Canonical Voices

Posts tagged with 'ubuntu'

Ara Pulido

Ubuntu Testing Team

If you think that testing software is an unskilled activity that “even a two-year-old can perform”, keep reading, I’ll try to change your mind. If you do not agree with that sentence, keep reading, you may be interested in joining us.

Software testing is generally seen as the poor cousin of programming. While the bad reputation of testers happens in all software environments, this is more common in free software communities, probably because the “show me the code” motto is too deeply attached to the open source communities. This, unfortunately, is too often translated in unreliable software released with a lot of bugs (some of them critical).

Testing software, as any human activity, is a task that almost everybody can perform to some sort of proficiency. However, that does not mean that it is an unskilled activity. You have to know what to do. You need to have (or to develop), among others, excellent communication skills, technical writing skills, software architecture knowledge, technical research expertise, a critical mindset, etc.

We cannot leave quality to good luck. We cannot rely in having millions of users who will find bugs as they use the applications. Our users want to use the software, not to find bugs and report them. FOSS projects in general and Ubuntu in particular need a new way of rethinking testing as a skilled activity and an opportunity to contribute to the project.

We want to build a Testing Team in Ubuntu to try to minimize the impact of bugs in the released versions. This team would have a mailing list and regular meetings on IRC. Activities will be diverse and will include things like: formal manual testing, exploratory testing, writing new test cases, organize and conduct community testing days, automated testing and developing new tools (yes, if you like to code, there’s also a place for you).

We would love you to join us and make it happen.

We are having a session at UDS Lucid to discuss this topic (scheduled for Wednesday). You can subscribe to the blueprint as well.


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Ara Pulido


This Thursday Karmic reaches the last milestone before the final release. As for every milestone, we need to test all the ISO images we produce, with every possible installation.

All of these test cases will appear, with instructions to follow, in the ISO tracker. If you don’t know how to use the tracker, this blog post will serve as starting guide.

One of the complains of the new comers is that they don’t know which test case needs testing. The coordination is done at #ubuntu-testing at Freenode and not everybody can access IRC. This time, Dave Morley and I, will try something new. As the RC images start appearing and testing begins, we are going to update in Twitter, using #ubuntutesting as tag.

If you want to help us testing RC images, please, follow us in Twitter and make sure to search for #ubuntutesting for updates. And if you’re helping testing, please, tweet about it!

Of course, this is an extra way to get informed. Coordination will happen, as usual, at #ubuntu-testing IRC channel.

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Ara Pulido


Ubuntu 9.10 (Karmic Koala) Beta was released last Thursday. I am so glad to announced that we 98.9% coverage of the test cases in the ISO tracker. I would like to thank the community members that helped testing the ISOs, specially those who joined recently. Thanks! I am discussing with the Community team about the possibility of including this participation in the Ubuntu Hall Of Fame, just as the bug triagers or sponsors are.

I will blog about Release Candidate ISO testing as we approach the milestone week ;-)

Also, and because we are getting new contributions, I would like to comment some of the reports we got, so we can improve every milestone.

Not really a failure

We got this comment, in a test case marked as failure:

I have a tablet fujitsu p1630 and the stylus works in the life cd! great, congratulations!
(missing is the calibration tool which should be loaded. The stylus is not properly calibrated and cannot reach the top line (where the application menus sit!).[...]

In the ISO test tracker we mark as failures those experiences that prevented us to do what we want to achieve in that test case. I.e. If we want to install, and the partition manager fails, that’s a failure. If we do install (or can access to the Live environement, as in this case), the test didn’t fail as such. We would mark that as success, but will link the non-critical bugs that we find.

Usability bugs are bugs

The lack of colour in the default options during installation could cause problems for new users.
The default setting of Mute, for sound could cause problems for new users.

These are great examples of usability bugs. Thanks for noticing them! Usability bugs are bugs, so do not only put them as comments in your report, also go and file bugs in Launchpad for them. They will help a lot to new users to understand how Ubuntu works.

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