We need more bug reports

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.


23 Responses to “We need more bug reports”

  1. Christoph Says:

    Part of the problem is that you advertise Krita as a program for painters. I am not sure there are many of them.

    Tell people that Krita is simple, fast, and crash free to use for daily tasks: Take screen shots and load photos, detect and cut ARGB shapes out of them, add blur, shadows, and other effects to them, layer and combine them with text, other regular and irregular shapes, and save all of it to files and to web.

    … and suddenly you got an application that people like to try out and use.

    Ah, and don’t say there are other applications doing this. GIMP is too complex, KolourPaint doesn’t even support ARGB, ShowPhoto from DigiKam does not handle shapes and layers.

  2. Cypher Says:

    I agree with Christoph ! You decided to dedicate Krita to painters, and stop trying to build a GIMP or PS-like application, but many users have stopped using Krita because of this as they don’t feel targeted.

    Personally, I don’t use Krita anymore, because I need a PS-like application, not a digital painting board…

  3. OMLX Says:

    Me too, I feel I am not one of your audience. I want a full application for photo editing and painting.

    However, I hope you find a lot of digital painters and they are interested to submit bugs.

  4. Boudewijn Says:

    Well, it’s a problem we’ve always had, even back in the 1.x days. Back then we didn’t have a real vision beyond “Gimp for KDE, Photoshop for Linux”. We didn’t have enough testers back then, either! Probably because the lack of focus made it hard to get Krita in a state where it was good enough to test. Having a clear focus really helped getting there.

    Corel Painter also has different focus and a smaller group of users compared to Photoshop, but it’s a thriving application nonetheless.

    (Of course, Krita can still be used to mess with photos and do collage and so on — it’s inherent in the type of application, but we don’t promise any great support for that.)

  5. Dotan Cohen Says:

    > Crashes and data loss are considered
    > release blockers

    Is this Krita policy, or KDE policy? I will give Krita a spin in the coming weeks as I will have a project that I was planning on using Gimp for. I’ll file bugs and RFE as I see need. Thanks!

  6. Jay Says:

    I am part of the targeted audience, I will take a look. BTW I like the approach you took, it fills a niche which hasnt been covered for artists by gimp or inkscape. ty, J

  7. Mike Seidle Says:

    Interesting. I always thought that Krita was kind of a KDE attempt at a Gimp like product – which explains why I’ve been frustrated with it: it’s like using Corel Painter for stuff you would do in PhotoShop or PhotoPaint. I’m Looking at Krita for doing digital painting – and I’m discovering it’s a very capable program for what is intended for. The descriptions in most Linux distros lead one to think Krita is a Photoshop wannabe and should be changed to indicate more of an open source Painter or perhaps RealDraw Pro (which is a very interesting application).

  8. The User Says:

    Krita is my favourite application for image-manipulation.
    I agree with Christoph.

    Another thing, related to DrKonqi:
    It is often very annoying that I can’t send the bug-report because of some missing debug-symbols. I am a developer and I know, which debug symbols are important and which aren’t, so if there are a few irrelevant line-numbers missing in the backtrace, I would like to say him “I know, what I’m doing, send it!”. It is stressy to look for all the debuginfo-packages related to library xy which is listed somewhere in the backtrace, the automatic installation often does not work.

  9. Pierre Says:

    I run MacOSX and unfortunatelly there isn’t any packages or up-to-date documentation to build any KDE programs on this platform (MacPorts and Fink are far from up-to-date).
    Please, I used to love KDE programs but it’s too hard to install them on my new Apple computer.

    PS : I have a Wacom tablet and I’m a non-professional digital painter, I’m ready to test Krita as soon as I’m able to intall it.

  10. mee Says:

    Agreed. I’m no painter. I just was a PS clone on kde 🙂

  11. Irina Says:

    Sorry for OT-ness (you can zap this comment after reading) but are snap previews really necessary? They take away about 110% of my reading enjoyment.

  12. tirex Says:

    Likewise, I was quite sad when the people around krita decided to target painters. I have not used it anymore ever since but am now struggling with the horrible interface of gimp.

  13. Boudewijn Says:

    Pierre, we would love to provide up to date binaries for Windows and OSX — but the developers only have Linux. KDE on Windows and OSX is in need of a lot of love and effort from people actually using those operating systems.

    Dothan: it’s a krita policy. Other KOffice applications might ship with open crash bugs, but we don’t want that.

    The User: if you ever have that kind of problem again, just send me the backtrace by mail: boud@valdyas.org.

  14. Sam Says:

    tirex, next version of gimp will finally fix the ui madness of gimp by allowing users to select if the want a single application window or gazillion of different windows spread all over the desktop.

  15. AGui Says:

    I don’t know if it is already possible with KDE libraries, but adding a feature allowing to report bugs directly from the interface could be a good idea. I think about something like GetHotNewStuff. And it could be used in other KDE apps for which developers need more bug reports.

  16. slangkamp Says:

    It’s already possible to report bugs from the user interface. Help->Report bug does that, but it requires registration in the bug tracker.

  17. Boudewijn Rempt Says:

    AGui: there is, in the Help menu, a very helpful Report Bug entry, which opens a wizard that makes reporting bugs really easy. Except for one thing: people still need to have an account on bugs.kde.org.

  18. AGui Says:

    You are right but I was thinking about something more user-friendly. Not a simple link to bugs.kde.org. KMess (Live Messenger clone for KDE) in version 2.0.3 has something nicer.

  19. JM Says:

    I have to say that from a quick look, the “LikeBack[1]” feature from Basket seems to be a decently open approach, i.e. no registration needed. It seems to basically be sending a specifically formatted e-mail to a specifically configured server; though the list of ideas for future implementation looks very good.

    [1] http://basket.kde.org/likeback.php

  20. jospoortvliet Says:

    @AGui: yes, I believe KMess uses Likeback, maybe that’s useful for Krita too.

  21. Bugsbane Says:

    I still have (roughly) a million UI suggestions, but I try to only submit things that are a)reproducible and b) obviously, objectively wrong (ie that I’m not likely to waste my time only to find out “it’s designed to work like that…”)

    I’d also report far more if Bugzilla wasn’t so mindnumbingly slow and painful… and if I could get my tablet pressure consistently working with Kubuntu / Arch.

    That said, I’ve always found all the Krita devs one of the most friendly and responsive groups I’ve ever had the pleasure to bug. 🙂 Will try to post more bugs in a couple of weeks (after I return from Indonesia).

  22. slangkamp Says:

    If you don’t want to report your UI suggestions in Bugzilla you can also write them down in one long post on the forum. We will than extract the bugs from that.

  23. Andreas_P Says:

    Hello Guys,

    As I mentioned before: THERE WAS a direction and vision change by KImageShop devs to a digital artists brush, watercolor etc stuff application which was indicated by the name “Krita” which actually means “DRAW”.

    Ahhhh OMGosh! damn! What can I do now, my (intended solution for everything was gone!) I can’t use Krita any more for photo-manipulation….

    YES, Most of you, YOU CAN’T!, but you NEEDN’T to..! Why?

    It is THAT simple. There is a guy who is absolutely keen on digital Imagery (has a passion about photos and specifically “digital photos” and YES he is around the KDE community!. His humble name is Gilles Caulier and he (as far as I know, is the mastermind behind the DIGIKAM vision!)

    DigiKam is not only a tool to save photos from a digital camera to your HD but also to edit them within another partner-application called “SHOWFOTO” – It can handle now many things yet, (yes, it is 4.0 based) but there exists the “trinity” project as well…

    WELL, if you all want to have some badly liked/needed features than go for Gilles, talk to him and his community of awesome guys and don’t waste anybodys time here, to getting Krita back to be a “eierlegende Wollmilchsau”. Krita will be perfect for digital designers and artists who integrate perfectly Inkscape, GIMP, and the one for all these lines are for.

    And THEN: Do Boud and his colleagues a favor, and just have a slight look at it, not everyone has to be a painter to use a painting application. And give some feedback back to them.

    Many Thanks in advance, yours sincerely Andreas_P

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