All posts by Christoph Cullmann

Dr.-Ing. Christoph Cullmann is a Senior Software Engineer at AbsInt Angewandte Informatik GmbH. His work is focused on static analysis of both binary and source programs and the WCET analysis of embedded systems. In his spare time, he works on the KDE project and maintains the Kate editor application and component.

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!

<snip>

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.

</snip>

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!

KDE Software for Windows & Chocolatey

eY1Bty7lKDE applications providing Windows installers can now be additionally listed in the Chocolatey software repository on an dedicated KDE profile. If you want to be added to this profile with your application, contact kde-windows@kde.org.

At the moment, you can find digiKam, Kate & Krita. The profile allows an quick overview about the KDE applications that are available.

This is a nice addition to the downloads provided via download.kde.org or the application homepages and increases the visibility of our applications on Windows.

More info about KDE software on Windows and how to join the KDE Windows initiative can be found on our windows.kde.org page.

Would be nice if you support us to make things like this at the Randa sprint possible! 😉

New Kate/KWrite Bundles for Mac

I updated again the Kate/KWrite application bundles following the new guide on KDE on Mac.

With the same guide, other application developers should be able to create stand-alone application bundles for Mac OS X, too. Btw., the guide is on a wiki page, feel free to enhance the documentation, I doubt it is optimal ATM.

What needs to be solved to make it easier: At the moment, the guide uses a stock Qt as obtainable from qt.io but unfortunately, macdeployqt needs to be patched to deploy non-qt plugins

For this see the review request “add support for -extra-plugins command line option”. I hope this gets into Qt or we get an alternative solution, hint, hint => help appreciated :=))

KWrite on Mac looks unspectacular:

Bildschirmfoto 2016-06-16 um 12.24.46

But the cool thing is: This is the result of a plain compile of KF5 & kate.git. We patch NONE of the frameworks anymore and we don’t need to build Qt on our own, we can use the stock Qt installer (the bundles use 5.7.0, the build that should be the final one to be released these days).

For deployment problems like: “how to get our icons” or “how to locate our plugins or ioslaves” generic solutions were implemented in the KF5 libraries.

If the above review request is accepted or an other solution is found you will have exactly the same developer experience on Mac as on e.g. Linux. No ugly hacks, no patching, etc.

For Kate we even have a kind of working embedded Konsole again with this updated build, enjoy:

Bildschirmfoto 2016-06-16 um 12.22.34

I think overall, the Mac developer experience for KF5 based stuff really improved in the last months and the latest things that happened this week were only possible thanks to the Randa sprint. Would be nice if you support us 😉