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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

QA in Gentoo, and Microsoft vs. Linux


I'm totally agree with you on the matter. I was actually talking with Patrick about QA awhile ago, and if you hold the same stance as he does on the matter - that is great. I think one should take apart the 2 definitions about application quality: the one is being made with high quality, and the second is being working stable as specified.

The first one is regarded in software as "code style policies" and such, which means the rules and choices made when creating products (such as variables/function names, code styles, etc). It is sometimes even implemented by using automated tools for creating skeletons in code, and running automatic parsers to check the usage.

On the other hand, Quality Assurance means testing created products for bugs, features and stability, and generally speaking has nothing to do with coding policies - as long as product is stable and performs as expected.

So for Gentoo, I would believe that the main things that QA team should always check, are the following:

1. Package can be built.
2. The result can be ran/executed/used.

If 1. doesn't pass in at least some 50%, package cannot be unmasked or even added to the tree.

When 1. is OK, and 2. is almost OK (say, it runs but some problems exist), package can be marked ~.

I only believe there are 2 cases when package can be marked stable:
1. The 1. above has near 100% positive result for all the deps.
2. The 2. from the above is considered positive, when tested by multiple users for given period of time (say at least a week) and no problems are being reported.

Thats the way I think QA issues should be handled in Gentoo.

Regarding your resignation - although I'm sure it is a lost for the official Gentoo, I hope you still stick around and help to people in need. I also believe that everyone is free community is entitled to personal wishes, and if you want to resign - its your right to do so, I don't understand why people bother you to explain yourself (like you own them or something.)

Now, to the Microsoft vs. Linux issue.

As Daniel de Oliveira already mentioned, Microsoft has created a new site, (currently down by the way), where they explain their potential partners and salesforce, how to win the sales case against Linux offerings.

I personally think it is important, because it is not blatant "Get The Facts" campain. It is a very business-case oriented, detailed and organized guide to winning businesses.

You do such guides only when you consider your opponent very serious contender, and that requires you to concentrate on important stuff. It also means, that Linux (I mean OS here, not just kernel), is considered by Microsoft very serious, and its not "only for ..... people anymore" (fill the blanks on your own; may I suggest "supergeeks"?).

So, I'd say that Ubuntu bug #1 set by Mark Shuttleworth, is being slowly but surely resolved.

Wouldn't you ?!


Anonymous said...

Isn't what you are describing about the same as the current keywording policy?

Anonymous said...

No, it's not. We have no-longer-compiling, unsupported upstream and/or plain horribly buggy code marked as stable - mainly because it's pretty damn hard to get a working version stabilized on certain arches, or because maintainer just doesn't care enough to get something new stabilized at all. The policy doesn't cover this at all.

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