How to Get a MediaWiki Bug Fixed

Mark A. Hershberger

mah@nichework.com

Who am I?

A really great guy!

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First – and only! – Bugmeister for WMF

(They've since changed the title to Bug Wrangler)

Former member of MediaWiki Release Team

Mark y Markus (in the process of being disolved)

MediaWiki Consultant

Have a bug.

This is the easy part.

Find something that doesn't work in MediaWiki.

Especially easy if you use a new feature currently being worked on.

Three scenarios

FATAL errors – everyone can agree on these

Persistence required – These can last for years, sometimes being resolved without anyone noticing.

You may have to solve it yourself.

FATAL error

Friday, Jan 9, 2015 10:18pm

Fatal Error: Call to a member function disable() on a non-object

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Code that caused this was last touched in 2004!

original commit to GlobalFunctions.php ancient-code-commit.png

Patch to fix is created the next business day

Monday, Jan 12, 2015 4:50pm fatal-fix.png

This is how bug-fixing should work

But rarely does…

Persistence required

Autogenerated XML schema

May 7, 2008

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January 31, 2010

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About 1.5 years

The bug is crushed and revived

June 25, 2014 – January 1, 2015

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But a solution has already been given, in disguise.

Back in Oct 4, 2012

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January 5, 2015

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Start to Finish

2434 days

You may have to solve it yourself

Even if the problem is in core

File a bug report.

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The bug may be questioned.

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This can be a bit depressing, but don't give up.

You can try to solve it yourself.

You may find something you didn't expect!

Reframe your bug to better describe the problem.

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Find a solution.

If you've given more details, it may help someone else provide a solution if you don't know how.

Submit it.

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Refine it.

Give feedback quickly.

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They're working with you to solve the bug

It is in your interest to make it happen.

It may take more time than you expected.

Your bug is fixed

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Time to celebrate!

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Conclusion

Fixing wiki bugs takes patience and thick skin.

Thanks

Questions?

Created with Emacs, org-mode, and reveal.js