VMware modifier keys bugs: update

Some updates since the last post:

The "GTK dies on a keypress" bug

Good news: it was fixed by Matthias Clasen. It was solved in the SVN version, I guess that we'll have to wait a while till it gets into the next version, Unless package maintainers would manually add it.

Doing a good QA in the FOSS community

I've learned a quick lesson about good QA in the open source community, which I find very rare.

In this case the bug was reported for ~2 months with no activity ("it sometimes crashes" type of report). Until I've added my description, which, probably helped it to get closed.

I'll try to sum up what I've learned:

  • Research deeper: don't post a bug report if best thing you can say is "ohh it doesn't work sometimes".
  • Post the bug in the right place: such as an official bug tracking system (look for a previous report of the same bug!) or an official mailing list. No offense, Ubuntu guys, but seems like complaining in Ubuntu's bug tracking system doesn't do much good, especially in nontrivial cases.
  • Post good, deep information:
    • "How to reproduce" must be 100% full proof and easy to follow.
    • Thorough but relevant system description (i.e. only related software versions or hardware details)
    • "Pointers" to the code when possible, even a general reference (i.e. "in X.org's xkb modifier code"). In a case of a SEGFAULT, running it inside gdb can tell the exact line-in-code the error occurred on.
  • Explain why you believe it's a bug: in many cases the bug can get closed because "it's not a bug" or "it should be fixed on another layer", etc. If you think it's untrue, explain why.
  • Be active: Inspiration comes from Lior Kaplan, who, as a Debian packager keeps caring of OpenOffice bugs in an impressive way.

Final mantra: Research and report, do not wait for someone else to do it!

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