January 14th 2008

GNOME applet for monitoring Debian bugs


Sometimes I don't particularly want to follow a bug intimately and just want to be notified of the interesting changes; when it's closed, when someone attaches a fix, etc.

Take, for example, #454935. I didn't subscribe to the bug at the time I noticed it, as it would have taken a couple of minutes to email 454935-subscribe (and send the confirmation back, wait on the fscking greylisting, delete the ACKs, etc.) and I could have always been overrun with annoying "severity wars", merges with various duplicates, etc. In the event, this didn't happen, but the perceived cost of subscribing to the bug was much greater than the benefit.

Anyway, as I'm fairly certain I'm not alone in encountering bugs like this, my solution was to put together a GNOME panel applet for monitoring specific Debian bugs. It's pretty fully-featured already:

Perhaps something like this can lure some Debian users into following development a little closer and put them on the path to becoming a regular contributor, who knows.

Source (GPLv3) is available in Git:

% git-clone git://git.chris-lamb.co.uk/debian-bts-applet  # or
% git-clone http://git.chris-lamb.co.uk/repo/debian-bts-applet.git

It comes with a debian/ directory, which is highly recommended over configuring Bonobo manually.

What would be really useful right now is testing. If you want to contribute, please run your eyes over the TODO and HACKING files as well as the unit tests. If no major issues are found in the next few days, I'll file an ITP and make a call for translations.

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