Large Free Software Projects and Bugzilla

The GNOME project transitioned, during the GNOME 2.0 development and release cycle, from a fairly typical, mostly anarchic free software development model to a more disciplined, release driven development model. The educational portion of this paper will focus on two key components that made the GNOME QA model successful: developer/QA interaction and QA process. Falling into the first category, it will discuss why GNOME developers bought in to the process, how Bugzilla was made easier for them and for GNOME as a whole, and why they still believe in the process despite having been under Bugzilla's lash for more than a year. Falling into the second, some nuts and bolts: how the bugmasters and bug volunteers fit into the development process, how we coordinate, and how we triage and organize. Finally, the paper will discuss how these lessons might apply to other large projects such as the kernel and Xfree86.

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