Have you ever wanted to help out LessTif? Here's your chance.

We're occasionally asked on the mailing list "Can I help?"

In a word, YES!

Perhaps we (the core team) isn't being specific enough about what people can do to help. The overall project can seem a bit overwhelming and perhaps some people don't know where to start. Here's a list of ways that the interested developer with moderate knowlege of Motif programming can help out.

  1. The test programs. These are a suite of programs which, in many cases, exhibit horrible programming style, are an awful example of Motif programming, but have the redeeming fact that at one time or another showed something which we were doing different from motif. Most of these tests have auto-checks on the geometry and layout so that we can see if we're at least getting that right. How to use the tests. The best thing is to use the testall script:
      cd /usr/src/lesstif/test/Xm    (or wherever you've got the lesstif source)
      ./testall -a                   (once I manage to commit the version with
                                      the -a option)
    This will run all the tests and report on which ones have failed. Then you can look closer at the failed tests and attempt to fix LessTif so that the test passes. Check out our instructions "How to report a bug" and the tutorial about Bug Hunting!

    There's the possibility to run the tests not on your current display but using a virtual framebuffer (Xvfb). To do you have to set the environment variable USE_FB. In bash-compatible syntax it would be:

    export USE_FB="yes"
  2. We also need people to make detailed comparisons of LessTif to OSF/Motif. See testers.html. Basically, this involves building both Motif and LessTif versions of our tests and documenting any differences between their behavior.
  3. One of the most helpful things you can do short of actually fixing the bug is creating a simple test case for it. Many of the bugs are of the form: "in my huge app, when I press button foo, bar happens". It's much easier to find the bug when you've stripped the problem down to the bare minimum. Take everything out that you can, and create the smallest possible test case which shows the problem, and then send in the test app. If you fix the bug, the test app will still be useful, and if you don't fix the bug, the test app will make it easier for someone else to find.
  4. Tell all your friends about LessTif, and try to get them to use it. With many eyes, all bugs are shallow, right?
  5. Finally, we could always use help with the documentation!

The LessTif Core Team

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Last modified on $Date: 2001/12/24 07:14:58 $