Assigning bugs, and how new developers can find bugs to work on

Alexandru Băluț alexandru.balut at
Mon May 31 17:56:48 CDT 2010

Hi Nikolay,

On Mon, May 31, 2010 at 18:27, Nikolay Sivov <nsivov at> wrote:

>  On 5/31/2010 20:01, Alexandru Băluț wrote:
> Hi Paul,
>  I was wondering what is the best way to pick bugs, for a developer
> aspiring to fix nonspecific Wine bugs. Normally, our hero would look at the
> unassigned bugs to find one to work on. For some bugs, a fix appeared with
> no notification that somebody is working on them, for example:
> - julliard@ unexpectedly announced that the bug should be fixed by a
> specific patch.
> Unexpectedly is very questionable word here cause it was a regression.

The bissection did pinpoint the commit that caused the bug, and its author,
but you still have to read the comments to figure that out, when it would
have been easier to immediately see that the bug is assigned, and just leave
it alone. (I'm talking from the point of view of a newbie Wine developer who
is looking for a bug to fix.)
> - arethusa26@ unexpectedly mentioned that the bug should be fixed by
> somebody else's specific patch.
> Anyone could retest a make a note about that.

Yes, anyone who retests can make a note about that.

> Notice both are marked as FIXED, but none of them have been assigned!
> ASSIGNED state isn't used too often and there's nothing wrong with that.

I'm not saying it's wrong if people don't use it, I'm saying it's useful
when people use it.

> Let's say our hero picks a bug; should he ask on the bug page whether
> anybody is already working on it, or ask on wine-devel, or #wine-hackers?
>  Pick whatever you want, read through comments to figure out does somebody
> work on it or not and write a fix.
>  Or is it fine to just announce, in the bug page, that you'll work on that
> bug? See, for example, this comment:
>  That's fine.

Ok. I personally don't like to pollute the bug log with "I'll work on this"
messages. But I guess for newbie developers, who don't have bugzilla rights
to change the Assigned field, it's the only solution.

Any suggestions about improving this process are welcome. I think people
> will show up, wanting to help, and it would be nice to  help them find
> something to work on fast. ;)
> There's nothing to improve. You could search by component or any way you
> want.

I realized while writing this email.. the process of searching a bug nobody
is working on can be improved.

> In the meanwhile, please assign the bugs, and spare others of spending time
> on them. As a bonus, it would be nice to see accurate numbers about how many
> bugs are on nobody's plate vs how many are on somebody's plate. Data! :) At
> the moment, there are 15 assigned bugs (ignored 11 assigned to wine-bugs@),
> vs 5580 unconfirmed/new/reopened bugs, for the Wine component.
> Why do you need this? git log/blame shows all stats on every person. It's a
> waste of time IMO to go with these ASSIGNED/VERIFIED.

The git log shows what you did. This would show how much you have to do
(rough approximation, of course). btw, how exactly do you keep track of what
you have to do? Having bugs assigned looks like a way of managing your

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