Sharing bugs, fixing code

Bug sharing is sexy!Martin Graesslin has taught me much this week. Back in april I wasn’t paying attention, so I missed his series of blog posts on bugs.kde.org for developers, and in particular I missed the bit on saved and shared searches. It bears repeating: if you have an interesting search and are logged in, you can save it (with a name) right from the search results; then, go to Preferences (upper right) -> Saved Searches (middle tab) and you can share a search with others. 

Saved search list

On the consuming end, you can also check particular searches that have been shared (e.g. by Martin for KWin, or by the Amarok folks) and they will follow you around in the web interface to bugs.kde.org, ready for instant use. Probably at some point the list is going to get too long and we’ll have to think about whether “KDE 4.4.4 bugs in KWin on FreeBSD” is really a highly visible category of bug that needs to be in that list (it isn’t, relax).
By answering a few questions, Martin also helped me futz around with KWin, trying to patch up one bug that I spotted in the KWin list. I also found Dominik’s Compiling KDE4 notes useful – I remember using them as well when trying to scratch an itch in Kate.
It feels good to be writing (and reading) C++ again, I’ve been under a pile of Python WTF rocks for so long I’d almost lost the feeling for when code is beautiful. (O yeah, and where did the KDE Development book come from?)
Posted in KDE

Bug Triage

The KDE 4.4.4 buglist is, if not shrinking, then at least being confirmed that the bugs existed — and some still do. There’s cases where it’s unclear if the bug is actually a bug: when Firefox, Internet Explorer and Konqueror and Rekonq all display the same behavior (behavior which seems to be at odds with a W3C spec) then I’m inclined to call it “not a bug”. My goal is to at least check out and comment on all the bugs in the list (column “changed” shows where I’m at) and in particular check if they’re still present in KDE 4.7.2, which is the version I’ve got on another machine. At some point I’ll have to install the 4.9 beta and do the check again.

Now Martin is calling for KWin triagers. I took a look at #238119, since it’s about the settings / control panel for effects. The bug description is pretty straightforward and good to follow:
  1. Start system settings (either from command line, $ systemsettings, or Menu and search for “Personal Settings”, at least on OpenSuSE 12.1).
  2. In the overview pane, there’s an icon labeled “Desktop Effects”, or search for “Effects”. Click on it.
  3. You get three tabs, “General”, “All Effects” and “Advanced”. Click the “All Effects” tab, then check the box for the first effect (“Invert”, in my case and in the bug reporter’s case as well).
  4. Switch to the “Advanced” tab by clicking on it, then switch back to “All Effects”. Notice that the checkmark you just put in next to “Invert” is gone!

That’s the description the original bug reporter gave, and those are easy-to-reproduce steps (I’ve just written them out in more detail here). So that bug could be confirmed, at the very least (for 4.7.2 that is).

One thing the OP didn’t write out is that, when you go back to the overview from the “Desktop Effects” page, you still get the prompt that something has changed, even though the one change you did (namely, checking the box next to “Invert”) has gone away again. OK, I can live with that: I did change something (only the change subsequently went away!).
Then I did some more tests on this particular configuration dialog and found some more weirdness. Those I’ve left in the bug report.
So there you have it: triaging bugs can be a five minute thing-to-do-while-the-espresso-machine-heats-up, and can require a really straightforward process of just following the instructions the bug reporter provided, and confirming that the reported behavior actually exists. (Of course, this was a simple bug: no crash, just weird behavior).
Posted in KDE

Time Warp!

I was thinking of trying the PC-BSD version 9.1 beta. Digging through a pile of hard drives looking for space, I found a set of drives for the FreeBSD 7.3 setup that once was the EBN, and a single drive that turned out to boot into FreeBSD 8.1-PRE with KDE 4.4.4. I think it was a workstation setup I used for only a little while amidst experiments with ZFS and OpenSolaris compatibility. In any case, I ended up in a KDE from two years ago. Funny, thinks I, not a whole lot has changed in the set-up of my desktop (I still stick to the default panel at the bottom, desktop pager, taskbar, system tray thingie, no activities). Nor has much changed in the superficial appearance or behavior of the apps I tend to use, Blogilo, Konsole, KMail, Konqueror (although there are some systematic crashes, but those aren’t worth talking about before I’ve updated the system to FreeBSD 8.3 and KDE 4.8.4 — there’s a fairly short KDE 4.4.4 buglist available which I guess I’ll try to confirm before updating KDE, though).

So everything old is, if not new again, at least familiar.