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Behavior Trends in Nautilus and other Desktop Apps

Dear Developers,

The Cooperative Bug Isolation Project has made some interesting discoveries about the behavior (and misbehavior) of Nautilus and several other GNOME applications running under Fedora. For those who have not heard of CBI, we instrument applications for users to download. These instrumented binaries send us opt-in feedback data about branch coverage, exit status, etc. For more information, check out the main CBI site here: <http://www.cs.wisc.edu/cbi/>.

For example, we have found that Nautilus 2.14 releases for Fedora 5 were buggy, with almost one run in ten crashing! Subsequent releases of Nautilus 2.16 (Fedora 6) and Nautilus 2.18 (Fedora 7) have been much more stable.

Our CBI Early Findings pages, <http://www.cs.wisc.edu/cbi/findings/>, give more information about trends we have seen in Nautilus and other applications, including snapshots of the very latest CBI crash data.

These pages are just a small sample of what we could discover in the data, so we are eager to hear back from all of you. If you have suggestions or requests for things we could look into, or if you have any questions or comments, contact us: <http://www.cs.wisc.edu/cbi/contact/>. We instrument lots of program actions, not just crashes, so we can also answer questions about feature use, code coverage, branch behavior, etc.

Also, the more users we have, the more accurate our findings! If you want to become a part of the CBI community, simply download these packages: <http://www.cs.wisc.edu/cbi/downloads/>.

Jason Fletchall
University of Wisconsin-Madison

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