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RC Bugsquashing howto [Re: Anyone up for bug squashing?]

On Tue, Jan 04, 2005 at 01:22:35AM +0000, Helen Faulkner wrote:
> Frank Lichtenheld (who happens to be my AM) has just announced a bug 
> squashing party for next weekend, to try to reduce the number of RC bugs in 
> Sarge.  I've quoted his email to debian-devel below (sorry to those who 
> have now seen this twice).

> I think I will at least hang around on #debian-bugs and watch what happens. 
>  Is anyone else interested in this?   I'd like to learn more about this 
> bug-squashing business, and I guess, going on what Frank said below, that 
> there will be helpful things to do for people who are inexperienced.

> If other people are going to be there, maybe you could let me know (moral 
> support is good...).

In relation to this, I've been asked to mention an idea that I've been
kicking around for a few weeks, which has gotten a generally positive reaction
on IRC.  Since debian-women is all about helping women get involved in the
Debian project, and squashing RC bugs is an important area where the project
definitely needs more people to get involved (and one that's close to my
heart as a release manager), I'd like to propose an "RC bugsquashing
tutorial" to coincide with the BSP this weekend.

The tutorial would amount to me trying to give people pointers on how to
pick RC bugs to work on, strategies for dealing with common classes of RC
bugs, and thoughts on when to give up on an RC bug (and what to send to the
BTS when you do, to help the next person who tries tackling it).  Then once
I run out of pithy advice to dispense, I figured I'd dole out some current
RC bugs for people to try their hand at, and provide one-on-one assistance
with any questions that come up.

If the experiment isn't a total failure, then the next step would be to
write it up on a website somewhere.

It is not intended that this tutorial be closed to men, but as this is
something we've never tried before, I'm not going to announce it to a wider
audience than this mailing list.  Also, given the requirement for one-on-one
attention from the only experienced DD that's volunteered for the task so
far (me), the optimal group size for this is probably 6-10.  If there are
others willing to help out as part of the BSP we may be able to stretch that
if necessary, but probably not by much.

I'll try to pick a time for this that works for everyone interested in
attending, so if you'd like to participate please email me ASAP with times
this weekend when you would be available.

Steve Langasek
postmodern programmer

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