Archive for October, 2009

Maemo Summit 2009

Sunday, October 18th, 2009

After spending three holidays in Amsterdam (rainy but still a wonderful time) we moved from our hotel to the Openismus apartment on the evening before the summit started. Great to see the friends/colleagues again, plus only 5 minutes of walking to the venue.

As my laptop had died directly after arriving in Amsterdam this was a good chance to test whether Modest is an acceptable replacement. I ran into three issues: Not possible to mark several messages at once as read, no threading view (really important if you get lots of Bugzilla mail and want to read the previous one), and no option to search for a message (and not just in the one message that you have selected).

Conference opening was nice. Jim Zemlin’s keynote (Linux Foundation) was a bit too much for me though, sounded like “Linux will have 101% market share next year because it’s better than everything”. Qole interviewing Ari Jaaksi had a good moment: Ari stated that having two bugtrackers does not make sense in the long run. Good to hear that common sense is shared.

I was content with my talk about the current situation of bug management (boring slides here, video hopefully later).

Now that Nokia handed out 300 N900 pre-production devices to the folks at the summit, Bugzilla has been flooded with new reports. Most of them have a good quality (seems like developers know that being exact in the initial description saves everybody’s time) but still it looks like more than we can currently perfectly(TM) handle so we need more help in the long run.
Let’s see how the next weeks go, especially when average users have found their way to Bugzilla and start filing their issues. Keep in mind that for many it will be the first time to do this, hence let’s be friendly and explain some triaging decisions whenever it makes sense (“Thanks for reporting this. This has been already reported.” or “Thanks, but this is not a bug in the software itself. Please go to to receive help in this case.”).
As said, help is always welcome.

Photo by thp4, CC licensed Bugzilla: One year later.

Friday, October 2nd, 2009

It’s the beginning of October and one year ago I started working fulltime as Bugmaster (after I had started together with Karsten in May 2008).
Where are we and what are the plans?


On 29 Sep 2008 there were 1076 open tickets (including Website). Now there are 658 open tickets (including Websites, excluding Extras). That of course does not mean that difference of 418 tickets has all been FIXED (some reports became WONTFIX or got closed due to lack of response of the reporters when asking for more information), but it shows that there’s activity, feedback and that reporters can expect that somebody cares about their issue.

In the last 12 months 1501 reports have been filed (including 3rd party Extras apps, without it’s only 651). That’s normal average (10/2007–09/2008: 1690; 10/2006–09/2007: 1269). Curious what the number for the next 12 months will be though.


What has only improved a bit is getting Nokia developers to work in the community instead of with the community. Big thanks to those trying it already.
It’s the Nokia management that has to allocate developers’ time for this, and it’s the community that has to convince with arguments why it’s better for everybody (simply imagine managers and developers used to commercial closed source development, e.g. the S60 series). I won’t elaborate in this paragraph; in short: I do hope to see improvement here after Fremantle (Maemo5) launch and by having some discussions at the upcoming Maemo Summit.


  • We’ve opened Bugzilla to also provide bugtracking for some 3rd party applications hosted in the Extras repository.
  • At the end of last year the structure of the products and components was reorganized to better match user expectations (“Hmm, where should I file my issue?”) plus also the organization of internal Nokia developer teams. That was a bit like trying to square the circle but I think that the compromise is pretty good.
  • Additional to Stephen’s awesome weekly Maemo Bug Jars I started providing a monthly Feature Jar that only covers the enhancement requests in Bugzilla, published on the mailing lists and in It’s based on the votes for each request, so if you have a application-specific wishlist item that is an affair of the heart to you go vote for it in Bugzilla (if it’s platform-wide it’s better suited to file it in the Brainstorm).


  • Planning the changes required for Fremantle (adding new products, changing some descriptions etc) is basically finished. Next is to add all this and set it up once the final Fremantle version is available.
  • Porting the Bugzilla codebase to upstream 3.4 version – ongoing (currently working on CSS). Ferenc has been a huge help codewise so far. I owe him quite some beers.
  • Regular bugdays. See next paragraph.


I’ve already blogged about changes and expectations related to the N900 launch. One more thing that I’d like to add: After the N900 launch I want to start having monthly bugdays – the Bugsquad is a great way for people that want to get involved but don’t necessarily want or know how to code. Bugsquads constantly need fresh blood as they always tend to “lose” members to the evil, evil codewriters fraction. ;-)


So what are your impressions and expectations with regard to Bugzilla?

(Picture by Dženan Šehić, CC licensed)