Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'ubuntu'

Nicholas Skaggs

Sprinting in DC: Friday

This week, my team and I are sprinting with many of the core app developers and other folks inside of Ubuntu Engineering. Each day I'm attempting to give you a glimpse of what's happening.

Friday brings an end to an exciting week, and the faces of myself and those around me reflect the discussions, excitement, fun and lack of sleep this week has entailed.

The first session of the day involved hanging out with the QA team while they heard feedback from various teams on issues with quality and process within there project. Always fun to hear about what causes different teams the most issues when it comes to testing.

Next I spent some time interviewing a couple folks for publishing later. In my case I interviewed Thomi from the QA team and Zoltan from the SDK team about the work going on within there teams and how the last cycle went. The team as a whole has been conducting interviews all week. Look for these interviews to appear on youtube in the coming weeks.

Thursday night while having a look through a book store, I came across an ad for ubuntu in Linux Voice magazine. It made me smile. The dream of running ubuntu on all my devices is becoming closer every day.

I'd like to thank all the community core app developers who joined us this week. Thanks for hanging out with us, providing feedback, and most of all for the creating the wonderful apps we have for the ubuntu phone. Your work has helped shaped the device and turn it into what it is today.

Looking back over the schedule there were sessions I wish I had been able to attend, and it was wonderful catching up with everyone. Sadly my flight home prevented me from attending the closing session and presumably getting a summary of some of these sessions. I can say I was delighted to talk and interact with the unity8 team on the next steps for unity8 on the desktop. I trust next cycle we as a community can do more around testing there work.

As I head to the airport for home, it's time to celebrate the release of utopic unicorn!

Read more
Nicholas Skaggs

Sprinting in DC: Wednesday

This week, my team and I are sprinting with many of the core app developers and other folks inside of Ubuntu Engineering. Each day I'm attempting to give you a glimpse of what's happening.

To kick off the day, I led a session on something that has been wreaking havoc for application test writers within the core apps -- environment setup. In theory, setting up the environment to run your test should be easy. In practice, I've found it increasingly difficult. The music, calendar, clock, reminders, file manager and other teams have all been quite affected by this and the canonical QA team and myself have all pitched in to help, but struggled as well. In short, a test should be easy to launch, be well behaved and not delete any user data, and be easy to setup and feed test data into for the test process. I'm happy to report that the idea of a permanent solution has been reached. Now we must implement it of course, but the result should be drastically easier and more reliable test setup for you the test author.

I also had the chance to list some grievances for application developers with the QA team. We spoke about wanting to expand the documentation on testing and specifically targeted the need to create better templates in the ubuntu sdk for new projects. When you start a new project you should have well functioning tests, and we should teach you about how to run them too!

Just before lunch the community core app developers were able to discuss post-RTM plans and features. A review of the apps was undertaken and some desire for new designs or features were discussed. Terminal is being rebuilt to be more aligned with upstream. Music is currently undergoing a re-design which is coming along great. Calculator is anxious to get some design love. Reminders potential for offline notetaking as well as potential name changes were all discussed. Overall, an amazing accomplishment by all the developers!

After lunch, I spent time confirming the fix for a longstanding bug within autopilot. The merge proposal for fixing this bug has been simmering all summer and it's time to get it fixed. The current test suites for calendar and clock have been impacted by this and have already had regressions occur that could have been caught had tests been able to be written for this area. Having myself, the autopilot team, and the calendar developers in one place made fixing this possible.

To end the day, I spent some time attending sessions for changes to CI and learning more about the coming changes to CI within ubuntu. In summary the news is wonderful. CI will test using autopkgtest, and all of ubuntu will come under this umbrella -- phone, desktop, everything. If it's a package and it has tests, we will do all of the autopkgtest goodness currently being done for the distro.

The evening closed with a bit of fun provided by a game making hackathon using bacon2d and the hilariously horrible "Turkish Star Wars". We could always use more games in the ubuntu app store, and I hear there might even still be a pioneers t-shirt or two left if you get it in early!

Read more
Nicholas Skaggs

Sprinting in DC: Tuesday

This week, my team and I are sprinting with many of the core app developers and other folks inside of Ubuntu Engineering. Each day I'm attempting to give you a glimpse of what's happening.

On Tuesday I was finally able to sit down with the team and plan our week. In addition I was able to plan some of the work I had in mind with the community folks working on the core apps. Being obsessed with testing, my primary goals this week are centered around quality. Namely I want to make it easier for developers to write tests. Asking them to write tests is much easier when it's easy to do so. Fortunately, I think (hope?) all of the community core apps developers recognize the benefits to tests and thus are motivated to drive maturity into the testing story.

I'm also keen to work on the manual testing story. The community is imperative in helping test images for not only ubuntu, but also all of it's flavors. Seriously, you should say thank you to those folks helping make sure your install of ubuntu works well. They are busy this week helping make sure utopic is as good as it can be. Rock on image testers! But the tools and process used weigh on my mind, and I'm keen to chat later in the week with the canonical QA team and get there feedback.

During the day I attended sessions regarding changes and tweaks to the CI process. For core apps developers, errors in jenkins should be easier to replicate after these changes. CI will be moving to utilizing adt-run (autopkgtest) for there test execution (and you should too!). They will also provide the exact commands used to run the test. That means you can easily duplicate the results on the dashboard locally and fix the issues found. No more works on my box excuses!

I also met the team responsible for the application store and gave them feedback on the application submission process. Submitting apps is already so simple, but even more cool things are happening on this front.

The end of the evening found us shuffling into cab's for a team dinner. We had a long table of folks eating Italian food and getting to know each other better.

After dinner, I pressured a few folks into having some dessert and ordered a sorbet for myself. After receiving no less than 4 fruit sorbets due to a misunderstanding, I began carving the fruits and sending plates of sorbet down the table. My testcase failed however when the plates all came back :-(

Read more
Nicholas Skaggs

Final Beta testing for Utopic

Can you believe final beta is here for utopic already? Where has the summer gone? The milestone and images are already prepared for the final beta testing. This is the first round of image testing for ubuntu this cycle. A final image will also be tested next month, but now is the time to try out the image on your system. Be sure to report any bugs you may find. This will help ensure there is time to fix them before the release images.

To help make sure the final utopic image is in good shape, we need your help and test results! Please, head over to the milestone on the isotracker, select your favorite flavor and perform the needed tests against the images.

If you've never submitted test results for the iso tracker, check out the handy links on top of the isotracker page detailing how to perform an image test, as well as a little about how the qatracker itself works. If you still aren't sure or get stuck, feel free to contact the qa community or myself for help. Happy Testing!

Read more
Nicholas Skaggs

Autopilot Test Runners

In my last next post, I discussed will discuss notable autopilot features and talk about how autopilot has matured since it became an independent project.

In the meantime I would be remiss if I didn't also talk about the different test runners commonly used with autopilot tests. In addition to the autopilot binary which can be executed to run the tests, different tools have cropped up to make running tests easier.

This tool ships with autopilot itself and was developed as a way to run autopilot test suites on your desktop in a sane manner. Run the autopilot3-sandbox-run command with --help to see all the options available. By default, the tests will run in an Xvfb server, all completely behind the scenes with the results being reported to you upon completion. This is a great way to run tests with no interference on your desktop. If you are a visual person like me, you may instead wish to pass -X to enable the test runs to occur in a Xephyr window allowing you to see what's happening, but still retaining control of your mouse and keyboard.

I need this tool!
sudo apt-get install python3-autopilot

I want to run tests on my desktop without losing control of my mouse!
autopilot3-sandbox-run my_testsuite_name

I want to run tests on my desktop without losing control of my mouse, but I still want to see what's happening!
autopilot3-sandbox-run -X my_testsuite_name

Autopkgtest was developed as a means to automatically test Debian packages, "as-installed". Recently support was added to also test click packages and to run on phablet devices. Autopkgtest will take care of dependencies, setting up autopilot, and unlocking the device. You can literally plug in a device and wait for the results. You should really checkout the README pages, including those on running tests. That said, here's a quick primer on running tests using autopkgtest.

I need this tool!
sudo apt-get install autopkgtest
If you are on trusty, grab and install the utopic deb from here.

I want to run tests for a click package installed on my device!
Awesome. This one is simple. Connect the device and then run:
adt-run --click --- ssh -s adb

For example,
adt-run --click --- ssh -s adb

will run the tests for the installed version of the music app on your device. You don't need to do anything else. For the curious, this works by reading the manifest file all click packages have. Read more here.

I want to run the tests I wrote/modified against an installed click package!
For this you need to also pass your local folder containing the tests. You will also want to make sure you installed the new version of the click package if needed.

adt-run my-folder/ --click --- ssh -s adb

Autopkgtest can also run in a lxc container, QEMU, a chroot, and other fun targets. In the examples above, I passed --- ssh -s adb as the target, instructing autopkgtest to use ssh and adb and thus run the tests on a connected phablet device. If you want to run autopilot tests on a phablet device, I recommend using autopkgtest as it handles everything for you.

This tool is part of the greater phablet-tools package. It was originally developed as an easy way to execute tests on your phablet device. Note however that copying the tests and any dependencies to the phablet device is left to you. The phablet-tools package provides some other useful utilities to help you with this (checkout phablet-click-test-setup for example).

I need this tool!
sudo apt-get install phablet-tools

I want to run the tests I wrote/modified against an installed click package!
First copy the tests to the device. You can use the ubuntu sdk or click-buddy for this, or even do it manually via adb. Then run phablet-test-run. It takes the same arguments as autopilot itself.

phablet-test-run -v my_testsuite

Note the tools looks for the testsuite and any dependencies of the testsuite inside the /home/phablet/autopilot folder. It's up to you to make sure everything that is needed to run your tests are located there or else it will fail.

other ways
There are of course other possible test runners that wrap around autopilot to make executing tests easier. Perhaps you've written a script yourself. Just remember at the end of the day the autopilot binary will be running the tests. It simply needs to be able to find the testsuite and all of it's dependencies in order to run. For this reason, don't be afraid to execute autopilot3 and run the tests yourself. Happy test runs!

Read more
Nicholas Skaggs

Building click packages should be easy. And to a reasonable extent, qtcreator and click-buddy do make it easy. Things however can get a bit more complicated when you need to build a package that needs to run on an armhf device (you know like your phone!). Since your pc is almost certainly based on x86, you need to use, create or fake an armhf environment for building the package.

So then what options exist for getting a proper build of a project that will install properly on your device?

A phone can be more than a phone
It can also be a development environment!? Although it's not my recommendation, you can always use the source device to compile the package with. The downsides of this is namely speed and storage space. Nevertheless, it will build a click.

  1. shell into your device (adb shell / ssh mydevice)
  2. checkout the code (bzr branch lp:my-project)
  3. install the needed dependencies and sdk (apt-get install ubuntu-sdk)
  4. build with click-buddy (click-buddy --dir .)
Chroot to the rescue
The click tools contain a handy way to build a chroot expressly suited for use with click-buddy to build things. Basically, we can create a nice fake environment and pretend it's armhf, even though we're not running that architecture.

sudo click chroot -a armhf -f ubuntu-sdk-14.04 create
click-buddy --dir . --arch armhf

Most likely your package will require extra dependencies, which for now will need to be specified and passed in with the --extra-deps argument. These arguments are packages names, just like you would apt-get. Like so;

click-buddy --dir . --arch armhf --extra-deps "libboost-dev:armhf libssl-dev:armhf"

Notice we specified the arch as well, armhf. If we also add a --maint-mode, our extra installed packages will persist. This is handy if you will only ever be building a single project and don't want to constantly update the base chroot with your build dependencies.

Qtcreator build it for me!
Cmake makes all things possible. Qt Creator can not only build the click for you, it can also hold your hand through creating a chroot1. To create a chroot in qtcreator, do the following:
  1. Open Qt Creator
  2. Navigate to Tools > Options > Ubuntu > Click
  3. Click on Create Click Target
  4. After the click target is finished, add the dependencies needed for building. You can do this by clicking the maintain button.  
  5. Apt-get add what you need or otherwise setup the environment. Once ready, exit the chroot.
Now you can use this chroot for your project
  1. Open qt creator and open the project
  2. Select armhf when prompted
    1. You can also manually add the chroot to the project via Projects > Add kit and then select the UbuntuSDK armhf kit.
  3. Navigate to Projects tab and ensure the UbuntuSDK for armhf kit is selected.
  4. Build!
Rolling your own chroot
So, click can setup a chroot for you, and qt creator can build and manage one too. And these are great options for building one project. However if you find yourself building a plethora of packages or you simply want more control, I recommend setting up and using your own chroot to build. For my own use, I've picked pbuilder, but you can setup the chroot using other tools (like schroot which Qt Creator uses).

sudo apt-get install qemu-user-static ubuntu-dev-tools
pbuilder-dist trusty armhf create
pbuilder-dist trusty armhf login --save-after-login

Then, from inside the chroot shell, install a couple things you will always want available; namely the build tools and bzr/git/etc for grabbing the source you need. Be careful here and don't install too much. We want to maintain an otherwise pristine environment for building our packages. By default changes you make inside the chroot will be wiped. That means those package specific dependencies we'll install each time to build something won't persist.

apt-get install ubuntu-sdk bzr git phablet-tools

By exiting, you'll notice pbuilder will update the base tarball with our changes. Now, when you want to build something, simply do the following:

pbuilder-dist trusty armhf login
bzr branch lp:my-project
apt-get install build-dependencies-you-need

Now, you can build as usual using click tools, so something like

click-buddy --dir .

works as expected. You can even add the --provision to send the resulting click to your device. If you want to grab the resulting click, you'll need to copy it before exiting the chroot, which is mounted on your filesystem under /var/cache/pbuilder/build/. Look for the last line after you issue your login command (pbuilder-dist trusty armhf login). You should see something like, 

File extracted to: /var/cache/pbuilder/build//26213

If you cd to this directory on your local machine, you'll see the environment chroot filesystem. Navigate to your source directory and grab a copy of the resulting click. Copy it to a safe place (somewhere outside of the chroot) before exiting the chroot or you will lose your build! 

But wait, there's more!
Since you have access to the chroot while it's open (and you can login several times if you wish to create several sessions from the base tarball), you can iteratively build packages as needed, hack on code, etc. The chroot is your playground.

Remember, click is your friend. Happy hacking!

1. Thanks to David Planella for this info

Read more
Nicholas Skaggs

As promised, here is your reminder that we are indeed fast approaching the final image for trusty. It's release week, which means it's time to put your energy and focus into finding and getting the remaining bugs documented or fixed in time for the release.

We need you!
The images are a culmination of effort from everyone. I know many have already tested and installed trusty and reported any issues encountered. Thank you! If you haven't yet tested, we need to hear from you!

How to help
The final milestone and images are ready; click here to have a look.

Execute the testcases for ubuntu and your favorite flavor images. Install or upgrade your machine and keep on the lookout for any issues you might find, however small.

I need a guide!
Sound scary? It's simpler than you might think. Checkout the guide and other links at the top of the tracker for help.

I got stuck!
Help is a simple email away, or for real-time help try #ubuntu-quality on freenode. Here are all the ways of getting ahold of the quality team who would love to help you.

Plan to help test and verify the images for trusty and take part in making ubuntu! You'll join a community of people who do there best everyday to ensure ubuntu is an amazing experience. Here's saying thanks, from me and everyone else in the community for your efforts. Happy testing!

Read more
Nicholas Skaggs

Time to test trusty!

Say that three times fast. Time to test trusty,
time to test trusty, time to test trusty!
Ahh it's my favorite time of the cycle. This is the part were we all get serious, go a little bit crazy, and end super excited to release a new version of ubuntu into the world. This time it's even more special as the new version is a brand new LTS, which we look forward to supporting for the next 5 years.

The developers and early adopters have been working hard all cycle to put forth the best version of ubuntu to date. For you! For all of us! It's time to fix bugs, do last minute polish and prepare for the release candidate which will occur around April 11th.

We need you!
This is were you dear reader come in. You see despite their good looks and wonderful sense of humor and charm, the release team doesn't like to release final images of ubuntu that haven't been thoroughly tested.

The release team is ready to pounce on untested images
We need testing, and further, we need the results of that testing! We need to hear from you. Passing test results matter just as much as failures. The way to record these results is via the isotracker; we can't read your mind sadly!

How to help
Mark your calendars now for April 11th - April 16th. Pick a good date for you and plan to download and test the release candidate image. You'll see a new milestone on the tracker, and an announcement here as well when the image is ready. I won't let you forget, promise!

Execute the testcases for ubuntu and your favorite flavor images. Install or upgrade your machine and keep on the lookout for any issues you might find, however small.

I need a guide!
Sound scary? It's simpler than you might think. Checkout the guide and other links at the top of the tracker for help.

I got stuck!
Help is a simple email away, or for realtime help try #ubuntu-quality on freenode. Here's all the ways of getting ahold of the quality team who would love to help.

Plan to help test and verify the images for trusty and take part in making ubuntu! You'll join a community of people who do there best everyday to ensure ubuntu is an amazing experience. Here's saying thanks, from me and everyone else in the community for your efforts. Happy testing!

Read more
Nicholas Skaggs

It may be hard to believe but the next, and dare I say, best, LTS for ubuntu is releasing very soon. We need your help in polishing out critical bugs and issues!

How can I help? 
To help test, visit the iso tracker milestone page for 'Trusty Beta 2'.  The goal is to verify the images in preparation for the release. Find those bugs! The information at the top of the page will help you if you need help reporting a bug or understanding how to test. 

So what's new? 
Besides the usual slew of updates to the applications, stack and kernel, unity has new goodies like minimize on click, menus in toolbar, new lockscreen, and borderless windows!

What if I'm late?
The testing runs through this Thursday March 27th, when the the images for beta 2 will be released. If you miss the deadline we still love getting results! Test against the daily image milestone instead.

Thanks and happy testing everyone!

Read more
Nicholas Skaggs

Keeping ubuntu healthy: Core Apps

Continuing our discussion of testing within ubuntu, today's post will talk about how you can help the community core apps stay healthy.

As you recall the core apps go through a series of QA before being released to the store. However bugs in the application, or in the platform itself can still be exposed. The end result is that the dashboard contains tests failures for that application. To release a new stable image, we need a green dashboard, and more importantly we need to make sure the applications work properly.

Getting plugged in
So to help out, it's important to first plug into the communication stream. After all, we're building these applications and images as a community! First, join the ubuntu phone group on launchpad and sign up for the phone mailing list. The list is active and discussing all issues pertaining to the ubuntu phone. Most importantly, you will see landing team emails that summarize and coordinate issues with the phone images.

From there you can choose a community core app to help improve from a quality perspective. These applications all have development teams and it's helpful to stay in contact with them. Your merge proposal can serve as an introduction!

Finding something to work on
So what needs fixing? A landing team email might point out a failing test. You might notice a test failure on the dashboard yourself. In addition each application keeps a list of bugs reported against it, including bugs that point out failing tests or testing needs. For example here's the list of all new autopilot tests that need to be written for all of the core apps. Pick an app, browse the buglist, assign a bug to yourself, and fix it.

For example, here's the list of bugs for music app. As of this writing you can see several tests that need written, as well as a bug for a test improvement.

You can also simply enhance the app's existing testsuite by fixing a flaky test, or improving the test to use best practices, etc. As a bonus for those reading this near it's original publication date, we just had a session @ vUDS covering the core apps and the testing needs we have. Watch the session / browse the pad and pick something to work on.

Fixing things
Look into any failures you find and have a look at the tests. Often the tests can use a little improvement (or maybe an additional test), and you can help out here! Sometimes failures won't happen every run -- this is the sign of a weird bug, or more likely a flaky test.  Fix the test(s), improve them, or add to them. Then commit your work and submit a merge proposal. Follow the guide on the wiki if you need help with doing this.

Remember, you can iteratively run the tests on your device as you work. Read my post on click-buddy for help with this. If you are lacking a device, run the tests on your desktop instead and a reviewer can test against a real device before merging.

Getting Help
For realtime help, check out #ubuntu-quality and #ubuntu-autopilot on freenode. You'll find a group of folks like yourself working on tests, hacking on autopilot and sharing advice. If IRC isn't your thing, feel free to contact us through another method instead. Happy hacking!

Read more
Nicholas Skaggs

Continuing our discussion of the testing within ubuntu, today's post will talk about how you can help ubuntu stay healthy by manually testing the images produced. No amount of robots or automated testing in the world can replace you (well, at least not yet, heh), and more specifically your workflow and usage patterns.

As discussed, everyday new images are produced for ubuntu for all supported architecture types. I would encourage you to follow along and watch the progression of the OS through these images and your testing. Every data point matters and testing on a regular basis is helpful. So how to get started?

Settle in with a nice cup of tea while testing!

The Desktop
For the desktop images everything you need is on the image tracker. There is a wonderful video and text tutorial for helping you get started. You report your results on the tracker itself in a simple web form, so you'll need a launchpad account if you don't have one.

The secondary way to help keep the desktop images in good shape is to install and run the development version of ubuntu on your machine. Each day you can check for updates and update your machine to stay in sync. Use your pc as you normally would, and when you find a bug, report it! Bugs found before the release are much easier to fix than after release.

Now for the phablet images you will need a device capable of running the image. Check out the list. Grab your device and go through the installation process as described on the wiki. Make sure to select the '-proposed' channel when you install so you will see updates to get the latest images being worked on every time they are built. From there you can update everyday. Use the device and when you find a bug, report it! Here's a wiki page to help guide your testing and help you understand how and where to report bugs.

Don't forget there's a whole team of people within ubuntu dedicated to testing just like you. And they would love to have you join them!

Read more
Nicholas Skaggs

Since just before the last LTS, quality has been a buzzword within the ubuntu community. We've come a long way since precise and I wanted to provide some help and prospective on what ubuntu's process for quality looks like this cycle. In simple terms. Or as reddit would say, "explain to me like I'm 5".

I'll try and define terms as we go. First let me define CI, which is perhaps the buzzword of this cycle, lest I lose all of you! CI stands for continuous integration, and it means we are testing ubuntu. All the time. Non-stop. Every change we make, we test. The goal behind this idea is to find and fix problems, before well, they become problems on your device!

CI Dashboard
The CI dashboard then is a way to visually see the results of this testing. It acts as a representation of the health of ubuntu as a distribution. At least once a day runs are executed, apps and images are tested and benchmarked, and the results are populated on This is perhaps the most visible part of the CI (our continuous testing efforts) that is happening within ubuntu. But let's step back a minute and look at how the overall CI process works within ubuntu.

CI Process
App developers hack on a bit of code, fixing bugs or adding new features to the codebase. Once the code is ready, a merge proposal1 is created by the developer and feedback is sought. If the code passes the peer review and the application's tests, it will then become part of the image after a journey through the CI train.

For the community core apps, the code is merged after peer review, and then undergoes a similar journey to the store where it will become part of the image as well. Provided of course it meets further review criteria by myself and Alan (we'll just call him the gatekeeper).
Though menacing, Alan assures me he doesn't bite

Lest we forget, upstream2 uploads3 are done as well. We can hope some form of testing was done on them before we received them. Nevertheless, tests are run on these as well, and if they pass successfully, the new packages will enter the archive4 and become part of the image.

Generating Images
Now it's time to generate some images. For the desktop a snapshot of what's in the ubuntu archive is taken each day, built, and then subjected to a series of installation tests. If the tests pass, it is released for general testing called Image (or ISO) testing. An image is tested and declared stable as part of a milestone (or testing event) and can become the next version of ubuntu!
Adopted images are healthy images!

On the ubuntu phone side of things, all the new uploads are gathered and evaluated for risk. If something is a large change, it might be prudent to not land it with other large changes so we can tell what broke should the image not work properly. Once everything is ready, a new image is created and is released for testing.  The OTA updates (over-the-air; system updates) on your ubuntu phone come from this process!

How you can help?
Still with me I hope? As you can see there's many things happening each day in regards to quality and lots of places where you can create a positive change for the health of the distro! In my next few posts, I'll cover each of the places you can plug in to help ubuntu be healthy everyday!

1. A merge proposal is a means of changing an applications code via peer review.
2. By upstream, I mean the communities and people who make things we use inside of ubuntu, but are not directly a part of it. Something like the browser (firefox) and kernel are good examples.
3. This can happen via a general sync at the beginning of the cycle from debian. This sync copies part of the debian archive into the ubuntu archive, which in effect causes applications to be updated. Applications are also updated whenever a core ubuntu developer or a MOTU uploads a new version to the archive. 
4. In case you are wondering, "the archive" is the big repository where all of your updates and new applications come from!

Read more
Nicholas Skaggs

Recently the ubuntu core app developers and myself have been on an adventure towards adopting cmake for the all the core applications. While some of the applications are pure qml it's still been useful to embark on adopting a singular build system for all of the projects. Now that (most) of the pain of transitioning is gone, I'm going to talk about one of the useful features of setting up cmake for your project; click-buddy!

Click-buddy is an evolving tool that helps you build and deploy click packages to your phablet device. In addition, it has the ability to setup the device to run your autopilot test suite. So, rather than writing anything further, let's cover an example. You are going to need phablet-tools installed for this to work. I'm going to branch the clock app, build the click package, install it on my device, and finally run the tests.

bzr branch lp:ubuntu-clock-app
cd ubuntu-clock-app
click-buddy --dir . --provision
phablet-test-run -v ubuntu_clock_app

Click-buddy is also gaining the ability to build your project, even it involves a plugin and you are interested in building for your phablet device (armhf). Once landed you will be able to run something like this for non-qml applications.

sudo click chroot -a armhf create
click-buddy --arch armhf --provision

This will setup a chroot automagically for you and compile and build your application. Give it a try!

Note, as of this writing, emulator support for the ubuntu-ui-toolkit emulator is not yet built in. If your tests fail with a module import, run this line from your connected pc. It will copy over the ubuntu-ui-toolkit emulator (provided you have it installed on your pc :-) ) and your tests should now properly run.

adb push /usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/ubuntuuitoolkit /home/phablet/autopilot/ubuntuuitoolkit

Read more
Nicholas Skaggs

Trusty Cycle Updates

First things first, we have our burndown up for the trusty cycle! If your name appears on the list next to a work item, congratulations! Let's work through the items and make it happen ;-) If your name doesn't appear, don't worry! Feel free to help complete the tasks anyway, or jump in an get started on something you love. The mailing list is always open and we love to hear new ideas. See a blueprint that looks interesting and want to help? Get in touch!

What's happening now?
Now, for an update as to what is going on in quality. This week starts Alpha 1 for the flavors that are participating. In addition, the first work items are starting to see completion.

Ali has been working on getting the wiki pages and workflow ready for our community calls for testing. You can check out the page on the wiki here, and schedule testing events. The page explains the basic workflow -- I'd encourage you to schedule events for your favorite packages and let others know about the event on the mailing list. Be sure and report the results once you've completed.

Alberto has been working on getting the papercuts project running for the trusty cycle and ensuring the buglist is maintained and accessible.

Dan has been working on getting our automated testing in place and we're meeting with the CI team this week to get this implemented as part of the release process. Excellent work Dan!

Dan has also been working on the autopilot gtk emulator, which seeks to do the same thing as we've done with the autopilot ubuntu sdk emulator. Both of these frameworks help make writing tests easier.

Speaking of tests, Carla and others have been busy adding and fixing tests to make sure our dashboard stays green. And look at it! We're over 99% passing tests for the ubuntu touch platform. I want to personally thank everyone who's helped write and maintain these tests. Kudos to you all!

On the desktop side, Dan is helping new folks land tests, and the ubuntu desktop default apps continue to run and provide feedback on the desktop.

We also saw several new members join the ubuntu community via ubuntu quality recently. Congrats to Jean-Baptiste, Dan Chapman and Daniel Kessel (my apologies if I missed you!). 

Finally we have Thibaut and other folks looking at refactoring and improving ubuntu startup disk creator. Checkout the full blueprint for more information.

So, what's next?
Well for most of us, it's the Holiday season. Looking beyond the Holidays, , there's several big items in my list to work on in January:

  1. Continue to keep the dashboard green all the time
  2. Do wiki, mailing list, launchpad integration with bugsquad
  3. Add wiki documentation and videos for exploratory testing
What am I doing?
Well, you dear reader, I trust is getting involved in some of the work items and other activities. It starts with installing the development version of ubuntu and then diving in from there. Perhaps you want to write some tests, triage or fix some bugs, or schedule a testing event. If you are interested in making a contribution to ubuntu, we can always use good testers, test writers, developers and triagers!

If you are celebrating holidays this time of year, enjoy your time!  Thanks everyone and Happy Testing!

Read more
Nicholas Skaggs

Since I last posted on the topic of our communities future, we've helped push out a new release of ubuntu. Saucy and fresh, the little salamander is now out in the wild. With the release out it's time to move forward with these changes.

(c) Carla Sella
The beginning of a new cycle is always a time to breathe for us in quality and these past few days of relative calm has indeed been a welcome respite from the craziness of testing leading up to a release.

We can rebuild it. We have the technology. Better than it was before. Better, stronger, faster.

So, let's talk about some of the changes coming to quality for this new cycle.

Defined Roles
I want to help our new members become a productive part of ubuntu quality as soon as possible. To this end I've created a list of roles for the quality team. By defining roles within the team it is easy to see how you can contribute as a 'tester', 'test writer', or 'developer'.

Contribute anytime
While release milestones and calls for testing will still be important, contributing to ubuntu quality can be a daily task. There are activities you can perform any day and anytime in the cycle. The roles pages list activities for each role that can be done right now. If you are a tester, check out the activities you can do right now to help!

More exploratory testing
We're iterating faster and faster. Builds of new code are landing each day, and in some cases several times a day. We can't afford to only test every other week with cadence testing. Instead, we've ramped up efforts to automatically test on each of these new builds. But we still need manual testing!

As a tester you can provide testing results for images, packages and hardware at any time! In addition, exploratory testing is highly encouraged. This is were we as manual testers shine! I want to encourage ongoing exploratory testing all throughout the cycle. Run and use the development version of ubuntu on your machine all the time!

Tackling some big projects
One of the things I wanted to push us as a team towards was tackling some projects that have a wider impact than just us. To that end, you can see several big projects on the activities pages for each role.

For testers, we are undertaking making reporting issues better for users. For the test writers, one of the largest projects is spearheading the effort to make manual image testing less burdensome and more automated by automating ubiquity testing. And for developers, the autopilot emulators are big projects as well and need help.

More involvement with bugs
As a quality community with interact with many bugs. Sometimes we are finding the bug, other times we might confirm them or verify a fix works. However, we haven't always gone the extra step towards doing work with SRU verifications and bug triage. The bugsquad and others have traditionally performed these tasks. If you'll notice these activities are now encouraged for those in the tester role. Let's dive more into the bug world.

A potential expansion of the team
With the mention of the bugsquad and the encouraged involvement with bugs for our team, I would like to propose a union between the quality and bugsquad teams. I would encourage current bugsquad members to take up tester roles, and consider some of the additional opportunities that are available. For those who have been testing with the quality team in past cycles, let's get more invovled with bugs and traditional bugsquad activities as mentioned above.

Making a quality LTS
Trusty Tahr is going to be the next LTS release. Those of you who remember and use Precise will agree that it is going to be a tough act to follow. The bar is set high, but I am confident we can reach it and do better.

We can't do this alone. We need testers, test writers, and developers! If you are interested in helping us achieve our goal, please join us! Now is an excellent time to learn and grow with the rest of us on the team. Thanks for helping making ubuntu better!

Read more
Nicholas Skaggs

Here are 3 easy steps to testing prowess. Do your part to be prepared! Let's help make saucy a great release!

1) Review both the critical bugs and those found during isotesting throughout the cycle. This is handy in case you find something during testing and want to know if someone has already reported it or not.

2) Make sure you know how to use the tracker and how to test an iso. When the milestone is created and the images appear on October 10th, you want to be ready to go!

3) Test and report your results to the tracker ;-) Note, at this point in the cycle we prefer real hardware results. Upgrade your machine! Try a fresh install. If you've been sitting on raring, now is the time to migrate to saucy and let us know of any bugs you find.

Happy Testing!

Read more
Nicholas Skaggs

We're still here and we're still testing!

And you can still join us!

Grab your nexus device, check out the wiki page, and flash away. File bugs, and keep ontop of the updates coming out. Use the device as you would any other phone. Ohh and check out the app development contest winners by installing the apps from the click store on the phone (check out the more suggestions section).

The release is only 2 weeks away. That's 14 days or a mere 336 hours. And we'll be spending 112 hours sleeping (perhaps less, get some sleep!). That leaves just 224 hours for testing. Join us!

#UbuntuTestDanceMaster out.

Read more
Nicholas Skaggs

As I eluded to in my previous post, it's time for us as a community to fully embrace the place of automated testing in our workflows. Over the past year we've learned how to write testcases and to then apply that knowledge towards writing autopilot tests. At the same time ubuntu has been building testing infrastructure and launching a CI team to help run and maintain it.

With these changes and our acquired knowledge we can construct a sustainable vision for testing. So just what is that vision?

Let's make manual testing fun again. As we've ramped up our workloads, we find ourselves repetitively testing the same packages again and again (and running the same tests!). We'd call this regression testing and it's a perfect candidate for automated testing. Let's automate these tests and keep our focus on where we as humans excel.

In addition, we as a community participate in "calls for testing". These calls have become more and more exploratory in nature. In general, we have moved further away from a defined testcase ("perform steps 1, 2, and 3"). Instead, we encourage testers to adopt a try and break it attitude. This is where we as humans can excel, and you know what, have some fun at trying! Remember QA is the only place we encourage you to break things!

So let's get manual testing back to the exploratory testing we love.

Thank you little testing robot!
Let's expand our automated tests. We can increase testing coverage forever with a one time investment of writing a testcase. Developers, write tests for your code and feature sets as you develop them. As a quality community, let's do our best to make it easy for developers to do so.

In addition, a well written bug report can become an excellent testcase to be added to the application testuite. Let's look at bug reports for potential testcases. We can write the test and then forget it. The little robots will tell us if it becomes a problem again in the future and even prevent the bad code from getting shipped where it can break our machines (again). Not bad little robots!

So let's focus on ensuring tests exist for critical regressions when they get fixed.

Let's tackle some big projects. Who said we can't achieve amazing things in the quality community? This vision would be nothing more than an idea without some actions behind it!

Right now we as a community already have a chance to put these ideas in action. Exploratory testing is happening right now on the phablet devices. Get involved! This is the manual, have fun and try and break it, exploratory testing we all love. Even without a phablet device, regressions can be turned into autopilot tests. This meets our goal to expand our automated tests and to look at bugs as potential sources for those tests.

All test and no play makes for a sad image
Moving forward there are still a some big projects to tackle. One of the largest is the amount of manual testing effort required in cadence and milestone testing. We can bring automated testing to the mix to both reduce our on-going effort and raise the quality bar in our releases.

So let's be the leaders for change in ubuntu.

Are you in?

Read more
Nicholas Skaggs

Spreading the (testing) weight

With all the buzz and excitement around quality over the last few cycles, we've been busy. We've built tools, started processes, wrote testcases and committed ourselves to testing. When the time came for us to write new applications for the ubuntu touch platform, we took our quality aspirations with us and tested all through development. The "core apps" for the phone is a perfect example of this; community developed software including tests. Kudos to everyone who is taking part in these efforts.

However, as more and more tests came online, new problems developed. How can we run these tests? When do we want to run them? How can we develop more? What tools do we use? The quality team met all of these challenges, but the weight started to grow heavier.

Rob Macklem Victoria BC derivative: Plasticspork [CC-BY-SA-3.0]
Something needed to be done. Before the bar breaks or our arms give out, let's split the weight. And thus a new team was formed.

Ivanko Barbell Company

Enter the CI team. Behind the scenes running tests, getting our infrastructure in place, and chasing down regressions, the CI team has their hands full. In a nutshell they will ensure all the tests are run as needed. If a test fails they will chase down and ensure the right folks are notified so fixes can be made. Ohh, and yes, that means potential bugs will never even hit your system dear user.

The QA team's mission then gets to be refocused. They will continue to write tests, develop tools if needed, and continue to push for greater quality in ubuntu and upstream. However they no longer have to balance these tasks with ensuring builds stay green, or writing a dashboard to review results. The result is a better focus and the opportunity to do more.

So how does this affect us as a community? The simple answer is that we too can take advantage of this new testing infrastructure and CI team. Let's focus on what coverage we need and what the best way to achieve it might be. We'll also be able to align our goals and ambitions even more with the QA team. I'll share more of my thoughts on this in the next post.

Read more
Nicholas Skaggs

As of today, we are exactly one month away from the release of Saucy Salamander. As part of that release, ubuntu is committed to delivering an image of ubuntu-touch, ready to install on supported devices.

And while folks have been dogfooding the images since May, many changes have continued to land as the images mature. As such, the qa team is committing to test each of the stable images released, and do exploratory testing against new features and specific packagesets.

If you have a device, I would encourage you to join this effort! Everything you need to know can be found upon this wiki page. You'll need a nexus device and a little time to spend with the latest image. If you find a bug, report it! The wiki has links to help. Testing doesn't get anymore fun than this; flash your phone and try to break it! Go wild!

And if you don't own a device? You can still help! As bugs are found and fixed, the second part of the process is to create automated tests for them so they don't occur again. Any bug you see on the list is a potential candidate, but we'll be marking those we especially think would be useful to write an autopilot tests for with a " touch-needs-autopilot" tag.

Join us in testing, confirming bugs, or testwriting autopilot tests. We want the ubuntu touch images to be the best they can be in 1 month's time. Happy Testing!

Read more