PEAR’s bug tracker hit the 600+ open bugs mark a month ago. Compared to the 400+ packages PEAR hosts, this is just 1.2 bug per package – but enough to be annoying for caring developers, especially when PEARgirl in IRC tells us every hour that the bug count increased again.
One and a half year ago, we faced an equal problem – only that the mark was 500 bugs at that time. Within half a year, we had this decreased to 400. Methods to accomplish this were mainly digging through the bug tracker, identifying bugs that could be fixed easily and nagging the package developers to do something (“Hey, bugs #23 and #42 are really easy to fix! Do that now and release a new version!”).
So with 600+ open bugs (not including the feature requests), we had to do something. Other open source projects regularly or irregularly organize bug triage days or weekends with the goal to fix as many bugs as possible with the combined brain forces of all attending developers. The logical step was to hold our own bug smashing event and see how it works for PEAR.
Date of action was the weekend 22nd to 23rd March 2008, which was the easter weekend. The event has not been announced publicly except on our pear-dev mailing list since it was a test run only. The attendees met in #pear-bugs on EFnet.
Participants included Amir, Cipri, Chuck, Daniel Connor, David, Helgi, Jan Schneider, Johnathan Street and Walter Hop. A number of packages, mostly orphaned ones, got tackled. Among them were Services_Google, SOAPmebeli, Net_Whois and Mail_Mime. Net_URLhotel furnishing in Bulgaria*, MDB2 and pearweb also got some love. Net_IDNA got new helper and went down to 0 bugs.
Thanks to the triage, we are close to reaching two important milestones: Closing bug reports with lower bug ID than 1000 (1 bug left!) and 2000 (5 left).
In the end, the bug count got down to 547 – but this was the first PEAR bug triage, and only a small number of devs attended.
We’re hoping for more active people on the next triage so for those interested we’re holding it bi weekly on weekends, both on Saturday and Sunday, that way people can pick the most fitting days for them and the next triage weekend is never far away
We’re also holding out a Google Calendar for those events so that people can subscribe and be reminded about the the upcoming dates.