libreoffice Bug Submission Assistant postmortem

From august 29th, 2011 to this day, the Bug Submission Assistant was implemented and released.

Getting started

After reading the backlog dated back to February 2011, the original script was reimplemented using JQuery to get familiar with the subject. In the meantime Rainer Bielefeld created wiki pages to gather all the informations necessary to proceed with the implementation, starting with Bug Submission Assistant home page.

Data sources and architecture

While the specifications were discussed between Michael Meeks and Rainer Bielefeld, the architecture was researched and fixed. The microformat used to embed data within the Bug Report Details wiki page was discussed with Rainer Bielefeld. The discussion went on for weeks and it turned out that the original implementation was enough. XSLT files were implemented to extract the information relevant to the Bug Submission Assistant.

Silverstripe libreoffice.org integration

After discussing the policy of libreoffice.org webmastering and installing silverstripe locally to learn about it, a lot of time was spent trying to figure out how to fit the web application in a silverstripe page. It turned out to be unnecessary and a simple iframe loading an external URL was enough.

Javascript implementation

The current javascript implementation was reworked three times while learning about the specifics of bugzilla. Although this incremental approach requires more time, it was better suited to the ongoing discussions with the interested parties. In the end the implementation is small enough and involves only a few architectural bits that hopefully make it easier for third parties to contribute.

System administration

The iframe solution decided to integrate the Bug Submission Assistant, make it necessary to install files on the server, together with the reverse proxy that overlays it on bugzilla. Florian Effenberger coordinated with the system administrators to assign the bugassistant.libreoffice.org domain name to a virtual host with the appropriate apache configuration.

Web design

Christoph Noack defined desired interaction of the Bug Submission Assistant. Based on his work, mockups were created by Aleksander T. They were integrated with the help of Ivan M. to export the images.

Cross browser

The cross browser issues were resolved, either by working around the browser limitations (such as the lack of proper support for the :last-child CSS selector) or by re-directing the user to bugzilla. The cross browser efforts focused on the browsers used by more than 90% of the users. The same page used to redirect users to bugzilla is used with a different message when javascript is disabled.

Future work

A ticket was created to recruit developers to keep working on the Bug Submission Assistant. The specifications authors ( Rainer Bielefeld, Christophe Noack and Michael Meeks ) have been asked to sort out the items in order of importance. When it is ready, an Easy Hack should be posted to find a JQuery developer up to the task, following the rules.

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2 Responses to libreoffice Bug Submission Assistant postmortem

  1. Pingback: Bug submission assistant « The Document Foundation Blog

  2. Pingback: Links 14/7/2013: Akademy 2013, GNOME 3.9.4 | Techrights

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