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Re: Ubuntu Bug Fixing Initiatives


thanks Stefano for reviving this thread.

On 28.08.2012 21:19, Stefano Zacchiroli wrote:
> I've seen you've already discussed briefly how to find "easy hacks"
> based on specific Lintian tags. I haven't re-reviewed tags to name some
> more (sorry about that), but I think it might be one way to go. Anyone
> else on -qa has specific tags to propose for this initiative?
> But I'm interested in considering other, even radically different
> approach. In particular, I dream of social initiatives that can
> encourage *people* (maintainers or not) tagging actual bugs in the BTS
> as easy hacks.
> In fact, we already have technical support for that. The pesudo tag
> "gift" in devscripts' bts was introduced quite a while ago for this
> specific reason [1,2]. But it has never really worked out, as you can
> observe from the sorrow size of the "gifted" bugs list [3]. Maybe the
> name we chose back then was not appropriate ("easy" might be better),
> but truth is: we've never really find out how to socially promote this
> enough, to turn gift-tagging into a social effort.

We experimented with something like 'bitesize' tasks before. We even
created a small tool to tag bugs we came across which seemed easy
enough, with the tag 'bitesize', subscribe ourselves to them (to be able
to offer help) and add a small help text as a comment. My gut feeling is
that nobody used it because like Karl mentioned: even with that small
tool, to the regular maintainer/engineer it felt like too much work to
identify (even if part of the regular bug work), help, review and sponsor.

That's why I feel the current approach is good for a couple of reasons:

 - Lists of lintian tags are readily available and in a lot of cases
   they describe packages which haven't been looked at for a while.
 - We have a small team of people who are at least interested in the
   idea of setting up lists of things which might be easy to fix and
   try to announce them regularly.
   We discuss [1] every two weeks in the MOTU meetings.
 - We can collaborate on this and get the best out of this for both
   Debian and Ubuntu.

Also from my experience helping (sometimes brand new) new developers on
board, it's helpful to fix just an obvious typo first, then move on to
learn a bit more about the structure of package, then maybe fix a build
issue, learn about patch systems and so on.

On top of that is the feeling to have cleared a whole list of bugs as a
team helpful to create a team spirit. In the coming weeks I'll try to
blog more about the initiative and the people who helped out with it.

If there is more interest in running this initiative together, please
let me know.

[1] https://wiki.ubuntu.com/UbuntuDevelopment/BugFixingInitiative

Have a great day,

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