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A critical part of Wine testing is to use or test real applications regularly and report regressions as soon as possible to the Wine developers. This way regressions are caught early. That means the set of changes to search through is still small, the developers who made the changes are more likely still active, and their changes will be fresh in their minds.
Another reason why your contribution is especially valuable is that Wine developers probably do not have access to the application (they cannot buy all the applications out there) or do not know it well enough to test it properly. You can help even further by becoming a maintainer, that administers an application's entry in AppDB. Many applications, which aren't supported out of the box yet, can run (or run better) by using just the right mix of native (Windows) and built-in (Wine) libraries. By testing the application with various mixes of libraries and sharing your results in the AppDB, you can help other Wine users successfully run the application, making Wine useful to a greater number of people.
Before choosing to become a maintainer, you should have a good understanding of your application, although coding skills are not necessary. You should also be willing to or already use this application regularly, testing it for at least each new Wine release. It is more important to test one application regularly than ten applications once a year.
Hints & Tips
If you already are an AppDB Maintainer for the Wine project, or are interested in becoming one, here are some hints and tips that will simplify things for you.
Keeping track of new bugs
Many bug reports that may affect your apps might not be linked to the proper AppDB entries on their own. Don't worry though because there is an easy way to keep track of new bugs. Bugzilla offers news feeds for bug reports. To track bugs for your apps, first go visit the bug tracker and search with the name of your maintained app. At the end of the search results you will find a link called "Feed," which will lead you to a news feed. Subscribe this URL in your favorite feed reader and never miss a new bug again.
If you find any regressions, please send a message to wine-devel and keep in touch with the developers to help diagnose the issue.
Creating a How-To
As a maintainer, you can create an official "How-To" for an application, with instructions on how to get the program running under Wine. By collecting and testing different comments by visitors and across versions, you can stay on top of obsolete and contradictory advice. This not only makes it easier for users to get the application working, but it can simplify the debugging process for testers and developers.