[AppDB] Proposed Maintainer Guide

Francois Gouget fgouget at free.fr
Sat Jan 29 08:10:44 CST 2005

The Application Database is missing a description of the job of an 
Application Maintainer. So I cleaned up the Maintainer Guide I posted 
earlier and prepared it for integration into the Application Database 

I attached it to this email for review. Let me know if there is 
anything missing, things to change, etc.

Francois Gouget         fgouget at free.fr        http://fgouget.free.fr/
            Cahn's Axiom: When all else fails, read the instructions.
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<h3>Maintainer Guide</h3>

Application maintainers are the cornerstone of the Application Database.
Here is a description of the tasks they must perform for their applications.


<li>Give a short description of the application</li>
This is not the most important task but it's still good to describe what
the application does. This description should be short and ideally you
would accompany it with screenshots of the application running in Wine
(assuming it does run in Wine).

<li>Find the best way to install and run the application</li>
The application may not work or even install the first time you try it.
Don't give up just yet. Try the tricks described in the
<a href="/help/?topic=generic">Wine Help</a> section.
The goal here is to get the application working as best as possible by
tweaking the Wine environment.

<li>Restart from scratch and optimize your setup</li>
Once you have found some settings that seem to work, wipe out your .wine
directory and start over. This is so you can verify that the result you
obtained is reproducible and that you did not forget some steps or
configuration tweaks.
Also, this time try to only use application-specific settings for dll
overrides and such. This is important to minimize the conflicts between

<li>Describe how to install and run the application</li>
Hopefully you kept notes while working on the previous task because now
you will have to describe what you have done.
Configuring Wine so an application runs well is hard, there are a lot of
options and combinations to try and most Wine users won't have the time or
patience to go through it all. This is why this task is probably the most
important: it lets the other Wine users benefit from your hard earned
experience in running this application as best as possible.
So describe carefully the Wine configuration options to use. Don't hesitate
to include the relevant configuration file snippets, especially those
application specific sections which users can just drop in at the end of
their configuration file. Also, don't forget to mention any pre-requisites
to installing the application such as installing Internet Explorer or other
software the application depends upon.
Finally you may want to provide the command line to use to start the
application as this is not always obvious, especially if the application
needs a specific working directory.

<li>Describe what works and what does not</li>
Potential users of this application will want to know which features are
usable and which are not. It is only armed with this information that they
will be able to determine whether the application is usable for them or not.
Of course if the application does not work this will be simple. If the
application does work, then try to exercise its various modules like:
opening and saving files, importing and exporting files, printing, the print
preview mode, etc.
If there is an area that you were not able to test (e.g. printing because
you have no printer), mention it too.
Also mention any stability problem (application crash of freeze) which you
cannot track to any specific feature.

<li>Rate the application</li>
Rate the application as described
<a href="/help/?topic=maintainer_ratings">Maintainers Ratings System
Guidelines</a>. The work you did in the above step will come in handy to
determine the appropriate rating.

<li>Report the problems</li>
If in the above steps you have identified reproducible issues, report them
in <a href="http://bugs.winehq.org/">WineHQ's Bugzilla</a>, following the
guidelines given in the
<a href="http://www.winehq.org/site/docs/wine-user/bug-reporting">Wine
User's Guide</a>.

<li>Test the application on a regular basis</li>
Ideally you would test it once a week so that you can quickly notify the
Wine developers of any regression. The earlier a Wine regression is noticed,
the easier it will be to locate the change that causing it and the more
likely it is to be fixed.
At the very least you should test the application with each Wine release.
If you detect a regression at that point you should do some
<a href="http://www.winehq.org/site/docs/wine-devel/x1314">regression
testing</a> to identify the patch causing the problem.

<li>Help users who have trouble getting the application to work as well
as you</li>
People will want to follow in your footsteps but some may stumble along the
way. Try to work out with them why stuff that works for you does not work
for them. Maybe they changed a global Wine setting that interfers with your
application. Maybe that global Wine setting is needed to run another
application. Try to see if there's a way to get both applications working.
This includes monitoring the application forum to make sure it remains on
topic and to remove obsolete information.


Hopefully these steps form a reasonably logical progression. Despite this, it
is likely you will have to iterate a bit, especially between the application
testing and configuration tweaking steps.


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