die Veranstaltung abbrechen wird (oder sowas, notfalls halt mal selbst nachlesen und übersetzen). Warum, warum liegt meine Diplomprüfungsklausur auf dem 31. Juli? Wo ist der Privatjet, wenn ich ihn brauche?
  • Ah, nachlesen und übersetzen: Google Translate hat einige neue Sprachen hinzugefügt. Im Gegensatz zu den bisherigen Ein-Wort-Abfragen für Polnisch und Tschechisch in Online-Wörterbüchern ist dies ein Fortschritt, dennoch sind die Ergebnisse ziemlich unverständlich. Interessant fand ich Erklärungen von Google, wie dies zustande kommt.

incoming gnome bugs (and some rants).

Wednesday, June 11th, 2008

Less incoming bug reports.

In 2008 (the last 163 days), 31231 reports have been opened and 29997 reports have been closed in GNOME bugzilla so far.

  2008 (accumulated) 2007 2006 2005
Opened: 70126 114043 67543 37845
Closed: 67355 108807 59006 34196

This means that for the first time we get significantly less reports than the year before. How comes? GNOME less buggy, less users? Probably not.

We have many crasher reports going by default to crash.gnome.org instead of GNOME bugzilla. This is a Google Airbag installation that is already in use and receives hundreds of bug reports, and no-one cares about because it is unusable, missing debug info for nearly every distribution on this world, and pretty unmaintained. I’ve asked for documentation a few times before GNOME 2.22.0 was released, but nothing has happened. There is no possibility for distributions to submit debug info to extract useful stacktraces. Only advantage I currently see is that we are not flooded by bugs anymore in GNOME Bugzilla, but we’re losing track on those issues that really count, because we cannot see the stats and numbers of the issues filed to crash.gnome.org – it’s a big black hole and some bugs there already have hundreds (thousands?) of duplicates.

Another potential reason for less reports: A long time ago, Ubuntu has switched to report by default to Launchpad instead, but now that Bugzilla automatically rejects incoming reports from old releases (=< 2.19.99) this finally makes a difference.
And all this means…? More spare time for bugsquaders! Code! Hobbies! Love! Ice cream! Real life, here I come! :-D

Gimmie bugs.

GNOME Bugzilla continues to get flooded by Gimmie crasher reports (especially bug 475020, we can auto-reject most of the Gimmie problems but not this one) that haven’t been fixed for months.

And now I realize (thanks to cosimoc!): “After a talk with Gimmie creator Alex Graveley, due to his shortage on time to maintain Gimmie, he allowed me to fork Gimmie thus starting MAYANNA.” and “to not ruin the Gimmie name we decided to branch it. Alex is also a Project member of MAYANNA”. Can somebody explain to me why just branching Gimmie was not an option? So one avoids ruining a software project’s name by completely abandoning any development and progress on it? (Keep in mind: Gimmie [applet] was proposed for GNOME 2.22 by its maintainer.)
A fork makes sense if several people cannot agree on aims. But I don’t understand it if the main project seems to be dead anyway.
The first thing that translation team maintainers is told is to resign when it is time. I originally had this in mind, but maybe this cannot not be applied to a maintainer that has written the entire software project on his own, like in this case. So, can we call Gimmie officially unmaintained and dead? If so, we may warn translators to not waste their time, and we may auto-reject any Gimmie bug reports in GNOME Bugzilla and close all existing bugs as WONTFIX. Currently it’s just the feeling of wasting time to see people triaging all those incoming Gimmie duplicates but nobody cares about the reports, that’s why I blogged this.

So what have the Maemo bugmasters been doing?

Tuesday, June 10th, 2008

Time to finally blog about what Karsten and me have been doing for the last weeks in Maemo Bugzilla. Karsten has been mostly looking at the infrastructure and code side to improve a few things and will blog about it once we have some results ported from the test installation to our work installation. In general we have to give Kudos to the hackers of GNOME Bugzilla that we were used to work with – it has nice convenience and statistics features (though everything can always be improved of course) and we want to port a few of them.

I myself have spent most of the time cleaning up bugs. This includes syncing the status of reports that have been duplicated to Garage tracker and Nokia’s internal bug tracking system, reassigning reports of people that have left or moved on to other fields, nagging and setting NEEDINFO state (well – “moreinfo” keyword in fact) on bugs that need more information from the reporter, and correcting priority and severity of crasher reports.

In the past, Maemo Bugzilla hasn’t received a lot of attention. Important, non-enhancement requests have sometimes been copied to the internal bug tracking system and been handled other there. To get a first impression on the existing criticism it was useful to read some rants and complaints (this may sound negative, but most of it was quite constructive).

Nokia’s internal bug tracking system works fine for their workflows. Nokia has a great internal error management process (milestones, well defined testing processes, fine-grained statuses etc). Totally different from the anarchistic bunch of spare-time hippie bugtriagers we are at GNOME Bugzilla. ;-)
And it’s a bit different from the open source software workflows that we are used to because it’s not transparent to non-Nokians, but I also have to admit the fact that the Maemo platform is bound to hardware that is provided and sold by a company that runs a business and has competitors.
In the long run, we have to discuss coping with the reports in Maemo Bugzilla itself and to better integrate our users and reporters. Information flow with Maemo Bugzilla reporters has not worked out well in the past and has led to entropy.
It will be a challenge to get developers to input in Maemo Bugzilla, but we will refine and improve with some time and increase transparency (one item of our 100 Days Action Plan). This will not magically happen in just a few days. It will also require changing the way some developers are used to work. “The theory is known, the practice is not that simple to implement” (to quote Quim here), but I have the feeling that we are on a good way and that the Nokia people are definitely willing to improve the situation by accepting some changes.

Our next steps?

To come up with a Triage Guide, to continue cleaning up the bug database, to discuss and improve the communication with Nokia developers, and to make Maemo Bugzilla a nicer place.
For a complete list (also of other Maemo community heads’ tasks), see the Maemo Sprint page for June.

…and don’t forget to file bugs! ;-)