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Old 10-30-2006, 11:06 AM   #1
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Quality assurance and developer support

Hello everyone, hello Barry,

it is great to see, what has become of Puppy OS.
However, the thing that bothers me most is, that it is getting quite complicated to get an overall overview of what is going on, especially for potential developers. Even worse, a lot of features are added without thorough testing. There is a possible danger of feature bloat, which has killed a lot of good projects.
I would suggest to build a small QA team (2-4 people), which

- develops and maintains guidelines, tutorials and "junior projects" for new developers
- develops and performs tests which must be met, e.g. successful installs, viewing JPG images,hardware compatibility, user friendliness
- collects release critical bugs
- distributes these critical bugs to possible developers

The aim should be a consistent way of handling these things.
Barry should still have the last word on releases and features, but I think the project and its people would have a great benefit from it - and more fun on working for it.

I would be glad to hear the opinions of developers.
Old 11-02-2006, 05:56 AM   #2
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I'm not a Puppy developer, but I am a software engineer, so I'll express an opinion. Quality assurance is a worthwhile activity for relatively mature projects that are working to a design. Puppy is a purely experimental project that has a design which can change from day to day. So how would one even perform quality assessment? If one did, it would form a straitjacket for the project that would kill its creativity. At this stage, effort can be put into anything one thinks is interesting, and the quality of work is assessed by whether it's useful or not.

In other words, Puppy is not a social democracy. It's an oligarchic anarchy!
Old 12-22-2006, 09:24 AM   #3
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I’m relatively new to the contributing-linux community and new to Puppy in general, but I have about 12 years in professional QA experience. I thought I’d chime, albeit somewhat late, from the QA-perspective.

It sounds like you’re actually asking for a couple of different duties:

- Documentation development (guides, tutorials, new-contributor ramp-up docs, etc.)
- Functional & regression testing to validate fixes, new features, and to ensure builds are ‘solid’.
- Compatibility testing to validate builds against various hardware configurations
- Defect management to collect, report and track defects/issues/enhancement-requests, etc, as well as allocating defecting to the correct developer.
- Consistency in the processes that are used to develop and deploy code.

Documentation is the domain of a writer. While, in some organizations, this is handled by QA, this is not what I would consider ‘normal’. I would say that, if I’ve defined your ask correctly, than what you’re looking for is a technical writer, not a QA person.

Compatibility is a bugbear across all Linux distros that I’ve seen. It’s a big deal, and one of the biggest hurdles I’ve encountered in getting people to switch away from Mac/Win (though in fairness, it’s oodles better now that it was just a few years ago). Compatibility is important and should be addressed. However, unless you’re intending to have some full-time QA people with an appropriately equipped lab, I do not think you’ll get much out of a small (2-4 person) team.
One of the great strengths of Linux is how easy it can be to get a hold of a copy. This is something I think you can/should leverage. Everyone that’s running Puppy is a potential compatibility tester. I’m just tossing out ideas right now, but I would look to do the following: First, make it painfully easy for users to report issues. I’m not a big fan of most of Microsoft’s works, but they have made it *very* easy for users to report a crash. Second, include with any install a short script (or even automated/semi-automated test app) that a user could run that will smoke out any obvious compat’ issues. I’ve seen other F/OSS do this and I think, from a QA-standpoint, this is a fantastic way to leverage your audience.

Consistency-of-process – when I see people saying things like this, I’m inclined to suggest that what they need to consider adding is someone dedicated to process analysis and support. This could be, but is not necessarily a QA person. In most corporate environments, this would likely be a program-manager-type of role. As much as PM’s can be the bane of my existence at work, they *do* serve a valuable function. They help keep dev & qa on track and help facilitate the flow of information. In other words, they help with process-related issues. Yes, they can bring their own share of headaches, but if there’s a concern about project-organization, I think you (the community) should consider this.

Finally, defect management and defect/issue tracking. These *are* definitely areas that a small, dedicated QA team could help.

In regards to Mark’s comments, I think he does raise some interesting points about the maturity of projects versus how much QA-time they should get. There is certainly a point where it is too soon for QA to be actively testing. That being said, I do think that Puppy, or at least portions of it, are at a state where testing can be performed. There would need to be some level of agreement about what would be tested, and how in-depth it should be.

As I said at the beginning of this (rather long) message, I’m fairly new to the community, and I apologize if some of what I’ve said here has already been considered, or is otherwise off-base. Hopefully, a QA-perspective will help with some of the concerns and issues you’ve been seeing.


(and happy holidays where appropriate)
Old 04-30-2009, 01:21 AM   #4
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Registered: Jun 2006
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Originally Posted by doopdoop View Post
- develops and maintains guidelines, tutorials and "junior projects" for new developers
- develops and performs tests which must be met, e.g. successful installs, viewing JPG images,hardware compatibility, user friendliness
- collects release critical bugs
- distributes these critical bugs to possible developers
Development -
Test these -
Puppy moving to Git -
Developer communication -


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