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Project Specific Functions

This section explains the project specific functions of the blackfin.uclinux.org website.

All sections may not be visible as the Admin has the ability to turn certain tabs on or off.

Project Summary

The project summary shows summarized information about the current project. The following information is displayed:

  • Project description and statistics
  • Project administrators and members
  • Latest File releases
  • Public Areas: For each Tool of blackfin.uclinux.org, summary Information is displayed; e.g. Public Forums (1 message in 1 forums), Bugs (4 open, 12 total).
  • News: Latest news about the project.

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Forums

Every project can have its own discussion forums associated with it. When a new project is created, 3 default forums are automatically created:

  • Open Discussion: A place to discuss any/everything about the project.
  • Help: A forum where to ask for help.
  • Developers : A place where developers can communicate among themselves regarding project development issues

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Using the forum

You can select the number of messages for every page: 25, 50, 75 or 100. You can post a message by clicking on the “Start new Thread” button on the bottom of the window.

Available options

The forums of blackfin.uclinux.org have two very powerful options:

  • Save place: This function registers the number of messages already inserted in the forum and will highlight new messages the next time you return to the forum.
  • Monitor forum: You can select to monitor the forum by clicking on the Monitor Forum button. If this option is enabled, every post to the forum will be sent to you by email. This allows you to be informed about new messages without being actively logged on to blackfin.uclinux.org. The name of the monitored forum will appear on the user’s homepage in the section Monitored Forums.

Searching

When using a forum, a search choice “This forum” will appear in the search combo box. Selecting this choice and inserting text in the search box allows you to search through the text data of the entire forum.

What is the Tracker?

The Tracker is a generic system where you can store items like bugs, feature requests, patch submissions, etc.

In previous versions of the GForge software, these items were handled in separate software modules. As Bugs, Enhancement Requests, Support Requests and Patches utilize the same type of data, it was logical to create a unique software module that can handle these types of data. New types of trackers can be created when needed - e.g. Test Results, meeting minutes, etc. You can use this system to track virtually any kind of data, with each tracker having separate user, group, category, and permission lists. You can also easily move items between trackers when needed. Trackers are referred to as “Artifact Types” and individual pieces of data are “Artifacts”. “Bugs” might be an Artifact Type, while a bug report would be an Artifact. You can create as many Artifact Types as you want, but remember you need to set up categories, groups, and permission for each type, which can get time-consuming.

When a project is created, blackfin.uclinux.org automatically creates four trackers:

  • Bugs - Used for Bug tracking
  • Support Requests - Used for entering support requests and requesting help
  • Patches - Used by Developers to upload software patches
  • Feature Requests - Used to make requests for enhancements to the software

Using a Tracker

The following descriptions can be applied to any of the trackers. The basic functionality offered by each of the different trackers is the same. Therefore in the example below, we will use the Bugs Tracker to highlight how to use this generic tool.

The Tracker provides the following functions:

  • Submitting a new item
  • Browsing of Items
  • Reporting
  • Administration

Submitting a new Bug

To submit a new bug, click on the “Submit New” link. A form will be displayed, where you can insert/select the following data:

  • Category: The Category is generally used to describe the function/module in which the bug appears. E.g. for blackfin.uclinux.org, this might be the items “User Login”, “File Releases”, “Forums”, “Tracker”, etc.
  • Group : The Group can be used to describe the version of the software or the severity of the bug. E.g. “3.0pre7”, “3.0pre8” as entries for version number, or “Fatal error”, “Non-fatal error” to specify a bug’s severity.
  • Assigned To: You can assign the item to a user. Only users that are “Technicians” are selected in this field. If you would like to assist in the validation of bugs, contact the project administrator listed on the project summary page.
  • Priority: You can select the Priority of the item. In the Browse list, and on your user homepage, priorities are displayed in different colors, and can be sorted by priority.
  • Summary: Give a short description of the bug, e.g. “Logout function gives an SQL Error”
  • Detailed Description: Insert the most detailed description possible.
  • File Upload: You can also upload a file as an attachment to the bug. This can be used to attach a screenshot with the error and the log file of the application. To upload the file, Check the checkbox, select a file using the Browse button and insert a file description. Note that attachments to tracker items cannot be larger than 256KB.

Browse Bugs

The Browse page displays the list of bugs. You can select to filter the bugs by Assignee, Status, Category or Group.

You can sort the items by ID, Priority, Summary, Open Date, Close Date, Submitter, Assignee and the Ordering Convention (Ascending, Descending).

The different colors indicate the different priorities of the bug; a “\*” next to the Open Date indicates that the request is more than 30 days old. The overdue time (default of 30 days) is configurable for each tracker. When you click on the summary, you are brought to the detail/modify Bug page.

Modify Bugs

In the modify Bug page, you can modify the data you inserted, and also add the following information:

  • Data Type: This combo box lists the trackers of the project. If you select a different tracker and submit the changes, the item will be reassigned to the selected tracker.
  • Status: This indicates the status of the item. When an item is inserted, it is created in the “Open” state. When you fix a bug, you should change the state to “Closed”. When a bug is duplicated or not valid, change it to “Deleted”.
  • Resolution: This indicates the resolution of the item.
  • Canned Responses: Canned responses are prefixed responses. You can create canned responses for your project in the Admin section and then select the desired responses in the combo box.

The Change Log on the bottom of the page shows the changes applied to the item in chronological order. Also all follow-ups can be viewed.

Monitor Bugs

If you select the “Monitor” button on the top left of the Bug detail page, bug monitoring will be enabled.

When you are monitoring a bug, every change to the bug will be sent to you by email.

To disable bug monitoring, simply deselect the “Monitor” button.

Bug Reporting

The reporting function allows you to check the life-span of the Bug. The lifespan is the duration of the bug; it starts when the bug is inserted (opened) in the tracker and ends when the bug is closed.

  • Aging Report: The Aging Report shows the turnaround time for closed bugs, the number of bugs entered and the number of bugs still open.
  • Bugs by Technician: The Bugs by Technician report provides bug details for every member of the project: the number of bugs assigned to the user, the number of closed bugs and the number of bugs still open.
  • Bugs by Category: The Bugs by Category report provides bug details for each Category: the number of bugs entered, the number of closed bugs and the number of open bugs
  • Bugs by Group: The Bugs by Group report provides bug details for each Group: the number of bugs entered, the number of closed bugs and the number of open bugs.
  • Bugs by Resolution: The Bugs by Resolution report provides bug details for each type of Resolution (Fixed, Invalid, Later, etc): the number of bugs entered, the number of closed bugs and the number of open bugs.

Searching for bugs

When using a tracker, a choice with the name of the tracker will appear in the search combo box. The search will be done on the description, summary, username of the submitter and the username of the assignee fields.

Mailing Lists

The Mailing List section allows you to sign up to receive emails from other users, discussing any/everything relative to the title of the Mailing List.

To sign up for a Mailing List, you have to find the project that you are interested in and go to the projects homepage. Next, click on the Lists tab and you will be brought to a page displaying the current mailing lists that you can subscribe to relative to that project. Click on the link that says “Subscribe/Unsubscribe/Preferences”. This link will take you to a page that has the title of the Mailing List on the top of the page. Here you are able to subscribe to the mailing list by entering your email address and a mailing list password. After you register for the mailing list you are capable of sending and receiving emails to every user subscribed to the mailing list. After you subscribe to the list a confirmation email will be sent to you with a confirmation number. On most email interfaces sending a reply (Re:) email with no body text will register you to the mailing list. Some email interfaces may require you to send a reply email and paste “confirm” plus the confirmation number into your email’s body.

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Tasks

The Task Manager is an administration only tab. It is similar to the tracker, with the following differences:

  • You can insert the start date of the item
  • You can insert the end date of the item
  • You can insert the number of hours for the item
  • You can have multiple assignees for the item
  • You can handle dependencies between tasks

Tasks are organized on subprojects. Before inserting a new task, you must first create a subproject. You can use the “Admin” link to create new subprojects. Tasks allow you to create and manage tasks, or blocks of work, similar to the way projects are broken down in Microsoft Project or other project management software.

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My Tasks lists the tasks assigned to the user.

Browse Open Tasks lists all tasks in the open state.

The Reporting function operates in a similar manner to the reporting section of the Tracker (as described above). tasks2.jpg

Document Manager

The Document Manager provided with blackfin.uclinux.org gives you a simple way to publish documents on the site.

Submit new documentation

Here you can submit new documents for approval to be published on the site. The form requires you to insert the following information:

  • Document Title : The document title refers to the relatively brief title of the document
  • Description : A brief description to be placed just under the title.
  • Upload File : Here you should select the file to be uploaded. You can upload text files (.html, .txt) or binary files (.zip, .doc, .pdf).
  • Language : You should select here the natural language of the document, the document is written in (e.g. English).
  • Group that document belongs in : Here you should select the Group that the document should be associated with. Fill in all the fields, select the group from the drop down list and click Submit Information. The document will then be placed in the Pending Submissions section of the DocManager Admin page, to be approved or rejected.

Viewing existing docs

When viewing existing documents, you are presented with a list of documents published and approved for viewing; grouped by document groups. You can click on a document title to view the entire content.

Surveys

The Survey section allows the project administrator(s) to receive valuable feedback on specific topics. Clicking the Survey tab shows a list of current surveys. Clicking on the name of a survey will allow you to vote/comment on the questions being asked.

News

The News section allows you to insert news relative to your project. News can be monitored similar to tracker items, forums. News will be displayed on the project homepage and also on the site homepage, if the site administrators approve the news.

News is used generally to announce software releases or to announce significant changes in the software or milestones.

File Releases System

The File Releases System (FRS) is used to upload files to the blackfin.uclinux.org site and to make these files available to the users in an easy and efficient way.

Files can be divided in different packages, and every single package can be monitored by the users; these users will receive an email every time a new file has been added to the package.

The package should be a descriptive name for what the files will be used for. For example in the XMAME project one package is called xmame while another package may be created called audio drivers. The file name is the name of the file used by the package and the release version is simply the version of the file shown.

CVS

CVS allows the user to view the current status of a projects code and it allows the user to view the history of any file on the repository. Another advantage of using the CVS repository is that developers often fix bugs in the CVS tree before posting to the public, so if you discover a bug in the software, you should check the CVS tree for the latest update of the file you are working with.

Note: Files on the CVS tree have not gone under tremendous testing, so even though the newest file on the tree may fix your current bug, there may be new bugs associated with the file.

Searching blackfin.uclinux.org

You can search blackfin.uclinux.org for the following arguments:

  • People: You can search for users by their login name or their complete username. The search is not case sensitive. Inserted text must be at least 3 characters.
  • Software/Group: You can search for software groups. Inserted text must be at least 3 characters.
  • Skill: You can search for users based on the “skills” they highlighted in their profiles. Only public skills profiles can be searched. Inserted text must be at least 3 characters.

You can search for People or Software groups by selecting the item in the combo box and entering the desired keyword in the text box.

If the user is inside one of the Trackers, a choice of the Tracker’s title appears in the combo box.

If the user is inside a forum, a choice of “This forum” appears in the combo box.

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