Friendly greetings again! It’s me, Torley Linden. You can learn more about what I do @ Linden Lab, and continuing from last time as I promised, I want to share further insights into the state of our bug-fixing progress with you. Let the numbers help tell the story…
So that’s a fun chart filled with serious figures from our Issue Tracker. Click-through to view full-size. The data is as follows:
|MONTH||ALL ISSUES REPORTED||BUGS REPORTED||BUGS FIXED (creation date)*||BUGS FIXED (updated date)**|
|JUN 07 (partial)||653||463||43||155|
* This doesn’t mean bugs fixed per month, but bugs reported within a given month that are now fixed.
** The date an issue last had any changes made, such as if it was resolved, but also if was reopened, linked to another issue, a comment was made on it, etc.
I’d like to find out how we can sort bugs by resolution date alone, but strangely, it doesn’t look like that’s simpler. Jeremy @ Atlassian (thanks!), makers of JIRA, pointed me to related info; it’d be a very obvious and useful stat to have.
Thus, remember that the numbers don’t tell the whole story:
- Our Issue Tracker has only been around about half a year, since the Open Source initiative launched in Jan. ’07.
- This chart only shows publicly-reported issues — lots of bugs that only showed up in our internal records without a “Public JIRA twin”, as well as showstopper exploits which are investigated via security@ list, aren’t counted. For a more comprehensive historical listing of specific fixes that found their way into releases, while you’re logged into Second Life, go to Help menu > Release Notes.
- This chart does include fixes which had patches attached from the open source contributors lauded in Sardonyx’s detailed update.
- Each bug is different. Some, like content loss are far more immediately severe than others, while others, like user interface quirks, cumulatively degrade daily usage. Another reason why context is so important.
- “ALL REPORTED” includes every type of reported issue in a month. The “New Feature” issue type wasn’t introduced until Feb. ’07.
- These measurements were made yesterday @ ~4:30 PM PDT, so Jun. ’07 numbers aren’t complete and have changed by now. Which brings me to the next point, a question I hear often…
How do I get these stats for myself without having to ask?
I know this is non-obvious, especially you’re new to the Issue Tracker. So let me assist and save your time:
From here, you can readily get a summary of stats in each category. Keep in mind, don’t interpret the numbers by themselves. As we’ll see, there’s a lot of rich context which must also be considered. Furthermore, ongoing education plays a big role in our community’s effective usage of the Issue Tracker, and a small amount of these issues are misfiled — and are subject to correction. Any Linden and Resident is free to make an issue more useful, e.g., changing components to make it easier to find in the future.
One of my fave features, accessible from that page, is:
From it, you can extract metrics for all sorts of intriguing info, like…
Do you know which Residents have reported the most fixed bugs?
This includes “Fixed Internally” bugs which are awaiting public release. When I last checked, it was:
- Nicholaz Beresford – 24
- Alissa Sabre – 17
- SignpostMarv Martin – 10
- Strife Onizuka – 10
- SpacedOut Frye – 9
To get a report like this, set your “Filter” and “Statistic Type” as follows, then press the “Next” button:
And you should end up with a result like this. (And yes, I wish it was sortable by # of resolved, among other things… we have an insatiable hunger for info!)
What about Residents who’ve reported the most unresolved bugs?
After doing the above, see if you can figure this one out yourself. When I last checked, it was:
- Gigs Taggart – 20
- Lex Neva – 20
- Dan Linden – 18
- Alisa Sabre – 17
- SignpostMarv Martin – 13
For more details on what criteria are used in these filters, see:
and at your liberty, you can modify and create your own filters to extrapolate data as you see fit. Like Second Life itself, you can customize the Issue Tracker. Infact —
Wait, why’s Dan Linden in there?
Several excellent reasons, including:
- Lindens are gradually beginning to use the Issue Tracker more so we aren’t behind a wall, and so you can see bugs as we report them. It both communicates openly, and helps us provide examples of how to file issues. (I know that can be confusing.)
- Dan’s a Quality Assurance Engineer (and ultra-prolific bug reporter in our internal systems!), and he’s been working on bringing attention to the Top 10 Viewer crashes, including Mac-specific crashes. He’s reported them on the Issue Tracker, so if you know how to fix them, or would like to explore the code and gain a better understanding, we encourage you.
- Having more Linden participation in the Issue Tracker overall makes you feel better, because you have a clearer idea what we’re doing. I triage issues daily and chat with Residents about their concerns at my Office Hours, so don’t be surprised if you see comments and other actions from me.
How many open source patch contributions have been submitted?
Good (recurring) question, and you can also query the Issue Tracker for that. Notice how on the home page on the right, there’s a list of filters? Filters, as the name implies, make it a lot easier to search for issues you care about. So click “Issues with Patches Attached“, wait a few seconds, and there it is.
Want to narrow the criteria further? That’s easy once you know how, too. See on the left, where it looks like:
What you wanna do is click “Edit”; it’ll show you a lot of parameters you can search by.
In this specific instance, scroll down to “Dates and Times”, expand it (click the blue little “>”) if necessary, then you can enter:
Created After: 1/Jan/07
Created Before: 1/Feb/07
Then scroll down a bit and click the “View >>” button. This’ll shows you all the issues created during that time which also have patches attached.
Note that this doesn’t tell you when the patches were attached, or how many patches were submitted a month, or when the patches were originally coded, just issues created within a particular month that do have patches. Nevertheless, it’s a healthy overview which leads us to:
|MONTH||ISSUES WITH PATCHES|
And when I specified I only wanted to see resolved issues with patches applied, it showed me 155/200, which means roughly 78% of issues with patches have been applied. And that’s going to keep changing as issues are updated for accuracy and progress is made everyday.
I learned from Rob Linden that we even have a “Source contributions” page showing individual Residents and their contributions.
Again, I emphasize that the context surrounding the numbers is important: Second Life, despite the woes we face daily (and I’m going to share which bugs I abhor the most in an upcoming post!), is a thriving and vibrant community, and many times, there are insightful discussions which inform and result in these patches being coded:
- Within our tools – The Issue Tracker has mini-forum functionality. Each issue has a comment thread where further info, like a solid reproduction that helps recreate and squash a bug, can be provided.
We also have the SLDev mailing list, highly recommended if you love technical discussion about Second Life, or are just curious about what’s “under-the-hood”. Too much text makes your eyes water? Look at Soft Linden & contributors’ SLDev Traffic summaries. Easier to digest. I highly recommend it.
- On the Internet at large – Some Residents have taken to blogging about the processes they experience as they make the Second Life viewer better. I’ll highlight Nicholaz “The Mad Patcher” Beresford and his frequently-updated writings as a pioneer in what I hope will be a flourishing field. This is some constructive criticism and followup at its finest, folks.
To sum up, if you use the Issue Tracker, you don’t have to wait for us to feed you numbers — generate your own, do your own deep analysis, and if in need of further help using the Issue Tracker, check out Atlassian’s JIRA documentation.
Lastly, a general reminder…
If you come across bugs in the wild, please search the Issue Tracker to see if they’re already known about. And if not, report ’em with the requisite details, garner community support and vote — it lets us know “Lots of Residents care about this!” — and hopefully, they’ll be fixed soon.
I have a profuse amount of gratitude for the Residents mentioned above, and many more who’ve helped in a variety of ways. You don’t need to to be technically-minded to make Second Life better; simply being a keen observer and catching what other people miss, particularly if it’s a problem that could trip us up later, is invaluable. And that’s a heart of bug reporting.
Is it your duty to report bugs? Of course not! We want you to enjoy the Second Life experience and not have to worry. But when you have knowledge that takes a little time to share which makes the world better for yourself and those around you, what would you choose?
In the future, I’ll be sharing how I got started reporting bugs, and the embarrassments, pain, joy, and lessons learned along the way. So keep watching the Official Linden Blog for more posts by yours truely!
See you in Second Life,