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mconnor
 
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Post Posted October 13th, 2003, 8:24 pm

Since there's a better chance of someone actually reading this as opposed to bugmail, what's going on with the review process regarding Firebird? I spend a lot of time in Bugzilla and working on patches, but I just don't feel the love right about now.

My Requests is an example, ten Firebird patches, to fix 12 bugs in all, nothing since early September, and those were done by ben as he went through the remaining 0.7 bugs, and were mostly l10n bugs. The desire is there, but the lack of feedback is frustrating and a little demoralizing.

What I'm looking for is actual feedback from someone on the team as to what timeframe is expected and what is the future of non-team development in Firebird. If the team wants a closed shop, its their project. But if that's the case, I might as well drop my Firebird QA work and just hack on Seamonkey or something else that will be more satisfying/give me more opportunity to learn.
Last edited by mconnor on October 14th, 2003, 6:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Nitin
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Post Posted October 13th, 2003, 8:45 pm

<This patch is marked obsolete after the edit to the first post!>
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mconnor
 
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Post Posted October 14th, 2003, 1:42 pm

er, thanks :)

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Post Posted October 14th, 2003, 5:53 pm

I agree. I'm the Autocomplete QA and I see much of the same thing. In fact, I just filed <a href="http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/show_bug.cgi?id=222184" title="Firebird Autocomplete component needs a default owner/assignee">bug 222184</a> about the fact the Autocomplete component no longer has a real default assignee since Joe Hewitt left. There are patches for some very annoying autocomplete bugs suffering from bitrot. Then I read this post from Mike (and I thought you were "in the loop" Mike...) and find out I'm not the only frustrated FB QA kicking around. I too am considering giving up my QA work since it's just kind of discouraging right now.
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Sipaq
 
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Post Posted October 15th, 2003, 3:54 am

As default QA for Menus and Toolbars I can say the same thing. Reaction from Hyatt is non-existant. Patches are rotting and piling up (we have currently <a href="http://bugzilla.mozilla.org/buglist.cgi?field0-0-0=attachments.ispatch&type0-0-0=equals&value0-0-0=1&field0-1-0=product&type0-1-0=equals&value0-1-0=Firebird&field0-2-0=bug_status&type0-2-0=equals&value0-2-0=NEW&field0-2-1=bug_status&type0-2-1=equals&value0-2-1=UNCONFIRMED&field0-2-2=bug_status&type0-2-2=equals&value0-2-2=ASSIGNED&field0-2-3=bug_status&type0-2-3=equals&value0-2-3=REOPENED">94 patches submitted</a>). Checkins are coming in waves or not at all.

I understand, that in an open-source-project where everybody has jobs of their own and can't work on MFB fulltime development won't be as fast as in earlier times. But I'm getting the impression that the work done by the various QA volunteers is simply useless, because nobody besides us (Mike, David, Erik, me and a few other volunteers) really cares anymore.
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mconnor
 
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Post Posted October 15th, 2003, 4:40 am

Firebird QA team rampages through forums, no one hurt ;)

but seriously, at least when I saw pch on IRC he thanked me for all the cleanup work in bookmarks, but its nearly pulling teeth to get responses from others. Either the devs need to give SOME feedback, at least to us, and maybe even open up some real lines of communication (I know they're all on IRC at the same time sometimes, they're just in a hidden channel probably).

but, we're QA, its not like we're important, right?

Sipaq
 
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Post Posted October 15th, 2003, 7:59 am

mpconnor wrote:Firebird QA team rampages through forums, no one hurt ;)

Let's wait for Erik, then we're complete.
but seriously, at least when I saw pch on IRC he thanked me for all the cleanup work in bookmarks, but its nearly pulling teeth to get responses from others. Either the devs need to give SOME feedback, at least to us, and maybe even open up some real lines of communication (I know they're all on IRC at the same time sometimes, they're just in a hidden channel probably).

pch and bryner are at least accessible via IRC and often via Bugmail, Blake comes and goes with his checkins (he goes more often than he comes) but he's on IRC every day AFAICS. I've seen Hyatt some times on IRC but it seems that now he is not only ignoring all seamonkey review-requests but also firebird-review-requests. It's depressing.
but, we're QA, its not like we're important, right?

Oh, guess how important we would become if we stopped doing anything in bugzilla for let's say two weeks ;)
Sure, one dev is probably as important as 10 QAs, but it's quite frustrating that people who care are driven out of the project because of the closed-shop attitude of some devs.

To become constructive again...
We could try something like the thing Mike Pinkerton proposed for camino development. Somebody posts a patch, two people outside the dev world give positive reviews and then the devs are called in for a super-review and a checkin. Any thoughts on that?
Last edited by Sipaq on October 15th, 2003, 6:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Sipaq
 
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Post Posted October 15th, 2003, 8:06 am

[double-post deleted]
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David James

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Post Posted October 15th, 2003, 10:15 am

Things sure are slow today... looks like it caused Simon to make a double post as well.

I definitely think that us QAs need to be included in some of the discussions of what is going on. I don't know about you two, but I often no longer feel confident in marking some bugs as WONTFIX, since I simply don't know what the devs are planning.

In addition to better communications, something needs to be done about review and checkins. In some sense, we need more devs. Maybe we'll get them when Seamonkey closes up but until then we've got a problem. The Autocomplete problem seems kind of minor compared to the others, but like I said, we've got patches awaiting review and some just awaiting checkin. I like Simon's proposal.
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mconnor
 
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Post Posted October 15th, 2003, 3:40 pm

Hoping for Seamonkey devs to move to Firebird is a pipe dream, anyone who would be working on it already is, which is why seamonkey hasn't had much real front-end work in a long long time.

Maybe we should retitle this thread: When Firebird QAs Attack!

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Post Posted October 15th, 2003, 4:47 pm

When Firebird quacks?
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mconnor
 
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Post Posted October 15th, 2003, 6:25 pm

no, that's just my linux box when it feels like ignoring the concept of audio drivers and uses the odd beeper

Sipaq
 
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Post Posted October 15th, 2003, 6:47 pm

David James wrote:Things sure are slow today... looks like it caused Simon to make a double post as well.

When I tried to post my posting, mozzine was breaking under the load. So sorry for the double-post.

I definitely think that us QAs need to be included in some of the discussions of what is going on. I don't know about you two, but I often no longer feel confident in marking some bugs as WONTFIX, since I simply don't know what the devs are planning.

I've entirely stopped to mark bugs as WONTFIX (with a few exceptions like a bug I saw about pushing the options dialog from Tools to Edit). At the moment nearly one fifth of all our open bugs are enhancement requests a probably half of them could be marked WONTFIX if a person, who is in the know, would look at them and that's only the enhancement requests. Probably the same amount could be marked WONTFIX or INVALID in all the other severity categories.

An example: Someone complains about a function not working on BeOS or a build, which does not compile on FreeBSD. On the one hand I could say, that we only support Linux, Windows and Mac OS X (and Solaris a little bit) and mark those bugs WONTFIX on the other hand somewhere in the future Firebird is going to replace the AppSuite which currently supports all these operating systems and then those bugs would be perfectly valid. So what should a QA do? Only the devs know and this knowledge should be shared with us!

In addition to better communications, something needs to be done about review and checkins. In some sense, we need more devs. Maybe we'll get them when Seamonkey closes up but until then we've got a problem. The Autocomplete problem seems kind of minor compared to the others, but like I said, we've got patches awaiting review and some just awaiting checkin. I like Simon's proposal.

The weird thing, nobody exactly knows whether a patch needs review at all. At the moment neither Thunderbird nor Firebird have any code review guidelines. AFAIK patches from outside are only reviewed because the outside people have no cvs write access and patches from developers only seldom get a review. I'm not for too much formalization, but at the very least some clear information on what is necessary to get a patch in and which steps should be taken to speed up the process would be deeply appreciated.
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David James

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Post Posted October 15th, 2003, 10:07 pm

Sipaq wrote:The weird thing, nobody exactly knows whether a patch needs review at all. At the moment neither Thunderbird nor Firebird have any code review guidelines. AFAIK patches from outside are only reviewed because the outside people have no cvs write access and patches from developers only seldom get a review. I'm not for too much formalization, but at the very least some clear information on what is necessary to get a patch in and which steps should be taken to speed up the process would be deeply appreciated.

You're right; I hadn't thought of that but all sorts of checkins go into FB without review of any kind - imho this has created a few problems of its own, such as the never-ending changes to the Options dialog, which, if you ask me, is still a mess - hardcoded background colours, nondescript categories (what are Web Features, General or Advanced without looking at them?), a downloads UI with options to download to the Desktop which doesn't work in Linux, despite the fact that both GNOME and KDE (and others) have agreed that $HOME/Desktop is *the* Desktop on Linux. Then there's autoscroll conflicting with ContentLoadURL and a myriad other breakages caused by insufficient thought being given to the changes being made. With all this breakage being created you'd think we could check in a few patches to fix some of it.

After having spent about a year triaging (and now QAing) I can only point to a handful of bugs where I feel I've made a difference (and that would be where bryner was involved). Other than that... my main contribution to Firebird has been the altogether separate Pinball theme which is apparently widely used. But triaging and QA work is simply unrewarding when there is no real feedback from those higher up.
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Post Posted October 16th, 2003, 10:01 am

Its interesting to read Seamonkey bugs, where they actually discuss the changes they're making. R and SR give feedback and multiple patches are produced. The concept of "strong ownership" just seems to mean that a handful of people seem to make arbitrary decisions.
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