Akkana Peck
Bug Fixing for Everyone

Akkana Peck is a freelance programmer and writer, a former Mozilla developer and the author of the book "Beginning GIMP: From Novice to Professional." She has been working with open source software for some 20 years and has contributed to GIMP, Mozilla and an assortment of other projects as well as writing Linux "howto" articles for Linux Planet and other online publications.

Akkana is a longtime member of the GIMP community and enjoys giving GIMP courses and presentations, as well as filling up her hard drive with digital images. She lives in San Jose, California.


One of the most commonly mentioned benefits of open source is the ability for users to fix bugs themselves. If you're not a programmer, you probably hear that and wonder, "What about the other 95% of us?"

But with standard Linux tools, tracking down a bug in common Linux programs may be easier than you think.

This talk will show you how you can search bug reports, file good bugs that developers will want to fix, help track down what's really causing a bug -- and sometimes even fix bugs yourself, all without any prior software development experience. You'll see how to track down and fix a few simple example problems taken from popular open source programs such as GIMP and Firefox. The focus will be on what a non programmer can do when confronted by a bug or similar software problem.

Along the way, you'll learn a few useful Linux command-line tricks and see what makes the command line so useful (if you didn't already know), and you'll learn how to navigate a few of the more common bug systems in use in popular open source projects.