Bug Triaging Guest Blog: The wandering bug triager was here

I was contacted by Buovjaga from the LibreOffice QA team to spread the word about the current bug triaging efforts going on.

Therefore now a short guest block about that ;=)

Thanks to Buovjaga for trying to get some public interest in this important aspect of open source work: handling our flood of bugs!

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Free software needs more contributors from the non-coding user community. The problem is that there is no scientifically proven method for attracting them.

After dealing with thousands of LibreOffice bug reports and simultaneously trying to recruit more testers through various cunning plans, I realized the topic of free software quality assurance needs to become more prominent. I came up with the idea for a publicity stunt where I camp out at different bug trackers while telling the world about it. I chose KDE and Kate for my first month of triaging.

Bug triagers act as guardians of the bug tracker and save the developers from a lot of wasted time. If the number of unconfirmed reports in a project is not close to zero, it needs more triagers.

There were about 120 reports I deemed suitable for testing. I skipped crash debugging, testing of advanced features and only focused on the basic stuff. My take on the stats is that there is currently no one doing this sort of thing regularly for Kate.

To get started in triaging KDE bugs, you

– start testing unconfirmed reports and ancient confirmed ones while keeping the Bug triage guide at hand https://community.kde.org/Bugsquad/Guide_To_BugTriaging

– join #kde-bugs IRC channel after having commented on a bunch of reports and request rights to edit report details

– join the IRC channels of the products you are helping and coordinate testing with others https://userbase.kde.org/IRC_Channels#Applications

I believe a goal should be set for recruiting one person to deal with triaging per every actively-developed KDE product. After achieving this goal, it will quickly become apparent to each product team just how many triagers are needed in order for the work to be sustainable. However, the teams should not remain in isolation. The whole of KDE needs to become transparent. An “Everything about KDE” web dashboard would enable contributors to quickly see, which teams are in need of assistance. Tools for this are available in the Grimoire Lab suite http://grimoirelab.github.io/. KDE sysadmin team does not have the resources to set them up, so if you have the necessary skills and want to make this happen, please contact them on the #kde-sysadmin IRC channel.

If you want to contact me, you can find me on the #libreoffice-qa channel @ Freenode network, nickname: buovjaga.

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What happened to Kate in Randa?

This years topic for the Randa meeting, was multi-platform end-user application development. That was a golden opportunity to work on the Windows and Mac versions.

One thing that happened was that the icon.rcc file generation is moved to the breeze-icons repository in stead of doing it separately for every application. The icon.rcc file loading was moved to KIconThemes so that all applications linking to it don’t have to invent the wheel again. This would not have been so easy if we hadn’t been at the same place discussing things face to face.

A more noticeable thing is that Kate now does not need a DBus server on Windows and Apple any more. Both Kate and KDevelop now use QtSingleApplication to open all documents in one window.

The search plugin also got a face-lift. Hopefully the new layout will be a bit more useful than the previous 🙂

A Randa development release of Kate on Windows was also done. Download the installer from here.

To be able to continue with similar activities we need your help.

KTextEditor gets Scrollbar and Code Folding Preview (Updated)

The KTextEditor Framework just got a new features for the next KDE Frameworks 5.24 release: A Text Preview on the vertical scrollbar.

If enabled in the options, the KTextEditor now shows a preview of the text when the mouse hovers over the scrollbar. The feature is available both when the minimap is used and also when the standard scrollbar is used. The text preview is only visible when vertical scrolling is possible.

This feature is enabled by default, and is also automatically available in Kile and KDevelop, so we hope this is useful to you!

For developers, to ensure this feature is off, the ConfigInterface of the View can be used through the config key “scrollbar-preview” of type bool.

Kate Text PreviewAnd in addition to the preview in the scrollbar, it is now also possible to have a preview for folded code: Hovering over folded code pops up a preview of the hidden lines. When clicked, the code folding opens.

Kate Code Folding Preview

These features got added during the KDE Randa sprint, where around 40 KDE developers focus on improving KDE software and bringing KDE software to other platforms such as Windows and Mac OS. You can support us by donating through the following banner: 🙂

Bug fixed after 13 years

During the Randa sprint an 13 year old bug was fixed 😛

I myself moved it to kxmlgui (out of Kate/KWrites’s harm, good to delegate stuff away 🙂 in 2003 and since then we got a lot of duplicates but never somebody got the time to track it down. (333 votes for it, really nice number)

Now, after 13 years, it got done (and yet another chance that a bug becomes a sentient intelligence has vanished ;=)

Bug 64754 – XMLGUI items (toolbar icons, menu items) from merge sections move or disappear

Thanks to David, Dominik and Sune to get this fixed ;=)

And I really like the comment we got after the fix, awesome:

David Faure, you deserve a medal.

A 13 year old KDE bug finally fixed. Just think, when this bug was first reported:

— The current Linux Kernel was 2.6.31

— Top Movie? The ORIGINAL Underworld.

— Windows XP was the most current desktop verison. Vista was still 3 years away.

— Top 2 Linux verions? Mandrake and Redhat (Fedora wouldn’t be released for another 2 months, Ubuntu’s first was more than a year away.)

— Top billboard song? Crazy In Love by Jay-Z & Beyoncé (who was barely old enough to drink)

— 3 of the 5 KDE ev board members hadn’t ever used KDE

— Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas resigns ending “Road Map for Peace”

— Current KDE version? 3.1.4 (KDE 3 had only been out for a year)

Very very cool!

Not sure if the kernel version is right, more likely some < 2.6.0 kernel was the king of the hill at that time, but otherwise, great 😛

Therefore: Support us, Randa sprint and other sprints really bring our software stack forward! Nowhere else such a nice group of KDE developers can meet up to solve such problems together!