Linux,  Mandriva

Bug fixing progress

Since a few days, the bug triaging process is in full force. The purpose is to review all old, unconfirmed bugs, and verify if they are still valid. And of course, making sure those valid bugs are fixed. I have the impression that it’s really a great success. Lots of Bugzilla e-mails are arriving in my mailbox, and looking at changelog mailing list, several old bugs are finally getting fixed.

I started to concentrate on bugs in Kaffeine and KMplayer. I think Kaffeine is now as stable as is possible now. That means: far from perfect, but I think all remaining problems should now be handled by its upstream authors. Already since some time, Kaffeine has XCB support, which should make it a lot more stable when viewing embedded videos in the Konqueror web browser. And since this weekend, Kaffeine correctly disables the screen saver when you are viewing a full screen video, and won’t copy the whole media file you open from media:/ URIs to your home directory. I proposed an update for Mandriva 2007.0 and 2007.1 Spring to fix the last two issues. Fixing the first one, is unfortunately a lot more difficult for older Mandriva versions, because it requires a more recent version of xine, and depends on libxcb, which is in contribs…

KMplayer was actually in a much better state. The only real serious issue, is that KMplayer does not add itself to KDEs service menus which appear when you insert a DVD disk. This is rather serious as KMplayer is Mandriva’s default video player, and thus user’s don’t get an option to actually play the movie when they insert a DVD disk. This should not be too difficult to fix though, so let’s hope we’ll have a fix soon.

I also reviewed Kopete bugs. About all of them are fixed in current Cooker, possibly we’ll also have udpated packages for 2007.0 and 2007.1 Spring implementing a higher framerate for MSN webcam support, fixing decryption of gpg encrypted messages (2007.1 only) and fixing errors when chatting on (2007.0 only).

For my own use (and pleasure), I also recompile a lot of Cooker packages for 2007.1. While recompiling a more recent version of libxml, I had problems with python crashing. After a lot of trying to find out what causes it, I found out that python-reportlab as shipped in both 2007.1 and Cooker makes python crash. Python-reportlab is a dependency of the hplip printer drivers, so if you don’t have these installed, you’ll probably never notice this problem. Ia also makes certain hplip utilities crash in 2007.1 and Cooker. Compiling a more recent version of python-reportlab, fixed all problems, so I hope we will see this as an update for 2007.1 soon.

Next on the bug review list, will be cd burning applications. Thanks to the article I wrote on this blog about audio cd burning applications, I already tested some of them, which always helps in reviewing bugs.

If you always wanted to get involved in free software development, this is actually a great opportunity to join the Mandriva bug reviewing effort! You don’t really need to have development skills, just some willingness to compare different bugs, to try to reproduce them, and to look them up in other bug trackers. Often those bugs are really already fixed, it’s just that someone has to confirm they actually are, or provide the good patch or solution which has been created by the upstream developers. If you are interested, do not hesitate to contact us on the bugteam mailing list!