Triage Thursday has arrived!

Now that the Bug Squad has found around 250 bugs, we thought that it was about time to start looking into sorting what of the bugs where really impacting the platform. Hence, we decided to start triaging them.

We agreed that we would run triaging sessions on a Thursday, every 4 weeks – hence the name Triage Thursday. Last week we held the first session, where we looked at the criticality of the “Gecko” bugs.

This raised the question of what does “Critical” really mean? We decided to follow the existing definitions:

  • Critical-crashes, loss of data, severe memory leak
  • Major-major loss of function
  • Normal-regular issue, some loss of functionality under specific circumstances
  • Minor –minor loss of function, or other problem where easy workaround is present

And that this definitions apply to the specific impacted package. But then, just looking at all critical and major bugs across the platform will not give you a full understanding of the gating issues for that release.  Some packages, might be not critical for shipping a specific release of the platform and hence a critical bug on such package (for example podcatcher) would not gate the release.

So how can we identify the real “Show Stoppers”?  We decided to create the keyword “Blocker”.  So, when we review Critical and Major bugs, and we deem them to be show stoppers for the release , they are tag as “Blocker” too. To give real meaning to the list of  blockers, we decided to triage all bugs (not just the ones raised by the Bug Squad). There are close to 100 defects in against Symbian^3 PDKs , so we will be hosting a Triage Thursday every week until we clear the backlog.

The next event is planned for 2nd September, feel free to join us!

Translating the podcatcher

The Symbian Bugsquad is hosting test and fix days for the S^1 and S^3 podcast app: The podcatcher!

One type of contributions that is often overlook is localisation of applications to other languages.  So here is some simple instructions on how to translate the podcatcher:

  1. Clone and build the latest version of the podcatcher
  2. (optional) Apply my spanish translation patch for reference. You can find it attached to bug 2059
  3. Create a copy of \application\data\PodcastClient_english.rls and rename it to your chosen language.
  4. Translate the english strings into your language of choice (here is one I have did for Spanish)
  5. Next , update  language.rss with your translation. You will need to find what is the id number for your chosen language. For Spanish is 04. Read more of this post

Bug Squad – 2 months on…

It has been almost 2 months since we organise the first test day of the Symbian Bug Squad. We now have over 64 members in the mailing list , 5 Yellow geckos and a total of 53 bugs raised.

We have been adding 2 new active members to each test day, and seems that we are starting to crack the community testing nut. What about fixing bugs?

That is still an area were we still need to recruit more active contributors. We believe that there are two main challenges to address:

A bigger outreach

From our community efforts, we have seen that you need to contact at least 100 relevant people to get 1 to active test contributor. It seems that getting code contributions may require an even larger reach.  Hence, we need to increase the community awareness of the bug squad in order to attract more code contributions. Here are a few things we have done so far:

  • Featured the bug squad in the member companies newsletter
  • Printing bug squad calling cards for face-2-face community events
  • Contacting 3rd Party Symbian websites to support the bug squad efforts (see All About Symbian and Forum Nokia)
  • Presentations at Symbian Council and Towel Day Read more of this post

There be Geckos here… arrggh!

I have previously blogged about the Bug Squad , but today I wanted to focus a bit more on the kudos aspect of the programme. Geckos and Gold!

The Kudo unit for the programme is a Gold Coin. We chose the Gold Coin as we felt it had an universal meaning representing a unit of value, and also because we can pretend to be pirates -Arrggh!

Coins are earned by performing several tasks related to the Bug Squad:

  • 1 piece for active participation on a test or bug day
  • 1 piece for finding and reporting a valid bug
  • 1 piece for adding information which lead to or pinpointing the cause of a bug correctly
  • 3 pieces for fixing a bug or implementing an enhancement (by providing a patch attached to bug or FCL changeset)
  • 1 piece for verifying a fix (you can not verify your own fixes)

Read more of this post

Update on the Bug Squad

One month on..

It is a month(ish) already since we started the Bug Squad (call to join the team through the Symbian Developer Forums).  I am pretty pleased with the participation so far and also with how much the Symbian team is learning from this programme.

I think the participation numbers tell an insightful story: The forum entry received 1,087 reads and we twittered our mailing list link to +1K followers. This resulted in 45 people subscribed to the mailing list (including about 5 symbian staff) .  Since then , 7 squad members have scored points for contributing to the bug squad efforts. Read more of this post