(This post was originally published here.)
The development of 12.04 is ticking along nicely. Alpha 1 was released last week and work on features is continuing while changes from Upstream (including Debian) are merged.
A number of decisions regarding versions of Desktop-ish components are being discussed on the Ubuntu Development mailing list. This includes poppler for rendering PDF files, the gobject-introspection bindings and webkit.
In addition to that with the bigger focus on Quality Assurance, improvements to the ISO tracker were announced and the new Launchpad bug listings as well. Particularly the changes to the ISO tracker are interesting, because this is were you can very easily report back your test results. By reporting back how a test installation worked out for you, you help us keep the feedback very close and tight.
Recap from Bug Jam and Bug Squashing Party in Portland
As previously announced Ubuntu Oregon in collaboration with Portland-Area Debian Developers held the first ever combined Ubuntu Local Jam & Debian Bug Squashing Party. Steve Langasek Kees Cook and Benjamin Kerensa discuss the results of the event on their respective blogs and some video from the event is available here.
Things that need to get done
If you want to get involved in packaging and bug fixing, there’s still a lot of bugs that need to get fixed:
- There’s Merges that need to be done (main, restricted, universe, multiverse).
- Also is the Ubuntu Mozilla team looking for help, so if you’re excited about Mozilla and what’s happening there, join IRC, talk to the guys on #ubuntu-mozillateam on irc.freenode.net.
- And then there’s Security bugs you can take a look at, the team is a friendly bunch and they’re incredibly helpful in getting your patch reviewed.
- There are bitesize bugs.
We have three fantastic new contributors to Ubuntu. Three folks who got their first upload into Ubuntu. Congratulations and a big thanks go out to: Graham Inggs, Alessandro Menti and Benjamin Kerensa. Rock on!
Spotlight: 900000 bugs in Launchpad
Another milestone in the Ubuntu project seems to have been reached: Bug 900.000 was filed in Launchpad on 4th December 2011. Some might think that this means that Ubuntu has 900.000 bugs, but that’s not actually the case. Ubuntu is the main user of Launchpad, but there are many others projects using it as well. So let’s have a look and see where Ubuntu stands in terms of its bugs, a few months before we run into 7-digit bug numbers.
Of these 900.000+ bugs, 613108 were filed on Ubuntu, that equals ~68% of all Launchpad bugs. Let’s break down the Ubuntu bugs into categories where things currently stand:
Most of theUbuntu bugs are closed (83% – 511240):
- 27% are duplicates (167486)
- 25% are invalid (155014)
- 5% are expired (30227)
- 2% were marked as “Won’t fix” or “Opinion” (14981)
- 23% are fixed (143532)
Let’s review the open (17% – 245400) bugs by status:
- 0.2% have a fix pending (995)
- 0.2% are in progress (1105)
- 2% are triaged (12783)
- 4% are confirmed (25836)
- 1% is incomplete (6258)
- 9% are new (54891)
If you are easily excited by numbers, you probably are very excited by now. For those of you who have less of a love affair with numbers, here’s what the above means: generally the Ubuntu community is doing quite well.
Sorting bugs out
More than 80% of the bugs were resolved already with around half of the total number of bugs being invalid. A lot of bugs are simply duplicates, or were invalid for all kinds of reasons (failure to follow up with more details, bugs filed by mistake, etc.) This is a huge task and we should all give a round of applause to the herculean task the Bug Squad is dealing with every single day. (If you like doing some detective work, you might want to have a look into joining the team.)
The road to fixing bugs
A very blunt way (it’s not quite accurate) of putting it would be: in Ubuntu half of the bugs could be closed (for various good reasons), a quarter were fixed and the remaining quarter is in the progress of getting fixed. It might be worth having a closer look at how this process exactly works.
A freshly filed bug starts in the status of “New”, if somebody can confirm it, it will be set as “Confirmed”. If you click the “This bug affects me too” option in Launchpad, it will automatically mark it as confirmed for you. If somebody from the Bug Squad reviews the bug and has questions about it, it will be set to Incomplete. If the bug has no follow-up and sits in “Incomplete” for 60 days, it will marked as “Expired”. If the root cause of the problem can be identified along all the other circumstances, it will be marked as “Triaged” (see where the word comes from). In this stage it might be suitable to forward to an upstream project who will want to know about it and deal with fixing it, or for somebody to fix it themselves. In any case, it will be marked as “In Progress” if somebody works on it. If a fix is submitted (but not included in Ubuntu yet), it is marked as “Fix Committed”, if the fix finally hit Ubuntu, the bug will be closed with “Fix Released”.
Looking at the numbers above and bearing the process explanation in mind it becomes clear how huge this undertaking is. Quite a number of people are drinking from the fire-hose trying to categorise and understand bug reports and doing their best about them.
Considering it has been 2885 days since Ubuntu appearing in the wild, we have received around 212 bugs per day then. It might be time to find your nearest Ubuntu Bug Squad member or development team member and give them a hug!
Let’s see how long until we hit a million! :-)
- Read the Introduction to Ubuntu Development. It’s a short article which will help you understand how Ubuntu is put together, how the infrastructure is used and how we interact with other projects.
- Follow the instructions in the Getting Set Up article. A few simple commands, a registration at Launchpad and you should have all the tools you need, and you’re ready to go.
- Check out our instructions for how to fix a bug in Ubuntu, they come with small examples that make it easier to visualise what exactly you need to do.
Find something to work on
Pick a bitesize bug. These are the bugs we think should be easy to fix. Another option is to help out in one of our initiatives.
In addition to that there are loads more opportunities over at Harvest.
Getting in touch
There are many different ways to contact Ubuntu developers and get your questions answered.
- Be interactive and reach us most immediately: talk to us in #ubuntu-motu on irc.freenode.net.
- Follow mailing lists and get involved in the discussions: ubuntu-devel-announce (announce only, low traffic), ubuntu-devel (high-level discussions), ubuntu-devel-discuss (fairly general developer discussions).
- Stay up to date and follow the ubuntudev account on Facebook, Google+, Identi.ca or Twitter.