Re: some thoughts about contributing to gnome

Hi Christian,

thanks for your helpful comments. I wish more people would comment in
this way rather than tell how unfriendly GNOME is and be done with it.

One thing in particular got my attention:

On Tue, 2005-05-10 at 19:38, Christian Krause wrote:
> a) Bug reports are sometimes completely ignored, not even set from
> UNCONFIRMED to NEW for several weeks. No reaction. No questions to the
> reporter. Nothing.
> You (the developers) can't say on the one hand "please help us, please
> contribute, please file bugs, ..." and reject (or ignore) the help on
> the other hand.

It's not like we don't want to, but we're swamped in work. We really get
tons of new bug reports. Fortunately, we have the bugsquad to help us
find most dups, ask for better stack traces and such (bugsquad people:
you guys deserve an enormous amount of beer at guadec, prepare to get
drunk), but that's not always enough. If you have more than, say, 50 or
100 bugs, you tend to lose track of the new ones and just work on random
bug reports in the list and not spend too much time on "paperwork" like
confirming or so. Bad behaviour, sure, but understandable nevertheless.

The problem is circular. We need more people to help us figure such
stuff out, but in order to get those new people in, we need to spend
more time on each of those parts, too. Helping us to triage bugs is a
very good start already, but there's more. E.g., you could focus on a
few products in bugzilla in particular, try to get familiar with how the
maintainers work, kind of patches that are easily accepted etc, and try
to identify such patches and get the maintainers attention (not
necessarily via bugzilla, but also via email or IRC). Maybe you could
even try to help debug (by reproducing, providing better traces, etc.)
some bugs, so that new contributors also have a new better entry point
there, etc. Don't forget, the quality of the bug report makes it all. As
Jeff always says: be the signal, not the noise.

Let me know if any of this makes sense. ;).


Ronald S. Bultje <rbultje ronald bitfreak net>

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