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eCS: News from the bugfixing frontline

February 24, 2010 by

Some people only have a vague picture about what is involved in finding and fixing errors in software, especially system-level stuff and drivers. There are even people who supposedly believe that "nothing happens at all" with Mensys and eComStation...
Well, I came across an interesting defect ("bug") at the eCS bugtracker that could serve as the role model of complexity involved in finding and fixing bugs:

With a breathtaking story and equally high efforts involved, Lars Erdmann, Steven Levine, Remy Dodin, Allan Holm, Roderick Klein, Joachim Benjamins and others (namely over time have teamed up to nail-down and fix a glitch around MTRR and "erratic" VESA BIOS behaviour on certain adapters (which impacts, amongst others, the GRADD subsystem and by this also the Panorama driver).

The short story:
For those who happen to have a non-functional or extremely slow VESA/Panorama experience on multicore machines, let me quote the part I like best in the ticket when they talked about...:
> "an increase in performance of ruffly -what? 400% "

The long story (you will need to have registered with ecomstation to get access to the bug tracker): (related)

Being a QA person by my profession, I really admire how the involved people managed this, especially given the fact that they're doing that in their sparetime and not to mention the technical skills required to sneak around memory region management and registers... two thumbs up for Lars, Remy and Steven! I only wish we will see more such success stories.

While we're at it: This is not a closed membership club. The bugtracker is open to every user of eComStation. Get involved and help improve quality by submitting your findings at least.



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