HowTo: test a patch and make a difference
Ever seen that sidebar headline that professes "234 critical patches", wanted to help, but then realized you don't know how? Not to fear! I can revv your patch-testing prowess by showing how you can select the proper issue for your skill level, test it effectively, and report clearly on the results. Remember, humans write these patches, and if nobody tests, they'll come back to a lifeless, desolate, forlorn issue queue day after day. Don't let this happen to our coders! Test a patch today!
In this session, we will expose the elements of patch testing for beginners and intermediate Drupalistas. This is a 30 minute session, so bring your fast-moving pen hand for taking notes. Topics will include:
* How to select a patch that you can handle.
* Downloading & saving the patch in a way that tracks it's original issue URL.
* Applying the patch to a copy of Drupal.
* Testing the patch; It's not just points n' clicks anymore.
* Reporting your test results in a manner that actually helps the patch contributor.
* Reversing the patch in order to restore your Drupal system back to 'normal'.
* How the UNSTABLE releases of Drupal core help you along your pathway to enlightened patch testing.
If you've never done a patch test before, you'll be able to do one now. Or even two! If you've done it before, and the experience left your soul a little raw, this session will assist you in getting back into the patching game. If you've tested and reported too many patches to count, you won't get much valuable insight out of this session, but you will be able to identify some potential patch testers for your next... awesome... creation.
The Handbook on patching: http://drupal.org/patch
Screencast on applying & testing core patches: http://drupal.org/node/132745
Can't find a patch to test? Ty playing bingo! http://drupal.org/patch-bingo or http://drupal.org/contrib-patch-bingo
Anyone can attend, listen in, and take notes. If you wish to follow along in realtime, you'll need a laptop preconfigured with cvs, svn, diff, some knowledge of and access to the command line, and a text editor such as TextMate, Komodo, or Eclipse with which to read .patch files.