Instant Karma — a pledge and a plea

“Instant Karma’s gonna get you

Gonna knock you right on the head”

— John Lennon, Instant Karma

Last year before Christmas, I donated 220 Euro to the Document Foundation and I hope it helped as a tiny contribution to all the awesome things that happened with the Document Foundation and LibreOffice in this year, like getting volunteers to our events, providing food and drinks at Hackfests etc..

This year I will try to do this a bit different. I think donating to the Document Foundation is as important as ever: the developments of the last year show that we are approaching a vital decision point and we are accelerating while doing so. While the Document Foundation is fighting for freedom in software and productivity, its easy to forget that to profit from the benefits of this work even more basic freedom and rights — easily taken for granted — are required. Still many have to fight hard for those. is one organization that helps to make human rights and freedom universal by letting no violation pass unobserved. As I firmly believe freedom to be essential regardless of scale or context, I hereby pledge to donate 10 Euro to for every power of 2 in Euros donated to the Document Foundation in December 2012. That is:

  • 1 Euro donated to the Document Foundation in December 2012 => I will donate 10 Euros to
  • 2 Euros donated to the Document Foundation in December 2012 => I will donate 20 Euros to
  • 4 Euros donated to the Document Foundation in December 2012 => I will donate 30 Euros to
  • 8 Euros donated to the Document Foundation in December 2012 => I will donate 40 Euros to
  • 16 Euros donated to the Document Foundation in December 2012 => I will donate 50 Euros to

So please: Make me pay!



LibreOffice Test Marathon, Bibisect 4.0 and Ubuntu packages

“Linux does endless loops in six seconds”

— allegedly Linus Torvalds, 1995 at the First Dutch International Symposium on Linux

The  LibreOffice 4.0 Test Marathon will start on Friday, and this is a call to arms to join in on the fun! 😉


Now, while a lot of people will join the test marathon just for the good cause, for others it might need some candy to persuade them. So here is some sweet sugar:

Bibisect 4.0

Dicke Bertha had her burn-in in the last days. She compiled 146 full builds of the LibreOffice master branch from May 2012 up till now.

It took her some 25 hours churning away with a load average >32 — interrupted only twice: Once because I left two other LibreOffice compiles lying around on tmpfs before starting this and then ran out of tmpfs buildspace — whoopsie!

A second time the build run was briefly interrupted because a cppunittest loved Bertha so much it went into an endless loop. And despite Linus’ claim above, Linux even 17 years later does not do endless loops in six seconds (also: where is my flying car?).

Just for fun, here are some ccache stats from the full run:

cache hit (direct)               1404831
cache hit (preprocessed)          144192
cache miss                        677524

I combined that with the builds from the older bibisect runs into one big respository. Thus in this 4.1 GB download you have:

  • 262 full builds of LibreOffice (~16MB per install)
  • covering a range of 26365 commits since August 2011
  • thats one build every ~100 commits

Thus if you notice a regression that has been introduced at some point in the last 16 months, you can run a binary bisect and after testing 9 times in different versions of LibreOffice if the bug is there, you will have the regression pinned down to a range of ~100 commits, at which point it will be much easier to sack those responsible fix the bug quickly. So how can you help with this? In two ways:

  • read HowToBibisect and start bibisecting 😉
  • if you dont want to do that, you can still help to find bugs that are regressions and can be tested well (on Ubuntu) and mark them with “bibisectrequest” in whiteboard status

Testcase management

Thanks to the work of Yifan, Sophie, Petr and many others the Document Foundation now has a MozTrap instance — and in this marathon we will find out how its workflow integrates with the rest of LibreOffices QA and development processes. So what is MozTrap? Their own documentation webpage explains lengthly and eloquently: ” MozTrap is a test case manager.”. So we could again run to wikipedia and read that short article about that, but that would not be much fun.

If you cut past all the buzzwords, you find that ‘test case management’ means, we have a web tool that:

  • manages a set of things to test with some kind of software (in the simplest case this might be: “Does LibreOffice start?”)
  • shows testers simple instructions to perform and report back if everything works as expected
  • then allows QA people do all kinds of statistics and voodoo on this data 😉

So, it is really simple and you are invited to join in! As a bonus you can make sure that developers know now, if something broke since the last release and since the release in February is still a bit off have more time to fix it until then!

Not every bug is as beautiful as this one … (Photo: Jessica Lucia, Creative Commons license)

Ubuntu packages for alpha/beta releases

On the LibreOffice prereleases PPA you find a packaged version of LibreOffice 4.0 beta1 for Ubuntu Raring that you can use in the test marathon. There is also a version of LibreOffice 4.0 alpha1 for Ubuntu 12.10 (Quantal) there, which should you also be able to use for discovering bugs.

I have a beta1 package for Ubuntu 12.10 ready too, but it is cheating quite a bit, because I disabled Python as the beta1 requires Python3.3 which is not directly available on Ubuntu 12.10.

Ubuntu stable release updates

Just for completeness: For Ubuntu 12.04 LTS a stable release update to the final (for the series) 3.5.7 has been uploaded (actually it has even been updated while waiting in the queue). For Ubuntu 12.10, version 3.6.4 is currently in probation in the LibreOffice PPA. Should no problems turn up, it will be proposed become a update soon.