[maemo-developers] QA process = bug fixing disincentive?

From: Thomas Perl th.perl at gmail.com
Date: Wed Nov 11 16:19:43 EET 2009
2009/11/4 Graham Cobb <g+770 at cobb.uk.net>:
> Attila said...
>> On Wednesday 04 November 2009 10:28:58 Andrew Flegg wrote:
>> > On Wed, Nov 4, 2009 at 09:03,  <tero.kojo at nokia.com> wrote:
>> > > Two days later I notice a blinking orange light in my status bar. I see
>> > > a new version of the application. I install, I check what has changed
>> > > (minor or major?), I run my tests and thumb it up again.
>> >
>> > Aside: how do you check what has changed?
>> This is one of the things I miss sorely from the Application Manager. Sure,
>> you can see the description and version, but not things like free/non-free,
>> the repo and last, but not least, the changelog (maybe based on the
>> debian/changelog most packages have, anyway).
> For users AppMgr has a user-friendly alternative: you specify an update description in the control file.  Now that I think of it this needs to go into the extras testing rules: any package which is already in Extras must specify an update description to give people information on why they should upgrade.
> But the update description does not help with testing: (a) it is user friendly text, not a developer changelog and (b) the description is vs. the version already in Extras not vs. the last extras-testing version.

The following is a rant about XB-Maemo-Upgrade-Description
with some suggestions for improvement...

I personally used this field in my packages, but the problem is that
the developer might forget to update the description, as normal
changes are logged in debian/changelog.

Also, imagine this row of releases (with the update text in brackets):

1.0-0 ("Initial release")
1.0-1 ("Fixed bug 1234")
1.0-2 ("Added a new icon")
2.0-0 ("Complete rewrite, everything changed")
2.0-1 ("Increased the contrast of the application icon")

Now, when a user has e.g. version "1.0-1" installed, and the
repository already contains version "2.0-1", the user is offered
to upgrade it with the description "Increased the contrast of the
application icon", when in reality, the upgrade from 1.0-1 to 2.0-1
does a lot more in reality (after all, 2.0 was a complete rewrite).

Not every user upgrades from every point release to another,
especially since the new Extras-Testing process. This field
("XB-Maemo-Upgrade-Description") is bad for these reasons,
as the upgrade description really depends on which version you
upgrade from.

My suggestion is to either use the Debian changelog, or if this
sounds too "technical" for the end user, agree on some way to
mark "user-relevant" changes in the Debian changelog (by using
"USER:" as a prefix for a one-line summary or by having a
convention of having the first entry in the Debian changelog be
a user-friendly summary of all changes) and then parse the
changelog and display all user-relevant changes in the AppMgr.

The one-line summary in the AppManager UI (that is now taken
from XB-Maemo-Upgrade-Description) can then be taken from
these user-friendly changelog entries, and a upgrade that jumps
multiple versions can then display like this:

"Increased the contrast of the application icon (+ 2 more changes)"

Clicking on the details should then reveal all changes from the
installed version to the version that the package is being upgraded

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