[Python-Dev] memory leaks in 2.2

David Ascher DavidA@ActiveState.com
Wed, 05 Dec 2001 23:12:45 -0800

"Fred L. Drake, Jr." wrote:

>   Aside from these specific memory-leak reports, we've generally
> fallen down on bug triage.  I'm not sure what we can do about this in
> the short term, but I really think we're not doing as good a job at
> this as we should be.

It's hard.  Bugzilla has some good features there w.r.t. "unverified"
vs. "new" vs. "accepted" and "fixed" vs "resolved", QA contacts, keyword
handling for milestone/release targets, etc. I'm not sure how the SF
bugtracker compares in practice but from a distance it seems a little
weak there.

[BTW -- I know this isn't the right channel, but we (the Komodo team)
have found a couple of bugs in popen recently which y'all may not have
seen yet and you might want to tackle for 2.2 -- we'll get them in SF in
the next few days hopefully, but this is better than nothing:
  - popen on Windows XP seems problematic (needs a repro test there --
not analyzed yet)
  - popen on Posix has a nasty failure mode if the cmd argument is
Unicode (see the first line in Popen3._run_child for a hint =)]

>   I wonder if we could take a lesson from the Mozilla community and
> organize Bug Days (group hack days where the goal is to resolve bugs)
> or have a "BugAThon" where we call for smaller/simpler test cases that
> exercise reported bugs.  I suspect a page about how to narrow down a
> bug to a smaller test case would be very helpful, especially if it
> also discusses how to use the various available tools for things like
> pinpointing leaks, etc.

One thing the Mozilla community has going for it is really dedicated QA
folks.  One in particular, Asa Dotzler, does an amazing job at bug
triage, categorization, etc.  He's now a Netscape employee, but used to
do this for fun.  It would be a good way for someone who'se 'on the
periphery' to get more deeply involved and learn a lot.  In general,
that kind of QA job can be a gateway to fame and fortune much like
documentation writing can be, and you really get to learn the

I don't have first-hand experience of the success of bug days, but
they're doing more of them, so they must get some value out of them. 

--david guessing-from-the-"it hurts! then don't do that!"-corrolary