Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Triaging bugs in Ubuntu, or How Not To Tee Off The Most Important Person: Yourself

Colin Watson and numerous others have written about the seemingly sad state of bug triaging in Ubuntu. Many of the criticisms are spot-on. For the protocol (whatever that is) to be effective in actually resolving the issues reported in bugs, we need a technically competent swarm. How might a community-ordered distribution like Ubuntu go about growing such ranks? After all, the topic of resource constraints is by no means unique to Ubuntu tasks. I remember discussing it in the inaugural MOTU Council, and mentoring was incorporated as part of the new developer protocol.

Mentoring seems to be an underused feature in Launchpad for Ubuntu bugs. I propose that prospective members of the Bug Control team participate as mentees. (I do not wish to quantify a metric for determining whether such mentees would then be "fit" to join the team.)

Consider this post a call to fellow developers to offer mentorship: go ahead and choose the "Offer Mentorship" link at the trailing vertical edge of any bug report in Launchpad. For what it's worth, consider me a mentor for any audio-related bug. (And yes, that next post about Linux is forthcoming.)

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