100 papercuts

I was recently reminded of the fantastic “100 papercuts” project and I would really love to see something similar again. It would be very fitting for a LTS cycle :wink:
I think the Canonical developers have their hands full fixing critical bugs, so this would have to be a community effort.

A papercut is defined as:

"bugs that will improve user experience if fixed, is small enough for users to become habituated to it, and is trivial to fix.”



I would love to participate in the same thing. However, when I proposed something similar around 18.10 (100 paper cuts in 18.10) the overall response was not very positive. Hopefully this time it could be a better fit.


I remember that thread :disappointed:
If it’s only you and me @wpieterson, then I think we should call it 10 papercuts instead :smile:

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Me too. When I posted in that thread there were 821 open bugs assigned to the 100 Papercuts project. There are now 654 including bug #11544 which has just celebrated its 15th birthday. New bugs are still being added to the list but those that are fixed are being dealt with under normal bug fixing procedures.

I went through those bugs last year and removed well over 100 that had either been fixed, were not actually Papercuts or those for which the package was no longer included in a currently supported release of Ubuntu. In a few cases I asked the reporter if the issue was still present and let the bug expire in the absence of a reply.

My point is that it was very easy to add bugs to the list but the list wasn’t being managed to keep it to a minimum by removing items that were obviously never going to be tackled.

I note the smiley but a minimal and well maintained list is the way forward in my opinion.


I would agree with your idea regarding small and well maintained list. What we could do is perhaps give the 100 papercuts project a restart (with attention here and on social media). Perhaps with a newly curated? list (by us?) and/or augmented through a user survey asking the community about their “biggest small annoyances”. And use that for a new series of paper cut projects. E.g. 50 for 20.10 through 22.04 each so that we tackle 200 in the next two years and make 22.04 awesome…

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I think you might see more long term luck casting this more like a “100 paper cutters” effort, iow focus not on finding bugs that are easy to fix, but on finding new developers who need easy bugs to work on. This project would provide a support system in the form of e.g. friendly patch reviewers, quick sponsorship, tech doc writing assistance, and help getting feedback from upstream developers.

I’d also suggest picking a tight focus. Rather than distro-wide, choose a particular functional area where new developers will be both easy to find and in great need, and focus on bugs relating to that area. This narrows the breadth of tech that a new developer would need to climb learning curves on, and will result in more visible progress in the end for the effort as a whole.


One way to do this without deleting all of the old issues and starting from scratch is to use a tag. The papercuts team could be responsible for designating (using a soft maximum of 10 bugs, perhaps) with a tag like papercuts-active.

Wise words @bryce :pray:
Are there any developers in the community who would want to work on something like this? I would hope so, but where are they? :man_shrugging:

I’m not sure about the tight focus, because if there’s separate lists (broken down by skills), I think that would be better. So if you can write code you can pick a task from that list and if you are a Inkscape wizard… and so on.

TBH Launchpad in itself is also a barrier to entry.

Good solution or we could start from scratch and add a papercut-FocalFossa tag and only target LTS releases.

This reminds me of the “5-a-day” intiative:

Put simply, 5-a-day is a great approach to making our list of bugs more manageable by sharing the workload. This is inspired by the philosophy that eating 5 portions of fruit/vegetables keeps you healthy…well, working on 5 bugs a day keeps Ubuntu healthy.

So the idea is simple - let’s get every Ubuntu enthusiast working on 5 bugs a day - everyone can take part, no matter whether you are a developer or not. Let’s work together and make some real progress !

…and, to make it fun, we have produced some tools and rankings to make those 5 bugs count. Making Ubuntu better and having fun…we like it.