In my 2022 roadmap, I mentioned something called the “15-Minute Bug Initiative.” Today I’d like to flesh it out and request participation! This blog post is not only informational, but I really hope any developers reading along will get excited and decide to participate. 🙂
KDE software has historically been accused of being resource-intensive, ugly, and buggy. Over the years we’ve largely resolved the first two, but the issue of bugginess persists.
Have you ever had that experience where you’re introducing someone to a KDE Plasma system and to your horror, they run into multiple bugs within moments? These are the issues we need to fix first: those that can be easily encountered within 15 minutes of basic usage. They leave a bad taste in people’s mouths and provide the impression that the system is a house of cards. It’s time to remedy this final strategic weakness of KDE, starting with Plasma itself. So I’d like to present our initial list of bugs:
If you have any software development skills, working on these bugs is a super impactful way to make a difference with code!! Every fixed bug is a huge deal, and brings Plasma meaningfully closer to a position of true stability.
1. What are the criteria for being a 15-minute bug?
It’s an inherently squishy thing, but I look for the following:
- Affects the default setup
- 100% reproducible
- Something basic doesn’t work (e.g. a button doesn’t do anything when clicked)
- Something basic looks visually broken
- Causes Plasma or the full session to crash
- Requires a reboot or terminal commands to fix
- The bug report has more than 5 duplicates
The more of those conditions apply, the more likely that any Plasma user will run into it quickly during normal usage, and the more I feel like it qualifies.
2. Who determines what gets to be a 15-minute bug?
KDE developers and bug triagers make the call.
3. I’m a developer or bug triager; how do I add a bug to this list?
Change its Priority to HI. If you don’t have permission to do this, ask sysadmins for “editbugs” permission over here: https://phabricator.kde.org/maniphest/task/edit/form/2/
4. I’m not a developer or a bug triager; how can I help?
You can go through the list and try to reproduce or confim the bugs, and do investigation into root causes and triggering factors for the ones where this isn’t already known. Those are important because a skilled developer can usually quickly fix a bug they can reproduce. But if they can’t, then they may never be able to. So if you can help developers reproduce bugs, that’s extremely valuable.
5. I’m experiencing this annoying issue that’s not on the list! Can you add it?
Maybe. Mention the 15-minute bug initiative in the bug report for it, and KDE’s bug triagers will see if it makes the cut.
6. Why are you only doing Plasma bugs right now?
Lack of resources. The list currently has almost 100 bugs, and I don’t anticipate that we’ll get it down to zero in a year. A lot of the issues there are quite challenging to fix. But if I’m wrong and we blaze through everything, then I’ll absolutely broaden the initiative to include first frameworks, and then apps! Stabilize all the things!
So that’s the 15-Minute Bug Initiative. Let’s get cracking and make Plasma rock solid in 2022!