KDE bug triagers verify that Bugzilla tickets describe real bugs, are accurate and reproducible, and that the reporter has given enough information. The goal is to save developers from doing this work, which helps them fix bugs more quickly and do more work on KDE software.
You don't need any programming knowledge to be a bug triager, but experience has shown that members of this team often learn a lot in the course of dealing with bug reports, and many move on to developing the software itself. If you are just starting to learn programming, it's a great way to gain familiarity with the components and give practical support to the KDE community.
Manpower is always needed in a bug tracker, but as any action taken on it may be potentially destructive to other people's work or it may mess things up (and consume the developers' or other triager's time) the tracker requires special permissions to perform changes in the fields of bug reports.
If you want to be able to change the field data in bug reports, you need to prove that you know what you are doing. Some examples of this proof are prior helpful comments and triaging action on KDE bugs, prior experience triaging bugs in a professional setting. To request access, ask in the #kde-bugs IRC channel.
Choose a product (application or library). Then choose a period of time like 1 month or 1 or 2 years (or "from the beginning of the current year", or even from the very beginning (like 2000)).
This technique is useful to audit old bugs or perform a deep clean (in case the bugs weren't triaged on a daily basis previously).
Now that you have a list of bug reports, pick one and start working! Here is the optimal bug triaging workflow:
There are several things that must be checked and "fixed" to make an initial bug report an interesting and useful piece of information for the developers.
|if at any point you aren't sure how to proceed, move onto the next bug or ask a KDE developers or other more experienced contributor|
As KDE has so many users, we get a lot of reports about bugs which have already been reported (duplicates). Before putting any effort in the current report, check for an existing report. If you find a pre-existing bug report describing the same issue, mark this one as a duplicate of it.
Please see the article on identifying duplicates.
If you imagine software as a river, then software KDE uses that comes from others (e.g. Qt, X11, the Linux kernel) is UPSTREAM of KDE, and others who make use of KDE software (e.g Linux distributions, 3rd party Plasma plugins) are DOWNSTREAM of KDE.
Not all real bugs affecting KDE software are caused by a fault in KDE software.
Examples of upstream issues:
Examples of downstream issues:
Now that you know that the bug report is unique and that it is not an external issue, you need to check that all the needed information is there.
|After asking for further information, mark the report as "NEEDSINFO" with resolution "WAITINGFORINFO" (or resolution "BACKTRACE" if you are waiting for a complete backtrace)|
At this point, the bug report enough is complete enough that you should use the information provided by the reporter and try to make the bug appear on your own system.
|It is important to have up-to-date KDE components installed to test bugs. Only try to reproduce bugs using the latest versions of KDE software, or even development versions|
|Testing bug reports may modify/alter your own desktop configuration; also, to try to reproduce some bugs you may need a clean pristine (or slightly modified) environment. We recommend you to perform tests on a separate KDE installation or a clean user. There is also a way to start KDE applications with a clean configuration, even under your current configuration (setting the KDEDIR environment variable at run-time to an empty directory).|
You may want to use this reference text to setup your testing environment: Preparing a testing environment
If you can't reproduce with any scenario mentioned in the comments, you may want to try other related situations. Hopefully you will find a combination that reproduces the bug reliably. Write down any newly discovered steps to reproduce.
Write down the steps you performed. You may want to ask the reporter if your steps missed something, or if anyone notices any other strange or non-default situation or configuration which may be related.
Hopefully, you will get feedback from the reporters and you could gather more information to try to reproduce the bug or close the report as RESOLVED WORKSFORME (or FIXED). Time to move onto the next bug!
If you had to combine several steps to make your own "recipe" to reproduce, write them down. This kind of information is useful for the developers. If you had to use custom input data (text, or a file), you may want to attach it to the bug report. And mention the environment and circumstances under which you can reproduce the bug.
Often a bug report isn't properly categorized, or lacks some information in the Bugzilla fields (which are useful for sorting and filtering). If a field isn't mentioned below, you don't need to change it.
If the report has an application version, you need to set the version in the Bugzilla field. Ideally the version field should reflect the latest version the bug is reproducible with. If the version is missing in the list, please contact the software maintainer or the KDE Bugzilla admins to add the version.
Mark the bug's severity. Some hints about the various severity options:
This field is only important if the bug is related to one distribution or a specific system (most of the bug reports are common to most of the platforms).
If the bug seems like it would be really easy to fix, add the "junior-jobs" keyword. Examples of issues that would be easy to fix:
New code contributors often start with "junior-jobs"" bugs, so ensuring that there is a steady supply of bugs tagged with this keyword helps them get started with small, manageable tasks.
If the bug involves a poor user interface or demands a tedious workflow, tag it with the "usability" keyword, and it will be considered a part of KDE's "Usability & productivity" initiative.
Set the bug status to CONFIRMED if you can confirm it.
The bug report's summary might not accurately represent the bug, especially after you have triaged the bug and found the root cause or determined it to be another issue. You may want to update the summary to contain enough information to identify the issue properly. A good summary:
Many bug reports are reported against the wrong product. This may happen because the original reporter didn't know which application/library the bug belongs to. For example, many bugs filed to Dolphin are actually about KIO (the I/O framework) or Baloo (the search frameworks). Remember to check the KDE related technologies list
You must close the bug report as RESOLVED INVALID with a humane explanation that bug reports can only contain a single issue. Reming the reporter about https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved/Bug_Reporting#Step_6:_File_a_high-quality_bug_report
If the bug reporter or someone else included a patch, direct them to submit it using Phabricator, and remind them about https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved/Bug_Reporting#Submit_patches_using_Phabricator.2C_not_the_bug_tracker
Sometimes a very technically knowledgeable bug reporter will correctly identify the source of the issue, and maybe even the exact line of code that's causing the problem. Encourage them to submit a patch, and point them to https://community.kde.org/Get_Involved/development
Anybody who reports a lot of KDE bugs--especially if they are high quality bugs--is quite likely a committed KDE user who is a good candidate for becoming a more involved contributor over time. Stumbling on someone like this in the bug tracker is like striking gold. Take every opportunity to develop a relationship with this person and try to guide them through the KDE "get involved" pipeline. Oftentimes people who submit a lot of bugs move on to bug triaging and then later development.