The initial ALERT project is coming to an end, with some final testing from the end users, including by Dario and me for KDE. Software has been available for download for some time from the ALERT website and a virtual machine installation of ALERT for easy testing is nearing completion.
We are currently preparing the final documents for submission in the ALERT project and looking forward to the final review meeting in May. After that, it will be up to the project partners to decide how, individually, or in combination, to continue ALERT. In many ways, this is just the start of the project. The initial funding has enabled the research to be done to put foundations in place and produce a working system. The next steps are polishing, making ALERT easier to deploy and working on integrations with existing systems.
Challenges remain, for sure. ALERT is quite complex and can take some time to install (it’s easier when you have done it a few times) but recent work on packages, an installer and a virtual machine with ALERT preinstalled promise to make it ever easier to deploy and test ALERT. There is also some duplication between ALERT and existing infrastructure such as Bugzilla. In the future, we will look at ways to either integrate parts of the ALERT functionality into Bugzilla or vice versa. Project partners Libresoft have already produced some demos of a system that can integrate the Bugzilla interface with duplicate detection and developer recommendations from ALERT.
The challenges over the coming months will be to maintain the momentum in the project, solve the remaining issues and get the software adopted in free software communities.
As always, progress in ALERT can be followed on Twitter.