moonbase / module and code testing / qa

Jasper Huijsmans jasper at
Fri Oct 3 08:44:35 GMT 2003

How about versioning moonbase (Jason brought this up for lunar2 I

We can have time-based stable moonbase releases, say every month, or 2
or 3 ... and we have moonbase-current that is updated regularly, like it
is now.

Security updates go in both moonbases.

We should have enough discipline to not put in big updates to -stable
without testing them in -current first.

When it's time for a -stable release, -current becomes -stable. Here we
can look at the list of important modules you gave and check for each of
them if they are ready to go into stable.

Would this work? In principle, it should not be much more work than one
moonbase, since -stable is not touched, except for security updates that
have to go into -current as well.

What do you think?


Op do 02-10-2003, om 18:04 schreef elaine:
> Hello all module developers.
> Feedback on these ideas or other ways to make test/release easier are 
> solicited! Sorry this is a long email.
> I wish to propose adopting guidelines for deciding the degree of testing we 
> want developers to use in determining when a module is ready for release into
> moonbase.
> We're all volunteers on this project and I think we all do pretty damn
> good work. 
> However from back in SGL days there have been problems when modules with
> system-wide impact are released into moonbase and trigger unexpected 
> problems. Db4, glibc, gcc, gnome have all been examples.
> There's a principle in engineering that's also well known/proven in
> software. The cost of fixing bugs/flaws grows exponentially as
> they move from R&D to alpha to beta to production. I beleive we'll
> save ourselves time in the long run if we can stop dropping untested
> updates into critical sections of the moonbase.
> Personally I'm will promise time for testing updates and would rather 
> dedicate some time to that upfront than spend (more) time fixing
> things after they've gone out to the wider userbase.
> Suggestions:
> 1. For complex modules, testing on the developement machine isn't 
> adequate. Dependencies which most users won't have installed are 
> certain to have been installed (perhaps a few times) on the target
> machine. Because Lunar doesn't have a rollback capabity returing
> to tabula-rasa
> 2. For modules with wide impact (Qt, libgnome, gtk+* glibc<shudder> ...)
> the effects of update may vary widely depending on what's installed
> 3. Lunar users are not even close to in-sync on software versions. It's
> up to the system owner to decide what to hold or update. Therefor 
> it's *certain* that the userbase is running a wide variety of configs.
> 4. The 'profile' of the average lunar install is very different than
> the average developer's system. The best guess of our userbase is 4-600 
> systems. *most* of these people in fact don't update more often than 
> every 30-60 days. I imagine there are a few that go a year or more without
> general updates.
> I think we could adopt a rating system where required degree of testing is 
> determined by a formula, something like: (criticality*delta) / impact.
> criticality is high for security flaws, low for feature enhancements,
> somewhere in between for everything else.
> delta = deltaV*10+ delta-majorV + delta-minorV/10 (this probably needs 
> adjusting per-module because different projects have different policies
> for release / compatibility. e.g. openssl allows API changes between 
> e.g. 0.9.6-7 while gcc (to my knowlege) is object code compatible 
> across e.g. 3.2 - 3.3 versions.
> impact is high for anything that creates libraries in the paths,
> is likely to affect critical operations for users
> We may want to build some variation on this formula into moonbase. 
> To facilitate getting testing done with minimal dev overhead, perhaps
> (rather than informally passing around dev-modules via email) we can add a 
> directory dbguin's download area for modules in development, and 
> scripts to grab that dev area into /zlocal.
> I can dedicate a couple of vmware boxes which are easy to restore to
> known-state as well as my primary dev system to this work.
> Feedback on this or other ways to make test/release easier are solicited!
> Here's a preliminary list of modules which I beleive ought to be tested
> on at least 3-8 systems prior to release to moonbase. 
> glibc
> gcc
> readline
> bash
> coreutils
> ncurses
> dialog
> db
> db4
> perl
> openssl
> openssh
> krb5
> zlib
> gawk
> gnome2
> gettext
> qt3
> kde3
> nfs-utils
> samba
> util-linux
> nasm
> modutils
> pkgconfig
> Linux-PAM
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