Archive for June, 2010

We need more bug reports

June 25, 2010

The Krita 2.3 is now in development for some time and we try to make it as fast and stable as possible. For that we need more tester.

Krita has often been criticized for being too unstable, like c’t (german computer magazine) who wrote about Krita being “absturzfreudig” (likes to crash). So it shouldn’t be any problem to get lots of bug reports. Right? In practice we don’t really get a lot of bug reports. Which leads to a recurring pattern: Every time we prepare a new release, we fix almost all reported crashes in Bugzilla (Crashes and data loss are considered release blockers) and still miss crashes that haven’t been found. So Krita definitely doesn’t get as much testing as would be needed.

As I mentioned most of the testing is done by Krita developers and a few enthusiastic artists. Even though this group finds most of the bugs and fixes them, we can’t do the testing alone. There are several reasons why we need lots of other testers. Krita is a quite complex application and even though we have less features than comparable applications nobody can test all of them. Additionally Krita runs on a large range of platforms, libraries and hardware. The developers run only a very small subset of these.

Another problem with developers testing an application is that they know a lot about how the application is “supposed to work”. So the way the developers use the application is different than somebody who is new to Krita and don’t seem some of the problem that new users have (I’m wondering if that effect has a name). So we need tester who have less experience with Krita.

One might argue that we should to test it longer and do more beta releases. The problem with that is that not many people test beta releases. Most bugs are reported several weeks or months after the final release. Of course the fact that we currently don’t have that many users plays into it. There is a bit of a contradiction: To get many testing users we need advertise Krita more, but before we can advertise it we need more testing.

To summarize we need more testers, testers that are not developers and have them test Krita earlier.

One thing I notice regularly is that many users have problems, but don’t report them. There might be be several reasons for that like Bugzilla being to slow and requiring to register or they assume that the developers already know about the problem. We are trying to improve on that e.g. with the Krita forum where several users gave us feedback about their usage of Krita, which is very much appreciated and already gave valuable input. In 2.3 for example we redesigned the the eraser after some user reported problems with it.

I hope I have motivated you to test Krita, give feedback and help us to improve it.

KOffice Mid 2010 meeting

June 20, 2010

Last weekend the KOffice Mid 2010 meeting took place at the Linuxhotel in Essen. As usual the meeting was pretty amazing. The Linuxhotel is a really great place for sprint: Many places to dicuss and hack (like the big lawn in front of the building), free drinks and good connectivity. All the food very food nearby, so we gained more time for being productive. Additionally it’s easy to reach from Dortmund which is also nice.

The main meeting on Saturday was divided into a big part where we discussed the general direction of the project and another part where we discussed specific technical problems. We spend quite a lot of time analysing the successes and failures of project. Boudewijn described lots of the things in the new Last week in KOffice, which is the new weekly development update similar to Last week in Krita.

Compared to previous meetings we are more filling remaining gaps than designing new things like flake. Even though there is still a lot todo, the progress of the last couple of months is very impressive. Mobile device are getting more and more important for KOffice especially for KWord, KPresenter and KSpread. It really shows that the whole work that went into redesign for KOffice 2 pays off.

In terms of technical discussion is good that the text-on-shape feature is now work in progress, which will allow text inside shapes needed mostly for KPresenter and Kivio. Another topic that I put on the agenda was the bad font rendering that KOffice suffers from. Jaroslaw and Sebastian have been digging through KOffice and Qt code to find a way to fix it. So far it looks like we will need to discuss is further with the developer from Qt Software to solve it.

Last but not least many thanks to everyone who help to make the sprint happen especially Alexandra and Inge for organizing it. And of course KDE e.V. and Nokia.