incoming gnome bugs (and some rants).

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 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 – 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.

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7 Responses to incoming gnome bugs (and some rants).

  1. btmorex says:

    I don’t want to be all negative, but the other possibility is that people (like me) have just given up on filing bug reports. I’ve spent way too much time in the past filing bug reports that have essentially been ignored. Usually, I’ll get an email like a year after filing with “Can you see if this is a still an issue with the latest version?” Given that it can take anywhere between 5 minutes and 30 minutes to really file a good report, that’s an unacceptable response.

    I also don’t want to single out gnome here. This is a problem with most, but not all, open source projects.

  2. Airo says:

    Slowly starting to count the number of more-or-less abandoned or not-relevant- anymore ‘Novell-employee’ projects in the Gnome sphere (as seen by a Fedora user):

    Gimmie, f-spot, beagle, Xgl, evolution,

  3. aklapper says:

    @Airo: Alex left Novell 5 years ago, ages before starting Gimmie.
    F-Spot, Beagle and Evolution aren’t abandoned at all and have seen lots of changes in the last years. Evolution is also co-maintained by Red Hat and Openedhand employees, see the MAINTAINERS file in GNOME SVN.
    From my point of view, your comment is just not true and spreads FUD.

  4. Ty Rex says:

    The not-relevant (or more correctly, should-just-die) part still holds for all three of those, though.

  5. aklapper says:

    Cricitizing is always easy – feel free to be constructive and tell us about alternatives that integrate well the gnome desktop…
    Anyway, it’s your opinions and I of course appreciate any input, though it’s a bit off-topic. :-)

  6. Ploum says:

    I think that the Bugzilla is simply overfilled with historical things that should be closed and/or dismissed. (sawfish is the first example that come to mind).

    Thus, the number of opened bugs in bgo is not anymore representative of anything and people don’t really care about closing them.

    The bugs should try to reflect more the real Gnome state.

    Another point is when developper/maintener try to convince you that you didn’t use the software like it should be. It happens rarely but, still, it shouldn’t be possible to answer that. If a bug is reported by more than one person, the won’t fix tag should require a more careful consideration. The most unfamous example is the screensaver settings UI but it happened for many other bug.

  7. Fwiw, those massive dup counts aren’t necessarily dups just because the poor warning that python prints is the same. It’s that that error seems to occur as a catch-all for random python/binding bugs… I have no idea what the cause is, it doesn’t happen for me, and no one seems to know how to debug that problem.

    IMO, a Python-based GTK app is completely unmaintainable for the reasons such as this. At this point I wish I had written Gimmie in C# to begin with!

    As far as fixing that problem, I’d love for someone to sit down with me and help diagnose it.

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