LibreOffice QA: Halloween Bug Hunting, and so much more!

LibreOffice QA has been busy during the last few months!

We just had our first BugHunting Session for the upcoming LibreOffice 5.1 release over the Halloween weekend. Testing our alpha1 builds, members of the QA Team helped to lead users, developers, and other community members in identifying and documenting problems in our very first binaries available for this release series. Having support from members of QA, L10n, Developers, members of the Design community, and regular LibreOffice users was a great sign for continued cross-team participation. We’re looking forward to seeing a similar mix of contributors during our next BugHunting Session in December.

We identified 104 bugs during the Halloween BugHunting session, primarily from initial testing with the alpha1. Of the 74 of bugs remaining open, 80% have been triaged to previous versions, leaving only 15 bugs tied to LibreOffice 5.1. Looking at all 5.1 versions, there are only 212 open bugs pegged to this release series, with only 44 open bugs pegged against 5.1 alpha1.

We’ve been busy with regression-hunting, performing over 550 bibisects this year, and over 200 since June. With one of our chief regression hunters and bibisect sorcerer Matthew Francis taking a well-earned respite from the cauldron of crafting new bibisect repositories and hacking on Python internals, we’re actively recruiting new QA members to help perform these binary searches on all platforms.

In fact, with so many of our developers (and other community members) using Free Software operating systems on their workstations, there’s always a need for contributors who are running MS-Windows or OS X to help us track down OS-specific bugs. This includes not only performing bibisects, but also debugging and getting a backtrace for a crashing bug.

Keeping our UNCONFIRMED bug count steady has been challenging. Currently hovering in the mid-500s, other important QA tasks and processes have commanded our time, and we could benefit from several more QA Team members to help shoulder the daily influx of new, untriaged bug reports. With the focus of our regular BugHunting Sessions on finding and identifying new issues in our upcoming builds, we may find it useful to host similar events that focus wholly on triage and “gardening” of the mass of existing reports in Bugzilla. Maybe we could have something like “Clean Sweep Mondays,” where we tackle the existing clutter for a set period of time, and post some quick stats such as total drop in UNCONFIRMED, # of NEEDINFO cleaned up, etc.

Work continues on our comprehensive Media Support wiki pages, a collection of tests designed to directly verify the level of support for various image, audio, video, (and other) file formats across all of our platforms. Keeping these pages up to date ensures that they continue to be a resource for QA bug triaging as well as for our volunteers helping to answer questions on the Ask LibreOffice site. Lead by QA Team member raal, we now have initial image test results for Android, and are interested in talking with developers who’d like to expand the Android Viewer’s capabilities in this area, as well as testers who would like to expand our battery of test results for the Android OS.

Coming up during the first weekend in December, we’re holding our BugHunting Session for the 5.1 Beta1 build. For those of you who are interested in kicking the tires and working with a still-rough-around-the-edges piece of software, your help is greatly appreciated. With a large package such as LibreOffice, it’s invaluable to have the technical members of our userbase exercise some of the more esoteric features of LibreOffice, and identify any minor regressions or usability concerns early-on in the release process.

The QA Team looks forward to seeing you in IRC anytime, or stopping by one of our weekly Wednesday meetings. We’re always happy to answer your questions about bug reports, bibisecting, etc., and to helping new contributors get started with the LibreOffice community!

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