A bug’s life

From Mageia’s QA and triage teams

In an ideal world, software bugs get fixed shortly after they are discovered. (Actually, in a really ideal world, there would be no bugs to begin with, but let’s be a bit realistic). You might be led to believe that once a bug has been reported the Mageia packagers will fix the bug, issue a new package, and everyone will live happily ever after.

Unfortunately, for most of the bugs discovered, things are not quite as simple as that. Many things have to happen and be done outside the view of most casual observers before a bug can be considered fixed.

The triage team is the link between the user encountering a bug and the packagers and developers who come up with a resolution for the bug. All new issues being reported should be classified and prioritized and checked for duplications with existing bug reports; if necessary, it has to be checked whether the problem can be reproduced; clarifications are asked for where they’re needed and so on. Once all this is done, the bug can be linked to the proper package and assigned to the maintainer of that package for resolution.

Without a triage team, bugs get duplicated, grow stale, and are left unnoticed with the packagers unaware of their existence, and you as the end user unhappy with the quality of Mageia as a distribution. Things will not break overnight if left untreated, but just like termites eating away at the foundation of your house, you want something to be done about them before things get out of hand!

For bugfixes that apply to the officially released and supported version of Mageia, just pushing the new package isn’t enough. What we’d hate to do is to make things worse rather than better and have our users run into even bigger problems. So, before an update is released, it has to go through the QA (Quality Assurance) team who will test the package on all supported architectures, ensure it runs, ensure there are no noticeable regressions, and that the update actually fixes the original problem mentioned in the bugreport.

These tasks of triaging and QA-testing are some of the least glamorous, but on the other hand some of the most important responsibilities within a project like Mageia. It probably will not bring you (or anyone else) lasting fame, fortune or love, but you will have the opportunity to help make Mageia, a distribution you might be using, even greater than it is today. The good thing is that triaging and QA-testing does not require any sophisticated technical skills, nor does it require any hard commitments; anyone willing to help can help and all you need to participate is some time to spare!

These two teams can both use your help in order to see bugs get triaged better and more efficiently and updates are tested more thoroughly than we can currently do it, as we are short of volunteer hands. Interested? Please feel free to jump in and get started!

For the triage team:

  • Add your name to our wiki page
  • Subscribe to the bugsquad team mailing list at  (and feel free to drop us a line on there!)
  • Subscribe to the bugs list  (Please note, this is a very high volume list, if you are not prepared to deal with this, consider using the bugzilla interface and add yourself to the Cc of any bugs you are interested in).
  • Read the guide to triaging at  as well as our bug policy
  • Get to work!
  • Come socialise with us in #mageia-bugsquad on IRC or ask questions there.

For QA-team:

  • Add your name to our wiki page
  • Subscribe to the qa-discuss (QA team discussion) and qa-bugs (bugzilla notifications for update candidates assigned to QA team) mailing lists 
  • Read the Mageia updates policy  and the QA specific guide
  • You might also like to join us on IRC in #mageia-qa on irc.freenode.net – It’s a good place to get a quick answer to any questions you might have.
  • Get stuck in, there is always plenty to do!
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6 Responses to A bug’s life

  1. Filip says:

    There is an error in link:
    For the triage team:
    Add your name to our wiki page
    It says:
    but should say

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  3. You could just give the bugs some peace and quiet and change the name of your distribution to Ubuntu. And for those bugs that get accidentally squashed (by adding new features) you could leave the door open so they move back in two releases later.

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