Game of Mantis
Last updated at 12:09 am UTC on 28 January 2007
Let's focus more people on the usefulness of mantis.
So here, for those who would like it, is:
The Game of Mantis:
Get a relatively fresh squeak.
Break something. Find away to truely, repeatably make something not work.
If you can do this you win.
To count coup on the bug you write it up on mantis.
To get credit for your coup your description of the problem should be as clear as possible. All the relevant facts must be included. This usually includes the fresh version from which you got to your bug. Any preperation you did (such as loading packages). And a recipe to follow for others to get to the bug.
Extra points are given for finding the most concise, simple and short way to recreate and demonstrate the bug.
Points are subtracted if you include too much irrelevant information.
The complaint represents the first step of the game of Mantis. Notice you've already won something. (And made a valid contribution to the community.)
Now this bug is yours and remains yours until it attracts other players.
You can earn additional points by looking into the bug and reporting partial results and analysis.
A red flag test is a particularly good point winner.
Red flag tests are unit tests that are red because the bug exists.
They are also are a challenge to yourself or another player to produce the patch that fixes the bug and makes the test green.
And as you have guessed the patch or correction that fixes the bug wins the next set of points.
The more elegant the repair the more points it deserves.
Squeak is maintained by a voulunteer community so at this point you need to voulunteer to give yourself some credit for all the points you've won.
Do something nice for yourself, you've earned it.
The harvesters will sometime also give out prizes at release time. Everyone who helped gets a version of squeak with the fixes and enhancements of all the point winners.
(If you want to earn more points give the harvesters and the release team some praise. Usually they often get all the groans and grief from those pointing out what the've left out and what they've left still broken.)
Well that's the game of Mantis. I guess I've forgotten to mention one other prize that comes with playing. You learn squeak. I know of no better or more energizing motivatation for diving into squeak code and coming out the master of it than the game of mantis.