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Contributing to Mustang: A submitted bug fix

Posted by joconner on December 22, 2005 at 3:58 PM PST

After so long anticipating this moment, after the deed is done, I feel like it was too easy. I'm definitely experiencing an anticlimax.

I submitted the following from the "Submit a fix" button located on the collaborator page. Remember, you have to follow the steps to get contributor/collaborator status. Here's my submission for the javadoc bug for JTextComponent's getDisabledTextColor method:

Source: j2se/src/share/classes/javax/swing/text/JTextComponent.java
Release: Mustang b64
Bugid: 4994762
Diff:
--- JTextComponent.java 2005-12-22 14:42:53.542200000 -0800
+++ JTextComponent.java.new     2005-12-22 14:42:33.012680000 -0800
@@ -1300,7 +1300,7 @@

     /**
      * Fetches the current color used to render the
-     * selected text.
+     * disabled text.
      *
      * @return the color
      */

The fix, although small, for bug id #4994762 is on its way to Sun engineers. I can see it now, a small record in a database somewhere just waiting for someone to find it tomorrow morning. Or maybe...I can only hope...the bug fix submission triggered loud clanging bells that sent several engineers scurrying back to their offices after playing Playstation 2 games in a shared lounge area. Hey, a guy can dream, right?

There is actually a reason why I've picked this seemingly insignificant bug. Here's my thought process:

  1. Any really big, important bugs will be fixed by engineers at Sun...or at one of their licensees like IBM.
  2. An invitation to the world to contribute is going to potentially get lots of responses, probably a lot of little fixes that just happen to be important to someone.
  3. There must be a cutoff somewhere, right? Where's the lower limit on what they'll accept? Will it be my insignificant fix, even though it is potentially really important to me?

In the end, I wanted to find something small and easy, and I did. However, the big conclusion I'm coming to is this: whatever you fix will be important to you...will your contribution be important enough to Sun?

Now that is the purpose of this experiment...to test this process, to determine whether it works, and to find out whether a normal, everyday developer can get something fixed if he's willing to fix it himself? Stick around...this blog thread isn't over. I just submitted the fix. Now, let's find out what happens to it.

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