Sunday, April 6, 2008

Proactive Bug Reports Discover


The developers behind PyGame have introduced a proactive way to capture bugs discussion that have not reported to the PyGame mailing list [yeah, they use email list to report bugs]. The motivation is the fact that users, sometimes, associate the PyGame's problems to the operational system is running, which lead them to report the problem to the OS's bug tracker, or simply discuss about PyGame's problems in personal blogs or whatever.

The method proposed in PyGame's blog is interesting and consists in searching into specific places [sites, mailing lists etc] to find bug reports related to PyGame. However, some questions about viability and scalability rise, such as: what about the cost to maintain crawlers searching for bug discussion in the web? How to decide if a bug discussion is really relevant or if it is really a bug? etc.

For PyGame's developers, this solution is reasonable because they have specifics web sites, mailing lists, and CR tracking systems, where the searches must be performed. But, for widely used softwares, such as Firefox web browser, the technique might be very costly, or even impracticable.

1 comment:

illume said...

Indeed we do... and now we've found your "pygame bug" hehe.

I think this method would scale to larger projects... well maybe. Perhaps they'd have more bug hunters+fixers too?

pygame is pretty small, and has little code, and slow release cycles, so therefore new bugs don't come up as often as something as featureful and widely used as firefox.

I guess it's just another technique to add to the current bug tracking methods of a project.

So instead of just getting bug reports from their bug tracker, they could search for bugs and add them to the bug tracker. Perhaps doing something as simple as pointing the bug to a url, and categorizing it.

I think it'd be cool if someone made an integrated application to help deal with "found or searched for bugs", as opposed to categorized, and reported bugs. However the google tools do quite nicely - especially their advanced search options, alerts and their code search functions.

cheers,