Reporting a new software bug is only the first step towards fixing the issue; the sorting and prioritization steps come next, usually referred to as “triage”.
Wikimedia’s Bug Squad has started hosting bi-monthly Bug Days as a part of our QA weekly goals. During a bug day, bug triagers and developers sort bug reports, usually from a specific component or reports fitting a specific criteria. Triaging reports includes testing reports to confirm they are valid, prioritizing reports so developers can efficiently address pressing issues, and identifying and marking duplicate reports to avoid duplicated work.
Our next Bug Day is today (March 19th), and we’ll work on bug reports in
Mediawiki extension > LiquidThreads. For more information on the event and how to participate, check out the event page.
We have already held three Bug Days. The first Bug Day on January 29, 2013 focused on reports that had not been changed for over a year. We retested many reports to see if they were still valid for newer versions of MediaWiki and MediaWiki Extensions. We also requested more information from reporters whose reports needed clarification. We addressed 30 reports out of about 170. Because of the recent Gerrit upgrade, our bug day on February 19, 2013 addressed bug reports in the Git/Gerrit component. Our focus was addressing upstream issues in Gerrit that may have been fixed with the update. For upstream bugs that were not fixed with the update, status reports were left on our corresponding Bugzilla reports. We addressed about 24 bug reports out of 70 open reports in Git/Gerrit. Our latest bug day focused on
General/Unknown reports in the MediaWiki product, which is known to be catch-all for bug reports. 38 reports were triaged. Many were retested and confirmed, prioritized, and moved out of General/Unknown into their proper components.
You can contribute to the Wikimedia Foundation by triaging bug reports. Follow the Calendar of QA events, to keep up with upcoming Bug Days and other testing events. You can also find an announcement of upcoming Bug Days on Bug Management’s Triage page. Bug Days are not just for bug triagers; developers are welcome to join and help by ‘taking’ reports and submitting bug fixes. Fixing bugs is a great way for new volunteer developers to get started, and joining a Bug Day would be a great way to find a few bugs to fix.
Bug Days support the Wikimedia Foundation by ensuring the quality of bug reports and bringing focus to reports that may not have had attention in a while. It is difficult for developers to keep up with the number of bug reports that reside and move into Bugzilla every day. Bug Days and bug triaging can help developers efficiently address these issues.
Valerie Juarez, Bug Management Intern