At the risk of volunteering for a big task, I'd like to ask if there is
any kind of organized effort to do QA on Linux, particularly on the
What we have is a lot of people voluntarily trying out 2.4.0 on their
systems, and the people that are active kernel developers trying out
each other's drivers and stuff.
But I think there is a lot of untapped enthusiasm out there that could
be put to good use, and to help eventually bring new kernel developers
into the fold.
There are a lot more people who are capable and willing to simply try
out configuring and building a new kernel and to report the results than
there are who can track down the cause of the bugs, but a lot more hours
are needed just to try out that huge permutations of configurations
needed to find that a bug exists.
What I was thinking would be useful would be to have a database where
people who wanted to volunteer to do QA could register themselves, and
then enter the configurations of machines that they have available to
them - brand of machine, CPU time, PCI and ISA cards, and so on. They
could have URLs for pages with further descriptions of the machine.
Each user would give a name to a preset configuration and then when
reporting bugs would indicate what preset they'd used (I'd longed for
this at companies I'd worked at).
There would be a contact method there. Either the user could log in and
check their messages, or indicate that messages meant for them should be
dropped in their email.
Then a kernel developer (and it could be expanded to include any free
software) could send a message to anyone who had a PhooTek PCI
WhizzoMaster Card and say "I've got a new driver available, please try
it out", and then everyone would try it out and be able to file not just
bugs, but successful tests.
Testers could log relevant information such as the .config files they'd
used for particular tests and so on.
There's a lot of ways that this could be implemented, but one way that
would be convenient to program would be to use the open source Enhydra
Java Application Server, which I've worked with a little bit before and
have had successfully integrated with Apache in the past.
A developer who was concerned about coverage could do searched for the
configurations that he was interested in, and discover whether, say, a
dual-Xeon system had ever been tested with an FDDI board with kernel
Would you find this helpful?
I could help architect such a thing. I could do some of the work to
write it, but I'd need help. I could develop code on my laptop and the
server I'm building, but as I'm on a cable modem I couldn't host it
myself, I'd need someone to volunteer to host it.
Michael D. Crawford
GoingWare Inc. - Expert Software Development and Consulting
Tilting at Windmills for a Better Tomorrow.
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