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Irina Dumitrascu, 09/23/2009 08:18 pm



Have you ever wondered how you could get started contributing to the core Rails code? Have you been watching the growth of RailsBridge and wondering where you could fit in? Well, wonder no longer: we have an answer to both of those questions. Announcing:

The First Rails and RailsBridge BugMash

The idea is simple: RailsBridge has a lot of energy. The Rails Lighthouse has a lot of open tickets. With the help of some Rails Core team members, we're going to see what we can do to cut down the number of open tickets, encourage more people to get involved with the Rails source, and have some fun.

  1. Confirm that the bug can be reproduced
  2. If it can't be reproduced, try to figure out what information would make it possible to be reproduced
  3. If it can be reproduced, add the missing pieces: better repro instructions, a failing patch, and/or a patch that applies cleanly to the current Rails source
  4. Bring promising tickets to the attention of the Core team

Some of the Bridgers will be organizing a face-to-face way for BugMash participants to come together (Teams), but there's no need to be there to be a part of it. We'll also have a room open on IRC, and people who are familiar with the Rails internals will be available to help point you in the right direction. We're going to do everything we can to make it easy to start contributing to Rails.

We'll be adding more details to this bare outline over the coming week, including a checklist of what you can do to get ready to work in the Rails source and details on a scoring system and rewards for the most active participants. For now, though, there are two things for you to do:

  1. Reserve at least a chunk of that weekend to roll up your sleeves and work on the BugMash
  2. Speak up if you can contribute prizes, familiarity with the Rails source, or other help to the project.

Official BugMash hours

Rails contributors are located all over the world, so we're going to define an extended weekend for the BugMash. So we're going to run from Saturday noon in New Zealand (00:00:00 September 26 GMT) to Sunday midnight on the US West coast (07:00:00 September 28 GMT). That should give everyone who wants to be involved plenty of time to participate.



We're not doing team-based scoring, but we do have people getting together in various cities.

If you're interested in one of these, or want to organize your own in-person event, drop by the #railsbridge IRC channel to chat.

IRC support

We'll have experienced Rails developers and core team members available on IRC for as many hours during the BugMash as humanly possible. If you're having trouble getting started, want to brainstorm about a particular ticket, or can help other people out, please come by and join us. We'll be hanging out on the #railsbridge channel on Freenode IRC. Our IRCGuide can help you get connected.

We also have a bot who's helping us keep track of who's working on what. Details at BugMashBotUsage.

LightHouse Mechanics

Some of the Rails core team members will go through the open issues in Lighthouse and add the bugmash tag to tickets that they're especially interested in seeing tackled. This will allow you to use a Lighthouse query to find interesting tickets. You're not required to stick to those tickets, but they're a good starting point.

Note that some of the tagged tickets are marked as "stale" or "incomplete," and Lighthouse will show them with a strikethrough in list view. These are still fair game for the BugMash! We're hoping to take a second look at some of the issues that have been in a holding pattern for a long time.


25 pts for every +/- 1 (awarded to the commenter not the ticket creator)
50 pts for every verified/not reproducible (awarded to the commenter)
50 pts for a new ticket
100 pts for supplying a test case/patch
1000 pts for every changeset

Quick example:

hardbap opens ticket "HasOneThroughAssociation should not be a child of HasManyThroughAssociation", +50
includes a world class patch, +100 for hardbap
mikeg verifies the patch, +50 for mikeg
hobbs +1, +25 for hobbs
hardbap's patch is committed to core with gusto by lifo, +1000 for hardbap

hardbap's total for the ticket = 1150
mikeg's total for the ticket = 50
hobbs's total for the ticket = 25

For every 100 points, you'll get 1 ticket in the lottery to distribute the prizes.

Past Events

Participants Testimonials