[development] How to post bug reports and patches

Markus Kalkbrenner markus.kalkbrenner at arcor.de
Mon Nov 3 21:58:28 UTC 2008

On Saturday 01 November 2008 12:27:25 Nathaniel Catchpole wrote:
> In answer to the original poster, while it's already been covered a bit,
> the main reason we don't appear to give much attention to the stable Drupal
> 5 and 6 branches, is because there's a policy of ensuring that bugs are
> fixed in  HEAD (Drupal 7) first, then backported. This ensures that bugs
> fixed in 5 and 6 won't reappear when Drupal 7 is released, that changes
> made are consistent between all three branches, and that the bulk of work
> reviewing and refining patches can be done where there's the most active
> development going on.

Like I already said I'll respect that and I understand the motivation behind 

But there's also a different point of view which you should be aware of (and 
which is not limited to drupal).

Over the years I met a lot of very skilled developers in the companies I 
worked for and I always encouraged them to not just fix bugs of open source 
components they use but to prepare patches and give their improvements back to 
the community.
Every project should be lucky to receive patches from these kind of people 
with years of experience in software development. Especially if they use open 
source components in large scale environments a "normal" developer in an open 
source project probably never has a chance to face. They address issues  
especially in stable versions regarding performance, scalability or 
But in commercial projects you're always in a hurry. In such a situation you 
can't expect that someone who's willed to provide a patch reads a lot of 
howtos first, checks out an unstable development version which probably doesn't 
work, learns about all the api changes since the last stable release and 
finally tweaks the patch until it meets a project's style guide or keep it up 
to date until it gets applied.
It's more like fire and forget. And it's up to the project to deal with this 
patch in terms of modifying it to meet the style guide or to find out if it's 
still relevant for the current development branch.

And not everyone who posts a patch is interested to gain personal popularity 
from it. In this case it's not like that a maintainer does a favor to someone 
who provides a patch by accepting it. It's the other way around.

More than once I got feedback that "it's not worth the effort" or that "it 
takes to much time" to give something back to the community which is 
Again, please don't get me wrong. I really respect your work and understand 
the problems coming up with such a big community. And I'm absolutely not of 
the opinion that personally I'm a better developer than anybody else here!
I just wanted to share my thoughts and the experiences I made over the years. 
And sometimes it's interesting to get some ideas from someone who's not so 
deeply involved.
But unfortunately I also don't have a perfect solution in place ...

BTW Damien Tournoud turned http://drupal.org/node/298768 from a D6 into a D7 
issue. So sometimes it seems to work ;-)


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