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Re: Google SoC - Bug Triaging and Forwarding Tool

I'm going to submit the proposal to google today night. Comments on the
draft proposal bellow are welcome (including suggestions to improve the
proposal wording, as IANA Native English Speaker).

BTW, I'm still looking for a mentor for this proposal.

Gustavo R. Montesino


Title: Bug Triaging and Forwarding Tool


The teams and maintainers responsible for big sets of packages in Debian, like X.Org, GNOME, KDE, Kernel, etc. frequently lack the manpower to keep their packages up-to-date and still triage all bugs reported against them. Usually, these teams are running up against huge backlogs of bug reports, and some bugs may remain unanswared for a long period of time, which in turn may cause the reporting users to think their reports aren't useful, and stop to submit bugs. The loss of bug reports in this ways may lead to the reduction of the quality of the Debian distribution and of the upstream software, as a good amount of these bugs need only to be forwarded and fixed by the upstream developers. This was recently discussed in the debian-project mailling list [1].

To address this problem, I propose the development of a tool to facilitate the triaging of bug reports, rising the productivity of the limited time the maintainers have to triage the bugs and offering a friendly tool to make basic bug triaging an attractive way for users to introduce themselves in Free Software development.

[1] http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2007/02/msg00643.html


1. About Myself

I'm Gustavo Rezende Montesino, and may be found through email at grmontesino@gmail.com. I'm a 21 years old Brazilian, and 
are currently on a Computer Science like course at Faculdade de Tecnologia de São Paulo (FATEC-SP), a somewhat famous public university on my state.

I've been toying with computers by the last 10 years; started using GNU/Linux by 2001, involved myself with l10n in the Brazilian Portuguese team of Debian in 2003. I've got access to the Debian GNOME Team subversion repository on Debconf 3, in 2004, and maintained Debian packages for gnome-jabber (which was removed), libgda, libgnomedb and mergeant inside the team.

2. Proposal Details

This proposal involves the designing and development of the btft (bug triaging and forwarding tool), with the following features:

* Generate a list of bug reports on Debian's Bug Tracking System (BTS) which match an user-defined filter. Filtering fields should include maintainer/uploader, packages and tags.

* See the full bug report, including follow-ups and attachments/patches, for one of the bugs returned in the filter or an manually-entered bug number.

* Send a Followup message to a bug report

* Manipulate the tags of a bug report

* Search for similar bug reports in the upstream developer's BTS. If found, automatically tag the Debian bug properly.

* Forward the bug upstream, using the information available on Debian BTS as a starting point.

3. Development Guidelines

* The software will be developed using Python, with a PyGTK interface. However, it should be easy to create other interfaces.

* The code should be modular to make it easy to adapt to different upstreams.

* The initial software, as developed for the Google Summer of Code, will include a Bugzilla plugin, tailored for use by the Debian GNOME Team.

4. Benefits

The development of this tool will increase the productivity of the time spent by Debian Developers on bug triaging and will allow more users to contribute to Debian by making it easier to triage bugs. In turn, it would make the process more responsive for the reports, incentivating them to continue filling bugs, leading to higher quality software.

5. Estimated Timeline

* April - May: Study of the resources available to use in the project (Debian BTS SOAP/LDAP interface, Bugzilla interaction resources, etc) and design of the tool. Request needed unavaliable features, if any, with patches if possible.

* May - July: Development of initial interface and code to interact with Debian BTS.

* August: Development of Bugzilla plugin

6. Deliverables

* Source code of software with mentioned features
* Debian package of said software.

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